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SecureAuth Goes All-In On Channel, Eyes Services Plays For Partners

SecureAuth has several hundred accounts consisting of tens of millions of dollars of direct renewal business that it's looking to shift over to solution providers, said channel chief David Woodward.

Cybersecurity vendor SecureAuth plans to sell exclusively through the channel going forward and intends to deepen ties with its most strategic partners.

The Irvine, Calif.-based identity and access management company also plans to get solution providers more involved with delivering margin-rich professional and managed services, according to David Woodward, SVP of worldwide sales and channel. Woodward joined SecureAuth in July following three years at top solution provider Kudelski Security to help the vendor double down on its partner strategy.

"We have a really solid product that's really about a seamless, frictionless, experience for a user coupled with a multi-layered experience to give you a better experience at managing identity," Woodward told CRN exclusively.

[Related: 5 Major SecureAuth Product And Leadership Updates]

SecureAuth today conducts roughly 70 percent of its business through the channel, with no rhyme or reason as to which deal go direct and which go through solution provider beyond who first sourced the opportunity, Woodward said. Declaring a commitment to selling 100 percent through solution providers is expected to boost engagement and inspire loyalty from SecureAuth's partner base, Woodward said.

The company also plans to move its existing direct business over to elite channel partners over the next year once SecureAuth is able to achieve buy-in from the customer, Woodward said. SecureAuth has several hundred accounts consisting of tens of millions of dollars of direct renewal business that it's looking to shift almost entirely over to solution providers, according to Woodward.

SecureAuth will start the account transfer with its SMB business, which Woodward said was a historical area of focus for the company before shifting upmarket to the enterprise. Solution providers will have an easier time packaging SecureAuth in a way that's attractive for SMB customers than the company would itself, Woodward said.

Woodward said moving the larger enterprise accounts over to channel partners will take more time and require more finesse due to the complexity of their business. SecureAuth was founded in 2005, employs 262 people, and has raised $238.7 million in nine rounds of outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase.

In addition, Woodward said SecureAuth plans to narrow its focus from between 50 and 60 North America partners to just a dozen of the most strategic solution provider relationships. The company plans to have three elite partners that it'll manage on a national basis – Optiv, Fishtech, and Kudelski Security – as well as several regional and super-regional partners, according to Woodward.

SecureAuth's channel team had historically gotten distracted trying to chase transactional or net new partners with a compelling story, and ended up neglecting the solution providers who had actually made investments in growing their business with the company, Woodward said. Investments in training and partner marketing tend to be more effective when spread across a smaller number of partners, he said.

Although SecureAuth offers healthy product resale margins, Woodward said solution providers can enjoy margins in the mid-30s by providing professional services such as on-premise, cloud, or hybrid installations of the company's platform. SecureAuth wants the channel to get more involved with this attractive portion of the business, Woodward said.

And managing services around SecureAuth's platform such as hosting, level one support, level two support, and patch management can yield profit margins of between 50 percent and 60 percent, according to Woodward. SecureAuth plans to roll out sales certifications on the partner portal in the coming quarter, and develop training programs for partners around implementation, Woodward said.

Teaming with SecureAuth has provided Spectrami's customers with the right tools to deliver value across their IT infrastructure while exponentially decreasing the potential for security breaches, said Anas Handous, managing director and global alliance director at Dubai, UAE-based Spectrami.

"The flexibility in how they are implemented, combined with the services we offer, is exactly what our customers are seeking in this new digital ecosystem," Handous said in a statement.

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