Two-factor authentication SaaS provider Duo Security launches MSP program

Following last year’s creation of a partner program, Duo has created another program specifically for MSPs.

Matt Smith, Vice President of Worldwide Channels, Duo Security

Ann Arbor Michigan-based Duo Security has launched its Duo Managed Service Provider program, which provides its MSP partners with pay-as-you-go pricing and other tools to better protect their customers from data breaches.

Duo was founded in 2010, with their value proposition being their patented Push two-factor authentication technology. While they are venture funded, they have spent less than a quarter of the $49 million total capital they have raised. They have more than doubled their annual recurring revenue each of the last four years, hitting an ARR of $73 million in 2016. They are also now cash-flow positive, although not yet profitable.

“We started as a pure play SaaS company, with the goal of making multi-factor authentication simple,” said Matt Smith, Duo’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels. “We started in the SMB and midmarket spaces, and moved upmarket from there. Now we play up and down the market, from enterprise to SMBs, and across every vertical. We have customers up to a million users, and as few as five users, all using the same platform and the same service.”

Duo goes to market through a hybrid model.

“We have components where the channel leads engagements, a channel-only component in MSPs, and the rest is hybrid where partners play a role,” Smith said. “We have field sales teams across the U.S. and across Europe, and inside sales teams that serve smaller customers. Almost all our engagements start with a free trial online.”

While Duo has always had a channel component, it didn’t begin to get formalized until recently.

“We didn’t launch formal channel programs at Duo until August of last year, and I joined the company in May to initiate that,” Smith said. “We have had MSP partners for over four years with no formal program in place, and we built out multi-tenancy to accommodate them.”

The time was ripe, Smith said, to formalize the MSP program.

“We have had rapid acceleration over the last five years, and to continue on that growth trajectory we have to invest in the channel,” he said. “That’s where our focus is now, and to do that well, it’s helpful to programmatize things and put in guidelines.”

Smith said that they designed the program with an ‘outside-in’ approach.

“We interviewed MSPS about what they wanted to see in a program, and then built the program around that,” he said. “We did that with our original security partner program as well. The real issue here is that no one before had really done two-factor authentication well for MSPs. We have emphasized all-around ease of use, making it easy to do business with us, easy to buy, and easy to grow with us.”

The program features pay-as-you-go pricing without complex pricing tiers. More than 200 native application integrations allow MSPs to quickly roll out Duo in their customers’ environments within minutes, and the product ensures devices are up-to-date, and provides the ability to monitor and set access policies.

“You have tens of thousands of MSPs looking for a solution to help secure their customers, who are looking for something that fits their business model,” Smith said. “We’ve seen unbelievable demand since we soft-launched our MSP offering.”

While Duo’s conventional security channel is deliberately small, the intent with the MSP program is to cast a wide net.

“The original program is for security partners who are focused on security assessments, and that program is much narrower and by invite only,” Smith said. “We want to keep it small so we stay focused, and there are not that many security partners serving in that advisor role to enterprise and midmarket customers.”