Earlier this week, CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, announced its 2022 list of Channel Chiefs. For the 10th year in a row, Neal Bradbury, SVP of Barracuda MSP was named to the prestigious list, which is published annually and recognizes leading IT channel vendor executives who continually demonstrate outstanding leadership, influence, innovation, and growth.
The 2022 Channel Chiefs are prominent leaders who have influenced the IT channel with cutting-edge strategies, programs, and partnerships. All honorees are selected by CRN’s editorial staff based on their dedication, industry prestige, and exceptional accomplishments as channel advocates.
Neal Bradbury’s leadership in developing new initiatives has driven significant operational and business success for our partners over the years. These contributions, coupled with his guidance and mentorship of his team — and the Barracuda MSP community — make him a trusted source of direction and input, geared towards always improving the partner experience. We sat down with Neal to learn more about what he’s been focusing on from both a channel and business perspective.
Q&A with Neal Bradbury, SVP of Barracuda MSP
Q: From your perspective, how does Barracuda MSP become an extension of the MSP's team?
A: There are several key elements that set the stage for a successful partnership. Beyond the technology offerings, one of the most important things MSPs must consider is communication. As with any relationship, poor communication can cause things to unravel, quickly. In addition to clear communication, I would stress the importance of active listening. Never underestimate the value of attentiveness, and consciously try to understand not only what your partners are telling you, but also to understand where they are coming from. You need to know their priorities, their challenges, the opportunities they are most excited about. This requires listening and asking questions. Last, but not least, communicate clear expectations up front. The MSPs we work with must do this with their own clients, and they know how hard it is when expectations are not in alignment. Ensuring everyone is on the same page can save a lot of time and stress in the long run.
Q: It’s hard to believe that we are now two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. How have you helped partners weather the economic storm it has created?
A: Our focus is always about enabling partners to secure their customers. In the last few years, that has meant supporting them in meeting the needs of remote and hybrid workforces. This has required more solutions, education, and enablement. As demand for digital engagement and community has continued to increase, we expanded our programs to include a broader range of topics from engaging customers virtually to best practices in building a thriving MSP business in the “new normal.” Our virtual Partner Advisory Council met regularly (virtually), and getting their input has been enormously helpful in ensuring we are doing our best to support and communicate with the broader partner base.
Q: What’s the key to success for your channel partners in 2022?
A: For MSPs, success is going to mean transforming your business into a security-centric operation. Remote work is here to stay, and along with it, there is significant opportunity. Workers are using any device they can to remain productive, which presents vulnerabilities if the appropriate security processes aren’t in place. MSPs should be assessing their solution stack and ensuring adjustments are made regularly to improve both the security postures of their customers, and themselves. It is important for MSPs to prioritize protecting both the end-user and their data, whether it resides on the device or in the cloud.
Q: What was the single most innovative initiative you worked on last year?
A: The acquisition of SKOUT Cybersecurity was the single most innovative initiative the Barracuda MSP team was responsible for in 2021. With this acquisition, Barracuda entered the fast-growing XDR market with a solution optimized for MSPs. SKOUT’s advanced technology adds to Barracuda’s prior integrations with Open XDR platforms, expanding Barracuda’s portfolio with a powerful XDR platform for MSPs that is backed by a 24×7 SOC, and offers proactive real-time continuous security monitoring with response services for managed endpoints, networks, and cloud. By integrating with existing security infrastructure, Barracuda SKOUT Managed XDR offers investment protection for MSPs, making it easier to handle cyberattacks in diverse customer environments. Since the acquisition in July, our teams have worked together to begin integrating and we’ve already made some impressive progress.
The 2022 CRN Channel Chiefs list is featured in the February 2022 issue of CRN and online at www.crn.com/channelchiefs.
Morgan Pratt is a Content Marketing Associate at Barracuda MSP. In her role, Morgan creates and shares education and enablement materials built with today's MSPs in mind. She recently became the primary copyeditor on SmarterMSP.com and enjoys working with our growing roster of contributing writers as well as MSPs themselves. Morgan has significant experience managing social media accounts for SMB clients as well as developing marketing campaigns and content.