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‘7 Minutes’ with Portnox VP of Sales Martin Ryan

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**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Arguably, NAC as a technology entered, then left, then reentered the market before its time. While the core functions of network access control – authentication, access authorization, endpoint security checks and ongoing behavior monitoring based on policy – are important, most ended up being delivered through other security products.

Still, no security technology ever really dies, and NAC has held on long enough to find relevance anew: When there is no perimeter and BYOD and IoT are the norm, you better find a way to help customers keep tabs on the “who and what” of network access. When clients need to offer their customers guest wireless access, NAC is one way to do so safely. Enter Portnox, which sells its NAC product in both an on-premises model and as a service from Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Portknox's Martin Ryan

Portnox’s Martin Ryan

The offerings compete with products from names familiar to the channel, such as HPE Aruba ClearPass and Cisco ISE, and specialists like Bradford Networks, ForeScout and Pulse Secure. We asked Portnox VP of Sales Martin Ryan why partners should opt to join his channel program.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Martin Ryan: Today’s networks are rapidly changing, and the days of the network existing within the controlled bounds of the company’s brick and mortar are long past. Corporate networks today are boundless, “campus”-like networks with devices of all types (PC, BYOD, IoT) needing access from anywhere. Portnox’s ability to deliver the visibility and controls demanded to meet this new normal in an innovative, cost-effective, easily deployed manner is our “secret sauce” and what our customers love about our solutions.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features? Do you work with masters and/or distributors?

MR: The Portnox Sphere Partner Program is designed to align to the innovation and flexibility of our solutions, being the only vendor in the NAC market that can provide an on-premise[s] software NAC with Portnox CORE and also a NAC solution delivered as a cloud service, Portnox CLEAR. As a result, our partner program is flexible, aligning to the traditional silver/gold/platinum reseller model and distributor model while also extending to the requirements of managed service providers (MSP) and technology-integration partners. We are selective across the different types of partnerships, providing the sales training, technical training/support and marketing alignment required to assure partnership success.

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

MR: Today around 70 percent of sales are through our partners, with a company goal to have 100 percent of sales through partnerships by 2019. We are rapidly expanding and adding new partners every quarter; as of today we have just over 100 partners and growing. Margins depend on partner type but will typically range from …

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