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Future Forward: The Top 5 Takeaways for Partners from Zenith Live

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Two weeks, two continents, 600 partners, and the latest in Zscaler innovations and Partner GTM strategy. 

Zscaler Zenith Live 2023 landed in Las Vegas and Berlin this June, and united cybersecurity experts, industry disruptors, our amazing customers, and our esteemed partner ecosystem. This year's conference showcased the immense need for a true zero trust architecture, the unmatchable strength of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange, and the power of partnerships in shaping the future of cloud security. 

So much greatness came out of Zenith Live ‘23 this year, and if you’re looking to catch up on the whole event, you can watch the on-demand replay of the events here. However, if you’re short on time, here are my top five takeaways for Zscaler Partners from Zenith Live Americas and EMEA:

 

1. The Zero Trust Exchange is the Most Powerful Zero Trust Architecture  

But don’t just take it from us. Zenith Live was full of key customer testimonials from Hyatt, S&P Global, Charles Schwab, Aflac, and Siemens Energy, plus more sharing their stories on how Zscaler helped transform their businesses for the better, and partners such as CrowdStrike discussing how their partnership with Zscaler offers the best protection from adversaries. And the platform is only getting stronger. We announced several key innovations in identity threat detection, zero trust security, generative AI, and more. Read the recap article from CRN here

 

2. Future Forward: Evolving the Partner GTM Strategy

At each regional Zenith Live, we hosted a two-hour Partner Keynote featuring Zscaler Channel Chief Karl Soderlund, and Zscaler sales and channel leaders. I’ll dive a little bit more into what was announced during the keynote later, but the major theme was the future of Zscaler and why our big bet is on partners. In fact, we’re enhancing our full internal go-to-market; removing silos and resourcing to capture available market opportunities with partners.

“Up until now, our partners have been very important, but it’s almost been a complementary relationship,” said Karl Soderlund, senior vice president for worldwide partners and alliances at Zscaler, in an interview with CRN. “Moving forward, there will be full interlock between our sales force and the partner community to the point that we’re retraining our entire global sales organization on how to engage [the channel] and how to be better partners to our partner community.”

 

3. Building and Leveraging Partner Services

Throughout the Partner Keynote, there was another key theme with each speaker: the power of services and the importance of specializations within our partner ecosystem. This year more than ever, Zscaler is encouraging and looking to partners to specialize in specific areas of expertise, enabling them to become masters in their chosen domains. By doing so, partners gain a competitive edge, differentiate themselves in the market, and tap into new revenue streams. From managed security services to cloud-native security solutions, our partner ecosystem boasts a diverse range of specialized experts, ready to tackle any challenge—and we know the power of partner-delivered services.


 

4. Partner Program Enhancements

The Zscaler Summit Partner Program also took center stage and highlighted the enhancements we’re making to empower our partners to reach new heights of success. Karl celebrated our partners as true champions, recognizing their crucial role in delivering Zscaler's cutting-edge solutions to customers worldwide and how we’re adjusting our program to recognize that. 

So, based on listening tours with new Zscaler leadership and feedback, the team announced a direction that acknowledges the uniqueness of different partner types but focuses and rewards on the behaviors and values they each deliver. Over the next few months, partners will see enhancements to increase partner loyalty and retention, partner productivity and performance, partner satisfaction and advocacy, brand awareness, and market and revenue and profitability, all of which recognize Zscaler partner value and allow us to partner deeper for the benefit of our customers. 


 

5.) The Power of the Ecosystem

The channel model has evolved significantly in the past five years. At Zenith Live, Karl and his team emphasized the importance of building strategic partnerships across the entire ecosystem. Solution providers, distribution partners, global system integrators, technology alliance partners, service providers, and MSSPs all play a vital role in the success of customers in the changing cybersecurity landscape. 

Partners were encouraged to collaborate with Zscaler and our vast partner ecosystem to create synergies, share knowledge, and deliver innovative solutions. By leveraging the collective expertise and resources of our partner ecosystem, partners can enhance their capabilities and help their customer’s stay ahead of emerging threats. Strategic partnerships enable partners to access a wider range of solutions, support services, and market reach, ultimately delivering superior value to their customers. The next big opportunity is merging this and our other tech alliances more closely with our channel ecosystem to drive joint GTM activities and service innovation.

 

But That’s Not All!

Zscaler Zenith Live 2023 celebrated the power of the Zero Trust Exchange, the technology alliance partnerships that build upon it, and the undeniable strength of our partner ecosystem that help bring value to our customers. This event was also made the best it could be by our amazing sponsors in AMS & EMEA

However, APJ partners, we most definitely have not forgotten about you! We will be taking Zenith Live on tour in the coming months so keep an eye out for those dates to launch. Additionally, we’re excited to bring the Partner Summit on the road this fall in Austin and Lisbon. More information from your Partner Business Managers to come soon!

Thank you to all of the Zscaler Partners who joined us at Zenith Live 2023! We make an unstoppable team, united in our mission to protect and empower customers worldwide with the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange. With our Summit Partner Program and ecosystem growing stronger every day, the future holds endless possibilities for innovation and growth. See you at the Partner Summit in the fall!

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