Tessian launches channel program as part of move to 100% channel strategy

Tessian is using a invite-channel program which focuses on higher end cybersecurity partners like Optiv.

Mat Smth, Chief Strategy Officer, Tessian

When former Duo Security VP of Sales Matt Smith joined British-headquartered enterprise email security provider Tessian as its new Chief Strategy Officer this spring, he indicated that Tessian would be moving from a Go-to-Market strategy which involved no formal channel motion and had no former channel program, towards a 100 per cent channel model. They are now announcing the achievement of a pair of key milestones on this strategy, the official move to a 100% channel model in North America, and the launch of their first partner program, which is by invitation only.

“We are formally announcing our channel program today,” Smith said. “We have been able to run it in stealth mode before now because the program is invite-only. We also officially moved to 100% channel in North America at the beginning of July. In North America, 100% of new deals will be with channel partners. We will also be going to a 100% partner model in January in the UK in 2022.”

The invite-only channel philosophy came from Duo, where the partner program was invite-only and remained so until the company was acquired by Cisco.

“Invite-only makes sense because we are highly focused on cybersecurity, with a disruptive technology that solves problems in a different way,” Smith indicated. “If you make the program broad at the beginning, it’s not the best way. Partners appreciate the fact we wont open it up. It’s like selling a Jaguar. You can’t open it to every dealer in the world.”

The plan, using the invite-only model, is to expand the number of partners, but not massively.

“We have between 60 and 70 partners across the globe that we work with today,” Smith said. “We think the maximum pool of these strong cybersecurity partners that we want to work with is 250-300 globally. We want to work with that small cybersecurity group.”

Existing partners include Optiv Security, Guidepoint, Defy, Koncise and Softcat.

“Because we have some of the largest names in security, we have very good coverage, even though we don’t have a lot of partners,” Smith stated. We have moved from the initial stage of interacting with partners to the growth and scale out phase, so it’s just a mater of scaling out the engagements with them. We are sponsoring a lot of partner events as part of this.”

Unsurprisingly, given their channel model and invite-only program, Tessian does not use distribution today.

“If needed, we can use one off-resellers, and we just did this in one case, Smith added.”