Tripwire focuses aggressively on partner ecosystem

0
Alex Bagwell, Global Channel Director, Tripwire

With renewed focus after its integration with Belden, Tripwire’s customer base is growing beyond traditional IT infrastructure and expanding into cloud and OT

Tripwire has been in the industry for more than 20 years in compliance and policy side of security business. Belden, a heavy channel user company working extensively with distributors and partners, acquired Tripwire about five years ago. When Tripwire was acquired, the company didn’t have the best partners to align with. The company was following a direct model, while catering to the client’s requirements. However, post this acquisition, it was realised that this model was not viable anymore.

Now, Tripwire has started integrating the channel into its business model. Tripwire has created a channel program that allows the company to leverage itself globally. The company follows a channel-driven sales model and has built the channel strategically. Tripwire believes that by leveraging the channel ecosystem, it can grow significantly across the globe.

Channel integration
During the integration of Belden and Tripwire, the major challenge was to convince partners about the channel journey that the company was embarking on, as all these years Tripwire had followed a direct model. With the integration, Tripwire was able to leverage some of Belden’s distributors as well as partners. Since then, the company has been trying to validate and remain true to the channel model in order to build confidence among partners.

Tripwire has been driving training in all the regions for the partners, so that the channel partners from the Belden ecosystem can also think in the same way as partners in cyber security domain do. This can open the doors and initiate conversations. Tripwire’s partners have a strong presence in the IT space. Whereas, Belden partners are strong in the OT space. Tripwire aims to enable these partners to be able to cross-sell.

In the initial phase post-integration, Tripwire signed partners in big numbers. The company had to end some of the existing partnerships. This is the kind of transition that happened in the last six to nine months.

Boosting digital transformation
In more than 20 years of its market presence, Tripwire has witnessed multiple technology trends that have shaped industries. The core capabilities that Tripwire offers remain foundational to a secure business, regardless of the technology deployed. Customers who rely on legacy technology, and those who are at the bleeding edge of cloud, need the visibility that Tripwire provides.

Alex Bagwell, Global Channel Director, Tripwire, says, “The ability to identify risks, prioritise actions and integrate with established processes is key to Tripwire’s success, and the key to our customers’ continued operations. In recent years, Tripwire has expanded to support industrial customers and new cloud capabilities, matching the pace at which our customers are expanding their digital footprint. The evolution of our partners is around how they will become more integrated and an extension of Tripwire in the market place. We see our partners playing a larger role not only around advocating and selling the product, but offering services both professional and MSSP on behalf Tripwire.”

Partner focus
According to Bagwell, the key competencies for Tripwire’s partners will always surround their ability to understand not only a single product, but the entire breadth of the portfolio and how they integrate together. He comments, “One major issue I often hear is around resources and the struggle that customers have to staff internally the resources needed to manage their complex systems. Moving forward, customers will be looking at not just the partners, but vendors as well, to offer managed services like Tripwire ExpertOps to take strain off in-house teams, while still maintaining critical security controls. Our partners have been key to assisting Tripwire in navigating the complex landscape – our global customer base. The channel is what will drive the business growth globally through strong partnerships that are equally recognised by the customer.”

For the company, the role of its partners is critical, as they understand customers’ needs and trends in the market place. “Our partnerships and on-going open dialogue with our partners allow us to keep our roadmap aligned with the market needs. This is a critical part to Tripwire’s growth, in being a technology leader, and our partners allow us to get that information in real time,” he adds.

Accelerating growth
Explaining how Tripwire’s broader offerings and increased incentives will accelerate business growth of partners worldwide, Bagwell says that Tripwire’s ability to be ahead of technology trends, either through technology partnerships or in-house technology, allows Tripwire to offer a strong portfolio to its global customers. The company’s customer base is growing beyond traditional IT infrastructure and expanding into cloud and OT. Tripwire has strong offerings and solutions that work across physical, virtual, cloud, and OT environments, which is allowing the company to accelerate its business growth.

Elaborating on the company’s go-to-market strategy, Bagwell informs, “We want to be aligned with the partners that see true value in what Tripwire brings, not only in our products and services, but in our relationships as well. We are not looking to be slightly important to many, but very important to a select few.”

Saagar Gadhok

India market
After a brief hiatus, Tripwire is coming back strongly into the India market. In countries like Australia, the company had legacy partners who were associated with Tripwire for for 8-10 years. However, India’s story differs from other markets. Sharing more on the same, Saagar Gadhok, Business Manager – APAC, Tripwire, says, “When the integration happened, we invested heavily in building collaterals, partner training, and going on sales calls together as well as closing deals. We have continued the momentum and have started building relationships. For instance, we have jointly created business objectives for 2019-20, working on the GTM strategy, and ultimately, addressing the market requirements. We are making a lot of investments from marketing and enablement standpoint. If you embed the certification within the channel, the whole approach will drive itself. It’s all about creating the ecosystem and maintaining it, so that the channel can derive value from it.”

In India, Tripwire largely follows the global channel program. The only difference the company sees is that a lot of hand-holding is required in India vis-a-vis other markets where partners just go online for training and get certified at a particular cost. Training and enablement is one area that Tripwire has changed in India specifically, wherein the training of partners is done together as a unit.

“Secondly, in terms of incentivising and rebates, the program that we run in other regions doesn’t fit in India. If a partner is happy selling a particular product, we allow him to stick to it rather than jumping to other product lines. This helps him understand the value of associating with Tripwire. And this is just for the initial traction, as once it starts picking up the pace, this can be further accelerated. We are investing far more in India than other regions to get the initial push off the ground and get us in line with the competition,” mentions Gadhok.