Deep Instinct looks to redefine partner program standards with new Stratosphere program

The new program, which replaces a traditional one, is a single tiered program which gives margin rather than discount, emphasizes partners bringing in the deal, and awards bonus Loyalty Points to add to margins for additional actions that show commitment to the company.

Brian Feeney, Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances at Deep Instinct

Today, Deep Instinct, which makes a deep-learning powered cybersecurity platform that competes with EDR solutions in the endpoint security market, is launching its Stratosphere partner program. While the company had a partner program before, it was very traditional, and, they acknowledge, not particularly effective. The new program is designed to be innovative. It features things like a guaranteed margin, as high as 35%, rather than tiered discounts, and airline frequent flyer-style Loyalty Points earned through training and other types of commitment to Deep Instinct. It applies only to Deep Instinct’s reseller partners, not MSSPs, distributors or alliance partners.

“We are a disruptive company,” said Brian Feeney, Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances at Deep Instinct. “When I came on board in November, I asked why we can’t we have a disruptive program. Why can’t we do something that’s entirely new.”

The previous partner program did not fit that description.

“It was a rudimentary program that hasn’t really been followed,” Feeney stated. “When I arrived at Deep Instinct, part of my mandate was to build it out. It absolutely needed to be refreshed. It also had limited benefits because the program was in its infancy.”

That program was based on standard partner program components like medallion tiers for discounts and incremental deal registration. The new program is designed to be simple – all the components are on a single double-sided page. The core points are the use of margins rather than discount schedules, and having the margins flow through a single tiered structure, since volume-based recognition is not important in the program. It also increases partners’ expected margins in 1% increments up to a max of 5% through “loyalty points” similar to airline programs.

“We completely flipped the switch,” Feeney said. “Theres a level playing field, where you can reach the highest level without just doing volume bookings.” This applies even though some of Deep Instinct’s partners, like Optiv, are quite large.

“There are two types of deals, those brought in by partners and those brought in by Deep Instinct and referred to a partner as part of our 100% channel model,” Feeney indicated. “We don’t want to sell at a loss and the deal has to be profitable. If we bring the deal to the partner, the margin starts at 5%. If the partner brings it in, then the deal starts at 5%. Fulfilment deals are 5%. So the partner can make a 35% margin, plus up to 5% loyalty points.”

There are nine distinct categories of Loyalty Points, each of which are worth a set number of points. The amount of Loyalty Points in turn can add up to a further 5% in margin.

“In the same way that airlines evolved their Frequent Flyer plans to include things beyond flights, such as meals and airport-related parking, partners can reach higher levels of margin just on points,” Feeney said. “The points are good for the rest of the year in which they were attained, and for the following year.”

Three achievements are worth 5000 points each: 5000 per registered deal opportunity closed; for each DISEC [management training] certification [to a maximum of two per partner]; and for each $500,000 in Partner Led Pipeline Created, with at least three opportunities being required.

Four achievements are worth 2000 points: Deal Reg Partner-led opportunities in POV, per opportunity; 2000 per DICE [technical training] certification, to a maximum of five per partner; 2000 per 20,000 endpoints sold; and 2000 for a completed business plan.

Finally, two achievements are worth 1000 points each – DISC [sales] certification, to a max of 10 per partner, and 1000 points per each net new logo.

“The margins are set up in 5000 point increments, and for each one, you get an additional point of margin,” Feeney noted.

“The program was previewed to 12 partners in the Americas and EMEA about three weeks ago, with enough time to make changes before launch, based on the partner feedback,” Feeney indicated.

Fenney said that while the number of Deep Instinct partners engaged are in the triple digits, they want to develop stronger relationships with those who produce more.

“We want our CAMs to have 5-7 focused partners who can really move the needle,” he said. “We are really focusing on tight engagements. Distribution will activate the others.” In North America, that’s TD SYNNEX and Carahsoft.