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Arctic Wolf Recruits Former Channel Company CEO

Arctic Wolf, a provider of managed security services, this week named Bob Skelley to be its senior vice president of global channels as part of an effort to extend its reach beyond the U.S.

Previously CEO of The Channel Company, the parent entity of CRN, until last June, Skelley joins a privately held managed security service provider (MSSP) that currently has a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Bob Skelley

Will Brings, currently vice president of the Americas channels and programs for Artic Wolf, will continue to oversee that region for the MSSP.

Skelley is joining Arctic Wolf at a time when more organizations are relying on MSSPs to make up for a global shortage of cybersecurity expertise. Rather than partners competing with Artic Wolf, the MSSP has been actively recruiting channel partners to resell its service.

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Channel partners are more receptive to that approach because their end customers are requiring them to have security capabilities but finding and retaining cybersecurity expertise is an expensive undertaking, notes Skelley.

“It’s hard to build a security practice,” says Skelley. “It requires unique skills.”

In general, channel partners are opting to resell more services as IT vendors expand their reach beyond traditional hardware and software by adding managed services. Because of the cost of standing up a practice security is one area where channel partners have been more receptive to reselling an existing 24×7 service that also provides them with a recurring stream of revenue, says Skelley.

Each channel partner will, of course, need to decide when it might make sense for them to resell a service versus standing one up themselves.

In the meantime, there are right now plenty of MSSPs that have created a channel program, but Skelly notes Arctic Wolf is already committed to a go-to-market strategy that is 100% channel. The challenge channel partners now face is coming to terms with all the competitors that can now call themselves an MSSP regardless of whether they build that service themselves or not.

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