Conscious Coupling – How Technology Partnerships Increase Customer Satisfaction by Scott Block

In today’s fast-paced, growing world of cyber security, one cannot rely on a single means to get to market. Being single-channel focused can spell disaster. Organizations must diversify the way they go to market, be it strategic partnerships, distribution partners, technology partners or sales partners. Organizations need partnerships to expand sales reach, develop and enhance technologies and integrate with complementary solutions that expand product capabilities. Developing a well-balanced ecosystem of partners makes for a healthy, thriving machine at all levels.

For the purpose of this discussion, let’s focus on the importance and value of a healthy Technology Partner ecosystem. Technology is an ever-changing, ever shifting landscape, and to bring true value to customers, companies increasingly need to embrace complementary solutions. This is particularly true in the Enterprise Security arena.

Oftentimes, customers wonder if any one vendor will offer them a panacea, something that cures all of the ills from which they suffer – a silver bullet if you will, that delivers a complete, end-to-end solution covering all threat vectors, at all times, in all locations, in one tidy package. Does that “silver bullet” exist? Probably not. In today’s shifting environment, it’s almost impossible to be all things to all people. The days where thick, server-crushing software packages are purchased and countless hours are spent implementing them are waning, and nearly gone. Technology drives demand and innovation, and the demands drive more innovation and technology.

Take, for example, Cisco Systems. As a strategic partner, Cisco is driving deep into the value chain by incorporating the Lancope StealthWatch System as an integral part of the Cisco Cyber Threat Defense Solution. By combining Cisco’s market-leading security products and the award-winning, flow-based anomaly detection capabilities of the StealthWatch System into a single, integrated enterprise security platform, we are able to deliver unified visibility from a “single pane of glass.” 

The StealthWatch System working with the Cisco security portfolio is a textbook example of how two companies can respond to customer needs to solve complex problems. Customers are now able to perform network reconnaissance, defeat internal malware propagation, detect command-and-control traffic, alarm on data exfiltration events and uncover suspicious internal activities, all while using Cisco security products. It’s this customer-centric view that drives a successful partnership where the whole solution equals more than the individual parts, making it a win for customers.

In another example of a successful Technology Partnership, as Lancope sought to address the vexing problem that DDoS attacks present, it looked to an industry leading mitigation solution created and developed by Radware. Lancope’s StealthWatch System leads in flow-based, volumetric DDoS detection and Radware is a top-tier DDoS mitigation solution. The combination of these two technologies brings a complete solution to customers – including one technology that effectively monitors and alarms on DDoS attacks (StealthWatch) and another that begins DDoS remediation soon after the alarms are sounded (Radware). This offers a truly functional and effective solution for companies looking for protection from denial-of-service attacks. Again, the whole equals more than the sum of its parts.

One of the reasons the whole equals more than the sum of its parts is the notion that solutions are getting more specialized and more complex. There may be industry consolidation, one vendor buying another, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a functionality or capability boon for the customer. Just because one company acquires another doesn’t mean they cleanly snap together into a larger solution that works seamlessly. Customers are asking product vendors to create a “Lego-like” experience. They want a joint interface that enables true integration. In order to achieve this, companies need to partner. They need to work together to advance and innovate, weaving technologies into an integrated, elegant, best-of-breed solution.