Cloud security vendor Okta has transitioned to a channel model in the UK and detailed to CRN the financial implications of its rapid shift away from direct business.
Nick Miles, Okta's channel alliances director for EMEA confirmed to CRN that the vendor is now 100 per cent channel in the UK, a journey from a completely direct model less than three years ago.
"We were 100 per cent direct globally, but I came in two-and-a-half years ago with the aim of getting the channel up-and-running," Miles said.
"In that first year we went from 100 per cent direct, to having 25-30 per cent through the channel in the UK. Last year we progressed to have 85 per cent of business with a channel partner. In May this year, we were confirmed as 100 per cent channel in the UK."
Okta was positioned as one of six ‘leaders' in Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant on access management, alongside Microsoft, Oracle, CA, IBM and Ping Identity'. The vendor is exclusively distributed through Distology in the UK, a move Miles will look to replicate across EMEA with various distributors.
In terms of the financial implications of the transition towards the channel, Miles said while there is often a cost in such developments, there has not been a stark impact on the bottom line.
"Actually, we have had up to a 10 per cent savings in terms of administration, finance and legal by having a single point of contact in Distology," he said.
"Working with the channel gives us a bigger reach and enables our product to be integrated as a solution."
Miles said Charles Race, who was appointed as president of worldwide field operations for Okta in January, has proven a highly channel-focused president looking to "change the DNA of the firm to be about the channel".
"Moving forward this year, it will be all about focus on supporting our partners. We will also launch a new partner programme and partner portal," added Miles.
Hayley Roberts, managing director of Distology told CRN that the distributor identified Okta a year ago, but at the time were disappointed by its lack of channel mentality.
"However, we signed a distribution deal with them in December last year and we worked closely together before for six months to build a team," she said.
"We have developed that team, which is essentially an Okta channel team. We are managing the partners, we are enabling them and we have three people in sales alongside two in technical."
Roberts claimed that Okta's products, which are "intelligent and easy to access", operate as a useful conversation starter for resellers talking to their clients about cloud technology.
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