CrowdStrike continues to expand its systems integrator partnerships, a relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) has gained major momentum, and CrowdStroke's overall security partner ecosystem is growing fast, according to CEO George Kurtz.
Still, the cloud-centric cybersecurity company didn't mention MSP, MSSP or MDR partner relationships during a CrowdStrike earnings call on March 16, 2021.
CrowdStrike: Direct Sales, Partners and Online Storefront
To be sure, CrowdStrike's cybersecurity software business is booming. Revenue was $264.9 million in Q4 of fiscal 2021, up 74 percent compared to Q4 of fiscal 2020.
The momentum extends from enterprise and mid-market customers down to small businesses, Kurtz asserted during the earnings call. CrowdStrike's direct sales team, partners and the CrowdStrike online store drove the revenue growth, he added.
Shedding more light on the sales strategy, Kurtz stated:
"Our outstanding performance in the enterprise sector was complemented by our strength with mid-market and SMB customers as reflected in our net new customer growth rate, which accelerated in the quarter. In addition to investing in our best-in-class sales team, a key pillar of our strategy to efficiently grow our market share and leadership is to expand our routes to market through our partner ecosystem, trial-to-pay platform, and CrowdStrike store. We are seeing our investments in these areas over the past few years to deliver meaningful results."
In fiscal 2021, CrowdStrike's partner count grew 85 percent worldwide, and partner-sourced transactions doubled, he said. Among the big winners: Amazon Web Services. In fiscal 2021, CrowdStrike's ending ARR (annual recurring revenue) generated via the AWS Marketplace grew 650 percent over the previous year, and transaction volume grew over 300 percent, he said. Actual dollar figures from the AWS relationship were not disclosed.
Elsewhere, a CrowdStrike alliance with EY, a global systems integrator, is gaining traction. The EY relationship is "already influencing multiple deals as their clients look for modern cloud-native security to enable their digital transformation plans," Kurtz said.
CrowdStrike, MSSPs and MDR Service Providers: Partners and Rivals
Still, CrowdStrike did not mention MSSPs (managed security service providers) or MDR (managed detection and response) service provider partners during the earnings call.
In some ways, CrowdStrike's direct sales motions could leave the door open for rival endpoint security companies to more closely engage MSPs and MSSPs. For example:
- BlackBerry has a well-known MSSP partner program that leverages the Cylance acquisition.
- Cybereason recently made multiple executive hires to accelerate MSSP and partner engagements.
- Netsurion's platform for MSSPs recently gained Deep Instinct endpoint protection capabilities.
- SentinelOne, which is gearing up for a potential IPO, has engaged hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of MSPs through a relationship with N-able (formerly SolarWinds MSP).
- Sophos bet early on an MSP-centric partner model and single pane of glass for partners.
- Webr00t, owned by OpenText, has a longstanding MSP partner model and big installed base of partners.
Still, it's hard to argue with CrowdStrike's business performance. For the overall fiscal year 2021, revenue was $874.4 million -- up 82 percent from $481.4 million in fiscal 2020.