Threat Stack gets much more proactive in its partner strategy, with a channel program that incorporates partners ranging from cybersecurity giant Optiv to specialized regional consultancies.
Boston-based startup Threat Stack has announced their first partner program. While the company has worked with partners before, the new program is designed to be proactive with the channel rather than reactive, and help Threat Stack scale up its business.
“We’ve been around for seven years in the cloud security and compliance space, with a Cloud SecOps platform and service,” said Hayley Hynes, VP of Business Development at Threat Stack. “During that time, our technology has evolved from intrusion detection to a full infrastructure stack.”
That broad full stack observability is Threat Stack’s differentiation in a cloud security and compliance market that has no shortage of players.
“Lots of vendors fit into part of our space, from traditional ones like Palo Alto Networks and Trend Micro who are making their transition to the cloud to startups,” Hynes said. “We differentiate ourselves against all of these because we provide full stack visibility for every layer of the infrastructure stack.”
The company’s most recent funding round was a $45 million Series C in 2017. They now have over 450 customers.
“Our target market is customers invested in cloud DevOps, and compliance, who have a security focus,” Hynes indicated. “The number one thing partners say to me is that they don’t have the right solution for their customers when it comes to cloud security. There has been demand because traditional solutions don’t quite fit, and because of the skills shortage when it comes to security. Our technology in combination with partners can really help with that gap.”
Threat Stack has worked with channel partners before, but in a reactive rather than a proactive way. This channel program, their first, is intended to change that.
“We have partnered in the past and had relationships with companies like AWS, Red Canary and PagerDuty, but it was customer and demand driven,” Hynes said. When I came on board, we were opportunistic with partners, and it was demand driven. Now we are proactively and fully focusing on partners. Because of the maturity of the market, which has created increased inbound demand from partners, it made sense to create the program to manage that. We intend to use this program to continue our rapid growth trajectory, and we think partners can help with this, by helping us scale to reach new verticals and geographies.”
Hynes, who joined Threat Stack in January 2019, has done this at three previous startups. The others were CloudLock, acquired by Cisco, Backupify, acquired by Datto, and Cbyond, acquired by Birch Communications.
“I believe in making partners successful, and in order for this to happen, they need to be an extension of our sales and marketing model,” Hynes emphasized. “We are looking for partners who can commit to being an extension of us, who are committed to cloud security and to DevOps, and who understand the market.”
This program is open to VARs MSSPs and MSPs. The publicly named partners at the launch are a mixed bag of partner types, reflecting Threat Stack’s focus on the right skill sets. By far the best known is Optiv, the cybersecurity giant, whose signing is a coup for a startup. The other announced partners have quite different models, however. They are VLCM, a regional solutions provider based in Salt Lake City, and Levvel, a Charlotte NC consultancy focused around business transformation.
“We plan on establishing a close relationship with partners, and will give them what they need to make sure they feel supported,” Hynes said.
Out of the gate, it’s a single tier program. although Hynes said that will grow over time, and they will account for different partner business models now.
“Today it’s not tiered, but the way MSSP would work is different, and we need to support them in a different capacity,” Hynes indicated.
Initial enablement activities, in addition to competitive margins with a flexible consumption model, include co-selling motions, marketing programs, lead program, trainings and partner playbooks.
“We have invested heavily in these enablement features, Hynes said. “We don’t expect partners to be able to sign up and sell independently tomorrow.”
Look for competencies a little later down the line as the program grows.
“When we start tiering, the competencies will likely come in then,” Hynes indicated.