Cloud app analytics and policy platform maker Netskope is adding a formal channel program to help fuel growth of its technology, which probes corporate networks to increase visibility and can give IT teams control over the network of Web-based shadow IT services used by employees.
The Los Altos, Calif.-based vendor's SaaS platform discovers cloud apps, providing analytics and policy enforcement. In addition to being able to block the riskiest cloud applications, the company recently added data loss prevention as an optional service, said Gary Ochs, Netskope's vice president of channel sales. Ochs who is rolling out the program this year, said his aim is to keep it simple.
"I became very aware of the need to be careful in constructing a program so it doesn't become so overly complex that partners want to shy away from it," Ochs said.
The channel program includes a referral component for consultants, resellers, system integrators and managed security service providers. Sales training will be given in person or remotely and takes about an hour to complete. A demo is available to technical sales engineers, and the company will work with partners until they thoroughly know how to deploy and maintain the platform.
"It's a robust program given the stage of development of this company," Ochs said. "It has all the things that I think the partner would typically expect to see from a partner program."
Ochs, a channel veteran, was at security information and event management vendor, Q1 Labs for a decade where he managed the transition of the Q1 Labs channel program into IBM following its acquisition by the company in 2011. Q1 Labs had a robust partner program that drove a lot of business, he said.
The company is maintaining its direct sales teams and expanding into the U.K. with its direct sales force, Ochs said.
The risks posed by business units adding cloud services without getting a thorough review by the company's legal and IT teams is a constant issue, according to security experts. IT teams trying to get a handle on the problem often block the wrong cloud security apps and services, forcing users to use even riskier applications. At the RSA Conference Security experts said the cloud offers benefits for data storage, but added that organizations need to demand transparency about the underlying security and processes in the provider they select.
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