The IAM business in what will once again become Quest is today about 90 per cent direct. In the last year, they have been working with the SonicWALL channel, but are now investing in a channel of their own, focused more on the mid-market and smaller enterprises.
LAS VEGAS – At SonicWALL’s PEAK16 event here this week, the focus was naturally on SonicWALL’s plans to take its business to the next level as it spins off from Dell this fall. However, SonicWALL is not the only Dell security entity which has been sold to Francisco Partners. Quest will also become a separate company under the leadership of Tom Joyce, a Dell exec who earlier did long stints with both HP and EMC. A key part of the new Quest will be the Identity and Access Management (IAM) business, which will be run as an independent organization within Quest. That business, currently called Dell Identity, will be rebranded as One Identity, and will be led by John Milburn.
Quest, before its acquisition by Dell, was an extremely diverse collection of products, mainly obtained through acquisitions, and with an often perplexing channel model which varied, depending on the product, from completely direct to completely channel, with all manner of permutations in between. The identity management products wound up being geared at an enterprise audience, and so were squarely on the direct side of the house.
“Quest’s IAM business started in 2009 with a handful of products on the Microsoft platform,” Milburn said. “We then made six acquisitions in five years to try and move uplevel in the market, and move beyond the Microsoft back office into more heterogeneous identity management.”
Under Dell, the IAM business did well, with the product set being maintained and enhanced. Milburn indicated that it was essentially a direct business, although there was sometimes a channel fulfilment role, and systems integrators were often involved in the deals.
“At least 60 per cent of the deals we do are co-sold with an SI,” Milburn said. “IAM is a services-heavy business. There are a couple large SIs in every part of the world who we align with, and a handful of boutique partners.”
When Curtis Hutcheson moved over to run Dell’s security business last year, he changed the model to try and break up what had been a heavily siloed set of products, driving more technical integration between the products and strongly encouraging partners to broaden out and sell adjacent security products, even those like IAM which had not really been channel products at all previously. At last year’s PEAK event, the other Dell security businesses were all in attendance for the first time, making their case to SonicWALL partners why they should be cross-selling these other solutions.
“We aligned with the SonicWALL channel to try and expand the customer base, and get it the opportunities we had been leaving on the table,” Milburn said. While there was some interest, results were slow in coming – no surprise really, considering that many partners didn’t even know what Privileged Account Management was. The SonicWALL channel, with its focus on the lower part of the SMB, was simply not a great fit for IAM.
In early 2016, an attempt was made to change the game here with the introduction of Dell One Identity Safeguard for Privileged Passwords. Unlike the previous enterprise products, which were a hard sell for smaller partners, Safeguard was specifically designed for SMBs. It was also the first Dell IAM solution to be available to channel partners from its initial release.
“Our core product is an enterprise one which has not been successful in the channel,” Milburn said. “We invested in Safeguard for that reason.”
Going forward, into the new Quest, Safeguard will be the key channel product.
“Safeguard will be our going forward platform,” Milburn said. “It will continue to be sold through the SonicWALL channel even after the split, although it will likely be rebranded for SonicWALL. We have been educating partners this week at on what is new and what will be coming. Safeguard 2.0 is set for release in February 2017.
“Going forward, that push to the channel is absolutely not going to change,” Milburn stressed. “What we are going after with this is the downstream market we aren’t able to get. The Deloittes of the world don’t have an interest in selling licenses to midmarket customers.”
Milburn said the core channel market, and Identity One’s channel focus, is on organizations with between 2000 and 5000 knowledge workers.
“That’s midmarket in the IAM world,” he said.
What will be changing, however, is that in addition to the SonicWALL channel, Dell Identity has been investing in resources to put together a channel of its own.
‘We won’t be relying on leveraging the SonicWALL channel,” Milburn said. “We have in the last three months invested in developing a channel presence of our own which was non-existent before, as part of our planning for this fiscal year. It now has 10 people globally, and the plan is that it will grow as we grow.
“Our IAM business is now 90-10 direct, and the plan is to get to 60-40 direct in the next two years,” he said.