IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Tech Data Has Online Security Practice Builder Coming

Due next month, along with a new security solution research tool, the digital partner enablement offering will help traditional VARs become cybersecurity solution and service providers, according to Tech Data security exec Alex Ryals (pictured). By Rich Freeman

Tech Data has a free online edition of its cybersecurity Practice Builder partner enablement program and a new security solution research tool coming to market next month.

The distributor announced both forthcoming resources at its Security Enforce event in Chandler, Ariz., this week.

Introduced two years ago, Practice Builder is a training and business development offering designed to help traditional VARs develop service and solution delivery practices. At present, the security version of Practice Builder is only available as a hands-on, in-person engagement that typically takes three to six months. The online edition will draw on many of the same materials utilized during face-to-face sessions, according to Alex Ryals, Tech Data’s vice president of security solutions for the Americas.

“We’ve recorded many videos of the things that we normally do in a Practice Builder engagement and we’ve digitized a lot of our resources and content so you can log in on demand and leverage it as you will,” he says.

Also due in December is a new addition to Tech Data’s RECON line of security services called RECON SPI that’s designed to help partners navigate the often bewildering profusion of security products available today to find appropriate solutions for specific use cases more quickly. “SPI”, Ryals notes, stands for “supplier product inventory.”

“You’ll be able to click on IoT security and it will auto-filter the interface to just the vendors and products that apply,” he says, adding that you can study those solutions and the vendors responsible for them through the new tool as well. “You can click on a vendor name and it will show you all the areas of security that they cover and all the products that they sell.”

A similar resource called RECON MSP, introduced in May, offers a catalog of every resellable managed security service Tech Data offers. Other RECON components allow partners to outsource tasks like SOC analysis or add niche security services from up-and-coming vendors.

The first Practice Builder program focused on cloud computing. Its security counterpart appeared some months later.

“What this has helped do is formalize our practice—how do we do it the right way, what are the best new products, how do we offer the services, how do we go to market—and it’s worked wonders,” says Stanleigh Rabin, owner of Keno Kozie Associates, a Chicago-based provider of IT services and solutions to law firms and a Practice Builder graduate.

Tech Data shipped a digital version of its cloud computing Practice Builder last October, and added new courses this July. Ryals discussed plans to create a digital security Practice Builder offering with ChannelPro last October.

This summer, Tech Data’s IoT solutions group launched an abbreviated Practice Builder in cooperation with Microsoft and Intel aimed at helping 200 partners globally bring a revenue producing IoT solution to market within 90 days.

Investments like the online security Practice Builder and RECON SPI are part of a larger campaign by Tech Data to seize a share of the $106.6 billion that will be spent on security hardware, software, and services in 2019 and $151.2 billion that will be spent four years from now, according to IDC. Other recent steps include the construction of a state-of-the-art “Cyber Range” training and demonstration center in Tempe, Ariz., which opened this week.

Tech Data agreed to be acquired by private equity investor Apollo Global Management for roughly $5.4 billion earlier this week. That deal, which is subject to approval by Tech Data shareholders, will free the company to make even larger, longer-term investments in security and other “next-generation” markets, according to Marty Bauerlein, Tech Data’s senior vice president of sales for North America, in a keynote at the Security Enforce event yesterday.

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