Data Protection Company Titus Adopts All-Channel Strategy, Launches Revamped Channel Program

New partner program offers sales and pre-sales consulting certification, deal registration and guaranteed margins for solution and service providers.

Data protection software developer Titus is adopting a 100-percent channel sales model and has launched a new partner program to support the new go-to-market strategy.

The channel already accounts for about 75 percent of Titus' revenue – sales through the channel during the last 36 months exceeded $100 million. Titus is quickly transitioning to 100 percent channel sales in North America under the new partner program and the company plans to expand the program globally by the end of 2019.

"We're going wider and deeper with our strategic partners," said Mike Kuehn, chief revenue officer at Titus, in an interview with CRN. "This is our strategy for growth.

Sponsored post

[Related: NetApp Acquires Israeli Data Security Developer Cognigo]

Ottawa-based Titus, which was acquired by private equity firm The Blackstone Group in 2017, has been most successful selling its data protection software to customers in the financial services industry and to government agency and military customers.

Titus will no longer pursue direct sales and the company has redesigned sales compensation for its own sales staff to be channel neutral, Kuehn said.

The channel can cast a wider net for sales prospects, Kuehn said, and Titus' product portfolio of data identification, data classification and data security software offers "a really strong value proposition" for a range of VARs with security and cloud practices, security service providers, and global systems integrators. Titus particularly works with cloud access security brokers and partners that develop solutions around data protection and next-generation firewalls, according to the CRO.

The company's pitch to partners is that for every $1 in Titus software they sell, they can sell an additional $3 to $5 in additional software and services. While the vendor has had a small, in-house services team, Keuhn said the intent is to drive services through the partner ecosystems.

"There's really a tremendous services opportunity, in addition to product sales," Kuehn said.

Titus has had a channel program before now, but it wasn't as robust as the new program, especially in such areas as deal registration capabilities, partner relationship services, and partner training and certification.

The new partner program, with its Authorized Partner and Elite Partner tiers, includes a more sophisticated deal registration system with margin protection for sales leads of 20 points and 30 points, respectively, for the tiers.

The company's partner portal, the Partner Resource Center, also offers better integration between the partner relationship management system and its customer quote applications. And the new program has more linkages between revenue targets, margins, certifications and deal registration, according to Kuehn.

Titus is now offering sales and system consultant training and certifications for partners geared for pre-sales personnel. The sales certification will focus on opportunity identification and related activities while the system consultant certification will emphasize the "white-boarding" phase of working with prospective customers.

A services delivery certification is also being developed and is expected to be available in 45 to 60 days, Kuehn said.

The all-channel move by Titus won applause from Jeremy Wittkop, chief technology officer at InteliSecure, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based provider of data protection services. "This can only mean good things for us," Wittkop said. "Now we expect to transact a lot more business with them."

InteliSecure has worked with Titus since around 2012, providing the Titus software as a managed service, as well as implementing the company's software on-premise for some customers. In addition to leaving more new-customer sales opportunities for his company, Wittkop expects to win more license renewal business from existing Titus users who will now buy through the channel.

Wittkop said the channel program enhancements and additions reflect a number of internal changes at Titus, including new managers and channel operation restructuring, that are making it a more channel-friendly company.

Titus currently has about 100 partners in North America, some of whom will strive to achieve Elite status while others will remain in the Authorized column, Kuehn predicted.

The CRO noted that Titus continues to expand the number of IT companies it has alliances with, including major vendors Cisco, Intel and Microsoft; security vendors Symantec, McAfee and Palo Alto Networks; archiving companies Commvault and Veritas; and file sync and share companies Box and Dropbox. Kuehn said Titus is connecting with those vendors' partners and expects that some will join his company's partner program.