New Axis Security channel leader Kimber Garrett lays out channel strategy

Axis Security, which provides secure access as-a-service through a SaaS model, launched earlier this year. They are building out a channel ecosystem which will be their sole route to market.

Kimber Garrett, Senior Director of North American Channels for Axis Security

San Mateo CA-based Axis Security emerged from stealth back in March, with a solution that uses a zero-trust model to provide simple and secure cloud-native private application access using agentless SaaS that touches neither the network nor the applications. Out of the gate they sold direct, in proof-of-concept stage, but had plans in place for a 100 per cent channel strategy that will include both VARs and MSSPs. A month later, they put a channel program in place to enable the partners once they were in place. Now, the company has hired their first channel leader. Kimber Garrett joins Axis with more than 15 years of channel experience to Axis, most recently with Corelight and JASK, which was acquired by Sumo Logic.

“I came in with a really strong partner framework already created,” Garrett told ChannelBuzz. “Right now, we have a very focused strategy where we will be selective in choosing the right partners. These partners will have a deep expertise in the space.”

Currently, Axis has ten parts, with one being an MSSP, and the rest being VARs. They want to bring in system integrator partners down the line.

“I don’t want to focus on a number of partners that we want to add,” Garrett said. “But we do want to align with partners who are focused on cloud migration, mergers and acquisitions, or remote access.”

The program has provisions for both OEM partners who white label them and Alliance partners who integrate Axis into their own solutions. They do not yet have any OEM partners signed, although Garrett said they are working on it. Cybersecurity vendor Crowdstrike is an Alliance partner.

The core program has two levels, Associate and Platinum.

The program itself has a heavy emphasis on partner education.

“I have an MA in Science and a BA in Art Education, and know from that how important coaching and mentoring is,” Garrett said. “We are focusing on partner success is a key part of our partner strategy. Providing training and enablement in all different forms will be a key to success.”

The training will be digital training, so that partners can educate themselves  through any device at any time.

“We will provide training in a way they will learn from,” Garrett said. “Digital on demand social media platforms will attract younger engineers.”

Certifications are in the pipeline, but have not yet been developed.

“That will be a plan for 2021,” Garrett indicated. “Those are not something that we have currently. We are most focused on developing certifications for engineers than for the sales forces.”

The rewards and enablement tools are also being designed.

“We are planning on rolling out a rewards model for partners,” Garrett said. “This includes an incentive program around pipelines, and specifically around proof of concepts. Partners who want to reach out to end users and who are able to get it to turn into a Proof of Concept will get a higher margin on top of their deal registration.”

Other incents will provide rewards for partners hitting both their quarterly and yearly quotas.

When Axis launched, they concentrated on large enterprise customers, and that’s still the primary focus today.

“We do have potential customers in the SMB space who are anxious and excited about this, and we expect that they will engage with MSSP partners,” Garrett noted.

Garrett also emphasized that Axis’ technology makes it easy for partners to communicate value to customers, and makes it easy to install.

“The problem of secure remote access impacts every industry, and we have a new and better approach,” she said. “Axis delivers secure and tight managed access with anyone in minutes without network changes or client software.  It is ideally positioned to enhance existing VPN deployments. It can be installed much faster than any solution on the market now, and partners can understand our architecture and how we deploy, to be able to deploy it themselves.”

That, Garrett said, equips partners well to deliver remote workforce solutions to customers in the age of COVID.

“We are being forced to pivot on how we go to market together by COVID,” she said. “Customers need remote workforce solutions deployed fast and simple, and we provide partners with tools to deliver on that, while reducing partner complexity.”