Bob Gagnon is revamping the partner program as he did at Unitrends, with a phased approach, beginning with a revised and enhanced deal registration program. Thycotic, which makes privileged account management solutions, is also looking to make a major push into the Canadian channel.
Thycotic, a Washington D.C.-based vendor of privileged account management solutions, which has sold mainly direct in North America since its inception in 1996, is looking to build a strong North American channel. The company has announced the appointment of Bob Gagnon, most recently Unitrends’ North American vice president of channel sales, as their VP of channel sales. To make Thycotic more attractive to partners, Gagnon has replaced Thycotic’s cumbersome old deal registration program with a new one which is simpler and which offers additional rewards. The company has also signed on Lifeboat to handle their North American distribution.
Gagnon sees his role at Thycotic as similar to what it had been at Unitrends, where he presided over a transition in Unitrends’ go-to-market strategy where it moved from a blend of direct and channel to a completely channel-focused organization,
“At Unitrends, I took it from 50 per cent channel to 100 per cent channel,” Gagnon said. “When I came in at Thycotic, the channel was mainly EMEA, where we are moving to 100 per cent, but there was almost nothing in the U.S.. We had some fulfilment partners in the U.S., but it was very reactive. In North America, we are now compensating our direct sales force for working with partners, and are hiring people dedicated to the channel space. We now have around 50 certified partners in North America, including some high level VARs who had bad experiences working with some of our competitors. We want to get as many partners as we can.”
Gagnon said that the while the security industry as a whole is teeming with many vendors, the privileged account management (PAM) space has comparatively few in it.
“PAM isn’t really that crowded a space,” he said. “We compete mainly against CyberArk, BeyondTrust, and Lieberman Software. We complement firewalls and SIEMs, and provide another layer of security. Our sweet spot is primarily midmarket and departmental enterprise, such as colleges, credit unions and retail.”
Gagnon said that going channel is critical to Thycotic’s growth in this market, and that he is overhauling the company’s channel program as part of the strategy to make them more attractive to strong partners. The first stage is a revamp of their deal registration program.
“This is the first step to taking our program to the next level, and follows the same strategy we did at Unitrends of unfolding the change in a series of stages,” he said. “We want to make sure our partners are 100 per cent confident working with us.”
While Thycotic had a deal registration program previously, Gagnon said it wasn’t very effective.
“It was too complicated,” he said. “Fulfillment partners, our lowest tier, didn’t get access to the portal at all. We have made it easier to register deals on the website, making everything as easy as possible, which it wasn’t before. I’m a big advocate of keeping things simple – even deal registration. If you make it complicated, partners won’t work with you.”
The Thycotic Rewards Program is the new deal registration element. Partners can earn incentive bonus payments of up to $250 for any registered deal valued at $5,000 or greater. The deal registration bonus itself is 30 per cent for the Authorized tier, and 40 per cent for the Certified. Gagnon dumped the old Fulfilment level that had no access to deal registration, so the program moves from three levels to two. While access to the Authorized tier is pretty open, the Certified one requires some pre sales engineer certification.
“We do margin protection as well, and pay the partner who registered the deal a rebate if say, a big DMR cuts in and gets the deal at the non-registered 10 per cent distribution rate,” Gagnon said. “We would pay them the delta between the 10 per cent and the Authorized or Certified partner rate.”
Thycotic is pledging to approve valid deals within one business day.
Gagnon said that the partner program will add additional attractive new components as the year goes on.
“Next year, we will make our big channel push with our full program,” he said. “The channel will like this as a transactional product that complements their other security products. We also have no professional services capability, which leaves that for them.”
Lifeboat came on board only about a week ago, to provide partners with distribution services and to help Thycotic identify and select more strong partners.
“We will consider adding a broadline distributor next year, when we have more partners,” Gagnon said.
The Canadian market is one where they are definitely in aggressive growth mode for adding new resellers.
“We have a handful of partners in Canada now, but it is a growth market that’s wide open for us and we are looking to add partners there,” Gagnon said. “Our three biggest markets are the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Canada is underserved and we will go after that, and Lifeboat will help us there as well.”