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IoT Security Vendor Armis Starts Services-Focused Partner Program

‘We want to be, frankly, very simple and a joy to do business with, and we want to be as lightweight as possible — we want to transact business easily and simply with our channel partners,’ says Peter Doggart, a former Symantec channel executive who is Armis' new channel chief.

After getting acquired by a private equity firm in a $1.1 billion deal, IoT security vendor Armis is going all-in on the channel with a new reseller program that aims to help partners build services around the company's agent-less device security platform.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company announced its new global partner program Tuesday, saying it will help create long-term profitable growth for partners through new expanded benefits like joint marketing and a program meant to help resellers build services on top of Armis' software.

[Related: The 10 Hottest IoT Startups Of 2020 (So Far)]

The launch of the new partner program is arriving after Armis' sale to private equity firm Insight Partners, announced January, in a $1.1 billion deal that included a $100 million investment from Google-backed capital fund CapitalG. At the time, the company said it would continue to operate independently under its existing executive team.

Peter Doggart, a former Symantec channel executive who is now Armis' channel chief, told CRN that the company made a strategic decision earlier this year to become "channel-first," which has involved staffing up the company's channel organization and building a "very robust channel program." Nearly 100 partners have signed up within a "matter of weeks," he added.

"We want to be, frankly, very simple and a joy to do business with, and we want to be as lightweight as possible — we want to transact business easily and simply with our channel partners," said Doggart, whose title is vice president of business development and global partners.

The new partner program, called Armis Reseller Channel, or ARC, will consist of two membership tiers, Gold and Platinum, and will focus on four key areas — education, developing opportunities, accelerating profitability and driving innovation — according to Doggart. Other resources include business development funds, product roadmap briefings and priority support escalation.

Doggart said ARC's training program will provide partners with a "robust education" for free around Armis' platform as well as the many areas the company's software touches upon, from operational technology and connected medical devices to IT issues with device security.

"We put instructional trainings up literally every other week now for our partners, to bring them up to the highest possible standards we can," he said.

As for development opportunities, Doggart said ARC has a deal registration system that comes with "very nice margins for our partners" — around 40-45 percent for platinum partners in North America — and a transparent approach to data.

Looking at profitability, Doggart said it's more than just about decent margins, but also helping partners build new kinds of services around Armis' software, whether it's a managed service, software automation service or consultation service. To start out, ARC has created a pilot program to help partners build out services around a risk assessment of IoT devices on the corporate network.

"It's kind of a really cool way to use the platform, spinning up Armis very easily, very quickly for a customer — and then within a matter of minutes and hours, you can actually see everything on the network and understand the vulnerabilities and the risk posture of your environment," Doggart said. "And you can provide an amazing report back to your client."

When it comes to the matter of driving innovation, Doggart said it's about helping partners replace more traditional IT security techniques, such as using agents on devices, with Armis' approach to managing and securing IoT devices from a "single pane of glass."

"It's down to the fact that we literally have not solved the problem of these resources, the billions of devices out there and how to go secure them," he said.

Tera Davis, managing director at Critical Start, a Plano, Texas-based managed security services provider, said Armis is helping the company satisfy shifting requirements by organizations to take control of the increasing number of unmanaged devices entering the workplace.

"Our customers are seeking more value from technology providers to help them drive costs down, mitigate risk to their organization from unmanaged IoT devices and ensure regulatory compliance," she said in a statement. "Armis meets all of these criteria and is a strong partner in our enterprise solutions portfolio."

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