Channel Marketer Report


BlackBerry Backs MSSPs With Comprehensive SMB-Targeted Sales & Marketing Support

BlackBerry Limited has today announced a number of enhancements to the BlackBerry Partner Program to help Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) capture the exploding demand among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for managed extended detection and response (XDR) services.

The size of the market for products like BlackBerry’s CylanceGUARD, CylancePERSONA, and CylanceGATEWAY is expected to grow from $22.45 billion in 2020 to $77.01 billion by 2030, noted the company in a press release. To help MSSPs capture more of that business, the company is launching new marketing incentives, kicked-off a global hiring campaign to boost partner support, and is offering a revamped arsenal of training materials, tools and enablement resources to aid overall go-to-market efforts.

BlackBerry is committed to significantly increasing the size of its channel team, Colleen McMillan, VP, Global Channel Sales, told CMR. “We’ve doubled the MSSP team to support those partners. For example, we’ve added an operations person to improve processes. We have channel account managers that are specifically aligned with growing and developing that business. And we’re currently interviewing candidates for a channel marketing position to works specifically on MSSP projects.” One of the duties of that new staffer will be to work with BlackBerry’s product marketing team and other staff to ensure that content can be efficiently tailored to fit the needs of MSSP partners and their customers.

Blending Scalability With Personalization

To optimize scalable marketing support, BlackBerry will strive to identify activities and initiatives that the company can “rinse and repeat over and over again when we find them to be successful,” said McMillan. “But sometimes an MSSP will bring something to us that maybe we hadn’t thought of. We’re all for that. Sometimes they know better than we do about what they need. So we want to make sure that we’re responsive to that, but also building scale.”

To support partner-initiated marketing activity, BlackBerry is dedicating additional MDF to MSSPs. The partner hub has been enhanced to enable easier partner access to content and other information. The company is hosting more frequent webinars and training sessions related to MSSP topics. Further, the staff supporting MSSPs has been empowered to provided assistance when needed, directing partners to the most appropriate systems or staff.

The company has expanded its “Protect and Earn” partner incentive program that rewards MSSPs for uncovering and closing net-new BlackBerry logos. Partners earn cash-based rewards which are determined by the qualifying closed deal’s total contract value, with no limits.

BlackBerry is also incentivizing internal staff to drive better coordination and collaboration among internal sales staff and partners. The company has introduced seller compensation on MSSP deals to encourage field alignment and to embrace MSSPs as a critical route to market. “We want to reduce the friction we saw between internal teams and partners,” said McMillan. “Our goal is to get everyone aligned to make sure we’re supporting our partners. And ultimately, at the end of the day, we want to make sure that customers have the option to consume the technology in the way that works best for them without us creating some unnecessary conflict.”

“The MSSP business is 100% partner generated partner,” said McMillan. “If they’re successful, we’re successful.”