Todd Barrett, Vice President of Sales at Cerdant, is our Extreme Champion of the Quarter. Read my Q/A with him to hear insights from his 30+ years in the technology industry.
How did the pandemic impact Cerdant?
When the pandemic began last spring, a tremendous amount of uncertainty came with it. Customers were scared. Vendors, colleagues, family, and friends were scrambling to try to figure out what to do next and how long this would last. At Cerdant, we went into overdrive to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and customers. That was paramount.
Our senior leadership developed a plan to help our customers by creating a pandemic discount for all customers directly impacted by COVID. We wanted to demonstrate how committed we were to them short and long-term. As retailers closed, our invoicing was suspended, even though we continued to provide support because it was the right thing to do. Cybersecurity is mission-critical, and our 1,000+ customers are still making it a priority.
What are some of your top personal accomplishments?
This past January marked my 30 years in the IT business, with 25 years of that being in cybersecurity. So that’s an accomplishment by itself. I have been blessed to have worked with many amazing people over the years and the Cerdant team is by far the best. When you work with the best, your success is so team-focused that it is hard to brag about a personal win. I am happy to have shared some amazing successes over the past 10 years with Cerdant.
What was the most exciting project you ever worked on? (Feel free to brag)
During the pandemic in 2020, I pursued a network infrastructure upgrade opportunity with a large western school district in Pennsylvania. I was up against Ruckus and Meraki. We engaged with the local Extreme Networks team, brought in our A-team of Cerdant trained Extreme engineers, and presented a superior solution from the top down. Not only did this become one of our largest company deals ever, but we beat out our competitors despite competitive pricing. This is a classic case where solving a client’s problems both in the short and long-term can sometimes win over price.
What makes for good vendor/partner channel relationships?
Our Extreme Networks channel rep goes out of his way to make sure we are introduced to as many outside Account Executives in our territory as possible. This helps us align our sales efforts with Extreme and increases our chances of netting new deals.
The Extreme partner team has done a great job supporting our marketing efforts and our managed services pricing models. As new financing opportunities have come up, vendors like Extreme have answered the call. The more options that we can offer our customers, the better chance we will close business.
What do you think is the top cybersecurity threat a business owner faces today? Do smaller organizations face the same risks as the larger ones that we see being hacked in the headlines?
International cybercrime is now a multi-trillion-dollar business. Third in size after the U.S. and Chinese economies. The bad guys really do not care how small or large you are. Yes, they mostly target bigger fish, but anyone with a connected computer to the Internet is at risk of all types of bad things happening, especially ransomware.
The days of a layered approach to cybersecurity are over. You cannot just buy a firewall, email security, and antivirus. You must have a comprehensive program that follows a standard cybersecurity framework and you absolutely must proactively monitor your network.
Cerdant has been providing security monitoring for years and we launched our SentryXDR platform last fall. In six months, it has become our biggest selling service ever. We are only scratching the surface with this solution and are continuing to enhance as the market and threats evolve.
How does Extreme fit in your cybersecurity offering?
The reason we chose to partner with Extreme is because they understand cybersecurity. It’s the reason we continue to beat out the competition. Extreme’s cloud-managed platform, ExtremeCloud IQ, enables us to create high performing and highly secure networks.
At this time, our focus is on all of the Extreme Network Wi-Fi solutions and edge switches. We anticipate expanding our reach into bigger iron switches in the future.
How would you describe your experience as an Extreme partner? How has the Extreme Partner team supported you in your efforts to attract prospects and guide customers through the buyer’s journey?
Extreme Networks has been a tremendous partner to work with. Up and down their organization, they are packed with seasoned professionals. Their GTAC is world-class and our support motion is perfectly aligned with theirs.
Extreme Champions is a community of certified partner sellers who drive Extreme sales within our most esteemed partnerships. The program aims to recognize, reward, engage and enable a global network of partner sales professionals to help them drive Extreme sales within our most esteemed partnerships and become more successful in their respective markets. Read more Extreme
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