Palo Alto Networks distributor pact aims for US small businesses

Distributor Ingram Micro is set to offer Palo Alto Network's Okyo Garde, a subscription-based cybersecurity product that targets small businesses; other IT channel news.

Palo Alto Networks has tapped Ingram Micro to distribute its soon-to-ship Okyo Garde cybersecurity offering for the small business market.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company unveiled Okyo Garde in September 2021. Under the Palo Alto Networks distributor deal, Ingram Micro will offer the product to partners that sell to small businesses in the U.S. Okyo Garde is available for preorder via Ingram Micro. Palo Alto Networks expects shipments to begin in the fall.

Okyo Garde pulls together hardware, software and security services, which channel partners sell as a hardware-as-a-service subscription. The small business focus comes at a time when MSPs and other channel partners face challenges providing cybersecurity services to SMBs.

Palo Alto Networks plans to grow its Okyo Garde business internationally. "We're starting with the U.S., working toward global expansion, including major markets in all regions -- EMEA, APAC, Americas," said Karl Soderlund, senior vice president of worldwide channel sales at Palo Alto Networks.

The company will consider additional distribution needs as it expands into new markets, he said, noting that more channel partnerships for Okyo Garde are expected later this year.

Regarding vertical market adoption, Soderlund said Okyo Garde fits particularly well in professional services firms such as legal, financial, insurance firms and also suits medical and healthcare professionals. In addition, the company has seen "early interest from the hospitality industry as restaurants and retail outlets become more digitally enabled," he said.

MSPs and channel partners, meanwhile, have become interested in hardware-as-a-service offerings as more such products come to market, Soderlund said. Palo Alto Networks plans to introduce an enterprise version of Okyo Garde in early 2022. The Okyo Garde Enterprise Edition will include integration with Prism Access, Palo Alto Network's zero-trust network access offering. That product will be available through Palo Alto Networks and the company's NextWave channel partners.

Channel partner launches and updates

  • Swimlane, a low-code security automation company based in Denver, launched a partner program focusing on three main channel categories. Technology Alliances partners, which include Elastic and Recorded Future, focus on areas such as security products integration and technology collaboration. Advisory Alliances partners, which includes consultancies, focus on "co-solution development," according to the company. Value Added Reseller partners, meanwhile, develop bundled offerings and integration services. Swimlane said more than 30 Value Added Reseller partners currently participate in the program, including Guidepoint and Optiv. Another company, Pareto Cyber, is a hybrid VAR, managed security services provider (MSSP) and service delivery partner with Swimlane, a company spokeswoman said.
  • Cloudera, a big data vendor based in Santa Clara, Calif., plans to upgrade partner training, certification and deal registration. The Cloudera Connect partner program's learning management system (LMS) modules will be updated to let partners' solutions architects, pre-sales personnel and account executives train at the same level of expertise as Cloudera's direct sales organization, said Gary Green, vice president of strategic partnerships. The LMS modules will roll out by the end of the company's fiscal year in January 2022. Cloudera said it has other LMS updates, as well as Cloudera University certification and deal registration management changes, slated for the first half of its 2023 fiscal year.
  •, a risk management platform vendor based in Houston, said more than 30 partners have joined its channel program, which debuted in June 2021. The company, which focuses on industrial customers, works with consultants, MSPs, MSSPs and VARs. attributed the growth of its partner program to the expansion of cyber-risks for businesses and limitations on travel due to COVID-19. The company's platform lets organizations conduct cyber assessments remotely rather than on site.
  • Forcepoint, a cybersecurity vendor based in Austin, Texas, revamped its partner program and added an elite-level Titanium partner tier. Updates include a revised rebate program and a partner portal with SaaS tools that aim to facilitate the deal registration process. The partner program supports resellers, global systems integrators, service providers, OEMs and technology partners. An expanded distribution structure, meanwhile, includes strategic, regional and specialist distributors, the company said. The Global Partner Program changes will go live Nov. 15, 2021, with additional updates on tap for next year.
  • Empirix, an Infovista company that specializes in contact center testing, said it plans to become a 90%-plus channel vendor within five years. The company currently runs a partner program and partner portal that offers deal registration. The company works with about 100 partners, including global digital systems integrator Presidio.
  • SugarCRM, a Cupertino, Calif., software company, signed a Latin American distribution agreement with Technology Coast Partners (TCP). TCP, based in Miami, operates regional offices in Latin American markets, including Mexico and Argentina, which SugarCRM described as key countries for its regional expansion.

Other news

  • Most executives are bullish on the U.S. economy and plan to hire more employees, according to a survey from West Monroe, a digital consulting firm based in Chicago. Seventy-five percent of the 150 C-level executives the company polled had a positive economic outlook, while 25% expressed bearish views. Seventy-one percent of respondents expect to hire more people in the fourth quarter, the survey found. In addition, West Monroe's final Quarterly Executive Poll of 2021 found sustainability initiatives making inroads. Forty-two percent of respondents cited setting supply-chain-specific standards, while 34% said they planned to increase their use of renewable energy.
  • SADA, a business and technology consultancy based in Los Angeles, expanded its Google Cloud deal with MadHive, a company that provides an enterprise software platform for the media industry. The project now encompasses fraud detection and prevention as we well as targeting capabilities compliant with GDPR and CCPA privacy regulations, according to SADA.
  • Accenture acquired Advoco, a systems integrator that specializes in Infor's enterprise asset management (EAM) SaaS product suite. Accenture plans to make Advoco's Greenville, S.C., office a center of excellence for Infor EAM. Advoco joins Accenture's Industry X group in the U.S. Since 2017, Accenture has acquired 24 companies, including Advoco, to boost its Industry X
  • Centrilogic, an IT transformation solutions provider based in Toronto, acquired 3RP, an Oracle Cloud Solutions Provider and MSP in Scottsdale, Ariz. 3RP provides managed services for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle applications and databases. IT service providers focusing on Oracle have piqued the interest of buyers during 2021.
  • Virtuozzo, a software company based in Switzerland, will target service providers with a cloud management offering that stems from the company's acquisition of PaaS vendor Jelastic. The acquired company provides a multi-cloud DevOps platform for service providers, ISVs and telecommunications companies. Virtuozzo said the integration of Jelastic into its technology stack creates an offering that supports XaaS use cases for MSPs, cloud service providers and hosting service providers. The acquisition, which covers Jelastic's technology and business, follows a 10-year partnership between the companies.

Executive appointments

  • InterVision, a service provider based in St. Louis and Santa Clara, named Jonathan Lerner as president and CEO. Lerner was previously president at TTEC Holdings. He succeeds Aaron Stone, who became president and CEO of InterVision in November 2017.
  • Excellarate, a technology services and solutions provider based in Wayne, Pa., hired three senior executives: Vikram Bhalchandra, chief strategy officer, joined the company from Persistent Systems, where he was senior vice president for BFSI and global business development; Lori Meyers, senior vice president of healthcare, was previously senior director of quality for Anthem's Commercial and Specialty Business Division; and Jithendra Ganji was promoted to senior vice president of North America delivery, having been with Excellerate for eight years.
  • Mandiant, an incident response and threat intelligence company, appointed Dee Dee Acquista as vice president of channel sales for the Americas. She was previously senior vice president of global channels at BeyondTrust.
  • Amy Kardel, vice president for strategic workforce relationships at CompTIA, has been appointed to the Department of Labor's Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. The tech skills gap has given rise to apprenticeship programs.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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