IAM vendor SailPoint looking to scale up channel enablement

Harry Gould, SailPoint’s new worldwide channel chief, is looking to expand the channel business for what he said is a distinct set of offerings which is popular among partners.

Harry Gould SailPoint 300

Harry Gould, SailPoint’s VP of worldwide alliances and channels

Austin-based identity and access management vendor SailPoint has announced the recent hiring of a new channel chief, who sees the company as having enormous potential in a very hot space. Harry Gould, who was most recently at HP Software, comes into the role with a multi-faceted strategy to expand the company’s channel business.

SailPoint, which has been around since 2005, is profitable, and a year ago secured a large funding influx when equity firm Thoma Bravo came on board. Some of that influx is going to ramp up the company’s channel efforts.

“We are increasing our worldwide alliance and channel team by about 35 per cent,” said Gould, whose position is formally titled SailPoint’s VP of worldwide alliances and channels. By the end of the year, we will have hired all the team and be well on our path.”

Gould has worked at all manner of companies, from HP to small firms, and he said that from his experience, SailPoint is distinct.

“The SailPoint story is the most impressive product I’ve ever seen in terms of being in the right space at the right time with the right partners,” he said. “SailPoint understands how to deliver customer time to value as rapidly as possible that I have ever seen.”

Gould said customer data supports this proposition.

“In the first half of the year, licensed bookings grew over 50 per cent,” he said. “We have over a 95 per cent customer satisfaction rating, and a 98 per cent maintenance renewal rate.”

The company is also benefiting from an extremely hot IAM market.

“Identity is becoming the new perimeter,” Gould said. “Once the bad guys get in, the question is how to prevent them from getting access to data, and IAM is the best way to do that. We are the only one that has specifically built a scalable product from the ground up to do this.”

SailPoint has two core products. IdentityIQ is the on-prem one, with its core base being the Fortune 2000, where they have about 400 customers today. IdentityNow has the same functionality but is a cloud-based identity-as-a-service product. Its target market is also different, as it is aimed more at midmarket and emerging companies.

“Partners have heavy involvement in both areas,” Gould said.

SailPoint today has around 150 partners and is growing that number. These include large global advisory firms, and SIs, but also include solution providers. The go-to-market model is not 100 per cent channel, but Gould said over 90 per cent of all transactions are touched by a partner.

“We very much have a partner culture,” he said. “Our value proposition includes being much easier to implement and requiring less resources. Partners are coming to us who have worked with the stack vendors because of these things. From a partner perspective, this is nirvana.”

Gould said that in the three months since he was hired he has met with over 100 partners.

“There are two things I’ve never heard from them,” he said. “One is anything negative about the product. 95 per cent of partners were extremely or very likely to recommend SailPoint to customers and prospects – and the other 5 per cent said likely they were likely to. In the past with other companies, half these partner discussions are about things like bugs or bad GUIs, and these things never come up here.”

The second thing Gould said he has not heard is partners saying they compete with them.

“We want to drive as much service as we can through partners,” he said.

Going forward, Gould said they are in the process of making three major changes to their partnering strategy.

“We are looking to get more traction around our cloud product by recruiting more ‘born in the cloud’ partners, like ServiceNow, who we have a good relationship with. That’s one of the changes I have made.”

A second change is SailPoint’s stepping up their game with their global partners.

“We are treating our global alliance partners on a global basis, where we had been regionally-oriented in the past,” he said.

“We are also scaling up our enablement. We are putting more assets online to better provide enablement programs that are self-paced, and enhanced certification programs. Given the size of the company, some things hadn’t been addressed in the past and we are now addressing them.”

Gould also said SailPoint is very active in Canada, where they deal direct with their partners rather than through distribution. They include boutique advisory firms, some of whom resell, as well as global firms and Canadian branches of the large SIs.

“I really think we will dominate in the next year,” Gould stated.