Former product manager at CrowdStrike
- CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD) and its offerings, noting technology differentiation, leading areas and newer products
- Notable competitors, focusing on SentinelOne (NYSE: S) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and touching upon vulnerability players
- Most significant growth drivers over the next few years and most significant risks
How would you describe CrowdStrike and its evolution during your time over 2016-21, and to now? There’s been a lot of growth and presumably some significant changes.
Why do you think CrowdStrike confidently describes itself as the defining firm for cloud security? How are the company’s technologies and solutions differentiated in the marketplace?
Could you put a finer point on CrowdStrike’s special sauce? I think many people would point to dozens of significantly sized cybersecurity software companies, some of which are cloud-first while others are cloud-native, but I don’t know if being one or the other is a differentiator in itself. Presumably it’s how the company leverages that positioning to do things differently and provide more value. Could you elaborate on that?
It seems CrowdStrike’s AI and machine learning functionality isn’t on a par with SentinelOne, but how do you respond to that characterisation? How far along is the company in terms of almost completely automating that process, and how does it compare vs SentinelOne?
Can you elaborate on the pricing discrepancies between SentinelOne and CrowdStrike, on an apples-to-apples basis, to the extent that is reasonable? How deep is the discount?
It seems there are two or multiple versions of the endpoint product – one designed to directly compete with SentinelOne and then more of a full-data, enterprise-scale offering. What was CrowdStrike’s historical win rate against SentinelOne in head-to-head contests?
My understanding historically has been that CrowdStrike would be more flexible on pricing when trying to win a new logo, because of the focus on landing and expanding. Is the company much more flexible when pricing for new customers vs existing business, because of the potential importance of establishing a beachhead, whether with endpoint security or something else?
There has been dramatic expansion in CrowdStrike’s operating areas and specific products – I counted 20-25 different products vs around half that amount less than one year ago – but what’s most important from a revenue perspective? You said the company started out focusing on threat intelligence, which is obviously still an important category and has four separate products. However, endpoint security has been perceived as the bread and butter with maybe five respective products. What’s your take on the 2-3 most important areas and/or products, and what percentage of revenues are we talking about?
CrowdStrike’s pace of additional offerings and product areas has been brisk, to say the least. Do you expect it to slow? We’ve talked about endpoint, cloud security, managed services and threat intelligence. You mentioned security and IT operations, identity protection and Humio log management. There’s an XDR product now. What else could or should CrowdStrike be doing? Is the company largely done with building out these product areas and modules?
What’s your assessment of the competitive landscape? We discussed SentinelOne and you mentioned how legacy-oriented endpoint security businesses have gone through some ownership transitions over the last couple of years. Which players are noteworthy, either as CrowdStrike has broadened out its product portfolio, or as other businesses have tried to do that and become increasingly competitive?
Does Microsoft’s size, branding and various security and computing assets make it a concerning competitor to CrowdStrike? Is Azure and having a huge amount of control over distribution and partnerships, etc, anything to be worried about? Are the other major cloud providers, such as AWS and Google Cloud Platform, also a threat? Google is looking to buy Mandiant, a pioneer in threat intelligence.
What might be CrowdStrike’s 2-3 most significant top-line growth drivers over the next few years?
CrowdStrike has talked about a USD 55bn TAM for 2022 and USD 116bn for 2025, and there’s also the aspect of attach rates – nearly 70% of customers bought more than one module in Q4 FY22 and 57% of customers bought five or more modules, so obviously a lot of success in pursuing the market opportunity. Given your optimistic comments so far, what might be the biggest risk to the company fulfilling its promise over the next 1-3 years?
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