Aqua Advantage Empowers Partners to Stop Cloud Native Attacks
When I was hired by Aqua in February, my charter was to leverage my experience and market knowledge to enhance the existing partner program and to build a team of rock stars to support partners based on the new program construct. What I found when I arrived was a program much like others – focused on partner tiers and lacking real partner-driven feedback and insights. Ultimately, this program wasn’t truly bringing value to partners, customers, or Aqua. To that end, I started on a journey to understand the potential of the CNAPP (Cloud Native Application Protection Platform) market and the value it could bring to both partners and customers.
What I found was an amazing opportunity to combine and package all the pieces Aqua was already delivering on:
- Aqua’s customers and partners needed to evolve with market development and the guidance often led by companies like Gartner and Forrester. While CNAPP only became a market definition in August of 2021, Aqua is a leader in this space with a platform that supports the software lifecycle from code through runtime. This underscored an opportunity to drive awareness through both the partner and customer ecosystems.
- Aqua’s Professional Services leadership and team have built a robust and clear enablement path to support partners to deliver the services our customers needed the most.
- The landscape of skillset and knowledge as it relates not only to cloud native applications but the best practices and execution of such related to securing them is an area where our customers continue to ask us for additional support.
A Clearer Focus on Partners’ Needs
When you put all of these pieces together, our best opportunity to support the current market is to work closely with those partners who already understand the need for securing cloud native applications and who can provide advisory, consulting, and delivery services to meet customers’ needs. Therefore, we have focused on leveraging our solution development expertise to drive the best customer outcomes. Our Professional Services team developed a Technical Assessment Program to test and validate a consultant’s skillset as it relates to Aqua. This program has been in very high demand, and we are delivering these engagements monthly.
My vision of a true ecosystem partnership is having the ability to build a relationship on a foundation stronger than simply a transaction with customers. Many customers require a partner who can provide guidance through their current digital transformation evolution, creating a solution focused market. Solution development, enablement, and market development needs to evolve and shift to help partners adapt to a procurement framework that is redefining their own business models.
Leveraging Relationships with Strategic Expertise
Building strong ecosystem relationships that create a solution for customers delivers convenience and reduces costs for them. We are working towards exactly that by leveraging relationships with strategic cloud service providers coupled with solution provider expertise. Additionally, we intend to build technology alliance relationships to meet customers where there is a consistent need for a broader solution. In the partner ecosystem itself, this only further articulates the value of partners who also support a multi-vendor offering. One hundred percent of our services are delivered through partners because of their expertise both with Aqua as well as the complimentary technologies and overall knowledge of a sophisticated cloud environment.
The Aqua Advantage partner program is built with the philosophy of driving the best outcomes for our customers by leveraging the expertise and investments of our partner ecosystem; working the closest with ecosystem partners who complement the technology we bring forward; and understanding the needs of customers to quickly adopt these technologies with limited experience and skillsets. By focusing on partners who have already started to make investments in this space and accelerate their development and execution, we all win – people, process, and technology become the solution we deliver to customers. This helps our customers deliver back to the business and helps our partners to be valuable contributors to the outcome.
A Revitalized Portal with a New Vision
Aqua Advantage for our ecosystem partners includes pre-sales and post-sales technical training, market development assets and support, program and product guides, sales training, solution development guidance, and a simple pricing program meant to support those partners who are mutually invested in the program itself. We have doubled our ecosystem team globally to support the increasing demand and will continue to grow over the upcoming months. Additionally, our recently revitalized portal has a fresh new look that is easy to navigate and is updated regularly, including new content and awareness of upcoming events, webinars, and promotions. All ecosystem partners can access this portal through a gated website once they have become a member of the Advantage program.
Learn more about our partner program here https://www.aquasec.com/partners
I am excited for this journey with our partners, our customers, and ourselves. I feel quite strongly this market is ripe for opportunity on multiple levels and am looking forward to working with those partners who feel the same way. It has been a very busy and productive six months with outcomes better than I would have predicted, including the increased engagement from partners globally.