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Software-defined access: Safe-T launches channel program

Safe-T, an Israeli company that offers technology based on software-defined perimeter architecture, has launched a channel program and is looking for partners in the U.S.; more news from the week.

Safe-T, a software-defined access technology vendor based in Israel, has unveiled a global channel partner program, aiming to recruit systems integrators and value-added resellers in the U.S.

In particular, Safe-T seeks to work with boutique channel partners that specialize in a technology or focus on a vertical market, said John Parmley, CEO, North America, at Safe-T. He noted some partners focus on identity and access management or cloud, or the state and local government sector. While the channel provides a mechanism to bring Safe-T's software-defined access products to new markets, channel partners benefit from being able to offer customers an innovative technology, Parmley said.

"We believe ... the ability to deliver innovation to the market ... helps differentiate channel partners from each other and really allows a channel partner to become a trusted advisor as opposed to just a supplier," he said.

A software-defined perimeter

Safe-T's software-defined access offering separates the access layer from the authentication layer and segments internal networks to control access, according to the company. Safe-T's technology, which the company said protects data across on-premises and hybrid cloud environments, falls within the software-defined perimeter product category. According to market research firm Gartner, software-defined perimeter technology "defines a logical set of disparate, network-connected participants within a secure computing enclave," removing assets from public visibility and "reducing the surface area for attack."

John Parmley, CEO, North America, at Safe-T John Parmley

Safe-T's software-defined access technology is now making its way into the U.S. channel. Since joining Safe-T in January 2018, Parmley has been building the company's field organization in North America while simultaneously creating a channel initiative. Safe-T's enterprise salespeople work directly with channel partners, he said.

"All business is driven through the channel," Parmley said.

Channel partners, he added, will have an opportunity to provide professional services around the software-defined access solution. For example, partners will be able to integrate Safe-T's offerings with other technology platforms in the enterprise, particularly those in the area of identity and access, Parmley noted. The potential to integrate Safe-T with Check Point's SandBlast network threat prevention product provides another integration opportunity, he added.

Diagram showing the components of a software-defined perimeter
A closer look at the software-defined perimeter

Michael Dell: 'We have to continually evolve'

At this week's Dell EMC Global Partner Summit, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell, spoke to attendees about how partners can align their businesses to the opportunities he sees today.

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO at Dell Technologies Michael Dell

Chief among the trends he pointed to is the reality that technology has become a central concern to business leaders across industries. "When I look at what is happening broadly in the world, the business leaders have woken up. I am not talking about the IT department; I am talking about the business unit leaders and chief executives inside companies. They have woken up to the power of technology. So the boundary of technology is no longer the IT department," he said.

Dell added that he believes this business climate is going to dramatically expand the opportunities for Dell Technologies and partners. "What I see is our available market is going from $3 trillion to [$4 trillion to $8 trillion]. That is very exciting."

To capture these opportunities, however, Dell Technologies and its partners must develop new capabilities, solutions and tools, he said. He encouraged partners to embrace the spectrum of the vendor's broad portfolio and adopt a solution-selling approach.

We believe ... the ability to deliver innovation to the market ... helps differentiate channel partners from each other and really allows a channel partner to become a trusted advisor as opposed to just a supplier.
John ParmleyCEO, North America, Safe-T

"We have to continually evolve and shift our value-add and get out this mode of just selling products. Don't get me wrong: Just selling products is fine. But we ... want to sell solutions. That is where the value is moving," he said.

In addition to solution selling, he noted that partners align their customer discussions with what the vendor calls the four transformations: digital, IT, workforce and security transformation. 

"We are investing around that future, and we need all of you to come with us," he said. "The more you can elevate your discussion to those four transformations, I think the better you will do with your customers."

Kobiton courts partners for mobile device cloud

Kobiton, an Atlanta company that provides a cloud-based mobile device testing platform, is targeting channel companies as referral or reseller partners.

Kevin Lee, CEO at KobitonKevin Lee

The company last month unveiled partnerships with Checkpoint Technologies and Propelics. Kevin Lee, CEO at Kobiton, said Checkpoint Technologies is a testing services provider, while Propelics focuses on mobile app strategy. Anexinet Corp., a digital business solutions provider, agreed to acquire Propelics earlier this year.

"We just started selling through channel partners," Lee said, noting the company has signed 12 partners, including Checkpoint Technologies and Propelics, since December 2017. He cited plans to sign additional partners this year.

Lee said Kobiton offers partners revenue sharing based on whether they refer customers to Kobiton, which then services the customers directly, or whether they white label Kobiton's offering and sell and service clients on their own. He identified three partner categories: traditional testing services providers, consultancies such as Accenture and Capgemini that act as testing providers, and crowdsourced testing providers.

Kobiton's platform can be used to test apps on hundreds of devices, according to the company. Lee said the platform addresses the need for faster testing amid Agile and DevOps adoption. He said tools supporting those methodologies have accelerated release cycles, but noted testing has trailed development tools.

"QA [quality assurance] and testing have become the bottleneck," Lee said. "Development is faster, but they can't test it any faster."

Other news

  • IT services management company Kaseya revealed it is merging with Unitrends, a backup and continuity vendor. The merger comes after Kaseya in March introduced Kaseya Unified Backup, a physical backup offering for managed services providers (MSPs), in partnership with Unitrends. Kaseya said both companies will continue to operate under their respective brands and headquarters.
  • Cloud company Virtustream updated Viewtrust, its risk management and continuous compliance monitoring product, with a new software-as-a-service option of the offering. Additionally, the vendor said it plans to enhance its Virtustream Healthcare Cloud with new disaster recovery capabilities. The added capabilities of both offerings "benefit partners by providing them with a richer solution set, more flexibility and new delivery models with which to meet the needs of their customers," said Christina Colby, senior vice president of strategic alliances at Virtustream. She added that the enhancements also expand partners' market reach in healthcare and the public sector.
  • Scale Computing, a hyper-converged technology vendor, has expanded its distribution agreement with Ingram Micro Inc. The arrangement, which originally covered Canada, now includes the U.S.
  • Microsoft, working in conjunction with IDC, published the initial installment of what will be a series of five e-books on digital transformation and the channel partner opportunity. The first e-book is available via the Microsoft partner blog.
  • Splunk said its new infrastructure monitoring tool, Splunk Insights for Infrastructure, offers partners a low-cost entry point into its ecosystem. The product, which is free for environments of up to about 50 servers, helps system administrators and DevOps teams automatically correlate metrics and logs to monitor, Splunk said.
  • The average hourly rate for a U.S. managed service provider is $100, according to benchmark data published by Atera, a developer of MSP tool. That rate is about 20% higher than what service providers charge in Canada and Europe. See this Atera whitepaper for more market observations.
  • Bugcrowd, a crowdsourced cybersecurity platform company, named Todd DeBell as its head of alliances and channels. In his new role, DeBell will oversee the vendor's channel sales and alliances strategy and development of its partner program. DeBell joined Bugcrowd from ForeScout, where he served as vice president of worldwide channels.
  • Organizations in the United Kingdom are leading the way in General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) preparedness, according to a Spiceworks survey. Sixty-one percent of organizations polled in the U.K. said they are already GDPR-compliant or expect to become compliant in time to meet the May 25 deadline. In comparison, 46% of the organizations in the European Union said they were compliant or expect to be, while 25% of the organizations in the U.S. said they met the mark or would by the deadline.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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