CyberArk’s Impact World Tour recently made a stop in Mumbai to showcase the latest in identity security. During an interaction with CRN India, Chris Moore, Senior Vice President, Global Channels, CyberArk, shared details about the recently announced expanded global channel partner program, talked about the increase in the number of deals closed with MSPs, and said that the company’s channel network grew by 35 percent. He also explained the drivers behind the strategy and how the company works with its Indian partners to achieve joint success.
Some edited excerpts:
1. What are the main areas of focus for CyberArk from the channel’s perspective?
We really want to align with where the company is headed from a strategic perspective. Our core business is privilege access management and privilege credentials. But what we are seeing from our market culture and customer base is that they want a more holistic approach, so they want to secure all identities, be they human or nonhuman, and run through an identity security lifecycle. We have one solution that solves all problems, such as security vectors, ransomware issues, and cyber insurance questions.
From a channel perspective we are working with partners who can help solve the problems and drive value-added services into the market, who can drive holistic customer lifecycles from determining the needs and solving the use case, implementing the product, and then driving the lifecycle in the product’s success, making sure that the customers are satisfied and are adopting the products they are buying and engaging with CyberArk to solve the problems, implement use cases, and cover the entire security issues the customers have. It is important because we made the transition to SaaS, and subscription customer satisfaction is important to drive the success of the product lifecycle.
2. What are some of the major initiatives that have been taken as part of the channel strategy?
We at CyberArk have been focusing on finding the right partners, enabling them in the right way, and helping them market-drive into the segments they wish to. Our key focus is on the core set of partners who are really making a difference in adding value to the market, from the large SIs to the mid-market players; everyone is driving value, and it has made it very easy for us with our focused strategy and our top partners to leverage in the market.
I look at the channel very simplistically. I believe we need to find the right partners, enable those partners, and work with them to drive demand to the customer base they want, so the very first thing that we did on this kind of journey was we picked the right partner who has the right capability and commitment towards CyberArk.
The next step was building marketing campaigns and marketing collateral for partners. It is critical for partner-centric marketing and content syndication because it allows them to take the message we created and spread it to the market.
3. Since the pandemic has slowed, has CyberArk prepared itself to take advantage of the business opportunities that have been rising?
One of the major switches we have seen is the work-from-home culture during the pandemic. In a lot of ways, the security business, hackers, and threat vectors have accelerated, which has also increased the need for a company like CyberArk in the market during the pandemic.
But the way customers want to consume what they need to do to protect their employees and businesses has fundamentally changed. That’s where managed service providers manage to see business opportunities. One of the things that have come out is the lack of talent in the marketplace. Finding cyber talent has become a challenge. Providers who can offer services to manage security issues have become more relevant in the market. Given this, we’ve launched an NSP programme that doubles every year in order to fill skill and work-from-home gaps.
4. How do you see the growth of MSPs in the cloud marketplace and its impact on CyberArk?
Talking about the marketplace, we have been working with AWS and Amazon, which are the two primary go-to marketplaces. AWS offers customers an alternative way to provide not only software but partner service as well. Amazon has done for consumer growth what Google has done for technology. So a one-stop shop where one can buy licenses, products, and services gives us a broad reach and is not only dynamic but useful for our partners to grow their customer businesses.
Gartner’s observation, says MSPs are going to grow by 40 percent, which means 40 percent of the market will want to buy identity as a service through managed service providers. All of CyberArk’s large global customers are implementing the managed service strategy. The reason is that we have been able to take our software and wrap our services around it at a repeatable volume. It is no longer necessary to go in and solve security issues of a spoken problem every time; instead, it is a repeatable process with best practises embedded, allowing them to drive the most cost-effective solution across the market segment. We are witnessing a big increase in the emerging market picture across the globe. We are seeing bigger companies drive because it’s quicker to value, so it is a best practice to have repeatable solutions. It allows our partners to scale and address new markets in a quicker way.
5. Could you reflect on some of the latest solutions that have been launched by CyberArk?
The biggest one is rounding out our identity security platform. We have introduced a few new products around AWS clouds, including AWS Secrets Manager, making sure our customers have complete alignment across the entire portfolio for human access management.