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'7 Minutes' with ReFirm Labs' VP of Sales and Business Development Robbie Robbins'7 Minutes' with ReFirm Labs' VP of Sales and Business Development Robbie Robbins

ReFirm Labs was founded by a team of former NSA offensive cyber operators.

Edward Gately

May 30, 2019

5 Min Read

ReFirm Labs, the provider of IoT and firmware security solutions, has launched a global partner program for MSSPs, solution partners and VARs that will focus on sales of its flagship Centrifuge platform.

The platform vets, validates and continuously monitors the security of the firmware that runs billions of IoT devices, consumer electronics and other connected enterprise machines. The program provides partners with revenue share tiers and various incentive programs, including specialized training, sales support, and access to IoT and firmware security experts at ReFirm.

ReFirm Labs' Robbie Robbins

ReFirm Labs’ Robbie Robbins

ReFirm also announced its first set of channel partners that are based in Australia, Taiwan and Japan, including Syxtex, Soliton Systems and emt Distribution.

“Current security standards have not kept pace with the rapid adoption of internet-connected devices, and our partnership with ReFirm Labs allows us to introduce the benefits of their Centrifuge platform to our channel partners and their end users in Australia and New Zealand,” said Richard Rundle, emt‘s CEO. “By adding IoT device and firmware security to our threat intelligence solutions, ReFirm Labs provides a key tool for improving the security of the regional supply chain.”

Founded by a team of former NSA offensive cyber operators, ReFirm’s clientele includes government agencies and Fortune 500 companies that operate in a wide variety of industries, including telecommunications, cloud infrastructure and data centers, automotive, health care, utilities and manufacturing.

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

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Robbie Robbins, ReFirm’s vice president of sales and business development, talks about how his company works with partners and the advantages it has over its competitors.

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

Robbie Robbins: Our secret sauce in our Centrifuge platform is its simplicity and accuracy in quickly producing actionable results. Once a firmware image is uploaded, Centrifuge platform provides insights about zero-day exploits, hidden crypto keys, backdoor passwords and known vulnerabilities in IoT devices in as little as 30 minutes. Our customers have told us that similar analysis using open source and commercial tools is a labor-intensive and error-prone process. In fact, one customer told us that Centrifuge platform collapsed a 30-step process into one single step.

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

RR: The ReFirm Labs Partner Program is a multi-tiered program designed to reward each partner’s level of time and commitment. Our tiers – bronze, silver, and gold – provide an easy way for partners to graduate to higher tiers based on revenue attainment and sales activities. The bronze tier is for entry-level reseller partners. These partners have expressed interest in reselling ReFirm Labs and are open to working with us to find new sales opportunities. With a fundamental knowledge of the ReFirm Labs platform, they are recognized as valued ReFirm Labs partners. There are no minimum requirements for becoming a bronze partner. The silver tier is for …

… reseller partners who have committed to learning and selling the ReFirm Labs platform. These partners have invested time in becoming subject experts in the platform and understand what it takes to sell ReFirm Labs successfully. The gold tier is for our distributor and MSSP partners who have demonstrated the ability to sell ReFirm Labs proactively. All three tiers provide our partners with the ability to differentiate their security service offerings and accelerate profit from offering our unique cloud-based firmware validation platform.

Our program currently does not support agency or master agent elements.

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

RR: We expect our channel of resellers, distributors, MSSPs and system integrators to contribute more than 50 percent of our 2019 revenue. As we recruit, train and enable our channel partners, we expect our channel revenue contribution to grow to more than 80 percent within the next few years. We currently have executed reseller agreements with six global partners, and have agreements under review with two other global partners. Our channel partners can earn between 15-40 percent margin depending on their partner tier, sales activities and deal registration.

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

RR: We have a number of competitors including Eclypsium, Red Balloon, VDOO and BlackBerry Jarvis. While we do compete for budget with source code auditing solutions such as BlackDuck, Sonatype, and Coverity, our solutions are complementary as we only focus on firmware. Unlike our competitors and source code auditing and analysis solutions from Synopsys and Veracode, we do not require access to source code or agents on the IoT device. In addition, our teams’ unique subject matter expertise and our Binwalk Pro, Centrifuge and Guardian solutions help make our offerings a must-have for projects with embedded and firmware security requirements.

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

RR: We do expect that our technology portfolio will grow as we establish our position in the value chain of discovery, analysis and remediation of advanced persistent threats. Our talented team of former NSA offensive cyber operators has a unique perspective on how to understand and reveal firmware-based vulnerabilities. We expect to form important technology partnerships in the coming years that will help us to deliver a robust firmware vulnerability discovery, analysis and remediation platform.

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

RR: We believe that specialized, vertical solution-focused VARs, distributors and managed security providers will help us grow the market for IoT firmware security.

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

RR: We currently support Linux, QNX and Android OS-based firmware, and we have a robust product road map that includes enhanced real-time operating system (RTOS) support.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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