Cloud visibility vendor ProtectWise enlisting high-end VARs with new channel program

ProtectWise offers a cloud solution that provides partners with a high degree of threat visibility and awareness, allowing them to cut through chatter for more effective incident response.

Mark Rotolo Photo JPG 300

Mark Rotolo, ProtectWise’s VP of Global Sales

Denver-based cloud network visibility startup ProtectWise has launched its first channel program, with an impressive array of solution provider partners, including Fishtech Labs, GuidePoint Security, Secuvant, Optiv and OnX.

The company’s pitch combines a fairly unique solution with attractive partner benefits in a 100 per cent channel model.

“There isn’t anyone who is doing exactly what we are doing,” said Mark Rotolo, ProtectWise’s VP of Global Sales. ProtectWise uses cloud technology to provide an extremely high degree of visibility and detection of enterprise network threats, allowing for faster incident response.

“Solutions like intrusion detection don’t give the customer the opportunity to pick and choose what they want to store in the cloud,” Rotolo said. “We provide little lightweight sensors that capture network traffic in real time. The customer decides what they want to record. We can capture that data, store it in the cloud, and let the customer decide how long they want to store it. It identifies and prioritizes security events that our customers use. It provides them with clear knowledge of possible threats, so they can direct their own security teams to protect their own clients.”

ProtectWise also provides automated retrospection, passively replaying traffic to tell if a customer has been attacked.

“We don’t actually block the threats, but we have partnered with vendors like Palo Alto who do that,” Rotolo said.

Rotolo noted that while in this respect, ProtectWise is highly complementary with other state of the art security technologies, it also displaces older ones.

“Today, companies use a SIEM, and they have to trust their logs are accurate,” he said. “But when things aren’t in real time – if the cameras in the bank aren’t on, the bank doesn’t know what happened. It’s important to have live traffic because the network doesn’t lie. You can investigate anything on the time line. That’s much different than what’s out there today.”

ProtectWise has a fairly large sweet spot.

“We sell from the mid-market to the enterprise,” he said. “We have also been successful in a broad range of verticals, including entertainment, energy, and financials. It’s not small verticals, but large amounts of customers who would be interested in this. That’s why partners like it. It gives them a large entry point.”

Rotolo said that it’s a very channel-friendly product.

“We have made it very intuitive,” he said. “The cloud makes it possible to start sending traffic very quickly. With brand new partners there’s still some handholding, but ramp up time is pretty fast.”

The goal is to have a fairly limited array of partners, who the company can properly support, and who won’t be tripping over each other.

“My goal is to keep the channel smaller,” Rotolo said. “We have both large national partners and boutique partners who are very aggressive in bringing in new accounts. I would like a handful of national partners and maybe 10-15 boutique ones in each region. I do want to spin up partners in Canada, where I have an inside guy there dedicated to the channel, and an outside guy as well.”

The program itself contains elements that Rotolo said are designed to turn partner heads.

“We guarantee they will make a certain margin, which is very good,” he said. “We have designed it so they will make the money they expect to make and more. When they register an opportunity, they will make the same margin no matter what the price becomes to the customer.”

ProtectWise provides a dedicated account manager, free training and demo systems, as well as joint promotions.

“We do CISO dinners with them, which are funded by us,” Rotolo said.

“We are really trying to keep the program simple, so partners can make money, and get the training they need to be successful with the product.”