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October 9, 2017
**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.**
Beachhead Solutions provides cloud-managed PC and mobile device encryption, security and data access software. MSPs and VARs can use its white-label SimplySecure Management System to lock down customer iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, Windows and Mac PCs, and USB storage devices. We asked channel chief Cam Roberson what differentiates that offering from similar tools from the big-name security providers. In a nutshell, it’s a focus on the MSP business model.
Beachhead Solutions’ Cam Roberson
We like the company’s emphasis on encryption, which is not used nearly enough in smaller shops. In the Thales and Ponemon Institute 2017 Global Encryption Trends Study, 41 percent of 4,802 global respondents said their companies have an encryption strategy that is applied consistently, up from 37 percent two years ago. That’s an improvement, but usage is inconsistent across industries and countries. And, the majority of respondents — 65 percent — are located in larger-sized organizations with a global headcount of more than 1,000 employees. Beachhead also helps enforce password and access-control policies.
You can hear more from Roberson on a recent Coffee With Craig & Kevin podcast.
Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about Beachhead’s offering. What’s the secret selling sauce?
Cam Roberson: There have really been two main explanations for Beachhead Solutions’ appeal in the channel. First, our SimplySecure MSP platform is, as the name suggests, simple. If an end-user organization requires encryption capabilities – say as part of implementing effective HIPAA compliance – or simply desires sound security practices for their employee-used PCs and mobile devices, there’s really no easier approach than to rely on their MSP to provide that security as a monthly managed service.
From the MSP’s perspective, our true SaaS offering allows for easy remote deployment and management. Of course, every vendor says its solution is simple — the description gets used indiscriminately. But here’s our proof: Following just a one-hour online kickoff meeting, our partners know how to use our platform and will have PCs encrypted, secured, and under their management.
Secondly, our approach to encryption and remote access control is absolutely congruent with all facets of an MSP’s business model. Our partners pay as they go on a monthly basis, are invoiced only for revenue-generating licenses, and experience no interference or problems with remotely managing PCs; no action is required on their part for patches, for example. Further, MSPs can configure …
… security reports to be sent to their clients automatically, providing assurance that their clients appreciate. MSPs also enjoy the demonstrable benefits of remote access controls, which can protect client data under conditions where encryption alone can’t.
While encryption is the chief driver of demand for an MSP’s data security services, the reality is that no encryption can protect data if the password is known (such as when a formerly authorized employee still has access to hardware) or if a thief has stolen the password along with the computer (we’ve seen cases where the password is written in a notebook or on a post-it note taken with a laptop). Even in these scenarios where encryption can’t save the day, MSPs with SimplySecure can remotely access devices and either make data inaccessible or eliminate it altogether, allowing their clients to sleep soundly.
CP: Describe Beachhead’s channel program — medal levels, importance of certifications, open or selective, unique features?
CR: We provide our product and support directly to our channel partners. That is, partners deal directly with Beachhead for encryption and product expertise — a consumption process that is perfectly aligned with MSPs’ standard model of service delivery.
Beachhead provides a single-core functionality: We offer a platform that enables and manages encryption and access control on PCs and mobile devices. Our sales engineering and support teams that handle all contact with our channel partners are experts in encryption, and this is a badge we wear proudly. Our partners appreciate this commitment to ensuring that we’re available to train (and re-train) personnel, answer questions, and provide hands-on support until they’re absolutely comfortable managing their own SimplySecure environments.
We truly view our MSPs as partners. Their success is our success and vice versa. We believe the service that our MSP partners provide on the SimplySecure platform is second-to-none. Beachhead recognizes the importance of this relationship by providing our partners with NFR licenses.
CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.
CR: We have 200 resellers and have experienced 100 percent growth in the number of resellers added in 2017 as compared with 2016 (we matched last year’s number in just the first six months of this year). About 70 percent of all our new business has been through channel, accounting for 35 percent of total revenue. There are no published list prices for SimplySecure licenses, and partners are free to …
… bundle or package our solution as they see fit. Most enjoy a 100 percent margin, or a doubling of the MSP “buy” price.
CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes Beachhead’s offering better?
CR: Good question. For us, it’s not really a discussion about us having more features than competitors or telling partners that “we can do X capability and they can’t.” Yes, we believe we have terrific features and capabilities — but our competitors also have some very nice features and capabilities. However, if those features are so damned difficult to implement that they’re never used, or if they work only in very tightly defined configurations,, then what good are they?
The SimplySecure MSP Platform was designed to operate within a broad framework of our partners’ business models. Fairly priced on a consumption-only model, and congruent with other MSP services. SimplySecure does what we say it’s going to do. Most importantly, our partner can confidently commit to their clients that the service they offer will perform exactly as advertised.
CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?
CR: Beachhead will continue with the development of tools that enable our partners to provide even more demonstrable benefits to their clients. These benefits may come in the form of tools that improve deployment to be less intrusive to end-clients’ employees. In some cases, we’ll add functionality that our partners can leverage to broaden their appeal, whether their clients are startups or major enterprises.
For example, in our next release we’re going to include password policy enforcement for non-domain PCs. This will provide our partners with the ability to offer a holistic approach to encryption for the little guys, too.
I honestly don’t see us adding disparate new technologies to our portfolio — but no guarantees. I see us singularly focused on offering encryption and access control for PCs and mobile devices, and continuing to ensure that our service is simple for our partners.
CP: How do you expect Beachhead’s channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?
CR: For us to be successful we recognize we have to enable our partners to be successful. We’ll carefully choose development activities that will allow our partners to address the needs of their clients. Our next release will allow our partners to implement password policies for very small clients not on a domain. The Beachhead strategy will evolve to center even more around making the platform work in ways that ensure our partner’s business success. You’ll also see us following a more international approach — as encryption and remote access control is increasingly recognized globally as a means to ensure data security, we think that we’re in a good position to take this next step.
CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?
CR: “Try it before you buy it” is great advice in plenty of life’s realms, and I believe it’s applicable to our space. If you and your vendor can’t spin up a working platform – complete with encrypted PCs – in an hour’s time, I’d question whether the solution really earns the term “simple.” Our evaluations come with no cost or obligation, and exploring our service will provide partners with absolute proof that our SimplySecure product is worthy of its name.
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