CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company that stops breaches, has a new channel leader in the UK for Europe called Amanda Adams. She explains her role as Senior Director, European Alliances and how CrowdStrike works with channel partners.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
As CrowdStrike’s Senior Director of European Alliances, I lead the development and strategy of CrowdStrike’s European partners, including solution providers, MSPs, SI, cloud and technology alliances. With over 11 years of experience building and managing strategic partnerships, I understand our partners’ businesses and ensure CrowdStrike’s programmes and initiatives accelerate their profitability. In my current role, I am focused on expanding the programmes and investments available to all partners and expanding into new routes to markets, focusing on service providers and MSSP partners.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
We offer multiple routes to market for our alliance partners to increase partner growth and profitability with CrowdStrike. Our team focuses on three main partner routes: solution provider, services provider and technology alliances.
Within CrowdStrike we have done very well in building programmes and campaigns to support our solution provider route to market, which consists of partners reselling the CrowdStrike technology to their clients. Over the last year we have established new programmes to support our services provider partnerships, including managed services providers, consulting partners and global systems integrators. Lastly, technology alliances includes our cloud, CrowdStrike store, OEM and integration partners. Within Europe, we are proactively expanding our partnership with Amazon (AWS), allowing our solution provider partners and CrowdStrike sales teams to expand their footprint with clients and ensuring that their clients’ cloud workloads are protected by CrowdStrike Falcon for AWS.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
Within CrowdStrike it is critical that we provide our partners the ability to differentiate amongst their competition, through specialisations and certifications offered via CrowdStrike Sales University. We have partners who have invested with CrowdStrike to have their professional services teams trained on the CrowdStrike Platform to increase their knowledge and expertise on utilising our platform within their own incident response, proactive services or managed services offerings. There are mature CrowdStrike partners which have differentiated themselves and the value they bring to their clients by building their own unique services which addresses their clients’ environment holistically. By integrating the CrowdStrike Falcon platform into their own services management portal, partners are able to gather data seen on the endpoint and analyse across the clients’ network and respond accordingly.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
There has been an increase in demand for information regarding CrowdStrike managed services provider programme and partners which are deploying CrowdStrike to their clients via their MSS. Many of these MSP partners were historically partnered with legacy antivirus vendors and have clients who are no longer supported by their previous endpoint partners. Additionally, with the shift from working in the office to working from home, partner inquiries have increased – as CrowdStrike’s platform is built in the cloud and unlike our competitors, does not rely on a heavy infrastructure and provides an immediate time-to-value for our clients.
What is your management philosophy?
My management philosophy is centred around the development of my team, aiming to produce new leaders with the commitment to provide each individual an opportunity to reach a new place of success. There are five core principles which include: build trust and have integrity, manage with empathy and accountability, create a positive and encouraging environment, treat each individual with respect and humility and commit to growing the skill set of every team member.
When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?
Over the course of my career, there have been defining moments in which I took a risk, either when I moved across the United States – leaving a ‘safe’ job for a position in sales which led me to my career in channel management, or moving during the middle of a global pandemic to a new country to lead a new region within CrowdStrike. The ability to jump into new challenges, find solutions to overcome challenges and successfully build new profitable partnerships has been memorable.
What made you think of a career in technology?
As a young adult, I was fortunate enough to have family friends who held a variety of roles across many different types of industries which provided exposure to different roles and possibilities for my own career ambitions. One of these family friends held a position within partner marketing at Cisco Systems and I was fortunate enough to work with her over summers throughout my high school education. This introduction to how Cisco supported their channel communities, from building new marketing campaigns to providing investments to enable and mature their own Cisco practices, cemented my ambitions to work for a technology company once I completed my education.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2020?
The MSP partner path is a newer go-to-market for CrowdStrike and that’s why we have invested in the right infrastructure to support our partners in this space. Though this isn’t a new technology area, the pandemic showed that it’s vital for partners to support their customers right-sizing to get remote workers working away from existing on-premises systems. I think anything aligned with the keyword ‘flexibility’ is hot this year.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
Outside of work I enjoy staying busy with exercise, either through group classes or as of most recently, focusing on an outdoor running programme via the Peloton app. Once we’re able to travel more freely I will spend my weekends exploring new cities and places across Europe.