Invincea revamps partner philosophy and program around next-gen antivirus solution

Invincea’s next-gen machine learning-based X by Invincea has been on the market for seven months, and now they have designed an appropriately named Next-Gen Partner Program to help partners sell it.

Eddie DeWolfe, Invincea VP of Partner Sales

Fairfax VA-based antivirus provider Invincea has rolled out a new partner program. The new Next-Gen Partner Program, designed around what the company refers to as its next-gen solution, replaces a more traditional program based around its earlier isolation-focused security offering.

The new channel program complements a new channel philosophy which Invincea implemented at the beginning of the year.

“Historically, we have been hybrid in our go-to-market strategy,” said Eddie DeWolfe, Invincea’s VP of Partner Sales. “We had established partners, but there was no specific commitment to the channel. Last year, we determined that the greatest way to accelerate growth is selling through the channel. So we made a clear and concise commitment to our partners that we would move to an all-channel model in 2017. We made a huge commitment in staff, and in buying a next-generation partner portal, which we launched January 1.” Securing $10 Million in strategic growth capital in November 2016 was fundamental to all this.

Invincea began close to seven years ago as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project.

“Our labs continue to work with DARPA and we are the only commercial company that does business with them,” DeWolfe said. “That’s how our machine learning algorithms were developed, in a four year, $40 million project.”

Machine learning is at the heart of Invincea’s anti-virus technology.

“We are a next-generation solution, which uses deep learning rather than relying on signatures,” DeWolfe said. “That makes us fundamentally and drastically different from legacy anti-virus. All the name brands people know are based on signature technology, so if they don’t know about a specific malware, they can’t find it. Our type of technology is what our customers are asking for and what partners want to resell. To date, it has mainly been used inside the firewall, but that hasn’t been that effective there. It lets you find malware in 22 days rather than 222 days but damage has already been done.”

This next-gen technology, X by Invincea, has been on the market for seven months.

“Before this, we had an isolation technology, which is focused on spear phish protection, and which continues to be part of our endpoint protection suite, which encompasses detection, prevention and isolation,” DeWolfe noted.

He also indicated that while the technology is cutting edge, it is not limited to the enterprise.

“We sell from the SMB all the way up to the Fortune 500,” he said. “We are not a consumer product, but we understand the needs of the SMB market. We also enable partners to sell us as a managed service.”

Invincea let partners know that the Next-Gen Partner Program, as well as the 100 per cent channel model, was coming.

“We created this program for the next-gen solution offering, and we tried to do things a little bit differently,” DeWolfe said. “One of the major changes was the ability to choose the level of program they would enter at. This lets the partner choose the level they commit to. A partner we have not done business with in the past can choose to come in as a Platinum partner.” They do of course have to commit to requirements for revenue, deal registration, certification and joint market activities. The program has three levels – the standard Platinum, Gold and Silver.

Another innovation is the “Test Drive” program, which DeWolfe said has had great feedback from partners.

“This is an Amazon Web desktop that partners can send to prospects, which lets them test our product in a secure way that does not require infrastructure,” he stated. “This removes some of the hurdles to a sale, and is a simple non-intrusive way to get product to a potential customer.”

DeWolfe also highlighted the portal as state of the art.

“It enables partners to become certified, do co-branded marketing pushes, and has an automated MDF program built in,” he said. “It’s a one-stop shop to ease the sales process of Invincea.”

While the program has innovative features, DeWolfe said that the channel philosophy is the tried and true one that produces channel success.

“There’s no secret to doing business with the channel,” he said. “You enable partners through education, have a good portal for ease of use and to provide access to information, and make the process as simple as possible for partners. Our program is as simple as any program that any of our competitors offers, and our margins are as good as any anti-virus vendor we have seen. We have also built a team that will enable partners to be successful.”

DeWolfe also said that the chances of partner success are enhanced by growing awareness of Invincea.

“We have made progress in the market, and have gotten some phenomenal reviews, especially in the Forrester Wave Endpoint Security, Q4 2016 report,” he said. “We will be included in the next Gartner Magic Quadrant as well. That will make a huge difference for us as a company and for partners.”

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