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By Gina Roos

TraceSecurity has launched a channel partner program designed to help VARs, managed security service providers (MSSPs) and consultants build and grow their security and IT governance, risk and compliance (GRC) services aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs). At the center of the TraceSecurity Partner Program is the company’s TraceCSO risk-based cloud information security solution, which was developed specifically for SMBs.

The IT GRC solution enables any size company or security skill set to evaluate, implement and manage a risk-based information security program. It addresses some of the industry’s top concerns, such as cloud security and bring your own device (BYOD) issues. Services include risk management, vulnerability scanning, policies, training, compliance and auditing.

The solution was developed over two years to address the lack of a good IT GRC solution for the SMB market, and it was the key driving factor behind the need for a partner program, said Alan Fortier, director of channel sales for TraceSecurity.

The company expects that more than 50 percent of its revenue will come from the channel in the next two to three years. Prior to the partner program, TraceSecurity sold its products and services through a direct sales force.

TraceCSO gives traditional VARs the opportunity to offer a fully integrated IT GRC solution that is less complex and less costly, said Fortier. And like VARs, MSSPs haven’t had a GRC product to offer their customers in the SMB space. Now, they can offer the product as a solution or white-label it as appropriate, he added.

In addition, with the TraceCSO risk assessment, partners can identify security and compliance areas that need to be addressed by customers. That may create additional revenue opportunities within the partner’s product portfolio.

The TraceSecurity Partner Program defines five partner levels to support different levels of participation and benefits: referral partner, reseller partner, value-added reseller, consulting partner and technology partner. Partners receive sales and marketing support, technical training, multi-tiered discounts, free evaluation software and deal registration through the partner portal. There is a lot of flexibility between the different levels to fit the needs of partners, and partners can participate in multiple levels, he said.

One of the key benefits of the program is that there is “little or virtually no up-front investment,” said Fortier.

TraceSecurity expects VARs to be the sweet spot for the company’s services. VARs will sell, install and support the IT GRC solution with little hands-on support, he said.

To date, TraceSecurity has signed 10 partners across the United States.