1Password Rolls Out Partner Program; MSPs Planned For Second Phase

1Password revealed plans to expand into the small and medium-size business market by growing its channel business, starting with the launch of a new global partner program. Known as an enterprise and consumer password manager with millions of consumer users, 1Password is initially focusing on resellers, distributors, cloud service partners, and system integrators. The company plans to onboard MSPs in the second quarter of the year.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen a ton of organic response from the community at large wanting to service and sell our product to their end customer, but we’ve done that without the construct of a proper partner program,” says Monica Jain, 1Password’s head of global GTM partnerships. Jain joined the company just over a year ago and is leading this effort.

Monica Jain

Until now, 1Password “organically grew our B2B offering, which we brought to market six years ago,” says Melton Littlepage, 1Password’s chief marketing officer. “In that six years, we’ve gone from no B2B customers to nearly 150,000 B2B customers.”

The first phase of this multiyear partner program rollout provides partners with access to 1Password’s security solutions suite, a simplified partner experience, and a toolkit of sales, marketing, and enablement resources. Distribution partners include Arrow Electronics, Insight Enterprises, and Liquid PC, with Ingram Micro and TD SYNNEX to follow, Jain says.

The MSP partner program is part of the second phase of the initiative, she explains.

“Over the next 12 to 24 months, we’re going to continue to refine that program, add more assets, add more toolkits. More importantly, we’re going to add more robust incentives that matter to MSPs,” she says. We recognize that MSPs are not like VARs, they’re not like distribution partners. They do operate very differently in the market. And so, you want to curate a program that’s really specialized in helping them operate as a channel partner.”

Jain says 1Password recognizes that MSPs need multitenancy, automated billing, consumption-based pricing, and “all that infrastructure that helps them support how they sell to the end customer.”

The company will be building that out over the course of this year, starting with rebates and incentives. “We’re not going to take a kitchen sink approach and just assume the incentives that we put out for resellers will also work for MSPs,” she notes. “We are going to tailor and build those incentives for MSPs.”

In addition, Jain says they will be launching a certification program around the Q3 timeframe. “We recognize that MSPs need to be able to differentiate when it comes to cybersecurity solutions. Their customers want to know that the MSPs that are selling them these cybersecurity solutions truly, holistically understand and are proposing the best solution for them. So, this certification path … helps set MSPs apart.”

There are also plans for marketing toolkits and marketing development funds, she says.

“Everything is going to be a very outside-in approach to how we think about programming for MSPs.”

Jain says a beta of the MSP partner program will be able in the latter half of the year.

In the meantime, she says, 1Password is encouraging MSPs to take advantage of the MSSP incubation program. “We are prompting MSPs because we recognize that they do have resell capabilities, so to come in and be able to, if they want, operate as a reseller,” and then join the MSP beta program when it’s available.

1Password is also working to address any concerns partners have about the company’s direct sales. “Channel conflict is a real thing when you’re building a partner program for the first time,” Jain says. “And so right off the bat … we removed internal channel conflict. So all of our direct sellers are actually fully compensated on any partner deals. They’re incentivized to work with partners versus working against partners.”

In addition, “The way we built our margin structure is that, irrespective of whether a partner wants to partner directly with us or go through distribution, we’ve created a margin program that doesn’t incentivize them either way. We’re going to take the very same approach when it comes to MSPs—remove all internal channel conflict as well as conflict within the markets.”

She adds, “We will always make sure our direct teams are [incentivized] in a way that helps our partners grow and succeed with us. Partner friendliness is really the core of what we look at versus being channeled first [or] only.”

Colleen Frye is executive editor of MSP Success. A veteran of the B2B publishing industry, she has been covering the channel for the last 17 years.



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