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November 29, 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.**
Silent Circle‘s technology is for customers that are really serious about secure mobile communications. And by “really serious,” I mean willing to mandate that employees use locked-down Blackphone hardware or add the company’s Silent Phone app to iOS or Android devices and route communications through a VPN to an encryption server. It sounds complicated, but Silent Circle VP of sales for the Americas Patrick Geritz says the company strives to make its platform unobtrusive for end users. Partners with government customers, or any firm that needs to protect valuable IP, M&A or other data, is a potential prospect.
Silent Circle’s Patrick Geritz
Geritz highlights an interesting offering for executives or anyone who must share sensitive data from the road. The $500, compact GoSilent portable firewall, mobile VPN and IPS device uses military-grade encryption to protect communications and supports any smartphone. It’s a smart investment in light of exploits like KRACK that target Wi-Fi networks.
Silent Circle started as a B2C security provider. On the upside, that helps with name recognition. However, Geritz wasn’t willing to discuss the percentage of sales through partners or average margin. Still, the likes of Optiv, Tech Data’s Azlan, CSG and immixGroup have signed on as official partners, and the growing need to secure communications from IoT edge devices is an intriguing use case for the platform.
Partners looking for mobility and managed security consulting and service offerings can check out the Silent Manager web-based console, and the company offers a dedicated secure network to encrypt voice, video, text or teleconferences end-to-end. The op here is setting up the links, then managing encryption keys. (Check out the six elements of a successful mobility consulting business.)
Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?
Securing data in motion presents a serious issue for many organizations as the headlines of information leakage stack up, and constituents are adversely affected. Tools that promise to secure data in motion are clunky and a common cause of productivity loss and frustration among employees.
Silent Circle’s fundamental promise to simply secure data in motion is at the core of what we do. Our secret sauce is in our ability to see that ease of use is the No. 1 priority of our customers and prospects. Ultimately, it does not matter how great a product’s technology is if the organization trying to use it finds it difficult to incorporate into established, everyday processes. Silent Circle has the “easy buttons” for securing communications. Additionally, having recently transitioned from a consumer offering to B2B, we find that the trust and brand recognition that we build up has been maintained and translated well. The B2B market knows that we can back up our messaging with tried-and-true, real-world solutions.
Our technology aligns with corporate budgetary expectations, integrates seamlessly with an organization’s existing security investments, and adds a layer of privacy to global business operations — all without giving its users a headache. Our newly released tool, GoSilent, is a compact, user-friendly mobile firewall, Wi-Fi hotspot and VPN-in-one solution, outfitted with unrivaled government-grade encryption technology to encrypt traveling data before it reaches the internet. The box can be used regardless of a user’s connection to a public or private network and is compatible with …
… servers, phones, desktops, laptops and any other IoT device.
CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?
The goal of our channel program is to facilitate the mutual success of our partners, and to provide an effortless, encrypted means for organizations to communicate securely across any device, from anywhere in the world. Our channel program is designed to be extremely flexible, tailored to meet the needs of each partner and crafted to foster a relationship with easy baseline requirements. Our solutions are unique and were purpose-built by some of the best minds in the mobile technology, encryption, security and privacy field; features like encrypted VoIP on our Silent Phone app ensure that when it comes to sensitive data, nothing is seen, heard or disclosed.
CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.
Silent Circle welcomes new channel partners each quarter and is dedicated to continuing this trend, as well as increasing our revenue stream.
CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?
We are most often compared to Wickr, Signal, Wire, Cypher and even WhatsApp. Essentially, anyone offering encrypted communications could be marked as a Silent Circle competitor. The biggest difference in many cases is, these companies or apps are simply made for end users or specific use cases. Our platform allows the deployment of department or company-wide administrative policies to empower businesses with control over not only internal communications, but external as well.
Organizations require a simple way to protect their employees, their devices and IP when working remotely. Silent Circle aims to ensure that organizations maintain visibility and control over corporate devices while still enjoying the functionality and interface of their favorite devices.
CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?
Data compromise causes immeasurable harm to businesses and their trusted partners, and the need for encrypting and obfuscating internet traffic is rapidly increasing. With most devices automatically wired to search for an internet connection, executives and employees are at risk of unknowingly connecting to a compromised Wi-Fi, cellular or satellite network, which can result in an intercepted IP.
As the estimates of IoT devices approach tens of billions of units by 2021, Silent Circle’s offerings will continue to evolve to secure all machine-to-human and human-to-machine communications to meet this market need. We are excited about this really big and bold new market!
CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?
Silent Circle’s channel strategy will evolve as we continue to make our products and cloud services more flexible. Acting as middleware that is not just plug and play but has greater adoption rates should help make our newer offerings automatic standards for our channel partners.
CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?
We are ready now. We were ready yesterday, and we have a full solution that combines years of experience, software and hardware. The new black for us and our partners is our micro-firewall, GoSilent, which is paired with our cloud services to open up opportunities previously inaccessible by our partners to even pitch.
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