New Remediant channel chief Copeland looks to build disruptive channel for disruptive PAM technology

Remediant’s SecureONE solution is not just aimed at larger businesses, and Copeland expects that a SaaS offering for AWS to be released in several months will be attractive to MSP partners.

Bryan Copeland, Global Head of Channels, Remediant

San Francisco-based Privileged Access Management [PAM] startup Remediant is looking to complete its pivot to a channel-centric model with the appointment of Bryan Copeland as the company’s Global Head of Channels.  Remediant is unusual in the PAM space in having a channel-focused Go-to-Market strategy, and will be expanding downmarket with an upcoming SaaS offering for AWS that they believe will be attractive to MSPs.

Copeland comes to Remediant from the channel, where he spent almost five years as the security practice leader at Atlanta-based solution provider VeriStor Systems. Before that, he spent five years as a Strategic Partner Manager at Trend Micro, developing and expanding Strategic Partner relationships in the Southern United States.  Trend Micro also has an all-channel model, and Copeland’s time there indirectly led to his arrival at Remediant, because he and JD Sherry, Remediant’s CRO, knew each other there.

“JD wanted that focus on the channel, and that’s why he brought me on,” Copeland said. “Remediant has been selling for about three years. Our very first customer was Lockheed Martin, and those first few deals were direct. JD came on board in May 2017 when that was closing. His background before that was leading cloud security for Optiv. Because he also came from a channel partner, he understood that the channel could be a force multiplier. Our goal now is to avoid taking anything direct.”

The problem that Remediant was created to solve is the complexity of legacy PAM systems with their SecureONE solution.

“These legacy technologies were developed in the 1990s,” Copeland said. “They are agent-based, heavy, expensive, and take a lot of care and feeding. They can also take multiple years to implement. It has been a lot of custom work for customers to take on PAM, which they need for regulatory reasons.  And still, over the last two years, the number one attack vector has been stolen privileged accounts, so the legacy PAMs aren’t working. The organizations attacked had money, but had a legacy technology in place, often more than one. We thought of a better way to approach it.”

The first principle was to be simple compared to the legacy solutions.

“Our technology is designed to be easy,” Copeland said. “It is agentless. It is automated. We automate so many of the processes to cut down on administration time. Lockheed used to have 20 people who managed their old PAM systems, and today they have one person who manages SecureONE. We provide continuous visibility, and ‘just in time’ administration for the individuals who use it. SecureONE eliminates lateral mobility in the network, and if you can’t move around, you can’t steal anything.”

SecureONE was also designed to have a very light impact.

“We are agentless, and we are identity-based, and integrated with all the MFA [Multi-Factor Authentication] systems,” Copeland stated. “Once we are installed on a POC,  we are stealthy, and don’t set off firewalls. We don’t use password vaults. We also are not licensed per user, because that model is part of the problem. We protect by the endpoint.”

PAM originated in the large enterprise, and SecureONE’s primary market has been there. Copeland emphasized, however, that they also have the capability to scale downmarket.

“We can go down to small businesses,” he said. “Our smallest is a 125-employee bank in Kansas. In addition, due to release at the first of year, we have a SaaS offering for AWS which will be multi-tenanted, and that will be perfect for MSPs. That offering will find plenty of uses for the downstream market.”

Copeland explained the philosophy he intends to use in building out Remediant’s channel.

“Coming from the channel, one thing I always saw on the vendor side was that most people don’t understand how to work with the channel,” he said. “It’s critical to have relationships with the channel, and to have salespeople nurture and build those relationships. Our message is that we will protect the partners – not leave a sour taste in their mouths.”

That kind of relationship requires a fairly select channel at this point, Copeland said.

“We have strong regional partners that really like disruptive technology, although there are a few nationals there as well,” he noted. “It’s important to have strong relationships with them, and if you add partners left and right, it’s hard to give them personal touch. Our sales and their sales have to have the right engagement where the rubber meets the road. That takes a lot of trust, and there needs to be a lot of handholding, especially in the beginning.”

Building a channel program is a top priority for Copeland.

“We are designing and building it as we go, and there are certain hurdles to overcome,” he said. “I just hired my first CAM. Once the people are in place, we will start the process of rolling it out, likely early next year. I want the channel to be like our solution in terms of ease of use.”  A partner portal needs to be built as well.

The plan is to launch the program with a single tier.

“Until we have enough deals, it’s hard to set a multi-tier program up,” Copeland said. “It is likely to take 12-18 months to get a run rate and begin to tier. I definitely want a certification progress in place for sales and engineers. We will figure out how many of each should be certified, and we will offer increased deal protection based on that.”

Distribution is coming, but it’s in the future.

“The end goal at some point is to engage in distribution,” Copeland said. “We have had some discussions, but we aren’t there yet. We are maybe a year, or ten months away from making the jump.”

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