KnowBe4 Focuses On Scaling Through Partner Program

Internet security

**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent important channel-program changes you should know.**

KnowBe4 formally announced on Tuesday the availability of its channel program for North American VARs and MSPs.

KnowBe4's Tish WilliamsVARs and MSPs are able to provide customers with security training and awareness about how to detect and avoid ransomware, phishing and social engineering schemes. The program provides incentives, profitable margins, training, and sales and marketing support, the company said.

KnowBe4’s integrated security awareness training and simulated phishing platform is used by more than 6,000 organizations globally.

Tish Williams, KnowBe4’s vice president of channel, tells Channel Partners the program has been growing rapidly during the last three years and “we are now coming into a full channel positioning as a growing company.”

“Currently, we have identified over 2,400 partners, people who have expressed an interest in hearing more and learning about our products and solutions,” she said. “So right now, we have on-boarded nearly two-thirds, and I would say that we’re finding a lot of success. And we are currently in distribution as well, which is working really well for us. So we are excited about the partnerships; [they help] us to expand into the different markets.”{ad}

Partner levels include Authorized, Certified and Premier, each primarily based on sales volume. Also, new certifications are being implemented for the higher-end partner tiers.

“Being newer to the market with this type of differentiator as a product, as an application if you will, what’s different is if I mentioned that we were selling an antivirus, a switch or a router, everyone immediately nods their heads and they know exactly what that means,” Williams said. “The minute we say ‘security-awareness training,’ they pause and think, ‘Well, how does that look, fit and feel … how do I sell it?’ There’s a lot of positioning, so currently we’re spending a lot of time providing educational materials for the partner to better understand the product and how it works and how to position it, and then with the certifications, it allows them to train and understand selling that product to their customer base.”

According to KnowBe4’s 2016 Ransomware Report, nearly four in five (79 percent) companies are very concerned about ransomware and more than half (54 percent) of midsize companies with 250-1,000 employees were victims of ransomware attacks.

“We typically are finding a huge amount of success within the MSP and the SMB market,” Williams said. “For MSPs, what they love about our product is they get to train their customers to help improve their customers’ performance and behaviors, and they also have reporting that can prove that it’s happening. It helps to build that return on investment with their customer base.”

KnowBe4 was founded six years ago, with the first three years focused on development and the last three focused on putting together a practice to move toward channel, she said.

“Being a SaaS-based company, it’s all about scalability,” Williams said. “So early on, to win the mindshare, obviously you’re going to sell any which way you can. But as you mature and grow, we really are focused on what’s going to scale well — and channel is what scales. We can reach a lot more individuals, a lot more people, a lot more end users through partnerships than we could ever do alone.”

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