CRN Exclusive: Hexadite Launches Partner Program, Names Former Carbonite Exec Couto As Channel Chief

Security automation startup Hexadite has launched its first partner program and appointed channel veteran Jessica Couto to lead the charge, the company announced Tuesday.

Couto joins Hexadite from Carbonite, where she was vice president of US channel sales and marketing. Before that, Couto built partner programs and worked with channel companies while at Bit9 (now Carbon Black) and Kaspersky Lab. Couto will now serve as vice president of channel at Hexadite.

[Related: Carbonite Promotes New Channel Chief With Plans To Integrate Double-Take, Expand Programs]

"When I'm talking to the channel, I'm very comfortable to bring forth this solution because I'm confident it works and I'm confident it addresses a big gap in the space, and it is something that is necessary," Couto said. "So, I can go behind it with passion and do everything I need to do to make it successful."

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Hexadite offers a security orchestration and automation platform that uses artificial intelligence to investigate and respond to alerts. The company is backed by HPE and VC firms TenEleven and YL Ventures.

Couto's appointment comes right at the launch of Hexadite's first official partner program. The new program is one level and includes deal registration, high margins, support and partner engagement, the company said. The company has already added a few big-name security partners, including Guidepoint, Optiv, IOvations, and Critical Start, adding to the existing distribution relationship it had with HPE.

Couto said Hexadite had laid a strong foundation for a partner-led approach, already signing up a few partners and pushing 95 percent of its deals through the channel. Couto, whose background centers around helping companies like Bit9 go from direct sales to more of a channel model, said she had been brought in to help Hexadite take that foundation and scale it to more and deeper partnerships with the channel.

"For a company that is still very young … the fact that [the leadership team] has already recruited partners and [has a] stance that everything has to go through the channels … It's refreshing," Couto said. "I'm just building on my existing relationships … and saying I'm here and let's get to work. [Partners are] excited because they know and trust me. I have a great reputation, and I'm bringing that to the table."

"We are super excited to have [Couto] at another company we work with," said Tera Davis, managing director at Plano, Texas-based Critical Start. "She understands how to execute from a channel program perspective … and she has the knowledge, skill set and relationships."

Critical Start signed on with Hexadite late last year, and Davis was a Bit9 partner during Couto tenure.

Hexadite was founded in 2014 and has raised $10.5 million in two funding rounds.

Davis said a channel sales approach will help Hexadite be more competitive in a hot, emerging market for security automation technologies. She said Critical Start already sees an "uptick" in its business around security automation.

"It definitely helps them be more competitive because they can be more places at once … By going that route versus a more direct route, they will be able to get their name out their faster simply by using channel partners to help evangelize on their behalf," Davis said.

Couto said she would look to make enhancements to the existing partner program down the road, including the addition of a partner portal.

She said she would also focus on helping partners leverage the vast number of alliances and integrations Hexadite has with other security vendors, including top vendors in network, endpoint, SIEM, and secure web gateway.