Partners are becoming a good leverage for CyberArk to reach to more customers

(L to R) Jason Choong, Rohan Vaidya and Vincent Goh
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On the sidelines of CyberArk’s global event, Impact, organised for the first time in India, CRN India interacted with the leadership team of CyberArk to understand more about the company’s focus areas and how is it looking to tap the underlying opportunities in the country. Vincent Goh, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan, CyberArk; Jason Choong, Partner Director, APJ, CyberArk; and Rohan Vaidya, Regional Director of Sales – India,
CyberArk share more details

What’s the agenda behind this global event; what are your expectations from the India market?
Rohan Vaidya: We have been present in India for the last four-five years, and we have realised that we’ve been talking to customers in bits and pieces. The way this country is growing in terms of technology adoption, it is extremely different from what we used to see about three to five years ago. We have the expertise to make Indian customers and partners understand how the attack surface grows when they adopt different technologies.

Vincent Goh: From an IT maturity perspective, adoption of the privileged access technology is more in large organisations. Now, not just from a security perspective, but also from an IT maturity perspective, organisations are adopting automation, cloud, DevOps, etc. From a market segmentation or verticalisation perspective, there is a mandate of the RBI, which gives a bit of inertia in terms of moving things faster. We’ve seen the telecom sector adopting privileged access very quickly; and we have been with the telecom sector for around five or six years now.

During the event, we talked about a combination of things. There is more of horizontal growth of the product that can cater to the IT infrastructure and possibly the OT infrastructure. The more assets that you are able to onboard onto the CyberArk technology, the more safety you get. As more customers adopt Geo technologies, the talks will be more based around how we’re going to be integrating those products in our current technology. For instance, we’ll talk about DevOps wherein we have a solution called Conjur. The third factor is more about the hygiene part, like how to deploy it more efficiently. We have a lot of complex customers across the globe, and bringing those experiences back to the India market helps the customer to imagine in terms of how they would look at the future.

Is the company spreading similar messages among partners and customers in other regions, and other markets in APAC?
Vincent Goh: Impact is an end user conference, but we are beginning to see that the partner community is also taking a huge interest. We organise its largest edition in Boston, for the American markets. In Asia, this is the first year we are conducting the event in Singapore, specifically in the same format. We even took one step forward by customising it for certain countries within Asia and India is the first one. A challenge facing organisations is that they’re looking at 600-700 products and they’re wondering which of these are the best. We have 19 years of history and close to 4,000 customers globally who are using our technology.

Are there similarities in the way Indian customers approach cyber security vis-à-vis other markets?
Vincent Goh: In terms if the way Indian organisations and governments are looking at cyber security, the technology that essentially evaluates is similar to the rest of the world. Today 95 per cent of organisations would have a CISO. The board is relatively more informed and awareness around cyber security is increasing. But the bigger challenge is the level of understanding and the complexity of the topic that the board possesses.

With increased awareness, has it become easier for you to drive conversations with customer organisations?
Vincent Goh: The innovation that’s happening in the DevOps space, artificial intelligence (AI) and Blockchain, doesn’t wait for cyber security to catch up. While we are trying to groom and bring a new generation of cyber defenders, the cyber attacker’s community is also growing. With more innovations, there are more surfaces available for attacks. However, we are catching up with them.

What has been your observation in terms of the evolving nature of the partners?
Jason Choong: Over the years, because of digitalisation, information is moving much faster. We are also beginning to see partners catch up the pace. Partners have been relying on information from vendors or customers, but over the years we find that partners are getting smarter and faster, and they’re becoming a good leverage for us to reach to more customers as well.

Vincent Goh: I think there’s still a lot to catch up. Partners are also mindful that there’s a big shortage of cyber security experts, which means there is a big demand, but no supply. CyberArk doesn’t aim to sell directly; we want our partners to deliver our offerings. Cyber security is a team game, and we are probably one of the most advanced players having a strong alliance program. Organisations don’t have to worry about integration and protection – we do everything for them. We also have the largest net called the CQ Alliance [Ph]. Another interesting thing is that our partners sell multiple products. Partners are showing strong interest in engaging with us. We undertake many training and enablement activities for our partners. For instance, we have an instructor lab and an online classroom.

Alongside reskilling, do you run a program encompassing other aspects such as profitability for partners?
Jason Choong: We do have a holistic partner program that addresses how they engage with us, from the go-to-market strategy to training and enablement. For example, we also run system engineer mentoring program, wherein we mentor the partner’s engineers, to match them with engineers at CyberArk. One of the key things that partners always look for is the ability to deliver services and this becomes a profit point for them. For example, for them to do services implementation, we get them engaged and enabled to get themselves certified.

From overall business perspective, what’s CyberArk’s roadmap for the future, and how do you see the company evolving?
Vincent Goh: We really invested into Asia about two to three years ago, although we’ve been around for four to five years now, having smaller team and working primarily with partners, with little end-user engagement. Now the game has changed, because organisations that have invested into security solutions for the last five, six years, are more aware of the fact that there are a lot of bridges to be connected. It is partly because protecting digital access has evolved compared to 5 to 10 years ago. As we go forward, we will see more and more innovations; and as we see more and more gaps, we will continue to address them.

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