Tanium Challenges Continue As VMware Ends OEM Relationship

VMware has ended its OEM relationship with Tanium, CRN has learned, the latest in a series of challenges the cybersecurity company has faced in recent weeks.

Multiple sources close to the company told CRN that VMware ended the relationship with Tanium and informed its partners the relationship was over.

Both VMware and Tanium confirmed the end of the OEM relationship, with spokespeople describing it as a mutual decision.

Sources told CRN the breaking point came over conflicts related to the Tanium OEM deal payment structure and to challenges in supporting Tanium's complicated technology.

Sponsored post

[RELATED: Tanium Names Former DreamWorks Exec Fazal Merchant As CFO, COO]

Tanium, for its part, has removed VMware from its list of technology partners on its website.

Under the OEM relationship, which the two companies signed in June 2016, VMware created a new offering called VMware TrustPoint. The much ballyhooed product allows an IT administrator to monitor, discover and manage threats and vulnerabilities, and to manage end point updates and OS migrations.

The solution was particularly targeted at securing endpoints and easing Windows 10 desktop migration projects.

At the time of the deal, VMware Executive Vice President and General Manager of End User Computing Sanjay Poonen praised Tanium's "highly innovative" approach to end point management and security.

"We look forward to the continued collaboration that will bring the best combination of Tanium and VMware products to mutual customers and partners," said Poonen in a prepared statement when the deal was announced.

Tanium's proprietary peer-to-peer technology lets organizations continually scan all endpoints in their global networks, finding and fixing security vulnerabilities and identifying and controlling unmanaged devices.

In an emailed statement to CRN confirming the companies have ended their OEM relationship, VMware said the two will continue to work together in some capacity to service joint customers.

"VMware continues to partner with Tanium to meet the needs of our joint customers," a VMware spokesperson said.

A Tanium spokesperson in an email to CRN said, "Our relationship with VMware remains strong. We continue to partner in the field and develop integrations with their technologies wherever possible."

Sources told CRN that prior to the signing of the OEM deal, Tanium and VMware had been in acquisition talks in late 2015. Sources said at the time that Tanium's lofty valuation, combined with Dell's $67 billion bid in October to acquire VMware parent EMC, prevented the acquisition talks from progressing further.

The ending of the OEM deal with VMware is the latest in a series of challenges Tanium has faced in recent weeks, as the Emeryville, Calif.-based company has been hit by multiple reports of a troubled company culture. The company has also been roundly criticized for exposing a client's private network information without permission in demos. Tanium CEO Orion Hindawi has apologized for both issues in a blog post.

Tanium has also seen multiple top-level executive departures in recent months, most recently with the sudden departure of CFO and COO Eric Brown in March. Tanium has replaced Brown with former Dreamworks executive Fazal Merchant. Tanium has also seen the departures of its CMO and head of sales last fall, and multiple VP-level channel executives.

All of the changes come as Tanium looks to pursue an initial public offering, CEO Hindawi has said. Over the past few years, Tanium has been regarded as one of the hottest startups in the security space, raising a total of $262 million, with the latest round of $120 million in September 2015 reportedly coming at a valuation of $3.5 billion.