While Sophos has MSP partners, they have not had a program that provides support for their specific business model and requirements before now. MSP Connect is aligned with the ways MSPs sell, and provides rewards for upselling and cross-selling Sophos’ broad range of security services.
Sophos is one of the last core security vendors to provide focused support for its managed services partners. That changes today, however, with the launch of its MSP Connect Program.
“There hadn’t been anything before on the MSP side of the house,” said Scott Barlow, VP Global MSP at Sophos. “We do have MSPs among our 15,000 channel partners, and this program is really designed to provide all these products and services to these MSPs. We wanted to simplify the ability of MSPs to manage their customers, to provide pricing flexibility, to make it easy to transition from term licensing to monthly building, and to leverage Sophos’ products.”
Many of those MSP partners – approximately 3000 – came to Sophos when it acquired cloud email security vendor Reflexion last summer. Barlow himself came to Sophos from Reflexion.
The infrastructure which makes MSP Connect possible was originally rolled out as Sophos Cloud two years ago, then several weeks back was rebranded as Sophos Central.
“It enables us to have a new MSP program that aligns with the way MSPs sell, that lets us leverage the Sophos Central Management dashboard for partners, and gives them the ability to manage all customers through a centralized dashboard,” Barlow said.
MSP Connect allows qualified partners the option to register for MSP Connect Flex billing, which includes monthly aggregate billing, in arrears, for simplified accounting and cash flow management. The Flex option also includes a dedicated technical account manager.
Sophos Central also contains Sophos Central-Partner, a specialized dashboard that lets MSPs distribute licenses, add new customers on demand, cross-sell and upsell services, drive recurring revenue and have a clear, real-time perspective on all customer activity.
“It provides visibility into license management, which lets MSPs respond rapidly to incidents,” Barlow said. “It also alerts on expiring or non-present add-ons, which generates more revenue opportunities.”
The Sophos Central-Partner dashboard comes integrated with ConnectWise out of the gate, and Barlow indicated that they are moving forward with other RMM vendors in the months to come.
Sophos is a little late to the MSP dance, but Barlow said the differentiation of their range of security services makes up for this. The MSP portfolio includes seven offerings, including a next-generation firewall. In fact, the only Sophos solution not yet in the MSP mix is the Reflexion email securing.
“We are in the process of leveraging that technology for this, and later in the year, once it’s fully integrated, and in the future, anything that we sell will be in this,” he stated.
“I don’t know a single vendor that can provide management of a firewall and all these other devices through a single pane of glass – our synchronized security,” Barlow said. “MSPs are looking to increase their security posture – now having this ability for a firewall to be fully knowledgeable on the end point is a huge differentiator. No one else has this capability. Firewall and endpoint vendors have MSP programs too, but we can also manage wireless customers through the same portal. That’s another significant differentiator.”
Program assets include access to cobranded marketing assets, detailed training for both security consultants and engineers, licensing uniqueness with products broken into four different categories, and rewards to encourage MSPs to upsell and cross-sell.
“We will leverage our Reflexion MSP base quite a bit, and we have a very aggressive partner recruitment strategy,” Barlow said. “Feedback so far has been very responsive. MSPs like the way we are able to replace many vendors and thus reduce vendor management costs.”