[Tangent] Can infosec VARs Really Make an Evangelical Sale?

We have been having quite a struggle finding infosec VARs to resell our HoneyPoint products. The problem seems to be that HoneyPoint and the idea of a Next Generation Distributed Honeypot product are such a radical concept to most organizations that they require evangelism and education for the customers to understand the value of the product and why it is a better solution that they are using now. It usually takes a while for them to understand that they can free themselves from false positives and the overhead of many of the detective tools they are using today if they simply embrace the idea of thinking differently about the problem.

VARs today seem to be focused solely on the products that are demand driven. They want to sell the Cisco products, the copies of anti-virus and the stuff that clients are already used to asking for. The days of VARs looking for ways to shake up the markets, establish value with fresh approaches and build their businesses by leveraging rapport with their customers by solving their deeper problems seem to be all but gone. Sure, you can find VARs to resell your widget or appliance if you have a model that requires little work, even if it has a small margin. But, it seems like finding evangelical VARs is nearly impossible in today’s market. If they are out there, we don’t seem to be able to find them.

I really feel like that is a bad thing for the market and for the clients. In the early days of MSI and the security industry, there was a lot to be gained by being a VAR that was able to bring bleeding edge solutions to customers. I can remember working with clients to help them understand new protective technologies like the Sidewinder firewall from Secure Computing, Real Secure from ISS and spending a lot of time traveling, talking to clients and listening to them explain the things that hurt them – then digging into the net and our brains for REAL, DEEP solutions that addressed the root problems that they were experiencing. For me, at least, that was the exciting thing about being a VAR – finding that next breakthrough that could really empower some of my clients in a way that they may not even have known that they needed until we showed them that a better way was available. That was exciting, fun and really gained us the trust of organizations who have been clients for nearly two decades now.

If there are any VARs out there that you think fit this model, I would like to hear about them. I would love to find a few folks who are willing to help evangelize what is clearly a better solution to the insider threat and to securing virtual environments. I would like to work with someone who shares that energy, passion and willingness to help solve deeper problems than traditional “network gear” resellers will ever be able to uncover. If you’re out there, give me a call – I think we have something to talk about…

Leave a Reply