End-point security vendor SentinelOne will plough the $70m (£56m) it raised from its recent funding round into its EMEA channel business, according to new sales vice president Gareth Green.
Green joined SentinelOne last week, having previously been general manager at Aerohive Networks - after the vendor announced a $70m funding round in January.
Green told CRN that the funding raised will be used to grow the vendor's headcount and partner base in Europe to help deal with a surge in demand.
"There has been a small number of people around Europe run ragged," he said.
"The C round of funding for $70m led by Redpoint is basically the trigger for allowing us to invest more heavily across EMEA. Obviously that includes the UK and APAC.
"It's my role to run both APAC and EMEA so the investment is going to be significant and we'll have somewhere between 35 and 40 people across that region as soon as we can recruit them. In terms of the UK, that will translate into a number of hires."
SentinelOne currently has eight core UK channel partners, along with a further two that are purely transactional at the moment, and is looking to get to around 15.
"We have a long list [of potential partners], that will get down to a shortlist and then the idea is we'll know the birthdays of every single person in that company and work very well alongside those guys.
"If we're to demonstrate the value and disrupt the antivirus market, where you've got a very established supply relationship, and convince people they should be looking at diverting that money to a next-gen player like ourselves, we have to show the value of what our technology does and demonstrate that the current technology as legacy doesn't do what the customer needs it to do."
SentinelOne partnered with Exclusive Networks last year to grow its partner base and Graham Jones, UK country manager at Exclusive said that SentinelOne has demonstrated its channel commitment, whereas others should have their own commitment questioned.
"You look at the likes of Cylance who get through thousands and millions of pounds and employ thousands of people, but I'm not sure they're totally channel friendly, whereas with SentinelOne right from when we started to talk to them the channel was built in," he said.
"I said to Gareth [Green] let's not put an advert in Waterloo station like Cylance. I get the feeling Cylance want to be the next Kaspersky and that's fine, but I'm not too sure what the channel margins there were."
"This market is more or less rapidly going to the MSSP model and these guys are really ready for that. We have one project with a small telco for 4,000 customers where they're providing networks as service and the proposal we have is they're going out with a $1m guarantee and saying 'for a couple of extra quid a month we'll cover your end-point'."
Prodec Networks was one of SentinelOne's first channel partners in the UK and security manager Danny Williams said that the vendor put solid foundations for its UK channel in place last year.
"There are two things that I look for from a partner when we take them on," he said. "First is vendor credibility, not only the product but if their structure to set up to assist and enhance the channel.
"The other side of that coin is whether the market is ready for them, and in the last six months both of those aspects - the SentinelOne side and the market side - have been maturing and growing.
"One of the things that's important for the market to get their heads around is that this is not just AV.
"[If you] compare it with AV products, which people do instinctively, they think 'this is expensive', but they realise it's doing three or four more than AV and it then really starts to show its worth. We're seeing that in rolling it out at the moment."
Sizing up the competition
A number of next-generation antivirus start-ups have been vocal in their attempts to displace the legacy vendors in the cybersecurity space and SentinelOne has set itself the same target.
Tony Rowan, director of solutions architects at SentinelOne says the vendor has its eye on stealing market share from the industry leaders, but is also aware of competition from other up-and-coming vendors.
"We never lose focus of the fact that the real competition we're facing is the legacy antivirus guys," he said. "They're the ones taking £9bn revenue worldwide so they're the ones to really concentrate on, but we're well aware that we've got other very capable competitors alongside us like Cylance and until very recently Invincea, which is in the process of acquisition by Sophos.
"But if we look at our detection capabilities versus those, plus the ability to not only detect, but [we have] mitigation, remediation and forensics all in one agent. I think that is the real differentiator for us.
"Cylance's methodology is all about prevention, prevention, prevention. It's all based on the idea that they'll stop everything, and it's an attractive thing to talk about, that's what everyone wants to hear, but the truth for security is that's never possible. You've got to have ways of protecting from stuff that you don't know about and you have to have the ability to do something about it."
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