Revamped Ermetic Partner Program adds formal certification component

Ermetic is a startup that started in the CIEM space and now offers a full CNAPP platform, which is sold by both reseller and MSSP partners.

Scott Hoard, Head of Global Channel Sales for Ermetic

Today, cloud native application protection platform [CNAPP] provider Ermetic is announcing its new Above the Cloud Channel Partner Program. The program, which has separate classifications for both reseller solution providers and MSSPs, is designed primarily to make the company’s approximately 90 existing channel partners more proficient. A key component of this is the company’s first formal partner certification program.

CNAPP is not a Gartner category, although they just put out a market guide for it,” said Scott Hoard, Head of Global Channel Sales for Ermetic. “We got our start with CIEM, and that and CSPM [Cloud Security Posture Management] are the two major pillars of CNAPP, and the hardest things abut identity in the cloud. CWP [Cloud Workload Protection] is the third, which we just launched. CIEM is where we really shine though. Companies like Ping and Okta are more alliance partners, while there is a gray area around others like SailPoint and CyberArk, and others like Sonrai Security and Palo Alto Networks are clear competitors. In all, it’s a commoditized space, with maybe 100 competitors.”

Ermetic’s CNAPP uses an identity-first approach to unify and automate CIEM, CSPM, CWP, infrastructure as code (IaC) security and Kubernetes security posture management (KSPM). It unifies full asset discovery, deep risk analysis, runtime threat detection and compliance reporting, combined with pinpoint visualization and step-by-step guidance.

A major differentiation for us is that we can look at lateral movement for anomalies in all types of things,” Hoard said.

Ermetic’s focus is the Global 2000 regulated industries, finance and health care.

We get broader coverage through MSSPs who own, license and manage the product for smaller and midmarket customers,” Hoard added.

The Ermetic Above the Cloud Partner Program is targeted both at solution providers and MSSPs.

We did have a channel program before, but it was very basic and wasn’t very well defined,” Hoard said. “It was more a Rev One type of program. The new one has flair, which is why we call it ‘above the cloud.’”

The new program introduces a CNAPP certification program for resellers that takes four hours to complete. Resellers who complete the certification requirements receive certified status in the program. Annual program certification goals are required to maintain status. Solution providers also have access to deal registration, with increased margin for identifying opportunities. There are also proposal-based MDF for demand and lead generation and sales incentives for driving growth and eligibility for rebate plans.

Previously, we did a lot of technical training, including regional training, but there was no formal certification prior to this,” Hoard said.

MSSP partners are also grouped into Authorized and Premium levels, with escalating benefits for partners based on Ermetic business volume, and cumulative volume discounts. They have access to the Ermetic Partner Portal, partner communications, and field sales and marketing support, including MDF. Ermetic licenses are owned by the MSSP and can be allocated at their discretion. Partners also own the customer support relationship; with no direct communication from Ermetic. MSPs can also be partners, but will work through the MSSP who actually owns the license.

The program has more than 90 partners worldwide including Trace3, GuidePoint, Marcum Technology, Optiv, Protiviti, and 3 of the Big 4 GSIs. The program’s goal though is not to get more partners but to make the ones they do have more effective.

We want to get fewer partners but better partners through this program,” Hoard said. “For a startup there are revenue goals, but we wont increase revenue goals to where they would hurt boutique partners. As they mature they can add another level, but everyone is protected by deal registration anyway. We won’t be terminating any partners, but we will see who is leaning in and who is not, and the focus of our time and MDF dollars will be with partners who really reciprocate.”

Ermetic is also ramping up their distribution efforts.

We have aqreed to terms with a distributor who serves the DACH region, and are about to sign a Spanish distributor,” Hoard noted. “We are also in talks with four distributors based out of Britain and the Netherlands.”