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Stand out from the crowd: What prospects look for when selecting a MSSP

By Ashton Young
Wed 24 Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

An increasing number of enterprises have by and large accepted the concept of a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). And why not? In New Zealand, experienced security experts are a scarce commodity. Hiring a security team can be problematic. The security industry is moving at a breakneck pace. Who has time to keep up with the latest threats and solutions? And scalability is an issue. How can a company protect their infrastructure when traffic, users, applications and connected devices can expand and contract like the tides?

You don’t have to sell prospects on why they need an MSSP. They already know. Otherwise they wouldn’t be prospects. Your challenge is to sell them on your managed security service.

“MSSP buyers know they need your services,” says Andrew Khan, Fortinet Senior Business Manager at Ingram Micro, New Zealand’s largest distributor of Fortinet’s cyber security solutions, “but typically they don’t have the experience to really understand the nuts and bolts of network security. It’s up to you to define the issues, explain the process and present your ‘value-add’. Sure, they say they are looking for a MSSP, but what they really want is a security partner that can help them navigate the tricky course of staying safe in a dangerous world.”

The personal touch is paramount

Your sales team is the key. “Trust is the number one factor that prospects list as the purchasing decision,” says Khan. “They are entrusting your organisation with their business, their data and applications and their profitability. You have to be able to prove to them that you have the technology, the team and the ability to deliver guaranteed uptime combined with optimal security. If you can build a rapport, you are half-way towards a sale.”

But talk is one thing, action is another. “They are looking to you because they don’t have the technological skills to deploy their own security,” continues Khan. “So you have to show them that you have made the investments necessary to protect their data. A catalogue of hardware and software is essential. And tell them where it is located. Some players lease these services and then re-brand them as their own. Let them know it’s your on-premises equipment and in-house expertise. If you don’t operate best-of-breed infrastructure and subscribe to realtime threat intelligence updates, you’ll be disadvantaged.”

Prove your worth

Your tech staff is every bit as important as sales. “Prospects want to know exactly who is looking after their security,” Khan says. “They want to see recognised certifications, a stable workforce and support staff who can respond immediately to any issues. You need iron-clad service level agreements and the ability to monitor and report on performance. One of the key drivers behind outsourcing security services is that businesses don’t want to get involved in the details. But they do want documentation of the services provided. Detailed reporting helps clients justify their MSSP spend and gives them a benchmark for additional services.”

Help desk, support and escalation

“Everyone has issues,” continues Khan. “Some critical, others not so much. But you have to be responsive to all. Business hour support is a given. After hours helps close the deal. Fast resolution to basic queries results in repeat customers. Expert resolution to sticky issues results in recommendations to colleagues. You want to assure your prospects that your support team knows the right people to call if they are stumped. Working with experienced vendors such as Fortinet and their 7x24 FortiGuard Labs and the New Zealand-based experts at Ingram Micro provides back-up for any issues that could potentially cause down-time.”

Fortinet: The expert’s choice

Your prospects demand assurances that their data, networks and users will be safe and available. Can you give that to them? “With Fortinet, you have a billion-dollar security apparatus protecting you and your clients with a constant stream of upgrades and new products,” concludes Khan. “And Ingram Micro has the local support, a ready stock of replacement equipment, comprehensive training and other resources to keep you – and your clients – up and running with minimal downtime. If you want to stand out from the crowd and win business based on performance, you should be looking at Fortinet as your security Partner.”

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Khan, Senior Business Manager Email: andrew.khan@ingrammicro.com M: 021 819 793

David Hills, Solutions Architect Email: david.hills@ingrammicro.com M: 021 245 0437

Hugo Hutchinson, Business Development Manager Email: hugo.hutchinson@ingrammicro.com P: 09-414-0261 | M: 021-245-8276

Marc Brunzel, Business Development Manager Email: marc.brunzel@ingrammicro.com  M: 021 241 6946

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