OPAQ adds Palo Alto Networks as key partner on midmarket-focused security-as-a-service platform

Palo Alto Networks next-gen firewall offerings are now available as a service on OPAQ’s platform, in one of only two strategic relationships that OPAQ has.

Ken Ammon, Chief Strategy Officer for OPAQ Networks

Herndon VA-based OPAQ Networks has added another critical partnership with the announcement that they have joined the Palo Alto Networks NextWave Partner Ecosystem. OPAQ, which came out of stealth a year ago, and now sells through a 100 per cent channel model, provides a cloud-based integrated security-as-a-service platform targeted at the mid-market. The Palo Alto Networks partnership makes their next-gen firewalls available through OPAQ as a cloud service.

“This offering is unique, as we haven’t run across anyone else who works with Palo Alto Networks to offer this on a traditional SaaS basis,” said Ken Ammon, Chief Strategy Officer for OPAQ Networks. “It’s the only way for this kind of solution to work in the midmarket, and we think it will do a lot to up the game on security in that space. This relationship allows us to go to market with Palo Alto Networks as a critical component, with their full suite of services, in a way that lets us get the price point where we need to be for the midmarket.”

The Palo Alto Networks partnership becomes OPAQ’s second strategic technology partnership.

“We have two foundational partnerships now,” Ammon said. “The other strategic relationship is with Cloudflare, which provides security from the other side of the equation, with web application firewall protection for Internet-facing web domains.

Ammon described the Palo Alto relationship, as well as the Cloudflare one, as building blocks on top of their foundation.

“Our mission is to bring enterprise security at an affordable price to the midmarket,” he said. “To do that, we had to invest heavily in our network and our automation. On the back end, we had to identify components that were enterprise grade, as well as business leaders, and build the integrations to offer these components to the market.”

In addition to being able to offer the Palo Alto and Cloudflare technologies as services, Ammon said that it is able to enhance them with their own IP.

“With Cloudflare, we have simplified deployment and management, and with Palo Alto Networks we add a software-defined segmentation that their service doesn’t have by itself,” he said.

Ammon noted that Palo Alto’s channel tends to be a good fit with OPAQ’s platform.

“We find that the Palo Alto Network partners really get our value proposition,” he said. “We serve the mid-market with an appropriately-priced product that is Palo Alto Networks-based. There is pent-up demand for these partners for that, because they haven’t had a platform like ours. As a result, we have seen a positive response from their partners. Service providers also like us because they can suffer under 10-12 different screens that their folks have to manage, which makes audit and compliance expensive. Having a single pane of glass is important here.”

While OPAQ has other partners, these two are the only two they consider to be of strategic importance,

“While we have Technology Alliance relationships with other partners, where we have had demand from both our partners and their customers for integrations, only the two key partners are in the strategic category,” Ammon said. “We will continue to develop relationships where we have demand from partners and their customers for integration points with our system. However, we have no near-term plans to expand beyond our strategic relationships with Palo Alto Networks and Cloudflare.”