Louise Cooke, most recently VP of WorldWide Channel at BigID, lays out her objectives for the new program, which is partly in place now and will be built out during the year.
Application relationship management software provider vArmour has doubled down on its reseller channel program. Following up on their intensification of their strategic vendor alliance last year, they have appointed a Global Head of Alliances, Louise Cooke, to oversee the reseller part of the ecosystem. They have also announced a channel program for resellers, the vRM Global Channel Program, although that will be fleshed out significantly during the year.
“I came on board two years ago to create those visions and alliances around our strategic and channel relationships,” said Kate Kuehn, SVP of Alliances at vArmour. “Last year, the focus was on the technology alliance program. But we also are taking that same ‘better together’ relationship-driven focus and applying it to our channel. Louise will take up the responsibility for that. She’s the best on channel.”
Cooke’s most recent position before vArmour was Vice President of Worldwide Channel at enterprise intelligence platform provider BigID. Before that, she was Cylance’s Head of North American channel, leaving for BigID in March 2019, just after BlackBerry’s acquisition of Cylance.
“vArmour is on a growth trajectory, and the feeling was that the best way to enable this with the channel would be to bring on someone to run the channel program,” Cooke said. “Before I joined, we didn’t really have a channel program for the reseller partners. There was something there, but it was more informal, and didn’t do critical things like measure or manage channel partners. Now there is a framework, to parallel the program that Kate has put together for alliances, as part of a strategy to get the same kind of results from our indirect efforts that we do from our direct sales team.”
Two years ago, vArmour was working with 120 to 130 channel partners. That has been pared considerably with the new program, to focus on those partners who are active and productive.
“We have whittled down from that 120 to 130 considerably, to include only partners actually still doing business with us,” Cooke said. “We are looking at adding additional types of partners in the security space, including identity and access management partners.”
The new program structure is a flat one.
“My philosophy, especially for a startup, is that simpler is better,” Cooke said. “We aren’t using the metallic Silver-Gold-Platinum tiers – just one tier of partners to give flexibility to work with all kinds of different partners. As the program matures, there will be some delineations for MSSPs, MSPs and SIs.”
A new PRM [Partner Relationship Management] tool that will tabulate partners’ progress smoothly and efficiently is in development, and expected to be in place soon.
“We are expected to get the PRM, which is from Magentrix, in place this quarter,” Cooke said. “It will measure partners in a more effective way. The PRM fits nicely into our existing investment that we have in partners.”
A full structure of enablement tools, which does not exist today, will be implemented during the year.
“They will all be built out,” Cooke said. “That’s all in my plan. Some of these things take longer than others, but there are always things we can work on now.”
Collaboration is also being encouraged between the channel partners and the technology partners.
“We want to encourage this across the ecosystem as a whole, with a Go-to-Market with the technology partners to bring them and channel partners together,” Cooke noted. “This will be more informal, but it works very well from a global perspective. We want to establish 1+1=3 types of relationships.
“We are seeing some great collaboration in the US, focusing on how we can augment specific vertical markets,” Kuehn added.
vArmour has had sales teams selling into Canada in the past, but Kuehn also indicated that they have now established a physical presence here.
“We just launched in Canada with a physical office in Calgary,” she said. “We also have a big chunk of our IAM and innovation team in Calgary.”