Automated cloud security vendor Lacework is launching its first global channel program, with an eye to leveragaing VARs and MSPs to bring its Cloud Security Platform to customers that are still adapting to public clouds.
The new program offers partners various tools designed to educate customers about the Lacework technology, integrate it into their environments and co-market the solutions, according to Sanjay Kalra, co-founder and chief strategy officer for the company, which launched in April 2017.
"A major part our partner program is awareness and understanding how security works in the cloud; it's a major challenge for many organizations," Kalra told Channelnomics in an email. "We also emphasize education; we want to help partners explain to their customers not just the need for effective cloud security, but how to identify the right solution and then how to implement it."
He also said Lacework wants to help the channel play a continuing role in their customers' cloud ambitions.
"Unlike hardware sales, where you sell the product once and you don't need to visit the customer again for some time, SaaS solutions involve a continuous sale," Kalra pointed out. "If the customer doesn't see the value from the product continuously, they will not renew. We strongly believe that partners can play a pivotal role in value realization, which will be a new role for them."
Lacework's Cloud Security Platform, which is based on the company's Polygraph technology, uses machine learning, advanced analytics and intelligent visualization to automate security and compliances tasks companies need to address as they move more of their applications and data to the public cloud, according to the vendor.
"The challenge is that customers are new to the cloud and need to learn the basics of securing their deployments," Kalra said. "The partners can play a vital role by guiding and educating customers on the right architecture and solution for cloud security."
The company has raised $32.7 million in two rounds of fundraising, including $24 million in Series B funding announced in September. Among the goals for the money was to drive growth in global sales and marketing capabilities, officials said at the time. The partner program is part of this effort, the vendor said.
According to Kalra, the program is designed to treat channel partners "as an extension" of Laceworks and provide incentives for solution providers to transition from hardware businesses to SaaS, while becoming experts in cloud security.
"We have created a pricing and go-to-market program that we manage with our sales reps in the field," the exec told Channelnomics. "It incentivizes reps to bring partners into deals and to create long-term relationships. As for sales reps, they are compensated fully for any deal transacted through the channel. We are also offering an opportunity for the channel to be able to complete the sales from soup to nuts."
Kalra said the vendor, which has more than 20 customers in production, has signed two national partners, Optiv and SHI, as well as some smaller regional partners, and that it is "receiving a lot of interest from the channel".
The partner push is more a quality play than a numbers game, he added, noting that the "cloud is new and we want to work with key partners who understand it and are at the leading edge [of] new strategies".
"The goal is to work closely with selected partners to build the right solution for end customers," Kalra said. "We want to have two to three national partners and a similar number of regional partners in every region with whom we can closely work."
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