CompTIA Leader To Channel: Cloud-Based Offerings And Security Can Bring In Bucks

CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux

To overcome the recruiting disadvantage SMB partners face when competing against large vendors looking for security talent, Thibodeaux said they must be willing to offer competitive salaries, pay relocation fees, and look well outside their local geographic area.

On the upside, Thibodeaux said solution providers could offer up-and-coming security talent the autonomy to come in and touch and deal with many different aspects of cybersecurity right out of the gate.    

Channel partners transitioning to a pure-play cybersecurity practice will want to team up with another solution provider who can provide non-cyber services such as help desk, maintaining existing infrastructure, purchasing equipment, or managing contracts with broadband providers, Thibodeaux said.

"Otherwise, you're leaving your customers in a hole," Thibodeaux said. "You're leaving them in the lurch."

Business Continuity Technologies has been opening more service tickets around specialty cloud application problems that clients are experiencing, according to CEO Lester Keizer.

The Las Vegas-based CompTIA member has focused on helping its clients be more productive and profitable by leveraging cloud solutions, Keizer told CRN. But many traditional VARs have struggled with figuring out how to monetize cloud application sales, he said.

"Solution providers still don't fully understand how they can make money out of the cloud world," Keizer said.

Business Continuity Technologies has also developed a greater specialization around security over the past year or two in response to all of the media reports about ransomware, Keizer said. The company, therefore, has built out a unified threat management tool with a firewall and business continuity service on the back-end, which Keizer said is cloud-based and protects in the event of ransomware.  

"Clients are still not very knowledgeable about the security play," Keizer said. "They think a simple anti-virus protection plan will help them."

At the same time, Keizer said he hadn't seen many MSPs transition into pure-play security partners since they're still interested in providing holistic care to clients and helping them with their business practices.

"There are some oncologists, but there will still always be the need for the internist or the general practitioner," Keizer said.