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HTG 360 CEO on TCG Partnership, Managed Security, Millennials

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Managed security provider HTG 360 is expanding its footprint in the channel in two important ways.

The Arizona-based company recently signed with Florida-based master agent Telecom Consulting Group (TCG). The deal is part of HTG’s initiative to become more visible in the channel and to acquire new partners.

Ichelson, Chris_HTG 360

HTG 360’s Chris Ichelson

HTG 360 CEO Chris Ichelson told Channel Partners that his business had been operating in an exclusive partnership with master agent Telarus until November. He and his team decided that additional master-agent agreements would allow a host of new resellers and integrators to access its portfolio.

Why did they start with TCG?

Ichelson said TCG’s business model meshed well with the security company.

“I like how they manage their suppliers. They seem to be a very hands-on master agent, which intrigues me,” Ichelson said. “As complex as the managed security sale is, it’s important to have multiple avenues of support in order to make those conversations smoother, easier and more successful with the agents’ customers.”

That painstaking approach fits well with HTG’s overall technological and business strategy of “individualizing” its customers and working off use cases.

Ichelson said his company is seeing the most success with customers of 250 to 10,000 employees, who lack the resources or budget to build an internal security program.

“They really need to leverage programs that can be delivered by a managed service provider or an integrator — somebody who has the ability to streamline the cost for the customer with the same level of security that the major enterprise would have.”

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

A couple of verticals stand out as ripe targets. The financial services industry, which includes insurance, is demanding HTG 360’s services, and manufacturing is investing more and more.

HIPAA compliance, audits and penetration testing are a few of the popular services customers are requesting. And while some customers come to Ichelson with “reactive” concerns about treating an already existing crisis, they do not represent the majority.

“I think the reactive customers are the harder engagement. The proactive customer really seems to be the guy that I see most [often]. And that organization is the type of organization that has a goal and knows that they can’t achieve the goal with their internal resources, and because of that, they’d like to find … some way to do it differently, more efficiently, for a fraction of the cost,” he said.

Another avenue of growth for HTG 360 has been its internship program.

The company announced earlier this year that recent college graduate Matt Atkinson had moved from intern to channel account manager.

Several months later, Ichelson said that Atkinson’s success working with partners has validated the internship program. He predicted the program will have five to eight members by the second quarter of 2019.

“I think he’s really proving the fact that if we can get [this] intern-type subset into our business early and make them focused, program and process-driven and make them successful … they can be in senior roles at a very young age and be more successful really getting to use those skill sets and technology — the mindset and the willingness to just swim through it,” he said.

TCG has also added ViaSat, TPx and nexVortex this year.


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