FireEye held its first ever Momentum partner conference in Sydney, which saw the security company’s global reps pushing its new channel focus, including incentives, rebates, tools, and new incentive programmes.
FireEye’s A/NZ country manager, Phil Vasic, emphasized the multi-faceted approach that cybersecurity now requires – an approach beyond the box shifting, check-box approach of the security era past.
“FireEye has doubled its year on year growth for several years now, and we’ve seen huge investments in R&D compared to our peers. We are spending two to three times what our rivals do,” he said.
The company has also been aggressively acquiring companies with technology that suits its agenda, and most recently has scored large with a new global security partnership with VISA, covering its payment systems. It has also picked up Marsh and Ace Insurance in Australia.
FireEye was also recently announced as the first security company to be certified by the US Department of Homeland Security.
“We’ve seen tremendous success across the last two to three years, and we’ve had significant investments in A/NZ that were ahead of the curve,” he said.
“We’re now being rewarded for that.”
The company recently invested in a ‘multi-million’ dollar office in North Sydney, with 45 staff members across A/NZ. This includes its new Security Operations Centre.
Vasic said the company is attracting the best and brightest talent in A/NZ, and its channel talent had ‘quadrupled’.
“We’re definitely in the right place, at the right time, with the right strategy.”
A NEW CHANNEL PROGRAMME
The keynote speaker for the day, FireEye’s VP of worldwide channels and alliances, Steve Pataky, admitting that his company had been slow to develop its own partner programme – not just with the channel, but other vendors.
The channel team has grown from being just Chris Barton (FireEye’s regional alliance manager), to a channel team of 7.
Now 90 per cent of the company’s transactions have been through partners across the last eight quarters, he said.
“What you do when invent new technology, and it is not a category that exists in customers’ minds, not a budgeted line item, is you go and hire the best salespeople to go an evangelise the new technology. They fight for budget, they find those opportunities,” he said.
“I was brought in, right before the FireEye IPO, because we realised that to get scale, and get leverage in the marketplace, we had to adjust our go-to-market strategy. We had to transition from what was a very direct sales organisation, to always working with partners from day one.
“We want to transition our business to be a world class partner organisation.”
Pataky said the average time a piece of malware spends in the enterprise is 205 days – and 80 per cent of malware is only used the once.
“’When’ is the new ‘if’ – it's not about whether you’re vulnerable, it's about how badly you’ve been compromised. A big change to the market mindset.”
FireEye’s head of HR also fed Pataky another surprising piece of information – the average job tenure of a CISO in a larger enterprise company is less than two years, usually due to breaches.
“There are serious commercial implications; stock price, valuation, intellectual property, we hear so many amazing stories from customers about what they go through,” he said.
Pataky says FireEye is focusing on reducing those 205 days “to a matter of minutes, not hours or days.”
The company’s secret sauce is its continuous protection, which looks across the entire network for anomalies and responds with agility. He claims that FireEye scans 50 billion objects per day, and that his company can lay claim to having discovered 16 of the last 22 zero day attacks.
The key push for partners in A/NZ is the launch of FireEye’s new Fuel Partner Programme, which is an online learning portal for its channel partners that is constantly updated via the company’s advisory council – which takes feedback from its partners and experts to keep training up to date. Fuel is actually running from a hosting vendor in Sydney, and includes sales reps accreditation and specialisation programmes.
“We can’t do everything. No one company can. That’s why partnering is vital. We know partners can spot that white space and capability gaps and chase them with us.”
Pataky said that FireEye makes no more than 15 per cent via services, leaving a “very large opportunity for our partners.” Already the vendor claims that partners generate $7 pull through or every $1 of FireEye solutions sold.
“There’s actually a very large global manufacturing company, with close roots here in Australia, that we were brought in on a breach with them, with our partner. At the end of the day, through all of the services and products, it resulted in about a $5 million dollar piece of business for FireEye/Mandiant,” he said.
“But over a period of two years, the organisation that was working with the client, has billed them $45 million dollars in transformation services.”
The company is expanding its partnering services beyond simple partner fulfillment and partner led deal registration. In Q3 this year, it will be launching ‘deal partnering’- which will allow partners to fit somewhere in the middle, allowing partners to hunt for net new opportunities within existing FireEye accounts – with additional discounts and margin for new deals.
The company will also be releasing its Quote + Config tool by next year, and has committed to producing a formal partner rebates programme by 2016.
Pataky also wants to see the incident response time from partner to vendor to less than 72 hours, as part of its ongoing transformation.
“We know we’re only as good as the last transaction."