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Memo to VMware Carbon Black: Over Communicate Your MSSP and MSP Security Strategy

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When it comes to endpoint security software, Carbon Black was one of the early partnership leaders in the MSSP market.

The anecdotal evidence: As of mid-2018, partners influenced more than 90 percent of Carbon Black’s sales. By mid-2019, MSSPs were influencing some of Carbon Black’s largest customer wins.

When VMware came along and acquired Carbon Black in late 2019, the security business had more than 5,600 global customers supported by more than 500 MSSPs, VARs, distributors and technology integrators, MSSP Alert reported at the time.

Broadcom Buys VMware: MSP and MSSP Partner Implications?

Fast forward to present day -- May 26, 2022. Broadcom is now acquiring VMware in a $61 billion deal -- though the agreement includes a "go shop" period that allows VMware to pursue higher buyout bids through July 5, 2022.

Broadcom is well respected within large enterprise accounts. But the company is mainly a direct sales machine -- with little to no real experience down in the SME (small and midsize enterprise) partner channel.

Further complicating matters, Broadcom will tuck its legacy CA Technologies and Symantec Enterprise businesses into the VMware software business. That essentially means VMware's product portfolio will expand to include mainframe software plus a Symantec Enterprise business that repeatedly stumbled with channel partners over the past decade or so.

Meanwhile, VMware didn't even mention the Carbon Black security business in its May 26, 2022 earnings report. Moreover, rivals such as CrowdStrike and SentinelOne (among others) have successfully integrated their software with various MSP tools. The result has been thousands (yes, thousands) of MSPs and MSSPs rolling out CrowdStrike and SentinelOne to protect end-customer systems.

VMware Carbon Black: Reinforce Your Commitment to MSPs and MSSPs

So what's next? As Broadcom strives to finalize the VMware acquisition, it's extremely important for the VMware Carbon Black team to raise its visibility in the MSP and MSSP ecosystems -- assuming, of course, Broadcom is truly committed to those partners.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.