Channel partner events, MSSP

Splunk .conf24: What’s In Store for Channel Partners, MSSPs

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Splunk is promising some big product announcements at its .conf24 event, June 11-14 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

Splunk, a Cisco company, will showcase its unified security and observability platform as attendees from around the globe take part in educational sessions, keynotes and interactive experiences. MSSP Alert will be there attending the sessions and interviewing the key players in the Splunk world.

At .conf24, Splunk leaders will take the main stage alongside Splunk customers Fannie Mae, Progressive and United Airlines to reveal security and observability product innovations and celebrate customer success. During the opening keynote on Tuesday, attendees will hear from Gary Steele and Chuck Robbins, Chair and CEO of Cisco, about how Cisco and Splunk are building a safer more resilient digital world together, learn how Medtronic is powering its business transformation, and get an inside look at Splunk’s latest innovations that help power and protect the AI revolution.

On Wednesday, Splunk customers and executives will demonstrate how a unified security and observability platform is the most effective way to help ensure digital systems remain secure and reliable, despite any disruption. The full list of sessions is available on the .conf24 website.

Splunk Global Partner Summit

Splunk’s Global Partner Summit (GPS), its premier event dedicated to supporting partners, also returns to .conf24 this year. On Tuesday, Gretchen O’Hara, vice president, Worldwide Partners and Alliances, will be among the Splunk and Cisco executives and partners to ”showcase the collective momentum of Splunk and Cisco coming together,” and unveil a new roadmap for opportunities across Splunk’s partner ecosystem.

That's important to some of the biggest MSSPs. Our MSSP 250 research shows that Splunk is a major player when it comes to tools and platforms used by the very largest MSSPs in the market. But the company hasn't had much of a penetration with MSSPs below the top 10%. That may be set to change since Cisco acquired the company -- announcing the $28 billion deal in September 2023. Cisco has a long history with the channel.

During GPS breakout sessions, partners will learn about the latest innovations, expand their Splunk skill set, get the inside scoop on partner-centric topics and build relationships across Splunk’s partner ecosystem. A comprehensive list of technical and non-technical partner breakouts can be found within the GPS session catalog.

Splunk’s MSSP Focus

Splunk is an important vendor to MSSPs for several reasons, namely through its comprehensive security solutions with Splunk Enterprise Security (ES), which provides SIEM capabilities that help MSSPs detect, investigate and respond to security threats. Splunk provides MSSPs with advanced threat intelligence and analytics to protect against both internal and external threats. Splunk Phantom enables security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR), allowing MSSPs to automate repetitive tasks and streamline incident response.

In advance of .conf24, MSSP Alert spoke to Gretchen O’Hara, who  offered deep insights on how Splunk serves the MSSPs and its partner network. O'Hara joined Splunk as global channel chief in October 2022 after spending 19 years at Microsoft, with many of those years in key channel roles.

Splunk's Channel Chief Talks MSSPs, Cisco and .conf24

MSSP Alert: How has Splunk's acquisition by Cisco had a greater impact in working with MSSPs?

O’Hara: The acquisition of Splunk by Cisco opens up a realm of possibilities for MSSP partners and customers. Here are a few critical benefits and impacts:

  • Expanded business benefits. MSSP partners now have access to a broader range of solutions that combine the strengths of Splunk and Cisco. This synergy can lead to the delivery of more comprehensive services to customers.
  • Product innovation. The integration of Splunk’s capabilities into Cisco’s portfolio promises exciting opportunities for product innovation. For instance, we recently announced a new integration with Cisco XDR and Splunk Enterprise Security at the RSA Conference, as well as a new Splunk Asset and Risk Intelligence product. This continuous innovation is beneficial not only for customers but also for partners who can differentiate their offerings with new solutions.
  • New MSP program benefits. The acquisition opens doors to new MSP program benefits for partners to build a profitable business leveraging Cisco/Splunk products.

MSSP Alert: What are the challenges in working with MSSPs, and where have you seen successes?

O’Hara: We address a diverse and large MSSP partner ecosystem. We are investing our efforts to design programs that can address the diverse ecosystem requirements and ensure the MSSP business is profitable. For MSSPs, we offer a fit-for-purpose use case-based pricing by understanding the services they offer to their end clients, the customer segments, and the regions they operate in.

MSSP Alert: What's in store for MSSPs a .conf24? What segments, speakers, etc. might interest them the most?

O’Hara: We’re excited to invite MSSPs to our Global Partner Summit keynote and breakouts, which kick off on Tuesday at noon. Our breakout sessions will share the latest innovations, help partners expand their Splunk skill sets, and share the inside scoop on partner-centric topics. Our Partner Lounge will also host mini-theater sessions and answer questions in real-time at our Meet the Experts tables.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.