CRN Exclusive: Skyhigh Networks Launches Cloud Technology Partner Program

Skyhigh Networks is vastly expanding the reach of its flagship offering with the launch Wednesday of a Cloud Technology Partner Program to integrate a broad swath of top-notch security vendors into its cloud access security brokerage (CASB) solution.

The program creates a formal way for chosen third-party vendors to integrate their solutions with Skyhigh, allowing enterprises and partners to integrate the wide variety of security offerings they have into the CASB solution. The Campbell, Calif.-based company has formed more than 50 partnerships, in categories such as cloud and on-premises proxies, user behavior analytics, threat protection, identity as a service, identity and access management, DLP, SIEM, MDM, key management and digital rights management.

Companies Skyhigh has added to the partner program include Bay Dynamics, BitSight, Centrify, Checkpoint, Cisco, Cyphort, Exabeam, Gemalto, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Ionic, Juniper Networks, LogRhythm, Microsoft, MobileIron, Okta, OneLogin, Ping Identity, Titus Labs, Vera, VMware and Zscaler.

[Related: The 20 Coolest Cloud Security Vendors Of The 2015 Cloud 100]

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While this is a program designed to bring in vendor integration, Chris Cesio, vice president of business development and channel at Skyhigh, said partners will benefit greatly from the launch. He said the Cloud Technology Partner Program will smooth the process for many systems integrators, which normally would integrate the solutions themselves for clients.

"As they go with integration phase, they have a lot of validations that they have to do to make sure technology plays nicely together. I think Skyhigh's efforts in pulling the technology together with alliances allows partners to go to market with a more unified solution," Cesio said.

That’s a key factor for partners like Optiv Security, who works to be a trusted advisor and "connect the dots" for customers around security, said JD Sherry, vice president of cloud security at Optiv. He said the Cloud Technology Partner Program announcement is a "perfect testament" to filling that need.

"The clients are going to look to our organization … to adequately put together best-of-breed technology to make the most of what they've already purchased," Sherry said. "We feel like with the integration, our own capabilities, and Skyhigh empowering us with the technology and access to the cloud services, now we can advise and broker the communication with the rest of the partner ecosystem and provide guidance on the right solutions."

That is especially important, as most enterprises don't put all of their eggs into a single security vendor's basket, said Kamal Shah, senior vice president of products and marketing. The Cloud Technology Partner Program will ensure that enterprises can get the most value from both their existing security solutions and the Skyhigh CASB solution itself, he said.

"If you think about security, and cloud security in particular, what we are realizing is that there isn't one solution that does everything," Shah said. "It is extremely important that the solutions that you have work very well with the broader solutions that an enterprise has already invested in or plans to invest in."

Cesio said the solution also presents a new revenue opportunity for partners, enabling more streams of services around the cloud security solution. Skyhigh has been working to further enable its partners around services, he said.

"As the customers try to figure out how to put all the pieces together, this is a great services revenue opportunity for the partner to make sure everything plays well together and meets the customer's needs for deployment," Cesio said.

The integration expansion comes as the CASB market continues to gain steam, recognized by market researcher Gartner as one of the hottest areas of security right now. Skyhigh's Shah attributes that trend to growing cloud adoption, and businesses' looking to make sure they make the move securely.

"It's a very, very important market, and it really is going to be one that really helps accelerate the cloud economy," Shah said.

Optiv's Sherry agreed, saying that he is seeing a lot of organizations chart their road map to the cloud. He said he is seeing "more and more" of those requests. To do that securely, he said, many of them are looking into CASB solutions.

"It's incredibly exciting in the space -- over the past 18 months, the explosive innovation that is coming out of there," Sherry said. "This announcement is a perfect testament to it."