Channel-centric Canadian startup Cavelo has announced both their first channel program and the hire of their first channel leader

Waterloo-based Cavelo makes a platform which assesses broad aspects of data management and regulatory reporting requirements, and, unusually for their space, is focused on the SMB and SME rather than the enterprise, and concentrates on going to market through partners.

Kris Shoemaker, head of channel sales, Cavelo

Canadian data protection solutions provider Cavelo has launched their first channel partner program. They also announced the appointment of Kris Shoemaker as their first head of channel sales.

The company is based in Waterloo Ontario, which despite claims from other Ontario municipalities to be the heart of Canada’s tech industry, actually is, with the nearby presence of Canada’s best tech school, the University of Waterloo, being a major factor. They officially launched in February  2021, but in reality they have been around longer than that.

“We formally went public a year old, but were in a stealth state for two years before that,” Shoemaker told ChannelBuzz. “Our founders have a deep and rich history and understanding of the tech security space.” President and CEO James Mignacca for example, was previously President and CEO at data management firm RootCellar, which he sold in 2018 to Uniserve. He then ran another firm RootSecure, which he had started in October 2017, and which did cyber-risk assessment, and which was sold to Arctic Wolf in December 2018. Previous to that, he held director-level positions at eSentire and Sandvine.

While Cavelo bills itself as a data protection solutions provider, that can give an impression that they provide older services in the space like backup and DLP. In fact they have a platform which assesses broad aspects of data management as well as regulatory reporting requirements.

“We have a SaaS offering that Gartner would classify as Cyber CAAASM [Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management],” Shoemaker noted.

“Our platform is based on the premise that if you don’t know what’s important to you, how do you protect it,” he stressed. “We help them determine how liable they may be in case of a leak or a breach. This is the kind of solution that should be at the front end of every IT security plan. We have also endeavoured to make this as easy as possible. We want to give our partners the ability to deploy to their customer base as easy as can be.”

Cavelo’s platform is the kind that typically screams enterprise, as solutions that do similar things are often startups, and enterprises have the most money to spend and make the best reference customers. Cavelo has taken a different strategy here.

“We are starting with a focus on the Canadian marketplace, and so we have taken a tack for that marketplace and focused on the SMB and SME that dominate Canada, and they are the majority of our current customer base,” Shoemaker said. “They are also the most vulnerable. With our MSP partners, we create a strategy for this market dealing with data discovery and classification.”

Shoemaker is in his seventh week with the company, and a small channel was there when he arrived.

“The company actually started with three friendly partners, and I was brought in to flesh it out,” he said. “As of today, we have 14, including CDW. We designed things early on knowing we would soon move to the channel.

Shoemaker specifically was brought in for the channel leader role because of his 18 years of experience, and because of his familiarity with Cavelo’s management. He worked at both RootCellar and Uniserve after they acquired RootServe, before working at Scale Computing the last two years.

Cavelo’s channel program was designed the same was as their channel strategy.

“It was designed from the start to be multi-tenanted and friendly to MSPs,” Shoemaker said. “The groundwork for the program was created at the start and with us now being ready to expand partners and partner support, my job is to build it out.”

Today, the portal is alive, so reseller reps can download marketing collateral and manage deals.

“Right now, there is no training available through the portal,” Shoemaker indicated. “It’s all done by me. That’s the one thing that is the highest priority to change.”

The program has four tracks, all of which are single tier at this early stage, for  referral, reseller, MSP and technology partners.

“Reseller/MSP customers can pick from any of the three types and can choose how they would like to transact on a case by case basis for maximum flexibility,” he added.

Shoemaker noted that so far, VAR and MSP are proving of equal value to Cavelo.

“MSP have more opportunities but for amounts which are small on average,” he said. “VARs bring in fewer deals but they are much more likely to be of larger value.”

Climb distributes Cavelo in Canada, and Liquid PC does in the U.S.

“We are also in discussions with some of the larger distributors,” Shoemaker pointed out.

“I’m really looking forward to evangelizing this to more partners,” he concluded.  “There are a lot of ‘light bulb moments.’”