Password Manager vendor 1Password to build out channel with new global partner program

Toronto-based 1Password has more than 100,000 customers, including 25% of the Fortune 500, but have done this with a minor channel presence, so they are building a channel program out, which will include support for MSPs for the first time.

Melton Littlepage, 1Password’s CMO

Password management vendor 1Password has announced that it has launched what will be a multi-year initiative with the establishment of a global partner program.  Its first phase will give partners access to 1Password’s growing security solutions suite, a simplified partner experience, and a toolkit of sales, marketing, and enablement resources.

Toronto-based 1Password has been around since 2005, founded by several friends, and at that time – and for most of their life, their focus was on the consumer market.

“We began life as a consumer password management application,” said Melton Littlepage, 1Password’s CMO. “Through a gradual process, we  launched our first password management solution in 2018. This is a desperately needed tool. It’s inexpensive and it’s super-convenient, which allows us to meet the needs of the security tech stack today.”

Those advantages also make 1Password a collaborator of enterprise password management players like Okta rather than a competitor.

“We are a partner of Okta, because we complement them well,” Littlepage said. “We integrate with Okta’s single sign-on, and you can store your data in our second vault. We work with Okta in the enterprise market. For SMB who can’t afford Okta, we provide a great alternative.”

Their true competitors are companies like LastPass and Keeper.

“When you have more than 100.000 companies, most of them will be small or midmarket,” Littlepage noted. “There are only 500 Fortune 500 companies. As a result, our customers include SMB, midmarket and enterprise – including 25% of the Fortune 500. Those large customers include Salesforce, IBM, Slack, GitLab, Under Armour, and Intercom.

The goal of the new partner program is to support a select but growing base of partners, and particularly to build and support a network of MSPs.

“We don’t want thousands of partners,” said Monica Jain, 1Password’s head of Global GTM Partnerships. “We want skilled ones to take our product to market.

1Password is looking to see what they term ‘significant’ channel growth in 2024, including new geos. MSPs are at the top of this list, and the company plans to onboard MSPs in Q2 of this year.

“While much of our growth comes from popularity of Enterprise Password Management, much also comes from those who want to buy through MSSPPs and MSPs,” Littlepage said. “Our primary goal there is to open up that market. This is our top priority. We expect to accomplish this, and accelerate our broad footprint through partners, because our reputation is already strong and the new partner program will make it stronger.”

No set growth figures have been established.

Monica Jain, 1Password’s head of Global GTM Partnerships

“Formalizing the program will increase profitability, but we don’t have set goals for where that leads us in 2024,” Littlepage indicated. “It is about establishing our relations and building our reputation among B2B partners.”

Several components of the program that will roll out during 2024 have been identified. They begin by minimizing channel conflicts by ensuring internal sales teams receive full compensation while working collaboratively with partners.

“This margin neutrality gives our own salespeople commission on working with partners,” Jain said. “If a partner wants to work with us or distribution, we remove friction by giving the same margin.” Partner profitability is also enhanced through a multi-incentive rollout, attractive margins, discount tiers, back-end rebates, and gamified rewards.

Other 2024 components will include: training and education programs to empower partners through product knowledge, sales skills training, and technical expertise; a partner marketing toolbox to help partners accelerate deal closure through demand generation and sales tools; and co-marketing investments to drive mutual growth through collaboration opportunities with 1Password, including co-branded campaigns and collateral.

The program will also make extensive use of distribution.

“North America provides the majority of our sales, but there is a limit to where we can be physically,” Jain indicated. “The channel provides support where we don’t have a physical presence, and the distribution supports them.

Ingram Micro and Arrow are the principal North American distributors.