Hey Reseller, What’s the “Value” You’re Adding?

It seems that you’re offering so much more when you add the VA (“value added”) in front of your title. What is that? Why am I working with you rather than buying directly from the vendor?

This episode is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), producer of CISO Series and Mike Johnson. Our guest this week is Doug Cahill (@dougcahill), vp, and group director, cybersecurity, Enterprise Strategy Group.

Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Dtex

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On this week’s episode

How a security vendor helped me this week

From Trevor Marcatte, The SCE Group, asks a question about the “value added reseller” or VAR vs. the “large account reseller” or LAR.

I’m paraphrasing, but Trevor wants to know what we’re seeing as the value of this middleman. Trevor said, “Being the middle man is tough and battling the big guys is tough. CDW’s, SHI’s of the world. The smaller guys have so much more to offer than a price. Price is dictated by the vendor anyways.”

What do the smaller VARs have to offer that the larger LARs can’t offer?

How do you go about discovering new security solutions

How do we evaluate DevSecOps solutions? Mike hates the term, so I’ll say how do we evaluate solutions that will improve the security of the DevOps pipeline? GigaOM Research has a report where they evaluate these solutions, but they also have another report that goes into detail on evaluation criteria. There is a lot of criteria such as seamless integration into tools, process, and dashboards, plus role-based access controls, automation driven by policy, management of secrets, and dependency analysis. What criteria do we look at? How does it change from company to company? And how do we supplement when a solution looks great, but misses a key criteria?

“What’s Worse?!”

A question on DevSecOps.

What’s the best way to handle this?

Is cloud identity management going to stick? According to David Vellante over at Wikibon and The Cube, the pandemic has forced that shift for everyone and there’s probably no turning back. For cloud-first companies this was business as usual before the pandemic. But what about all the new businesses that are going to the cloud and doing business with you. It’s a very broad field and there are a lot of industry players, so actually skip the obvious stuff and just mention the items that have become sticking points or are still in need of development.

Is this the best solution

The “X” in XDR extends traditional endpoint detection and response or EDR to also include network and cloud sensors. We talked about this on our other podcast, Defense in Depth, and one of the issues came up was the disruptive nature of XDR. How much was real. David Thomas, Computacenter, said, “The aspiration to get fully integrated insights of all your tools and create the ultimate feedback loop responsive system is a worthy aim… Current vendor XDR pitches are up selling opportunities but customers have a challenge to adopt or shift to a single vendor platform due to a vast array of displace/replace challenges. It’s a great marketing story but the pragmatic reality is it’s a tough and long journey to realise the platform / single (pain) pane promise, unless you are a greenfield organisation.” Is XDR a worthy goal and what is the marketing hype buyers should question?

David Spark is the founder of CISO Series where he produces and co-hosts many of the shows. Spark is a veteran tech journalist having appeared in dozens of media outlets for almost three decades.