'7 Minutes' with Kenna Security VP of Worldwide Channel Sales and Alliances Rick Kramer

The Kenna Security Platform allows organizations to work cross-functionally to determine and remediate cyber risks.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 30, 2018

4 Min Read

**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.**

Kenna Security, the firm focused on predictive cyber risk, is rapidly moving up in the industry with $25 million in new funding and a global channel chief.

The Kenna Security Platform allows organizations to work cross-functionally to determine and remediate cyber risks. Kenna uses cyber-risk context technology to track and predict real-world exploitations.


Kenna Security’s Rick Kramer

Bessemer Venture Partners led the Series C funding round. Kenna said it will use the funds to continue its strong growth and momentum, investing to attract new talent, expand its sales capabilities and continue to drive innovation.

For the third year in a row, Kenna’s sales more than doubled in 2017, and the number of organizations using the Kenna platform grew by more than 60 percent — to more than 300 customers globally. Other 2017 milestones include the launch of its EMEA business and an increase in its go-to-market and branding capabilities.

We spoke with Rick Kramer, who recently joined Kenna as its vice president of worldwide channel sales and alliances, about what his company has to offer partners and its plans to drive more business through the channel.

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

Rick Kramer: Kenna’s offering gives the CISO the ability to proactively manage risk. Customers are so accustomed to being reactive that managing risk in a proactive sense is a differentiation that all channel partners will love to be able to take to market. Partners are excited to be on the front end of new ways to increase efficiency, efficacy and ultimately innovate. They love that about Kenna’s offering. Another great selling point is the machine learning that drives Kenna’s security platform and saves customers time (often weeks if compared with manual operations) in analyzing volumetric threat, exploit and vulnerability data to understand where to focus their resources.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

RK: Kenna’s channel program is a recent area of focus. As we continue to build out our channel, we will be exploring ways to enhance and enrich our partners’ experience with Kenna. Our channel program is selective, and rewards partners based on their level of investment and commitment.

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

RK: We currently have [fewer] than 100 partners, and about half of our business is through the channel, with above average margins. Going forward, our approach is to drive the vast majority of our business through the channel with consistent expectations on earnings.

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

RK: We are typically compared with vendors like Tenable and RiskSense, and a mix of a few other companies trying to bring a risk-based approach to security, but many lack the …

… diverse sources of threat and exploit intelligence, and proven data science that are behind the Kenna platform. Our primary competitor is really spreadsheets, which is where most customers are still trying to assimilate all of their vulnerability data manually, and painfully.

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

RK: There is a lot happening right now that is interesting and profitable for our channel partners, and we have a rich road map with a constant stream of new functionality and products that will continue to evolve and expand around predictive cyber risk. Our growing portfolio will help our channel program continue to expand and see further success over the next three years.

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

RK: Our strategy focuses our organization around partners that are invested in Kenna. We will continue to work with partners that can help us move up in the market and we will continue to pursue an MSSP strategy to support broader reach into the marketplace. We will try new things and be aggressive about partnering in the channel to move quickly into new markets.

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

RK: Partners should know that Kenna is moving quickly and investing heavily in the channel. Timing can be everything in the technology business and the time for Kenna’s solutions being accepted in the marketplace is now. Hence, there is no better time for partners to be investing in Kenna to differentiate their message from their competitors.

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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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