For managed security service providers (MSSPs) and managed service providers (MSPs), choosing a cybersecurity vendor is a mission-critical task. The MSSP-vendor relationship mirrors the MSSP-client relationship. In both cases, organizations are purchasing tools and services that enable their business objectives. Similarly, while a cybersecurity vendor may offer an opportunity, MSSPs need to know whether it’s the right one for them.
When MSSPs and MSPs look for their next cybersecurity vendor, they need to consider the holistic offerings across both technologies and services so that they can make informed, revenue-enabling decisions.
In a competitive market, partners build out offerings that help differentiate them from their competitors. When defining future strategy, every MSSP and MSP should start by asking four fundamental questions:
Every new offering exists to generate revenue and provide an enhanced customer experience. Simultaneously, if onboarding the cybersecurity vendor takes too long, an MSSP/MSP will suffer from a delayed return on investment.
After answering these questions internally, partners can ask prospective vendors the same questions to ensure they have the appropriate alignment.
When looking for a cybersecurity vendor, MSSPs and MSPs need partners with best-in-class technology and services that enable growth.
Although the two words sound the same, they have different meanings. An integrated solution is fundamental to continued growth and success. Integrated solutions provide multiple technologies that work together, enabling long-term scalability.
For example, an MSP/MSSP may start by providing security operations center (SOC) services, then look to add SD-WAN or extended detection and response (XDR) services in the future. Integrating disparate cybersecurity vendors becomes time-consuming, reducing a new offering’s profitability. A cybersecurity vendor should have an integrated set of technologies that enable the MSP/MSSP’s current and future business strategies.
Integratable means fitting into the overarching technology stack, including ticket-tracking systems and business reporting. For partners, cybersecurity is the business. For their customers, it’s a part of their business. The right cybersecurity vendor recognizes this distinction, giving MSPs/MSSPs a technology with integratable extensions.
Technology is only one part of the partner-vendor relationship. A cybersecurity vendor should have the experience and knowledge to help its customers achieve success.
Sales engineers should understand the partner’s:
When the vendor delivers the proposal, MSPs/MSSPs should look for terms like:
These terms will provide visibility into whether the vendor views this as a relationship, instead of just looking to sell a product.
Cybersecurity vendors are integral to an MSP/MSSP’s own sales pipeline. A cybersecurity vendor should provide more than generic training opportunities. Partners should consider whether a vendor provides:
Further, the vendor relationship should go beyond the onboarding and provide partners with enablement opportunities for bringing in new customers. Some services to look for include:
Fortinet empowers partners by providing a robust set of technologies and services that enable long-term strategic business goals. With our broad portfolio of integrated and automated security tools for MSPs and MSSPs, supported by a dedicated Offer Development process and team, partners can offer their customers a broad, single-provider solution that increases average revenue per user. The Fortinet Security Fabric is an integrated and integratable solution, providing the security, performance, visibility, and control that partners need.
In addition, Fortinet provides additional enablement at the technical level, including channel sales engineers (SEs) who are responsible for technical enablement with our partners, with the goal of helping them maximize opportunities and building revenue-generating solutions.
Read more about a Fortinet Channel Sales Engineer and how this team helps partners.
Learn more about Fortinet's Engage Partner Program and how your organization can benefit by joining. Current partners can visit the Partner Portal to find important updates from Fortinet and our partner program.