End-point security vendor CrowdStrike says it has "massive growth plans" in EMEA, which it intends to target with a one-tier channel strategy, apart from in the Middle East.
Global sales president Mike Carpenter explained that despite appointing UK distributor Cloud Distribution only last year, they no longer work with the company.
Carpenter's one-tier strategy marks a deviation from the distribution-led model laid out by EMEA boss Mike East last year. At the time, East said CrowdStrike will be rolled out across Europe through distributors.
"We prefer to have very direct contact with our partners, and they understand the value proposition that we have," he said.
"We used Cloud Distribution when we were initially starting out in the UK…But we don't need them anymore.
"We're actively looking to the Middle East now and see that in that particular market, two-tier relationships are probably going to be necessary."
California-headquartered CrowdStrike currently has offices in the Netherlands and Italy. However, most sales are led by a 50-strong EMEA team based in Reading, England.
"We are looking to open in Paris this year, too, but we want to lead our inside sales from England," Carpenter said.
"Many companies come into EMEA and spread themselves too thin, putting resources everywhere. And we did that to some extent initially, so we've had what I call a 'reset' in EMEA."
Carpenter said that with a dedicated threats research team, some CrowdStrike business is generated purely by firms wanting its cyber intelligence.
He highlighted the WannaCry hacking furore in 2017 as having "brought in significant business".
Acknowledging that the cybersecurity market is "extremely saturated", Carpenter insisted that CrowdStrike is able to stand out to partners by being "much more agile" than traditional legacy vendors, such as McAfee and Symantec.
"There's so many of them…I look at the traditional anti-virus companies and what they're missing out on is how unwieldy they can be.
"They have huge loaded agents that slow down their systems…They're fighting a war with muskets. They don't have the agility, and they don't wield the latest weaponry," he said.
"What they do have is mass: they have a lot of people and money and real estate. So instead of having the weaponry to go and deal with special threats, they're bringing in a lot of different tools…Anyone can come up with a new algorithm, it's about developing a focused long-term platform.
"They have watered down their end-point story and are really struggling in the market, and it's created a lot of opportunities for us."
In 2017, CrowdStrike also gained publicity of a more unfortunate sort.
An ugly spat with US tester NSS Labs led to CrowdStrike unsuccessfully threatening legal action to prevent the publication of test results.
When asked about the impact of the incident on customer confidence, Carpenter was sanguine:
"The results of that lab report were so skewed I think it was immediately clear to our partners that something wasn't right there…The majority of customers that I spoke to said that, or already knew that it wasn't the case."
Also in 2017, with the injection of $100m in VC funding, the cloud security firm surpassed $1bn in valuation, making it a member of the "unicorn" club.
At the time, CrowdStrike said that the capital would help the company meet the demand for its proprietary end-point protection platform, CrowdStrike Falcon.
This week, Carpenter added that in addition to expansion plans across EMEA, CrowdStrike is "pretty focused on IPO readiness".
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