Security News

Thales Launches Channel Push To Get Partners Involved Earlier

Michael Novinson

Thales wants to grow the share of North American business flowing through the channel from less than 80 percent today to upwards of 90 percent in the future, according to Head of Worldwide Sales Torjus Gylstorff.


Thales has embarked on a channel offensive to increase the share of business flowing through solution providers and get partners involved earlier in the deal process.

The Paris-based technology vendor wants to grow the involvement of its North American channel from less than 80 percent of deals today to upwards of 90 percent of deals in the future, according to Head of Worldwide Sales Torjus Gylstorff. Gylstorff was previously Symantec’s global channel chief, and he joined Thales in January to amplify the company's partnerships and implement a channel-first strategy.

Gylstorff helped Thales relaunch the Accelerate partner program at the start of February to provide the company’s 5,000 global partners with a framework for interacting with Thales that’s personalized and highly customizable. The program is intended to guide solution providers toward relevant conversations that identify specific ways the partner can be relevant to the joint business, according to Gylstorff.

[Related: Gemalto Spurns Atos Offer, Opts Instead For $5.63B Takeover Bid From French Conglomerate Thales]

“Having a very effective program in place is one cornerstone of having an effective go-to-market strategy through partners,” Gylstorff told CRN.

Thales has long had a substantial direct touch sales force, and while the direct touch model remains in place, Gylstorff said he wants to get the channel involved earlier in the sales process identifying and registering opportunities with the company. The deal registration process will provide solution providers with necessary protection as well as a clearly defined value-add for both Thales and its partners, he said.

The rebooted partner program also includes joint marketing and demand generation activities with solution providers, with a focus on driving sales pipeline through the channel, Gylstorff said. The program is one element of a larger push for Thales to have a channel-centric go-to-market strategy, and Gylstorff said he’s pleased with the way partners are interacting with the program and the platform.

These efforts have paid dividends, with Thales seeing a 50 percent increase in partner portal engagement and a 15 percent increase in deal registration compared to the same time last year, the company said.

Thales plans to launch a data discovery tool that can identify unencrypted information in customer files without any on-site presence, Gylstorff said. Making it easier for partners to help identify sensitive client data that’s being exposed will have an immediately impact for customers, according to Gylstorff.

The company is also looking to cloud-enable its stack so that Thales’s data protection on demand offering can provide hardware security module (HSM) capabilities in the cloud, Gylstorff said. These key management capabilities make it easier for customers to remain in control as the traditional data security perimeter is being pushed into various public cloud environments, according to Gylstorff.

Going forward, Gylstorff said Thales is focused on transitioning its business to cloud platforms as well as boosting channel participation rates and the channel’s ability to generate new business for the company. The company is making a “substantial” commitment to the channel and believes there’s lots of room to grow partner-led business even in the COVID-19 environment, according to Gylstorff.

“If the business can be done with a partner, we want it to be done with a partner,” Gylstorff said.

cStor had been selling Gemalto’s encryption key management product for a number of years, and got more involved in supporting Thales’s identity and access management tools since Gemalto became part of Thales in August 2019, according to Andrew Roberts, chief cybersecurity strategist for the Scottsdale, Az.-based company, No. 288 on the 2019 CRN Solution Provider 500.

Thales is cStor’s third largest security vendor, and Roberts said cStor actually runs the company’s identity tools internally. Roberts said Thales’s new cloud key manager is a very good product, and that the company’s new partner program has resulted in more white sheets, market strategies and email templates being available to solution providers in the partner portal.

“We’re on a really good track with Thales, and I want to see that continue,” Roberts told CRN. “They have been true partners with us. They have engaged with us very very well.”

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