Expansion of Ingram Micro-Okta relationship means green fields for Canadian distribution

Okta has not worked through distribution in Canada at all before, and the new relationship with Ingram should expand the Canadian partner base significantly, although Ingram, like Okta itself, will be choosy in bringing new partners on board

Scott Zahl, Executive Director, Global Vendor Enablement at Ingram Micro

Distributor Ingram Micro has announced an expansion of their relationship with identity management vendor Okta. Okta has been working with Ingram subsidiary Cloud Harmonics in the U.S.. The expanded relationship will make Okta available through Ingram Micro in both the U.S. and Canada.  It is also a first step to further expansion of the relationship to more than 40 countries across all regions of the world in 2022, including Europe and Asia Pacific.

“We look at this as a natural extension to a cyber practice where remote has becoming increasingly important, with much of the workforce still remaining remote,” said Scott Zahl, Executive Director, Global Vendor Enablement at Ingram Micro. “Through our enablement practices and support of partners, we can leverage our relationship with Okta to leverage that effectively.”

Zahl indicated that Okta’s goal in working with Ingram Micro itself as opposed to simply Cloud Harmonics will be to broaden their market reach.

“That’s the emphasis – breadth and coverage for a larger commercial market motion by leveraging our scale,” he said. “We will look at our partner base that targets cybersecurity, and will leverage some of Okta’s key vendor partners like Palo Alto Networks, to extend the solution set and extend profile in terms of in- house expertise. That’s how we have done it with Cloud Harmonics, and is what we will do with Ingram.”

This is especially big news for Ingram’s partners in Canada, because the Okta partnership with Cloud Harmonics has been in the U.S. only.

Alistair Edmondson, Cybersecurity Business Leader at Ingram in Canada

“Cloud Harmonics isn’t technically in Canada, but we lean on them for expertise and training,” said Alistair Edmondson, Cybersecurity Business Leader at Ingram in Canada. “Up until now, Okta has been partner direct in Canada. They are looking for distribution here to extend their reach.”

The discussion about extending the Cloud Harmonics partnership to Ingram Micro more broadly has been going on for some time.

“It has been an ongoing discussion,” Edmonson said. “This is the path that Okta has been on, where they are gradually building. MFA [Multi-factor authentication], which Okta provides, is increasingly now a requirement. Okta partners also have the ability to link with existing Okta vendor partners like Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint, and AWS. It’s a great opportunity for them to expand to new end customers as well.”

Ingram is not, however, intending to sign up a fistful of new partners for Okta.

“Okta has a very targeted approach in recruitment,” Edmonson stated. “An existing security practice is key for a prospective partners. We will be looking closely at partners who work with Okta’s vendor partners, but not just with them.”

Edmonson also indicated that Ingram Micro would also be following a very targeted approach in building up Okta’s brand.

“We will do some marketing to our broader partner base as well through our marketing vehicles, but will look at the communities now affiliated with them,” he said.

Okta is working on developing new products which have not yet hit the market, specifically privileged access management {PAM] and identity governance administration [IGA]. Edmonson said, however, that once they are available, whether this year or next, they will also be available to partners.

“We will look to launch all their products in Canada,” he said.