SafeNet Names New Channel Chief, Plans Outreach To Partners

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SafeNet's new channel chief, Laurie Usewicz, is only a week into her new job, but the channel veteran said she sees plenty of opportunities to help spur growth through the company's partner program.

Usewicz, the new vice president of channel sales at SafeNet, spent 14 years at distributor Westcon Group and more recently served as Blue Coat Systems' Americas channel sales chief. She said the roles have put her in position to engage SafeNet channel partners.

The Belcamp, Md.-based encryption and authentication vendor's business has needed a very hands-on approach, she said, requiring an engagement at the technical level that has created more of a direct sales environment. But, the company has introduced new products like ProtectV, designed to secure data in a virtual data center, and StorageSecure, an encryption appliance for shares, folders and files, that don't need as much hand holding.

[Related: SafeNet Rolls Out Authentication Service For Enterprise, Security Providers]

"SafeNet is very significant security provider but not as known as it should be," Usewicz said in an interview with CRN. "There's a tremendous opportunity for growing the amount of business through the channel."

SafeNet has been a consistent leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant on user authentication. The company competes with CA Technologies, RSA, the security division of EMC, and Vasco Data Security International. Budgeting for new security products is projected to increase, according to analyst firms, leaving room for growth for the new products, Usewicz said. To take advantage of the projected growth, the company needs to talk to partners on a more intimate level, beyond webcasts and whitepapers.

"There's an opportunity to have a more hands-on approach, going in and joint selling," she said. "There's an opportunity for SafeNet to have a more consistent communication at the field level with the partners and the individuals on the street that are selling the products."

The company is assembling a new executive team. In December, the company named cloud veteran Dave Hansen as the company's new president and chief executive officer. Hansen joined the company from BMC Software where he most recently served as vice president and general manager following the acquisition of Numara Software.

In addition, SafeNet announced that Michael Branca has been appointed to the position of chief financial officer. Branca will be responsible for SafeNet's global finance functions. Branca, who has 30 years of experience in the finance and business management, joined SafeNet from BMC Software. He succeeds Greg Repas, who served as the company's interim CFO following the departure of Charles Neral in June 2012.


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