BlackBerry builds trust with Partners to secure customers in India
In a chat with VARINDIA, Graeme Pyper, APAC Director Channel Partner and Alliances, BlackBerry talks about the new partnership with Netpoleon, channel structure, go-to-market strategy, partner program etc.
Kindly elaborate on the recent partnership with Netpoleon India. What are the BlackBerry solutions that Netpoleon India will be distributing in the country?
Our strategy is to connect, secure and manage every endpoint in the Internet of Things. So beyond securing enterprises and their data, we help to secure buildings, critical infrastructure, utilities, automotive industries and the consumer. In fact, BlackBerry today secures over half a billion endpoints, including over 195 million cars on the road.
BlackBerry protects businesses’ endpoints and people with smarter solutions and technologies that are more effective and require less resources to support producing a better return on investment for their users. This is the foundation of BlackBerry's mission and vision in ‘intelligent security everywhere’. We see that as being the key message with our friends at Netpoleon. It is a well-known organization and distribution partner for us in the Indian market and has an excellent reputation. When we were looking at expanding our footprint into the marketplace, Netpoleon were head and shoulders above everybody else.
The way we want to position our products and services, Netpoleon has access to all of BlackBerry’s portfolio of cybersecurity solutions which are all powered by Cylance AI. So within that, we have Cylance Protect, which is an enhanced AI and Machine Learning driven antivirus detect and response solution. We have Cylance Optics, which provides an enhanced capability to provide MDR - Managed Detection and Response. We have Cylance Guard, which is our Extended, Detection and Response (XDR) service. This is really critical to some segments of the market whereby people do not actually have the necessary resources to be able to manage alerts from various different cybersecurity solutions, so that product is incredibly important to the marketplace itself. We also have other solutions around mobility such as the traditional BlackBerry Workspaces for secure file and data sharing, which many organizations in India are already familiar with, and we are continuing to expand the use of those products and services. More recently, we have introduced our Cylance Gateway solution, which is a zero trust network access solution that allows people to get rid of the traditional VPN style access onto corporate networks and infrastructure. This allows a seamless AI driven approach to connectivity within the network as long as you are actually applying policies to that.
With this new partnership, what are the verticals that BlackBerry is aiming for?
Every single vertical is under threat - and no size of organisation is immune. I think when we look at banking and financial services, those verticals are used to being under attack from a lot of different adversaries and they are probably the ones that have the most advanced security capabilities. Where we have seen an increase in threats is against critical national infrastructure, the retail as well as automotive and manufacturing. Those are areas whereby we are actually expanding quite considerably because when you think of the world now we are all connected. Even the vehicles that we have are increasingly connected as well. So we need to look at how we can protect all of these things (or endpoints) that are now part of a worldwide network. So anywhere that you think you need some kind of antivirus solution, we are absolutely required in those spaces.
You can read more from BlackBerry 2022 Threat Research Report.
How Netpoleon India will help BlackBerry to spread its wings?
We are always looking for ways to expand in each territory that we work to help more customers take advantage of our security innovation and expertise. India is an important market with huge growth opportunity. In order to reach our potential and widen support for our customers - we need our partners to help us. We do have a team locally, both in Mumbai and Delhi. But we also look to our distribution partners such as Netpoleon to help us identify who are going to be the partners that will take us to that next level; who will be able to support us and more importantly will be able to support the customers. In order to get the right outcome, we are not looking at trying to reach hundreds of brand new partners. What I would like is to have partners that share our vision, the capability that we have within cybersecurity, and have good relationships with customers. Trust is the biggest thing for businesses especially in the Indian community, everybody must work on a level of trust. And for me, it is building that level of trust with those partners in order to make business outcomes happen.
Kindly elaborate about BlackBerry’s channel structure. What is your go-to-market approach for the channel partners?
Across the whole organization we have a two tier channel structure. So we have our distribution partners and then we have our value added partners who sit underneath that distribution strategy. Within that we do not actually sell directly to end user customers. I am very pleased to say that across the whole of the region, not just in India, our relationships are all through our partners. So from that perspective, building that trust with the partner, knowing that we are not going to sell directly or sell away from them is incredibly important. The way we operate from a go to market strategy is we have a sales team to help identify opportunities with those customers, and work with our partners in order to win those opportunities. So it is very much a hand in hand approach. We provide all of the training that the partner may need for both sales enablement and technical enablement. We also provide a lot of industry knowledge.
Kindly elaborate about your Partner program.
One of the things that I am incredibly proud to announce is that last year we launched a partner incentive program called Protect and Earn for our partner community that has been incredibly successful. I am pleased to announce that has been extended for the coming 12 months. The program is specifically for partner sales people but more importantly for sales engineers. Now that particular program is incredibly rewarding in terms of the revenue that people can earn. We reward sellers with new logo wins. So for every new customer that a partner salesperson and Sales Engineer actually brings to BlackBerry, we will reward them. The minimum value of the sale to us must be US$1,000. Now, that is not a large sum in some circumstances when it comes to cybersecurity solutions. But the rewards are incredibly generous and we believe they are actually one of the most generous rewards programs available in the market today.
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