CRN Exclusive: CyberArk Enhances Partner Program, Adds Certifications And New Tools

CyberArk has made multiple enhancements to its CyberArk Global Channel Partner Program, including new certifications and tools, as the company continues to grow the percentage of business it does through partners, the company said Wednesday.

CyberArk, a privileged account security company based in Newton, Mass. and Israel, announced a new CyberArk Certified Delivery Engineer Certification, which includes technical requirements as well as a shadowing component. Scott Whitehouse, vice president of channel and alliances, said the new certification will help partners differentiate themselves from their peers in the privileged account security space.

’All of this is to address the goal of increasing quality in our channel program, but also to present more opportunities for partners to be successful with our end customers,’ Whitehouse said. ’We’re really trying to build a solid certification program so partners can differentiate themselves from other providers and designate themselves as CyberArk partners.’

[Related: Q&A: CyberArk CEO Talks Acquisition Rumors And Up-And-Coming Privileged Account Management Market]

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The new certification will be part of the company’s Global Certification Program for sales and technical training and is available through its CyberArk University. Whitehouse said certifications, such as this one, are tied to the company’s partner program levels and tied to financial incentives for partners.

CyberArk also announced the launch of CyberArk DNA, an assessment services tool for partners to discover where privileged accounts exist and the risks associated with those accounts, including password changes, identity and possible pass-the-hash attacks. Provided at no cost to partners, Whitehouse said the tool can be used as a sales tool to identify risks at customers not yet deploying a privileged account management solution, or to reassess risks at current customers as part of an ongoing services plan.

’It adds a layer of measurable security,’ Whitehouse said.

The enhancements are part of a push in recent years by CyberArk to sell more through the channel, including pushing more sales through partners and making its programs easier to work with. The company has grown its sales through partners from 30 percent of its business in 2014 to 60 percent in 2015. CyberArk has also doubled its channel team in the past 12 months, Whitehouse said. While the company hasn’t expanded the number of partners it works with significantly, Whitehouse said the company is actively investing in expanding sales and support with its current base of around 250 partners.

’We’re putting a lot of time and energy into the channel program and into our partners…There’s a lot of excitement around our channel program and the growth in the channel program, from the CEO down through everyone on my team,’ Whitehouse said.

That’s a shift that partners have felt as well. Charles Drum, director of privileged account management services at Integral Partners, a Boulder, Co.-based CyberArk partner, said he has seen a significant shift from the vendor over the last two years. He said CyberArk has pushed to enable more services through partners.

’I think they’ve really made a concerted effort to drive more things through the partner to build that trust and enable us to do more services,’ Drum said.

He said the latest changes, in particular, are important as the new certification allows Integral Partners to differentiate itself, especially as many of its technical staff are already trained and experienced in working with the technology.

’That stamps us as CyberArk-certified and makes us stand out above the rest of the crowd, which is really good,’ Drum said.

Whitehouse said partners can expect to see CyberArk continue to expand its channel investments, including working to enable partners to operate its solutions better, in addition to being involved in the planning and design process. Whitehouse said CyberArk will also be looking to recruit some partners targeting the midmarket.