Code42 integrates channel, technology and integrator programs in joint Go-to-Market strategy

Ananth Appathurai, who previously ran the company’s technology partner program, now has responsibility for the channel and advisor partner programs as well to drive forward an integrated Go-to-Market strategy.

Ananth Appathurai, senior vice president of channel and alliance partners, Code42

In 2020, longtime backup and recovery player Code42 completely restructured both their product strategy and their Go-to-Market strategy. They moved into Insider Risk Management with their Incydr Insider Risk Management solution and Instructor offering around risk management education. They also restructured their Go-to-Market strategy around a commitment to a 100% channel strategy. Now, however, following the departure of channels leader Faraz Siraj to Lacework, Code 42 has consolidated all the indirect routes to market under Ananth Appathurai, who previously had been senior vice president of strategic alliances. He now becomes the senior vice president of channel and alliance partners and will head up a unified strategy designed to better leverage the synergies between the different types of partners.

“It has been a lot of work for the last few weeks,” Ananth told ChannelBuzz. “There have been way too many Zoom calls, and I have been on the road every week for almost four months. We are bringing organizations together, bringing teams within organizations together.”

Ananth’s time at Code42 parallels the evolution of the company’s product and Go-to-Market strategies.

“I joined in 2019 as we were defining the transition that was taking place,” he said. “I was part of the executive team that came on board to focus on that. Given where we were from a product market fit, it was important to look at our product capabilities. When it comes to cybersecurity, easy integration with customers’ existing environment has almost become table stakes. They want to remove complexity, to realize value quickly, and most importantly, because cybersecurity is mission critical, you want them to be able to exchange information with each other. So we looked at key cybersecurity areas that we believed needed to be integrated, where the customer would see maximum value. Identity was extremely important. Users with excessive privileges pose a lot of risk, so PAM was important. SIEM integrations are important because some customers wanted to do triage integrations with them. SOAR integrations are important for response. That was our priority list. As the product evolved and as response controls expanded, we began working with EDR platforms to quickly isolate machines with integrations with platforms with Crowdstrike Falcon.

The technology partners are really the core of this integrated strategy, with Code42 working to develop relationships between them and their channel and integrator partners.

“We started with the technology partners where we were more focused and harmonized with synergies that already exist,” Ananth said.  “We feel good about how thoughtful and deliberate we have been in looking at our technology partner ecosystem. We are perceived as the number one player when it comes to insider risk management, with strong integrations with Okta, CyberArk, Rapid7, Palo Alto Networks, all the SIEMs and some of the SOARs.

Ananth stressed that Code42 had already been working with channel partners and ISVs jointly.

“A lot of the Go-to-Market execution was based on MITCH – Meet In The Channel,” he said. “We were already working with Palo Alto Networks, helping enable partners on the joint value proposition. It became natural for us to combine channel partners and technology partners and advisory partners – the big SIs. There is so much opportunity to organize opportunities between these players. With SaaS, you remove all the complexity from an integration standpoint, and the partner can then deliver ongoing managed services around it.”

What Code42 is doing now is asking partners who their top five technology partners are.

“We can then narrow down what our Go-to-Market motion will be for them and how we will focus enablement for them,” Ananth noted.

“We have referral agreements with a lot of the technology partners,” he continued. “There are also a couple on the Big Five GSI list with whom have we have joint agreements that let them recommend us as a solution instead of giving customers three options. With a couple of them, we will also sign reseller agreements.”

Ananth also indicated that marketplaces are becoming a significant channel for Code42.

“They are emerging for us because they are also a channel for transactions,” he said. “It lets customers work through resellers while also aligning with how customers want to buy.”

Ananth referred to marketplaces as an evolving model in which they increasingly assume functions previously provided by distributors.

“What distis provided in terms of consolidating agreements with partners, you can now get with AWS,” he said.