New Varonis Partner Program Organizes the Unstructured Data Market

Demand for technology and software to help businesses in the United States manage unstructured data should hit $3.16 billion this year. Roughly half of that amount is generated from Fortune 2000 companies with the remainder coming from smaller businesses.

Unstructured data – those documents, MP3s, emails, spreadsheets and other files generally not kept inside a company database – that are all-too easily accessible by all-too many employees throughout an organization of any size can be the Achilles heel in an otherwise compliant business’ IT infrastructure.

This year alone, demand for technology and software to help businesses in the United States manage this unstructured data should hit about $3.16 billion, according to the Ponemon Institute. Of that, about $1.57 billion is generated by Fortune 2000 companies, with the remainder coming from businesses with one to 5,001 employees, the report found.

Frequently, those companies that do address the issue must manually determine each individual user’s access to company data, a task that must constantly be revisited as the user’s responsibilities and the data files change. Doing this manually is an endless, employee-intensive problem that is difficult to accomplished, said Johnnie Konstantas, vice president of marketing at Varonis Systems Inc., a provider of comprehensive data governance software that recently unveiled a channel program designed to recruit and reward partners that sell its software and services.

“We’re talking about an enormous challenge in matching up users with the data,” she said. “It’s any data generally kept outside the database. We’re talking about a lot of data – and very important data. You can see how untenable it is to do this manually.”

In fact, 91 percent of those polled by Ponemon said their organization did not have a process for determining who owns unstructured data, and 61 percent lacked a process to monitor which users accessed unstructured data. 

It is also difficult to reach the thousands of businesses around the world that could use Varonis’ products: DatAdvantage, DataPrivilege and IDU Platform. This is why the company relies completely on the channel to sell and support its solutions, said Konstantas. “We have always been 100-percent through the channel, but it’s been an ad-hoc process,” she said. “As we grew we wanted to become more rigorous and reward resellers for selecting our products and for building added services around us.”

In July, the New York-based vendor unveiled the Varonis Partner Program, a two-tiered approach for Authorized and Premier partners. Participants receive access to a dedicated partner manager; pre-sales support; free online certification training; Varonis marketing automation systems and a partner portal for 24/7 access to sales enablement, marketing, demo, opportunity registration and information assets. The program also features a free 30-day product evaluation program which can be installed on-site or via WebEx, deal registration, as well as access to Varonis’ tools such as a study the vendor recently commissioned from the Ponemon Institute, Konstantas added.

Varonis currently works with about 100 partners worldwide, she said. Many have expertise in security, compliance, network-attached storage (NAS) or other complementary technologies. Others focus on the specialized market segments such as financial and healthcare.

Gotham Technology Group, which began working with Varonis just under two years ago, sells into a mix of enterprise and SMB customers such as hedge funds with large IT budgets and small headcounts.

“Compliance is a big issue. It’s always been a big issue to our customers. An area like this really needs to be sold from the top down,” said Ira Silverman, Gotham's CEO. “We like products like that, because it really raises us in the food chain. It enables us to get in at a higher level with a lot of customers. If you get the right person in the room – and that’s always the tricky part – and you start explaining to them the value prop of Varonis, you see the light go on as you talk to them.”

Varonis’ new channel program should further improve the relationship between two companies, Silverman said. “A formal MDF program is always important to us. With deal registration, yesterday it was an informal process; today it’s more of a formal process, and we have the opportunity to get more on the registration time which always helps. The fact that they have a very nice deal registration program is very, very important to us. With the Premier program, it’s almost double what it was before. Also, if you sell the product you have the registration for the following year’s services.”

TAGS: services,SMB,marketing,Storage

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