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Westcon-Comstor taps BeyondTrust software for distribution program

Westcon-Comstor, a valued-added distributor, has inked a deal with BeyondTrust, an information security vendor that provides a privileged access management platform.

In an effort to grow its channel presence in international markets, BeyondTrust, an information security software vendor, recently agreed to join value-added distributor Westcon-Comstor's Accelerate program. The deal gives BeyondTrust access to Westcon-Comstor's network of more than 10,000 reseller partners that provide IT services to 100,000 companies across the globe.

Westcon-Comstor officials said BeyondTrust's integrated privileged access management platform complements the company's existing vendor portfolio, and combats security threats such as privilege misuse and unauthorized access. The agreement comes at a time when the proliferation of mobile devices and the growth of the internet of things promise to expand the attack surface that organizations must manage across the enterprise. The BeyondTrust software platform includes vulnerability management and auditing capabilities in addition to privileged access management.

"BeyondTrust's technology fills a gap in our portfolio; we did not have this particular technology," said Patty Gray, vice president of global partner management at Westcon-Comstor. "We are always looking for complementary technology that will allow our resellers to implement multivendor solutions."

Officials at Westcon-Comstor, based in Tarrytown, N.Y., said six vendors have joined Westcon-Comstor's Accelerate program since it began more than a year ago. The program helps technology vendors develop global distribution relationships for their products and services. Under the program, Westcon-Comstor has inked deals with other security vendors including AlienVault, a provider of unified security management and crowd source threat intelligence, and FireMon, a provider of security intelligence solutions.

BeyondTrust: Software difficult to sell globally

Officials at BeyondTrust, based in Phoenix, Ariz., said the company's attempt to market products globally was limited in scope, difficult to scale and hard to execute.

"We had distributor A in market A and distributor B in market B, but there was no global view of distribution and no global execution capability around distribution," said Joseph Schramm, vice president at BeyondTrust.

There's an opportunity for them to capture what I call wraparound systems integration services related to the technology.
Joseph Schrammvice president, BeyondTrust

Schramm said the deal will allow BeyondTrust to reduce the number of distributors it deals with in several countries while rationalizing its distribution strategy. He added that Westcon-Comstor is a security-centric distributor that can help push its security products into emerging markets in Latin America, Russia, China and Southeast Asia.

As BeyondTrust plans to expand its global market footprint, a recently released study highlights the challenges the company will face. The Ponemon Institute and Resilient, an IBM company, published a study that interviewed 2,400 security and IT professionals from around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, and Australia. 

Among the findings in The 2016 Cyber Resilient Organization study 53% of respondents said their organization had at least one data breach involving more than 1,000 records in the past two years and 74% said they faced threats due to human error in the past year. Additionally, during the past two years, 74% said they have been frequently compromised by malware, and 64% said they have been frequently compromised by phishing.

While global customers are looking for technology to secure their systems, Gray said Westcon-Comstor will take the complexity out of working with multinational corporations that are deploying large global security projects.

"There's not only local execution issues such as the need to get somebody in the market to take the order, close it, and ship the product, but you have governance, risk management and compliance issues," Gray said. "We are able to not only help leverage our in-country resources for execution with our local sales teams, but we are also able to bring a global agreement to BeyondTrust with ease."

Gray said they'll be two types of solution providers that will want BeyondTrust software: resellers that have focused security practices and solution providers that are Westcon-Comstor's largest global businesses partners.  

She added that Westcon-Comstor has a dedicated customer team primarily focused on systems integrators and solution providers and those types of companies do two things: consume BeyondTrust software for their internal IT systems and then build managed solutions for the marketplace that they serve.

With regard to how resellers will make money with BeyondTrust software, Schramm said that depends on the type of partner. Traditional resellers that are focused on selling products will make margin on product sales as well as the first year maintenance fee. In addition, if they are managing renewal business, there is an ongoing annuity associated with that. In the case of solution providers, those companies will make money providing integration and consulting services.

Integration opportunity

"There's an opportunity for them to capture what I call wraparound systems integration services related to the technology," Schramm said. "In a lot of cases when clients deploy the technology they are not only looking for it to just be properly installed and configured they are oftentimes looking for the technology to be integrated to other security components inside of their infrastructure."

Those components, he said, could include a governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) platform, an identity access management platform or a ticketing system.

Looking ahead, Gray said she's confident that dozens of resellers that are experts in security, particularly those that have focused practices in cybersecurity, will need BeyondTrust's technology to augment their existing practices.  

"It's not a simple sell; it is a technical sell," Gray said. "Every day, our local resellers operating in various countries are receiving challenges from banks, from government and large institutions that are asking them to block these threatening attacks. That's why we are specifically targeting new and emerging security vendors that have the right technology. We've got to be the matchmaker looking for the right local reseller that has cybersecurity expertise who is really vested and understands this complex market."

Next Steps

Read about a BeyondTrust acquisition

View a video on privileged user accounts

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