Cybersecurity vendor ReversingLabs rolls out first partner program in transition to channel-led model

ReversingLabs, which just launched a new platform and won a Black Unicorn award, is formally launching a channel program as part of a move to expand sales by bringing in all new business through an expanded partner ecosystem.

Phil Labas, ReversingLabs’ Senior Director of Global Channels

Cambridge MA-based cybersecurity provider ReversingLabs is fresh off a pair of major announcements. Three weeks ago, they launched their new Titanium Platform, which better enables SOCs by detecting and responding to hidden threats most security solutions miss. Two weeks ago, they were named a winner in the Black Unicorn Awards for 2019. Competing against 100 cybersecurity vendors, they were one of ten chosen as a Black Unicorn, meaning that they have the potential to reach a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment. Now they are announcing their first channel program, the Partner Optimization Program [POP]. It is a key step in their transition to a Go-to-Market model in which an expanded partner ecosystem brings in all their new business.

ReversingLabs is a provider of enterprise-scale file analysis, threat hunting, and malware intelligence solutions to SOCs.

“We look at the problem differently in a few ways, with a different swizzle,” said Phil Labas, ReversingLabs’ Senior Director of Global Channels. “There are some feature sets with competitors that are similar. It’s building a better mousetrap, to best discover the undiscovered. Machine learning, AI and analytics are all important here in the discovery of malware in an environment, trying to move organizations towards early identifications in the kill chain.”

The specific problem that ReversingLabs was created to address was how to automate the reverse engineering of files.

“That’s an extremely difficult task,” Labas said. “There is a ton of data in a SOC, and how do you prioritize going through it. How do we build code to automate this process, and do it at speed. That was the idea, when some really smart guys decided there was a different way to look at things and created the company to  figure out how we can build this. The US government took an interest, and in 2012, in our early days, we entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement with In-Q-Tel.” In-Q-Tel is the venture capital firm that identifies and funds innovative technology products that support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“Since we began, we have been primarily an OEM company, and the selling we did do was based on one-off relationships, that our CEO, or our VP of Marketing, or one of our sales guys had with a customer,” Labas said. “The focus was on those one-on-one relationships. But at this time last year, we really in earnest decided to sell holistically commercially. We have done our best to self-fund our growth, but if we don’t sell, the organization doesn’t grow. That’s why we have gone to a channel-first model. Now all net-new business goes through the reseller channel.” Labas, who has a long history of channel-facing roles with Citrix and with Bluecoat/Symantec, was brought in in July 2018 was part of this transition. They are also building out a channels team. A new Channel Manager in North America just came on board, with another covering the other half of the continent to follow, and one for Europe envisioned as well.

ReversingLabs’ technology and approach has attracted some focused security specialist partners like Optiv and Herjavec Group, as well as broader solution providers like SHI.

“The initial attempt was to work with a small number of partners who have customers who fit our profile,” Labas said. “They have enterprise customers, and are technology-led organizations where the architect is part of the selling model. That was important because we are a complex and technical sale. That’s where we started.

“Now that we have a decent critical mass, we are looking at more regional adds as partners,” Labas continued. “Those major security players do not have a presence everywhere. There are certain markets and certain segments where you need a strong technical-led regional partner. We have added some in the Boston area, Chicago, Southern California and the Pacific Northwest. They now have five partners in Europe and three that are based in Canada –  Herjavec, Forecight and CGI.

The new partner program has two tiers, Authorized and Premier, with the latter having both revenue requirements and programmatic commitment.

“An organization has to be approved to become a partner,” Labas said. “We aren’t a commodity offering and are too early in the process to do a ‘come-one, come-all. Eventually I would like to get to having fulfilment partners, but we aren’t there yet.”

Labas said that he will be assigning Channel Account Managers to start doing focused partner management.

“We will start with some of the Premier Partners,” he said. “There’s only so much bandwidth.”

The POP program also provides deal registration, regional sales and technical support, and a wide range of marketing and sales enablement tools available through the POP partner portal.  The company describes its gross profit margins as highly competitive.

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