Driving Global MSP Growth: Netwrix Success Story

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Discover how Netwrix's MSP programme, led by Ken Tripp, drives global growth and offers innovative solutions for partner success in the ever-changing landscape of the industry.
Discover how Netwrix's MSP programme, led by Ken Tripp, drives global growth and offers innovative solutions for partner success in the ever-changing landscape of the industry.

Netwrix’s MSP programme has enjoyed strong growth around the world in recent years as the company has been on top of the changes that the sector has seen. Ken Tripp has seen all of these and more – and is still focused on the future.

In more than 20 years, Ken Tripp, head of global MSP partner programme at Netwrix, has seen the industry change a lot – and it continues to at pace. But at Netwrix, they change just as much, which is why the company’s MSP programme has been on a consistent growth trajectory for the past five years worldwide.  

Ken says globally growth has been 25%, but 35% in EMEA over the past 12 months. “We’re seeing a definite spark in the European regions for us, which attributable to the programme we put in place,” he says.

“We’ve extended the portfolio over the last two years. Through acquisitions we have been able to bring various technologies to our partners, and being able to bring that into a consumption-based model for our MSPs and mirror the way that they go to market. That has allowed us to continue that growth that we’ve seen before and being agile to make sure that we’re providing them a model that they can take out to their clients.”

Wide range

As befits a job title of head of global MSP partner programme, it is a wide-ranging and well-travelled role. “It’s a great role and a fun role,” he says. “My favourite part of the role is just engaging with our partners on an everyday basis from a stance of curiosity – we learn so much from them. Understanding the cybersecurity market from their point of view is so crucial to our success at Netwrix. From learning about the challenges they face to grow their business, their clients’ needs, trends that they see in certain regions or verticals, it really allows me to fulfil my role of leading our Netwrix MSP programme. 

“And that knowledge allows me to collaborate with our marketing team on how best we can offer content and comarketing services for them to expand client acquisition and retention. That information relays further to our product development team to ensure that our portfolio roadmap is synced with the needs of our MSP partners. To make them even more self-sufficient, our support  teams conduct regular training for partners. And, of course, we take all the feedback  all the way up to our executive leadership team to develop strategic plans that support our MSP programme based on the trusted voice of our partners.

“I try to travel as much as possible. We have strategically placed teams around the globe. Our entire MSP programme, again from marketing, product development, it’s not just one person. We collaborate with our partners and prioritise what we see from various regions around the world.”

While there are some territorial differences, MSP is a fairly universal thing these days, Ken says. “GDPR really set that precedent when it came about some years ago. That stirred up the entire MSP market globally to become more cybersecurity-based and expand their solutions. The difference, instead of regions comes down to the end client, and that could be specified by vertical, or by how mature they are and the clients they have in their business portfolio.

“A lot of our MSPs now are adopting cybersecurity frameworks such as NIST, which are more universal, and then being able to tweak that offering for those unique deltas to specified verticals and client needs. But by adopting those frameworks, you’re covering most of the compliance regulations out there from a security standpoint.”

Stacking up

But while the international market is standardising, Netwrix is still innovating and bringing new products and services to market. “We’re coming to market with a build your own stack service,” says Ken. “Being flexible for our MSP partners and not trying to have them consume the entire portfolio, but portions of it that they need for their clients. This allows them also to create a roadmap and a journey for their end clients and add a tailored solution to the portfolio as time goes on when those clients mature. 

“That is the biggest innovation that we have, being able to do that on a consumption-based model with one bill for them. With that we also have introduced a security auditing SaaS multi-tenant platform to allow them to be more efficient in reaching their end clients.”

This fits with an increasing desire among end users around the world for one vendor to provide services, giving one point of contact and one bill. “For Netwrix, it’s about making it as easy as we can for resellers to deliver our services to the clients, stand behind those services and perform what the client needs. That SaaS-based model is crucial for their business.”

Deep understanding

Along with that comes a need to have a deep understanding of a customer’s business, to make sure it’s the exact product that’s right for that customer.

“That deep understanding comes in a couple of ways,” says Ken. “MSPs are creating a cultural shift for their clients. For example, take a password policy enforcement; it is something very easy from a technology standpoint, but without that end client’s employees being able to adopt it, then it doesn’t do any good. 

“From a technical standpoint you need a deep understanding as each client is unique. We have partners that provide services to hybrid cloud only businesses and still on-premise only clients. Then you start factoring in work from home, how data is transmitted, where is the intake, what is a connected device, asset inventory from physical to sensitive data, understanding that business, the culture, what generates revenue, mission critical systems and procedures all the way to the architectural setup is required for the MSP to be successful with their partners.”

Continuous innovation

Another key for MSPs is continuous development and improvement. While MSPs must be agile enough to deal with issues that individual clients face, there is also a drive towards standardisation – ensuring they offer the suite of services clients want.

“They’re trying to be agile while remaining efficient and adopting security controls and practises in house as well,” says Ken. “The key word is continuous. If you look at a customer, say that an MSP acquired three years ago, that client has vastly different requirements and needs today. Those clients may or may not know about it. So by providing continuous value – it doesn’t always have to be by adding a new product or technology to the offering – such as through education and helping to form a security culture for the end client and align their services with the client’s business goals.” 

There are other trends in the market that must be considered, Ken adds. “There is a lot of competition out there and that’s really going to evolve,” he says. “Clients want break-fix arrangements, but not the break-fix of the past, but maybe risk assessments to data migrations. 

“One of the big things we’re seeing from a technological standpoint is identity. Is the new perimeter antivirus firewall still needed? But now you’re looking at access and when you’re trying to protect data because that’s the end goal, the first thing you’re stealing is identity; the bad guys are moving laterally, into privileged access. We’re seeing a shift towards identity as a major focus.

“MSP solutions have become more complex, and the incline has become more demanding,” says Ken. “Twenty years ago, it was reactionary services and off-the-shelf-type products that they were providing. Now it’s proactive services, customised solutions and sales has really turned into consultation, which again means having a true understanding of the end client’s business.” 

Ken and Netwrix plan to continue to be agile and listen to their partners and grow with them. “They provide us so much feedback in terms of what the market looks like with their clientele, but we need to make sure that we keep evolving our programme from the consumption-based model to more of the technology stack. 

“Then for our MSPs it is about finding better ways to make sure that we have training materials for them and making them more self-sufficient so they can succeed as a business.”

With this focus, then Netwrix should continue the strong growth it has seen in recent years, as should its partners.