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Relationships between individuals mirror relationships between alliance partners.
Like in a marriage, if you take the time to listen to your professional partner and communicate what your needs are too, your relationship will be in a healthy place.
Andy Horwitz is the Vice President of Business and Corporate Development at Palo Alto Networks where he manages a close relationship with Google. Palo Alto Networks represents a full platform portfolio that highlights their position as a leader in the security space. Security is important to Google and their customers, so by working with Google in a like-mind capacity, Palo Alto Networks has been able to help Google solve solutions for joint customers.
In this edition of Alliance Aces, we caught up with Andy at GoogleNEXT to talk about joint solutions, business development, and best practices for a collaborative business environment.
Palo Alto Networks has developed a virtual firewall that seeks to eliminate both known and unknown threats. They can deploy these solutions in Google Cloud and utilize them in any application.
It’s really important to customers that they have the same security experience on premise or in the cloud, and Palo Alto Networks works closely with Google to provide that experience. Andy’s co-workers have developed a platform that identifies malware and changes it from a unknown to known threat by sharing the the identity of any newly discovered malware across their entire customer base within five minutes.
Andy and his team really seek to drive the partnership with Google across the whole spectrum: from engineering to sales even up to the executive level. They want to work together to provide a like-minded, cohesive message when they go to market.
Palo Alto’s primary partner relationship is with Google, but they also indirectly work with other Google customers. It’s really through the partnership with Google that Palo Alto Networks highlights what they are capable of.
Andy believes the best wisdom he can share is to take the time to invest in partnerships. As an example of investing in partnerships, Palo Alto Networks sends many representatives to partner events, like GoogleNEXT.
Andy is not the only representative from Palo Alto Networks at his partner’s even; far from it. That’s because it’s not just about showing up at an event; it’s about being invested in your partner’s success and truly imbedded amongst the different teams (sales, engineering, etc.).
According to Andy, here are two suggestions that he believes partners need to each start doing immediately in order to develop the best relationships:
1) Teach your own teams to fish. This means that all of your teams need to not only understand your own internal solutions well, but they need to know your partner’s solutions inside and out too. Andy has taken the time to make sure his team is as familiar with Google’s tech as they are with Palo Alto’s.
2) Teach your partner how to fish. You can’t assume that your partners will know everything there is to know about your solutions unless you tell them. So Andy and his team take the time to teach Google about their solutions so the two are intimately familiar with each other.
Andy hopes that the Palo Alto Networks/Google relationship helps to bring each side’s expertise to the game. He knows that he’s helping his partners with their blind spots, and he’s helping to insert network security into Google’s network to solve the problems that customers really have.
The two sides of this partnership really have their market engine humming and are at a sprint. They’re really seeing their engineering success translate directly to sales success now.
It was originally customer demand that generated the engagement between Palo Alto Networks and Google. They formed a cloud advisory board to hear from customers. This allowed product management, engineers, and solution architects from both sides to enable a great solution by getting in a room together and whiteboarding solutions.
When you have customer data points and a willingness to come together to create solutions, it forms a straight line forward toward success.