Ping Identity unveils first two cloud services in ‘land and expand’ customer acquisition strategy

PingOne MFA and PingOne Risk Management are the first two services in an inventory of cloud services that Ping expects to hit double digits.

Today, enterprise Identity and Access Management [IAM] provider Ping Identity is launching PingOne Services, a portfolio of stand-alone cloud services which can be sold along with Ping’s platform, but which is also designed to be sold separately. Thus, in addition to augmenting the capabilities of install base customers who do not have these specific services, they are being targeted at net-new customers, offering the capability of a ‘land and expand’ strategy that is well suited to selling in the age of COVID. The first two cloud solutions announced today are PingOne MFA and PingOne Risk Management, but there will be more.

PingOne MFA is a multi-factor authentication cloud service that uses adaptive authentication policies which requires that customers be prompted for authentication only when needed. The PingOne Risk Management service uses machine learning including UEBA to evaluate risk signals and detect threats in real time, assess user context, and understand the level of risk posed by a user attempting to access a particular resource.

While Ping Services will be targeted at the existing install base in some cases, their main purpose is to be a ‘land and expand’ tool to introduce new customers to Ping, and hopefully lead to greater penetration of the account.

“This is a great way to get started with Ping,” said Derick Townsend, VP of Product and Solutions Marketing at Ping Identity. “We have a very large portfolio of offerings – a comprehensive platform. However, discrete individual services that are easy to consume make it easier for new customers to get started, and the more of these we can make available, the better off we will be. So we carved off sections of our very broad platform to meet a specific need, and will offer them as a service, with the idea being that we will be able to grow later.

Townsend noted as well that these kind of services are well suited to the requirements of selling platform-based solutions during a pandemic.

“In COVID, it is a better idea to be able to solve a discrete problem,” he said. “It’s also really just following the trend towards microservices in the market.”

Townsend stated that these first two services, PingOne MFA and PingOne Risk Management, were obvious choices to roll out.

“MFA was kind of a non-brainer today with Work From Home and the increase in digital commerce,” he said. “Risk Management, which evaluates user context and multiple factors to assess the level of risk to a user, is also very relevant today.”

The target market consists of two groups, one of which is made up of existing customers.

“We do have a very large customer base and absolutely will be taking it to those customers as a cross-selling opportunity,” Townsend indicated. “We have customers who do not have MFA or risk management in their solutions, because of the use case for which we were acquired. If they don’t already have MFA, that’s a best practice they should adopt. There are also some unique ways in which Ping MFA can support specific use cases.”

Many net-new customers are more likely to buy the new services because of the way the pandemic has impacted the market.

“Customers in food services, for example, all want mobile apps now for mobile ordering,” Townsend said.

While Ping does expect to expand somewhat downmarket from their large enterprise sweet spot with the services, there is a limit how far downmarket they expect to go.

“Because services are easier to consume and more discrete, and that could get us down lower into the enterprise and maybe the midmarket, we are an enterprise company, and have no desire to stray down into SMB,” Townsend noted.

The plan is to expand the services going forward, likely into double digits.

“AWS has hundreds of services and we won’t go that far, but these two are just the beginning,” Townsend said. “We will be trying to pick the most relevant services for the market today.”

Townsend stated that the new services offer multiple new opportunities for channel partners.

“These individual services can be paired with other offerings,” he said. “With the market conditions now, people are reluctant to start off with big bang projects. So this is a way for them to get their foot in the door today. Then, when the customer is ready to expand, they can start that growth in a variety of directions. The opportunities for expansion are wide open.”

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