A Guest Blog by Jon Gillies : Jon.firstname.lastname@example.org : One Identity EMEA Channel Lead
Being fortunate enough to lead our EMEA channel at One Identity, I see more and more partners re-evaluating their Privileged Access Management (PAM) vendor partnerships as they see their needs and those of their customers evolve. The reasons to change are stacking up with technology evolution & customer savviness leading this revolution, however let us not forget vendor dynamics – this keeps us focused.
The ½ the time, ½ the cost PAM challenge might be a customer-focused challenge but one that, I believe, resonates with the partner community as we address the challenges their customers face today.
So why are our partners re-evaluating their vendor relationships? We see four key reasons:
Technological evolution – A few years ago the PAM marketplace was awash with point solutions, focusing on password vaulting or session management, and indeed, some vendors will still try to convince you this is all you need. We, ourselves, originated as a password vault but we quickly added functionality and recognised the shift to addressing business needs – we now proudly have a Next Gen PAM suite.
Why did we do this? Because, managing privilege access is not simply an IT function, it is about managing business risk. The number of business cases where PAM is critical to secure an organisation is constantly expanding and can only be addressed with an identity-centric strategy. A simple example is company social media accounts where reputations are a stake and impact is immediate.
Additionally, as the need for PAM widens, so does the need to integrate into different platforms or environments, such as Dev Ops, RPA and of course Governance solutions. Our open API approach makes Safeguard the ideal solution to grow with a business’ needs. An example of this is our solution for Zero Trust: to achieve this, we have integrated Safeguard and Active Roles to simplify privilege access.
Customer demands – When markets are new, early adopters are more patient with technology. However, as the market matures, this patience runs thin. Customers want more and tolerate less. If the technology does not meet their growing needs, or the ROI not met, customers will re-evaluate. This is why One Identity launched the ½ the time, ½ the cost PAM challenge as we believe in fast time to value and wish to meet our customer’s needs – now and in the future.
Additionally, customers are not looking for someone to sell them a product: that ship has sailed – customers want a strategic relationship with their providers, be it a vendor or channel partner – typically both - with all parties aligned and committed to mutual success.
The business impact of delayed initiatives and ongoing operational costs are also high on a customer’s radar and this is very relevant to our partners who are often managing their customer’s environments. Solutions that optimise IT productivity and demonstrate financial savings will rule the day. Another reason why our total cost of ownership message is very partner centric.
Partnership relevance - Resellers do not wish to be tarnished by the limitations of a first gen PAM vendor either, so they look for vendors with a strategy and roadmap to help them future proof their customer’s environments and, of course, help retain their trusted status. In the past, the allure of a never-ending services engagement was utopia, even if this meant an unhappy customer, now resellers can no longer justify the cost of ownership spiralling out of control. Resellers look for smart engagements, meaning the right balance between service utilisation, customer satisfaction, and being able to expand their customer relationships rather than being stuck firefighting at a dissatisfied customer. Enter One Identity’s Next Gen PAM solutions.
Partnership neglect - Couple these challenges with those relating to vendor-partner relationships and you have reason to consider vendor reselection. We all know vendors change strategy particularly in relation to their GTM. Sometimes resellers get lost within an over populated channel or simply drift apart, resulting in not being able to differentiate and then of course win rates reduce, margins suffer and discontent sets in.
One Identity is a vendor too, no vendor is perfect, but you have our commitment to a channel first strategy and as our journey as a business continues to mature, we listen to our partner’s needs and ideas, which then directly shapes our strategy and future. We will not take our partnership for granted.
I encourage any partner reading this to take the “One Identity partner challenge” whether this be in relation to our Next Gen PAM solutions or not.