Channel Awards: Q&A with Claudia Hebden, CrowdStrike

The vendor's alliances director for Northern Europe tells CRN what winning at the Channel Awards would mean to CrowdStrike

Kelsey Rees
clock • 3 min read
Channel Awards: Q&A with Claudia Hebden, CrowdStrike

Why do you think awards like the Channel Awards matter?

The Channel Awards recognise every part of the channel, from vendor, through to distributor and reseller. 

We value this at CrowdStrike because we understand that everyone plays a vital role in the mission to stop breaches. It takes a seamless ecosystem of partners and vendors to deliver on that objective, all while supporting customers to meet their individual business needs. 

What would winning this award mean to your company?

Winning this award would not only show that we have successfully evolved with our partners but have enabled them to go from strength to strength too. We are investing, listening, and improving every year with how we engage with our partners - this award would show that those efforts are bearing fruit.

What would you say is your company's proudest achievement over the past year?

We've had a really encouraging year at CrowdStrike.

We announced our Accelerate Partner Programme - which was the most significant overhaul of our Partner Programme since its inception over eight years ago - and at our annual Fal.Con event this year we announced CrowdStrike Marketplace, a new unified marketplace that allows purchasing of the best cybersecurity solutions on the market. 

More recently though, we reached another milestone as the first cybersecurity independent software vendor (ISV) founded for the cloud to exceed $1bn of software sales through AWS Marketplace. We've used AWS Marketplace to further accelerate our partner program and create additional value for the broader security community. 

How do you think the channel has changed over the past year and what changes do you think it still needs to make? 

We'll see a shift where partners will offer more services to their customers, especially during the current climate where some customers may be experiencing a lack of internal resources; this is where the channel comes in, to support and nurture growth despite these challenges.

What have been the biggest challenges of 2023 so far and how have you overcome them? How have your people helped with that?

With the economic uncertainty through 2023, we have seen that organizations will have a heightened focus on how they spend their IT and security budgets. 

With that in mind it has never been more important for vendors and their partners to be able to demonstrate their business value throughout the lifecycle of a deal.

We have an Engagement Licensing Programme (ELP) which allows qualified partners to use the Falcon Platform and its associated modules, at no cost, for a 60-day period to conduct Incident Response (IR) or proactive consulting engagements. 

At the end of the 60-day period, CrowdStrike and the partner will work together to position Falcon for a cross-sale. It's a comprehensive program that can accelerate the sales cycle for partners and provide the opportunity for partners to provide platform and program feedback to CrowdStrike.

What do you see as the main opportunities for the channel in the coming year? How do you plan to capitalise on those opportunities?

The clear message from customers to our solutions providers in the channel is consolidation. We are consistently seeing customers look to consolidate their security portfolios to help manage budget squeezes that are an unfortunate reality across all sectors.

The CrowdStrike Falcon Platform and CrowdXDR Alliances provide that opportunity for our partners to support their customers by offering a unified, threat-centric detection and response solution across the organisation's entire security and technology ecosystem. Partners can then offer their services to wrap around that XDR ecosystem and give customers that clear reseller value-add, which is so critical for ensuring long-standing business relationships.

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