“ Cybersecurity is one of the prime challenges faced by all sets of customers nowadays’

Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Team SSI, interacted with Mr. Sachin Relwani, Channel Head, Kaspersky (South Asia) on various topics from 2020-21 trends, cyber security market and remote work management.

What are the key priorities of Kaspersky in the year 2020?

As Kaspersky is and has always been a 100% channel centric company, our priority for 2020-21 is to build up a strong Channel Partner Ecosystem. A well enabled partner is capable and mature to understand and respond to customer pain points and escalations in a structured and confident manner. Moreover, organizations today are in search of partners who can be relied upon for their consistency, capability, technology know-how and cyber maturity so that such partners can bring in the much required skill sets and experience at the time of implementation and time-to-time sustenance and upgrade of such cyber solutions. This is why one of our main focuses is to train these partners who would further function as our extended teams and will play a major role in our growth trajectory for FY20 and the years ahead.

How is Kaspersky brand shaping up in the cyber security market?

Cybersecurity is one of the prime challenges faced by all sets of customers nowadays. It has become a major concern for everyone especially in today’s work from home situation, which is going to become the new normal soon. The cybersecurity market is set to increase two fold in the near future and we are hopeful to explore the opportunities that we come across in our pursuit to secure the cyber world in association with our partners.
Kaspersky is focused at increasing our reach in the enterprise or B2B security sector and maintaining a strong position like we already hold in the B2C security market. We are looking forward to strengthening our position as the cybersecurity solutions partner for our B2B customers with the help of our well trained partners, whom we are training to specialize and gain expertise in their particular sectors of interest so that they can help the end customers like the experts that we are at Kaspersky.

How will you strengthen the channel ecosystems?

A strong channel ecosystem is very important for the health of the business. Kaspersky being a 100% channel centric company understands this and has introduced Kaspersky United partner program in 2019 which is one of its most popular partner programs across the globe. The reason why the United Partner program works so well with partners is because it enables the partners to take up specialized trainings and certification programs in their particular sector of interest, thus helping them to gain expertise in their field. This not only increases the partner confidence in Kaspersky, but also gives a boost in customer confidence in the partners who are associated with us. Customer confidence leads to customer loyalty, which allows upselling of our solutions in the targeted markets and higher revenues which is exactly what we are looking to gain for the company and our partners through this program.
Locally we are also putting our efforts into connecting with specialized partners to cover and serve  the top Enterprise customers and look at different Industry Verticals like BFSI, Healthcare, Manufacturing, IT//ITES in a bigger and broader way. We are also extensively looking to reach out to SMBs in the country via these partners which have presence in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Since Digital transformation is key in sectors like Education and Government, we are up to the task of creating this ecosystem as well. In terms of initiatives, a well-structured, multi-tier execution plan has been rolled out across the channel community that creates checks and balances for the partner when they align with our distributors and invest their resources on technology enablement and training programs.
Partners get to enjoy enhanced benefits when they qualify in terms of quality parameters on their sales and tech teams. Thus partners are not only classified on the sales they bring in, but a lot of weightage is also constructed around the quality of resources on technology parameters so as to motivate them for a 360 degree association with us, which in turn helps us in strengthening our partner ecosystem.

What do you have to say about your brand presence in Tier II & III cities and how do you intend to expand it?

We see huge potential for the cybersecurity market in India, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities due to the push in digitalization as well as affordable and accessible 4G internet data. Small and Medium Enterprises as well as start-ups too are now understanding the importance of having a strong cybersecurity framework. This is where we and our partners will play an important role by becoming their cybersecurity solution partners. We are executing a strategy with our Value Added Resellers (VARS) and distributors to successfully extend our reach to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the length and breadth of the country.

Besides, there are other quality parameters like creating a trained tech field force with implementation skillsets and sustenance modules wherein partner firms get awarded with higher Tier of partnerships with Kaspersky which in turn empowers them to better partner benefits. This entire process is not only rewarding to the partner but also cyclic in nature, strengthening the bond between Kaspersky and our Tier 2 and Tier 3 partners and through them our bond with our end customers.

Today the rise of remote workers will spur demand for robust security solutions. How is Kaspersky managing the task? What is your GTM during the Covid-19 lockdown period?

There couldn’t have been a better time to be in this business wherein there is so much digital adaptation happening across all the business verticals at the customer end. The market is hungry to adapt and align itself with new age tech vendors who have a larger cyber security portfolio and can cater and protect organizations at various levels and from various threat vectors. Given the Kaspersky portfolio and service offerings and the willingness of the market to explore new technologies, Kaspersky is perfectly positioned to support the partners in fulfilling the tech gap for its customers. In fact, I foresee that Kaspersky would become the “go to” brand in the partner community due to its reach, partner friendly business models, partner enablement plans and its depth of product portfolio and service offerings in the Cyber space. Our GTM strategy is a combination of incentivising partner field teams (sales and pre-sales) as well as promoting our United Partner Program in remote locations so as to aggressively motivate the partner organizations as well as their field force to focus on Kaspersky solutions as their GTM strategy in the cyber security line of
business. Furthermore, we are doing technology briefing webinars, awareness sessions and training campaigns for our partners so as to ensure our partners are able to provide our customers with all the best practices about security adoption and awareness for their organisations. These dynamic times are not only critical but also most unforeseen and unexpected, much like a true cyber security scenario. Kaspersky stands committed to all its partners and customers in such troubled times and is delivering from the
front for all kinds of cyber situations faced by partners and customers today.

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