Channel Chief: Eva-Marie Elya, Senior Director Worldwide Channel Sales at Lookout

Channel Chief: Eva-Marie Elya, Senior Director Worldwide Channel Sales at Lookout

Eva-Marie Elya, Senior Director Worldwide Channel Sales at Lookout, a leading cloud security vendor, outlines the complexities of managing global channels and how she overcomes them. She explains how the company allows its channel partners to lead the sales process with its assistance.

Eva-Marie Elya, Senior Director Worldwide Channel Sales at Lookout

Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?

I am the Senior Director for Worldwide Channel Sales at Lookout. In my role, I am responsible for a global team spread across EMEA, APAC and the Americas and aim to stay in touch and connect with partners across the world. While this is challenging and requires discipline, I try to accommodate our partners and the team by having days with international working hours and then days with American working hours. Luckily, we have Lookout representation in all regions and they provide fabulous support to our customers and partners.

Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?

When Lookout entered this market, we decided right from the beginning that we will be a company with an indirect go-to-market model, meaning we are only selling through our channel partners, not doing direct business and not competing with our partners. We allow our channel partners to lead the sales process with our assistance and of course we introduce our partners to organisations with data protection, cloud security or endpoint protection requirements.

How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?

We recognise the requirement for our partners to differentiate themselves. We help by providing frameworks and processes for consulting and professional services, e.g. risk assessments providing a data risk score related to an organisation’s security posture. These risk assessments provide valuable insights for an organisation on how well their most valuable assets in the cloud are protected from unauthorised sharing or malware attacks.

We offer a whole partner training program for free including online training as well as classroom training to get our partners up to speed with market trends, industry analyst views and resources and how to address customers’ challenges.

Besides that, organisations are looking to consolidate technologies and would prefer to work with partners that can offer a consolidated solution. Lookout offers Security Service Edge (SSE) in one unified platform and mobile endpoint detection and response (EDR) via Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security. (Gartner: By 2025, 80% of organisations seeking to procure SSE-related security services will purchase a consolidated SSE solution, rather than stand-alone cloud access security broker, secure web gateway and ZTNA offerings, up from 15% in 2021.)

What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?

The lack of IT resources requires organisations to outsource parts of it to channel partners. Hence it is becoming increasingly important for vendors to provide partners with access to the knowledge on how to manage their solutions end-to-end. It is also important to understand the wider technology ecosystem and how solutions from different vendors integrate with each other to ensure an easy to manage end-to-end view. For instance, the Lookout security platform integrates with SIEM vendors, EPP vendors and data classification tools like Microsoft AIP or Help Systems (Digital Guardian, Titus, Boldon James).

What is your management philosophy?

Empowerment, enablement, transparency and trust. Hire the best people and allow them to thrive. Listen and make sure your team has access to whatever is required to be successful.

When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?

Hearing feedback from partners that say we are on the right track, that we present a great opportunity and that they truly enjoy working with us and trust us, is what makes me most proud.

What made you think of a career in technology?

I was always impressed by and interested in technology even though I don’t have an educational background in technology. I remember we had an engineer lead a few years ago at Lookout who gave us a lesson in how to code an iOS app. It made me think about the possibilities you have when you can write software. Marc Andreessen, one of our investors, once said, ‘Software is eating the world.’ If I had to choose again, I would probably pick software engineering as my major.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2022?

On-premises security tools that are deployed in isolation are no longer enough, even for on-premises workloads. To tackle the ever-evolving challenges of a cloud-first world, organisations need to invest in an integrated platform that can secure their data from endpoint to cloud.

What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?

I have an amazing family with my husband and two boys and my time outside of work is dedicated to them. Seeing kids grow up is one of the most rewarding things in life. They help me appreciate the little things (like earthworms, beetles and frogs) and bring me down to earth.

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