Palo Alto Revamps Sales Strategy; Channel Not Affected: CEO

Sales Strategy

Mumbai: Palo Alto Networks is retooling its sales strategy for this year, though the company assured that its channel partners won’t be affected by the changes.

Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin told CRN that the company saw “weaker performance caused by go-to-market execution issues” in its second quarter, leading to sales of $422.6 million. Sales were up 26 percent year-over-year but came in more than $7 million short of Wall Street’s expectations.

Meanwhile, last week, the company announced its acquisition of LightCyber, a privately held cybersecurity company that has developed award-winning, highly automated and accurate behavioral analytics technology. Under the terms of the agreement, Palo Alto Networks has acquired LightCyber for $105 million in cash.

Recognized by Gartner in two recent market guides, LightCyber has been leading the industry in the development of automated behavioral analytics capabilities, using sophisticated machine learning to quickly, efficiently and accurately identify attacks based on identifying behavioral anomalies inside the network.

Palo Alto said it will continue to offer the LightCyber products and support existing customer implementations while it engineers the technology into the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform by the end of the calendar year. Bringing behavioral analytics to the platform will enhance its automated threat prevention capabilities and the ability for customer organizations to prevent cyber breaches throughout the entire attack life cycle.

On its sales strategy, McLaughlin said Palo Alto Networks will now be “recalibrating” its sales go-to-market by reorganizing its account coverage model, retooling its sales and marketing resources and updating its second half revenue expectations.

McLaughlin however, does not anticipate to change any of the company’s strategy with the channel. “We like our channel. The channel has been very good to us and we have great relationships with the channel, so we won’t be changing that strategy,” McLaughlin told the news site.

Company president Mark Anderson too reiterated that the channel strategy from Palo Alto Networks wouldn’t change globally, saying all of the “execution issues” stemmed from the sales team, not the partners.

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