New MSP programme meets changing needs of secure access company’s partner community
Secure access company Appgate is extending its market reach with the launch of a ‘software as a service’ version of its Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution, Appgate SDP, and a new Managed Service Provider Programme.
The tiered programme is designed to help MSPs profit from growing demand for ZTNA by giving them the tools and support they need to deliver the Appgate SDP (software defined perimeter) network security platform as a managed service.
Appgate SDP provides a unified ZTNA platform for users, servers and IoT; the ability to control access to all resources with a single, dynamic policy model; secure remote access for employees, systems and third parties; and simpler, consistent policy administration.
The associated MSP programme provides managed service providers with technical training, sales enablement tools, marketing resources, market development funds, 24/7 dedicated technical support, as well as pay-as-you-go pricing that allows them to adapt to changing business needs without overcommitting their budgets.
Fiona Doak, who was appointed Director, EMEA Channel Sales last year, has welcomed the launch of the ‘as a service’ offering and MSP programme as she continues to build out the Appgate partner community in conjunction with Kite Distribution.
“This gives us a broader reach across the partner landscape to both existing and new partners, because there are some pure MSP partners out there that we don’t touch currently; it enables us to widen the net and forge new and valued relationships with different partners that perhaps we couldn’t get to before or we didn’t have the offering for; it extends our reach into the customer base, of course; and it also helps us build a really valued trusted partner community across EMEA.”
She points out that while Appgate did have an MSP offering in some regions, through technology partners like AWS, there wasn’t a clear route to market for resellers, which is what many partners wanted and which the new MSP programme is designed to provide.
“From the moment I walked through the door here, partners have been saying ‘we really like your programme; will there be an MSP offering added to it?’, which is entirely understandable given the way the world has changed in the last 18 months to two years.
“There’s now much higher demand for managed services, because it allows organisations to give responsibility and ownership to their valued MSP partner, frees up their staff to work on other projects and generally adds value to their partnerships. Organisations are looking to valued partners for help with their three- year and five-year strategies.”
She adds that the programme makes it easy for MSPs to provide ZTNA as part of an overarching security model for customers facing the challenges of managing flexible working and a disparate workforce.
“MSPs, or valued partners, are being used far more by their customers in an advisory capacity – ‘we have these plans, what would you do to help us?’. Until very recently, the answer was ‘we have a secure connection, we authenticate everybody and then you give them access to everything’. That approach is very antiquated. What we offer partners is an easy to deploy, easy to manage, easy to set up and secure way of delivering a Zero Trust Network Access platform to their customers so that the right people access the right things at the right time. Instead of using lots of different vendors and solutions to achieve that, having a simplified one vendor, one solution offering really enhances the partner’s capabilities,” she said.
Doak adds that the MSP programme enables partners to provide a service to customers with no upfront investment and quarterly billing in arrears, based on the number of users they have logged in their system.
“You have to make these things simple because MSPs have a lot to do. The programme’s only been out a month or two, but we’ve had very positive feedback about its ease of use and the support it provides which, of course, is the way it should be.”
To this end, Appgate recently took on a new channel systems engineer, Matt Ellison, as part of a broader expansion of its EMEA team, which has doubled its headcount to 12 employees over the last nine months
“We’ve just employed a new dedicated channel systems engineer (SE) whose job it is to strengthen the technical elements of our partner community, to bring them together, to provide quarterly briefings, to provide support and enhance our partnerships so that the partner gains
the competence to work with us from a technical and a commercial perspective.
“That’s really important. Appgate SDP is not difficult to stand up, but if you’ve got a group of technical people who’ve never touched our technology before, we need to educate and support them. Matt Ellison joined in the beginning of October, at a critical moment, and as we extend that new partner community, he can start to drive that technical focus and awareness that partners really need and which often gets forgotten.”
Since signing a distribution agreement with Kite Distribution last summer, Appgate has added around 10 net new partners to its network. With the launch of its new MSP programme, it is well placed to add more.