Passwordless authentication vendor Axiad adds Canadian hosting capabilities

Axiad has had a presence in Canada, but it has been limited, something they think Canadian hosting and strengthening their channel in Canada will remedy.

Bassam Al-Khalidi, Axiad’s co-CEO and co-founder

Santa Clara CA-based  passwordless authentication provider Axiad has made a move to strengthen its operations in Canada. Axiad’s flagship Axiad Cloud product is now hosted in Canada. This means that sectors of the economy like banking and government to whom data sovereignty is importable are now able to host Axiad in Canada. It also means that international-based organizations from countries where data sovereignty is a strong issue are also able to have their Canadian operations comply in the same manner.

Axiad was formed in 2010.

“We were looking to bring military grade security to the enterprise, and not force customers to choose between high security and convenience for a passwordless identity management system,” said Bassam Al-Khalidi, Axiad’s co-CEO and co-founder. “We looked at the market, and it was highly fragmented, with different products providing digital identity for devices, digital authentication for the desktop, or pure cloud management. In addition, most of these products were on-prem. We were told that bringing all this together into one solution was a crazy dream, but we believed we could help organizations get there, by building a turnkey secure platform and give customers a full holistic password solution for user devices and application, rather than compel them to piece it all together. We were so confident that we put our own money into it.”

Al-Khalidi said that Axiad has a unique position in the marketplace.

“No one else offers all the services we have today, but we complete with a lot of vendors for some of the services,” he indicated. “So from a usage feature and features generally, there is a lot of competition. However, no one else does users, devices, and applications. We don’t compete with other companies on the access management part, since this is something that they all do extremely well, and have added MFA [Multi Factor Authentication]. They are good products, but we provide true secureless passwordless lockdown, which is plug and play.” The full suite consists of multiple modular, passwordless authentication capabilities, including MFA, Phishing-Resistant Authentication, Certificate-Based Authentication for IAM, Passwordless Orchestration, and PKI as a Service.

As a result, Al-Khalidi said that Axiad has a broad range of customers.

“We go from the Fortune 500 at one end down to many small ones at the other,” he said. Many police departments are customers, including Peel region, the far west end of the Greater Toronto area.

Al-Khalidi said that the expanded presence in Canada is of personal importance to him because he is from the Ottawa area, is a Carleton grad, and still has family living there.

“I wanted to give back,” he said. “Earlier we opened an R&D center in Ottawa, and started to win some significant deals. However, we were having customers ask if we hosted in Canada, so we made the decision a year ago to implement the same platform in Canada as in the US and host it in Canada data centres.” They use AWS for this.

“This will also be important for global companies who want their Canadian data in Canada,” Al-Khalidi added. “Hopefully, we will be FEDramped in the next few months.

“We are established in Canada, but really have only scratched the surface of what we can there,” Al-Khalidi said. “ Channel partners will be especially important for us to do that in Canada, because we don’t have a sales office there. We have to leverage channel partners to grow. The kind of growth we are looking for can only happen because the channel talks directly to the market. “We have a very limited number of channel partners in Canada. But we are extremely channel friendly, and we would love to talk with more potential partners there.”