Security startup Vectra Networks continues channel build-out with new partner program

Vectra, which goes to market entirely through partners, is looking to add a select number of security partners to its channel, and support them through their new channel program.

Rick Geehan Vectra

Rick Geehan, Vectra’s vice president of North America sales

San Jose-based security vendor Vectra Networks has announced the launch of its first global channel partner program. Vectra’s focus is automated threat management, and the program is designed for selective recruitment and thorough support of focused channel partners.

Vectra, which began in 2012, works in a hot area of the market, where their solutions are designed to provide automated, real-time detection and analysis of in-progress cyber attacks to customers.

“In the security landscape, there have been a lot of companies, whether endpoint or firewall, or sandbox, where their whole motivation has been trying to prevent an attack,” said Rick Geehan, Vectra’s vice president of North America sales. “We aren’t trying to replace those. We integrate with them. “What we do it provide a quick alert once a breach has happened. Once an attack gets past perimeter, we have a mechanism and tool to deal with that.”

Vectra’ primary sweet spot is the mid-market, but they play more broadly than that.

“Early on, we hit the mid-market, because that is the typical sweet spot for any young company as they are early adopters,” Geehan said. “We also did well in the large enterprise because our technology has the ability to scale. We sell as high as the Fortune 50, and as low as SMB, but our real sweet spot is from the midmarket to the Fortune 500.”

Geehan said Vectra’s go-to-market strategy is to be 100 per cent channel.

“When I got here, we were still in beta, but the premise was that we would be a channel company,” he said. “Once we went into GA and started to build the team out, we built our team of partners after we made sure we fully understood the cadence of our customers. We identified some partners we wanted to work with, and had been working with them, including through a soft launch of this program last July. We are now 100 per cent channel.”

The plan is to build out a relatively small channel of committed partners who Vectra can also fully support.

“We will build it out methodically, identifying the ones we want to work with and sign,” Geehan said. “We will build channel with those who will invest in us, and we will invest back in them.”

Today they have over 35 partners, and Geehan said that number will be grown at a measured rate.

“We won’t saturate the channel,” he said. “The key is that we grow it at the rate that we can support it. We don’t want to sign partners and not be able to evolve and grow them.”

Their partner network includes a Canadian presence.

“We do have a few partners in Canada and I have a team up there, actively growing the partner community and our customer base in Canada,” Geehan said.

Geehan said the program is being formally launched now because they have the resources to support it and the back end infrastructure to provide resources like training, white papers and videos for partners to be successful.

“You don’t just launch an official program and throw it out and see how it sticks,” he said. “You have to provide resources to be successful out of the gate. Many companies rush their programs and create confusion in the channel.”

The program has three levels, with the top two requiring specific revenue commitments, but all, including the entry-level Authorized tier, qualify for deal registration.

“We provide dedicated account managers at the Premier and Elite levels, as well as lead sharing and priority lead distribution with these top-tiered partners,” Geehan said. “We wanted three different levels because some partners are opportunistic and may not have the resources to the meet requirements we ask, but we still want to work with them. Our focus is, however on growing the Premier and Elite partnerships.” These ones also have quarterly marketing commitments, monthly forecasting requirements and requirements for sales and SE accreditation. All partners have access to the Vectra partner portal and its resources. It contains sales and marketing tools, channel program information, access to deal registration, training modules, and the latest news and updates.

“We view the program as enabling a healthy partnership where we feed the channel and will be brought into deals,” Geehan stated. “A lot of our field marketing money will be in the channel and feed them leads as well. We will enable the channel to be self-sufficient as much as possible but yet support them when they need our assistance.”