CRN Exclusive: Australian Security Startup StratoKey Brings New Partner Program To North America

After winning top security awards in the Asia-Pacific market, Australian security startup StratoKey launched into the North American market Wednesday with a new partner program, the company told CRN exclusively.

StratoKey offers a cloud data protection solution that acts as an encryption gateway to the cloud, intercepting communications between users and cloud Software-as-a-Service applications in order to selectively encrypt sensitive content. The purpose of this is to provide data protection as well as real-time monitoring and behavioral analytics on users for threat detection.

Since it was founded in 2012, the company has received much acclaim for its offering, including being selected as one of the most innovative new companies at the 2014 RSA Conference in Asia-Pacific.

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While 2014 was all about refining the product itself, CEO Anthony Scotney said that this year the startup has made a concerted effort to push its offering further into the market. As a key part of that, the company opened an office in Austin, Texas, and, as of Wednesday, officially launched a North American channel program.

"We've had a lot of interest out of the United States and a lot of leads coming in, and now is the time for us to ramp up our channel and ensure that all of the potential clients are serviced appropriately," Scotney said.

As the company enters the U.S. market, it goes head to head with startups such as CipherCloud and Perspecsys, the latter of which was recently acquired by Blue Coat. However, Scotney said that StratoKey will differentiate itself in the market by having a strong channel program.

"This market is one of the hottest areas in the whole technology industry. ... Any reseller in the security space should be taking a hard look at StratoKey because we are the technical innovators. We have far and away the best technical product," Scotney said. "The market is strong and there's enormous demand out there, and we need partners to help us service that demand."

Under the program, authorized partners can resell and integrate the company's offering into their clients' cloud environments. The program also includes sales training, marketing materials, technical training and a software development kit. Partner support will be jointly run out of Austin and Australia, with technical assistance coming out of Australia and sales support from the U.S. Over time, the company will be moving more of that technical support to the U.S., Scotney said.

StratoKey already has started working with some smaller partners in the U.S. as a proof of concept for the channel program, and will be looking to organically grow the partner base going forward, Scotney said. He said StratoKey has already gotten requests from multiple partners who want to join the program.

With the recruitment of technology and system integration partners, Scotney said he hopes StratoKey can transition the majority of its business to go through the channel. Right now, he said, StratoKey's business is 50 percent direct and 50 percent through the channel, but he expects closer to 80 percent to 90 percent of deals will flow through the channel in the coming years.

"We're looking at it as being a significant part of our business. It's something that's a serious component for us," Scotney said. "The channel program is crucial."