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CyberArk Doubles Down On Training With Partner Program Updates

CyberArk’s 400 channel partners have been sorted into the authorized, certified and advanced tiers based solely on the number of certified employees they have in sales, pre-sales and delivery engineering.

CyberArk has revised its partner program tiers to focus solely on certifications and unveiled new training modules to help solution providers deliver pre-sales support.

The Newton, Mass.-based privileged account management vendor said the company's 400 channel partners have been sorted into the authorized, certified and advanced tiers based solely on the number of trained employees they have, according to Scott Whitehouse, VP of channels and alliances. CyberArk previously considered both certifications and sales volume when determining tier assignments, he said.

"The market opportunity has grown so aggressively for privileged account security," Whitehouse told CRN exclusively.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: CyberArk Goes All-In On MSSPs With Multi-Tenancy, Pay-As-You-Go Pricing]

Authorized partners need only to have a signed contract with CyberArk, and gain access to aggressive discounts as well as the necessary personnel for a solution provider to get started. Certified partners must have two certified sales professionals and two certified pre-sales engineers, and in return receive an assigned account manager, access to demo environments, and product licenses for internal use.

Advanced partners, meanwhile, must have five certified sales professionals, five certified pre-sales engineers, and five certified delivery professionals, and in return have access to CyberArk's product management, technical support, and customer success team to provide assistance during the implementation process, Whitehouse said. CyberArk isn't disclosing how many partners are at each tier.

"This is a unique program," Whitehouse said. "It rewards partners that collaborate with us."

All CyberArk partners in North America are eligible for a 15 percent base discount, a 15 percent deal registration discount, and a 10 percent new logo discount regardless of which tier they fall into, Whitehouse said. CyberArk previously offered more discounting to top-tier partners, and didn't have as well-defined of deal registration incentives, according to Whitehouse.

CyberArk recently enhanced its certified pre-sales engineer certification to address newer features and functionality in the company's product, Whitehouse said. The company has also updated its certified deliver engineer certification to provide privileged access security in emerging fields like robotic process automation, DevOps security management, endpoint security, and digital transformation, he said.

From a marketing standpoint, Whitehouse said the company is building out campaigns that partners will be able to use to highlight CyberArk's competency in these up-and-coming areas. The roadmap is focused on demonstrating to solution providers how they can get involved with digital or in-person marketing campaigns, as well as marketing events, according to Whitehouse.

Just over 65 percent of CyberArk's business flows through the channel today, Whitehouse said, with pretty much all of the company's newer customers embracing an indirect sales motion regardless of their size. CyberArk's direct accounts are typically either legacy or strategic customers, according to Whitehouse.

Accudata Systems has worked closely with CyberArk since the start of 2017, and has seen their business with the company grow three-fold over the past year thanks to the variety of use cases addressed by the company's privileged identity tools and more opportunity to deploy CyberArk in the mid-market, said Brian DiPaolo, CTO of the Houston-based company, No. 205 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500.

"Our business with CyberArk is growing substantially, and our services capability is much better," DiPaolo said.

DiPaolo praised CyberArk for implementing more robust deal registration protections and ensuring that partners that recruit new customers can consistently expect to receive best-in-class margins. He also credited the company for making their training more rigorous and time-consuming so that new employees who finished the modules don't have any gaps in their knowledge.

"It's been incredibly powerful," DiPaolo said. "When we come out of the training process, employees can actually deploy and service the product for our customers."

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