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‘7 Minutes’ With Fortanix Vice President of Products Ketan Shah

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… strong incentives with attractive margins and protection, including expansionary and renewal incumbency.

Additionally, the Fortanix program includes joint marketing, comprehensive sales enablement and hands-on product training.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

KS: Fortanix is committed to driving all business through the channel. Percentage of sales through the channel is more than 90 percent. We currently have more than 15 channel partners and are expanding in all regions including internationally. The program offers strong incentives through attractive margins (30 percent) and protection for expansions and renewals.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

KS: Thales and Gemalto. Encryption remains the most effective control for protecting data in the cloud, and with encryption key management, this becomes more critical than ever.

There are two types of competitors:

  • Traditional on-premises HSMs: Many of these solutions were designed before the cloud era and are therefore unable to effectively serve distributed data-center and cloud environments.
  • Software key managers/cloud KMS: Software solutions offer ease of use and key life-cycle management; however, they do not offer the confidentiality protection of HSMs.

Enterprises are having to make compromises [among] security, simplicity and scalability. Fortanix recognized this gap in the market and built SDKMS.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

KS: Fortanix’s mission is to deliver deterministic security to applications, even if the infrastructure is compromised. Just like encryption today protects data at rest and data in motion, Fortanix runtime encryption protects applications and data while in use from external and internal threats. Fortanix is working with customers and partners to launch new applications beyond secure key management — such as secure containers, secure data processing and enabling highly sensitive workloads to run in the cloud.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

KS: Business partners are the cornerstone to Fortanix’s growth strategy to deliver innovative runtime encryption solutions to protect customers data, keys and application. Short term, we are looking to scale the business through our existing channel partner program. Long term, we will introduce specialization as we launch new solutions, as well as explore closer partnerships with MSPs that share our mission.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

KS: Encryption has been a difficult sell for partners in the past. Specifically, legacy HSM and key management solutions have been the weakest link. The legacy solutions are complex, siloed and difficult to operate. This has led to two issues: (the) level of technical expertise required is very specialized, limiting the ability for partners to deliver the solutions and value proposition effectively; (and) customer-satisfaction levels are very low, limiting expansionary and other services opportunities.

Fortanix’s solution is simple to set up, manage and maintain. Partners can focus on being trusted security advisers by creating solutions for their customers that enhance business value and mitigate security risk.

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