Cylance’s Dayton: ‘We Want Partners to Be The Heroes’

Superhero Businessman

… do well in life sciences and pharma.

Here’s our Q&A, edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: How long have you been with Cylance?

Didi Dayton: I joined the company two years ago to run the channel, and as we’ve built out more functionality within the channel, they’ve asked me to take on managed services, so we’ve built out the MSP program on top of the channel program.

About six months ago, [McLure] asked me also to take on strategic alliances, which is a passion of mine because I consider myself an organizational engineer. I love to find ways for technology companies to work together and come up with something really, really cool, so one plus one equals three.

CP: That’s a lot on your plate. What’s your team structure?

DD: We’ve got folks that run a regional channel; we call them ‘regional partner managers’ — they’re not channel account managers, because they approach it as a regional manager would, like a regional sales director as opposed to an account manager, where they just care about an account. They’re looking at a bigger picture: How does all this stuff interoperate; how do I get my teams to work together?

It’s a much broader role, if that makes sense.

[Editor’s Note: Cylance announced last week that it has named Chris Scanlan SVP of North America sales. Scanlan comes to Cylance after serving as SVP of worldwide sales at Optiv,]

CP: How do partners explain the logic behind proactive versus reactive signatures?

DD: The big difference is that a signature is predicated on known bad, but to know that it’s bad, you have to first see it do something bad, so you have to have Patient Zero — that one system that’s been compromised.

The paradigm shift for the whole industry was ransomware, because with one system compromise, your entire data set is at stake. As a partner pointed out to me, that’s unacceptable. You can’t have a Patient Zero anymore. Partners grasped this concept very quickly, and they helped us create a new message and wave around artificial intelligence.

Before, there were so many permutations, it was like “Oh, OK, well, there’s a sample.” Then, over time, it became more about managing the sample infrastructure and trying to create and produce new samples, rather than just looking at everything that came in and stopping it on the fly.

But now it’s all moving so fast; it’s at machine speed — even attackers are starting to use artificial intelligence. AI can just crunch data much faster. It’s a completely different paradigm.

We disrupted the market when we came on board and we’ve been challenging the status quo ever since, solving a problem that customers have a very difficult time solving on their own. I think it’s been good across the industry — it’s raised the bar.

CP: Tell us about your program structure.

DD: If you look at RSA’s conference last year, everyone was talking about …

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