Armis launches first partner program to bring structure to relationships as company moves from hybrid to channel model

Armis, which makes a unified asset visibility and security platform, is unveiling their APEX Partner Program, which will identify committed partners and provide them with strong rewards.

Tim Mackie, Armis’ VP of Worldwide Channels

Today, unified asset visibility and security platform Armis is announcing their Armis Partner Experience [APEX] program, which will bring a level of formalization and efficiency to Armis’ partner relationships which did not exist previously, as they complete their transition to a hybrid model to a channel-first one.

Armis came out of stealth in 2017, and has made enough of an impact on the market that Insight paid over a billion dollars to acquire them in February 2020. Their initial focus was on unmanaged IoT devices, and while that remains important, their platform can be used more broadly on unmanaged devices as well. That has led Armis to expand the use cases they target and slightly change the way they present themselves to the market.

“We have been placing a much greater emphasis on the whole unified asset and discovery component,” said Tim Mackie, Armis’ VP of Worldwide Channels. “We are not pivoting away from IoT, but we are now focusing more on asset management, discovery and security.”

Armis had a hybrid channel model of the start of the year, but that too, is changing.

“We are really focused on not being a hybrid channel company any more,” Mackie said. “We are pulling channel partners in on all new deals, – and many renewals as well. I joined Armis in April and since then the focus is on becoming a channel company, not just a company that has channel partners.”

This is Armis’ first true channel program.

“Before there was a framework for a program, and loose guidelines for a discounting structure, but there were no requirements, no teeth, nothing to hold anyone accountable, neither us or partners,” Mackie indicated. We wanted to build a program with training and enablement requirements and some firm benefits.”

Mackie said the program will determine the level of partners’ focus on Armis.

“We want to determine who is serious, who is moderately serious, and who is along for the ride,” he indicated. “We want to put our efforts where we get a lot of return. The program helps us categorize partners, and it determine rewards on the basis of the more they invest in us, the more they make.”

The APEX program is designed as an explicitly unified one, which classifies by experience format with separate sell, manage, service and build tracks, but consolidates them into one umbrella agreement which supports partners in all of their areas of expertise, whether they be IT, OT, IoT, or IoMT.

The program has three tiers.

“We use a ‘climbing to the top’ theme,” Mackie said. “Summit is the top tier, then Ascent, and Associate, for the transactional partners. The Associate tier is a holding place so that they can get a newsletter and information.”

The requirements for the tiers have been formalized and made level-appropriate.

“There wasn’t entry-level training when I got here,” Mackie noted. “It was very high level out of the gate, which was a tough pull for most partners. We introduced Sales and Tech 101. Summit partners require double the number of trained people for Ascent, which needs three sales people and two engineers. The training is also very crisp and modular in nature.”

The deal registration is two-tiered.

“We have separate deal registration levels for Armis-sourced and partner-sourced deals,” Mackie said. “Partner-sourced pays twice as much. Our MDF is more initiative-based. They come to us with a wonderful idea, like creative things around putting together a bespoke growth plan.”

Launch partners include Crowdstrike, IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Exabeam, Fortified Health, Lead Data Technologies, PWC, Check Point, EXABEAM,  Accenture, Gigamon, Optiv, Capgemini, mCloud, Deloitte, VeriStor, and Cyvatar.

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