CYBERARK CHANNEL CHIEF: ‘HUGE AMOUNT OF MOMENTUM’ AROUND SAAS

CyberArk channel chief Chris Moore said the cybersecurity company’s ongoing transition from a vendor focused largely on privileged access management to a broad-based identity security firm operating on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) and subscription model is picking up steam.

“We have a huge amount of momentum with our partners around SaaS,” Moore said in an interview with CRN, a week after CyberArk announced impressive second-quarter general revenues and subscription revenues tied to its new products and SasS strategies.

CyberArk, with headquarters in Newton, Mass. and Petach Tikva, Israel, is now about halfway through its 36-month-long global channel transformation that includes a new emphasis on SaaS and subscriptions, said Moore, who joined CyberArk two years ago as its senior vice president of global channels. “Our channel partners love SaaS and love subscriptions, for all the reasons we love SaaS and subscriptions,” he said.

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Andy Walker, vice president and general manager identity and access management, cyber protection and Identity at Optiv, No. 25 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, said he likes what he’s seen at CyberArk in recent years.

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In particular, he said he likes the fact that CyberArk is now providing earlier access to its new technologies and resources, giving his firm more time to convince customers about the pluses of CyberArk’s offerings. 

“It’s been nothing but positive,” he said of Optiv’s partnership with CyberArk. 

CyberArk on Aug. 10 released second-quarter results that illustrated the momentum its subscription business is acheiving. The company reported subscription revenue grew 144 percent to $66 million in the second quarter compared to the year prior. Overall, CyberArk’s second-quarter sales jumped to $142.3 million, up 21 percent from $117 million in the year-ago quarter. 

The company declined to say what percentage of its overall revenue comes via the channel, but Moore said the percentage is growing

Playing a large role in that growth is CyberArk’s three-year transition plan to get partners—particularly systems integrators, MSPs and other channel players—to focus more on identity security as well as SaaS and subscriptions.

“When I talk about transition, it’s really around a traditional reseller’s mindset of, ‘You close the deal, get a [purchase order] and then you go onto the next one,’’’ said Moore, who previously worked at data analytics firm Qlik before joining CyberArk in July 2020. “In a subscription economy and SaaS world, it’s more like, ‘You close the deal, you have to make that customer successful so that they buy more and utilize what they bought, and then they renew the subscription.”

When he first landed at CyberArk, Moore said the firm had “no consistency” in its global approach toward the channel. 

“Our channel organization had to shift to achieve the [new] transition goals,”and they’ve largely done that, he said.

Moore noted, for instance, that there was a 200 percent increase in the first half of this year in channel partners getting certified to sell CyberArk’s offerings.

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