Increasing cloud adoption is transforming traditional IT provisioning methods: Keith Carter, Vice President, Channels – Asia Pacific at Palo Alto Networks

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Keith Carter, Vice President, Channels – Asia Pacific at Palo Alto Networks
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Global cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks has made several refinements in its NextWave partner program. The company has introduced new options for partners to grow their businesses with streamlined program levels, tiered discount structures, and new partner incentives, aimed at boosting margins and profitability. Speaking to CRN India, Keith Carter, Vice President, Channels – Asia Pacific at Palo Alto Networks explains how the company, along with its cloud providers, is now building a new pool of born-in-the-cloud set of partners

How are partners accepting cloud adoption in India and across the APAC region?
Cloud adoption in India is growing leaps and bounds, especially with start-ups whose business model is entirely cloud delivered. These digital native companies rely extensively on public cloud environment to deliver services to their customers. The partner landscape is also accordingly adapting to this change. We collaborate with a whole new set of born-in-cloud partners who are helping customers with services capabilities to move their workloads on the cloud. These partners have built their businesses entirely on the cloud and are extremely successful today. Our traditional IT infrastructure partners have also recognised that a significant part of customer budgets is going towards cloud and have accordingly adapted to this change by building a separate cloud practise within their organisation.

Moving to the cloud throws up a unique set of security challenges like visibility, maintaining regulatory compliance and inadvertent manual errors due to misconfigurations or weak passwords. Our partners see this as a great opportunity to position our new cloud security suite, Prisma, to help solve these challenges.

With NextWave Partner Program enhancements, how has the channel growth impacted Palo Alto Networks?
NextWave partners play a critical role to help prevent successful cyber attacks. They have an ever-expanding need for a trusted advisor to successfully integrate cybersecurity offerings into a hybrid cloud infrastructure, optimise security features, and secure the network from the endpoint to the cloud. The recent enhancements below will boost program flexibility, fuel long-term growth and enable the expansion of partner-led services.

NextWave enhancements include:

  • Profitability initiatives: It has introduced new options for partners to grow their businesses with streamlined program levels, tiered discount structures, and new partner incentives aimed at boosting margins and profitability
  • Partner-led services opportunities: A new dedicated Managed Services Program, providing partners a clear path for capitalising on the rapidly growing managed services opportunity
  • Systems and processes: The company has automated systems and processes to ensure business can be conducted efficiently. These advancements simplify the quoting and approval process to accelerate the sales cycle and improve the overall partner experience.

What role does Palo Alto Networks play in working with channel partners to provide the relevant skills and technology?
Our channel program offers renewal protection, rebates and incentives, especially for partners who are technically sound to support and service our customers. Subscriptions and services make up 60 per cent of our business, and it is continuously growing. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) shows the most significant growth among software segments. Enterprises are shifting to pay-for-use models that offer flexibility. Our customers have an ever-expanding need for partner services to successfully integrate cybersecurity offerings into a hybrid infrastructure, optimise security features, and secure the network from end-point to the cloud. Along with our cloud providers, we are now building a new pool of born-on-cloud set of partners.

How is Palo Alto Networks helping partners in maximising profitability by delivering more service offerings, especially cloud services?
This year we have seen the channel community betting big on cloud services and realigning its key partners for opportunities. The prolific preference for cloud and SaaS has created a shift in customer consumption habits for ‘everything-as-a-service’. SaaS cybersecurity offerings provide customers the ease and speed they have become accustomed to. It also allows vendors to automatically deploy updates and patches to protect against newly detected vulnerabilities.

With recent enhancements to our NextWave partner program, we have introduced new options for partners to grow their businesses with streamlined program levels, tiered discount structures, and new partner incentives aimed at boosting margins and profitability. We have also rolled out a new dedicated Managed Services Program, providing partners a clear path for capitalising on the rapidly growing managed services opportunity and automated systems and processes to make doing business easier. These advancements simplify the quoting and approval process to accelerate the sales cycle and improve the overall partner experience.

Do you also provide a full range of services: pre-sales, planning, implementation, post-sales and managed services?
Increasing cloud adoption is transforming traditional IT provisioning methods, increasing the breadth of cybersecurity risks and creating new opportunities for cybersecurity services. These industry changes have opened vast opportunities for our NextWave partners to maximise their profitability by delivering more service offerings, especially cloud services. Our customers need a full range of services: pre-sales, planning, implementation, post-sales, and managed services. They want a trusted advisor to help them build and manage a secure unified hybrid cloud model. Our mutual success depends on adapting and enhancing our NextWave Partner Program in response to the market and to help our partners capitalise on these new opportunities. We also provide Business Transformational Services to our partners to leverage and complement their proprietary services offerings. These transformation services help define and implement a prevention-focused security strategy that delivers measurable outcomes. Using automation and a Zero Trust approach, the services help streamline and simplify operations while strengthening security posture. This helps in aligning people, processes, and procedures with business needs, elevating confidence and control to a whole new level.


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