Cambridge ON-based eSentire expanding partner presence with new channel program

eSentire sold its SaaS-based cybersecurity solutions direct until a couple years ago, when they added referral partners. Now they have expanded their channel program to include MSPs and resellers, and partnered with Ingram Micro to add the focused partners they want.

J.Paul Haynes, CEO eSentire 300

J. Paul Haynes, eSentire’s CEO

Cambridge ON-based eSentire, which makes cybersecurity solutions sold through a SaaS model, has announced a new channel program that contains formal tiers for reseller and MSP partners. The channel expansion is part of a major presence by the company to expand its global footprint.

eSentire started out in 2001 as a security consultant, back when the industry primarily sold AV and firewall products.

“We worked then primarily on Wall Street, and the delivery-as-a-service offerings we provided including network scripts and monitoring, which is common now, but was more esoteric then,” said J. Paul Haynes, eSentire’s CEO. They moved into managed services around 2003, and software-as-a-service in 2008.

“From a technical perspective, we have a very high efficacy technology,” Haynes said. “Our Active Threat Protection service allows us to replay all the traffic like with a DVR. Our technique assumes threats leak through, but is designed to catch them before they weaponize. We can generally find and contain threats within minutes of their getting through the firewall. Our high efficacy reputation sells a lot for us, especially in tight circles like legal and financial.”

Much of their legacy business has been in these tight circles — especially financial services and asset management — with much of it being in the northeast U.S. Their Canadian location stems from their R&D facilities being in Cambridge, supplied by the graduates of the schools of Canada’s nearby Silicon Valley North.

“We focus on organization that don’t have the security teams, and that don’t have a CISO — that layer of companies under the Fortune 500,” Haynes said. “We have over 500 clients today, with from 20 employees to 25,000 employees, but our sweet spot is 100 to 5000.”

eSentire began by selling direct. Their first channel program began two years ago, and was a referral model, with the referrals coming primarily from integrators in the asset management space as well as consultants who don’t sell themselves. Now, however, on the heels of the fourth funding round, of $19.5 million, eSentire is aggressively expanding its presence.

Mark Adams eSentire 300

Mark Adams, VP, Corporate Development and Channel Partnerships, eSentire

“We now have the resources and capability to go out and enable everyone,” said Mark Adams, VP, Corporate Development and Channel Partnerships, at eSentire. “We want to cross verticalize beyond our focus on asset management and finance. We are looking to get into different areas.” Partners accounted for 30 per cent of eSentire’s business in their first year, and 35  per cent last year, and they are looking to move to 50 per cent with the new program, particularly since they have now signed on with Ingram Micro, who will handle their distribution in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

While the initial channel program was only for referral partners, and other partners were handled on an ad hoc basis, the new program adds formal tiers for reseller partners and MSPs. It provides the regular structured benefits partners expect, including collaborative sales engagement, deal registration, co-marketing support and resources, training opportunities, access to eSentire’s Partner Portal, and access to a channel systems engineer.

“Most of our partners have been on the referral side, but we expect that to turn as more come on board,” Adams said. Both Ingram Micro and some sales people in eSentire’s own channel group are doing the recruiting.

“Ingram is focusing on vertically and geographic-focused VARs, and we are going after a small number of their large partner base,” Haynes said. “We have been doing road shows with them, and will have a big presence at RSA.”

Adams said the goal is to expand the channel significantly, without signing up huge numbers of partners.

“We are looking for folks who are highly specialized,” he said.