WALLIX Iberica: A Year in Review
An interview with CEO Jean-Noël de Galzain
An interview with Jean-Noël de Galzain, Founder & CEO of WALLIX, expert in identity and access security solutions
How would you assess the company’s first year in Spain?
Despite the pandemic, WALLIX Ibérica is a fast-growing company. When we bought Simarks in 2019, our team consisted of only 3 people. Today, we have been able to recruit 10 additional people, which is really encouraging for the future.
The strength and uniqueness of WALLIX Ibérica relies on its R&D center that we created last year. Part of the team is therefore dedicated to securing Windows uses and workstations. At the head of this R&D center is Jorge Marcos, DSI for almost 25 years and a great connoisseur of the Windows environment. Jorge shares with us the idea that it is necessary to create innovative tools that offer a high-security level and, above all, that are really easy to configure and use. We have thus developed in Spain WALLIX BestSafe, our EPM (Endpoint Privilege Management) solution that is now sold worldwide.
The rest of the team is made up of our sales force, who have done a great job over the past few months. We now have very good references in the Banking & Insurance sectors, as well as in Industry and the Public sector.
The indirect distribution strategy and pillar of WALLIX Corp’s development –the Channel– is marking a turning point in Spain. Today, among our ten partners, we have a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), a true strategic bet for WALLIX Corp in 2021. The goal is that this MSSP will now recommend our offer to its customers in SaaS mode, and this will enable us to penetrate the Mid-Market.
We have also just signed a contract with a major distributor and will soon make the official announcement. This partnership will allow us to increase the distribution of WALLIX access and identity security solutions in Spain.
What do you think are the keys to WALLIX’s success?
First of all, we have an offer for securing access to company data that is truly innovative on the market. We guarantee the protection of the users’ digital identities (such as employees, service providers, partners, etc.) and thus we prevent hackers from usurping identities. In this sense, we give companies back control over access to their IT infrastructure and significantly reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, theft, or data leakage. Our solutions also enable companies to comply with cybersecurity regulatory requirements.
Our offer consists of 4 solutions:
WALLIX Bastion (PAM): A software suite that manages privileged accounts and is certified by
ANSSI. This solution is used to manage, control, supervise and ensure the traceability of privileged users’ activity on the company’s IS, while securing passwords.
WALLIX BestSafe (EPM): An Endpoint protection solution that applies the least privilege principle to avoid risks related to over-privileged users and the spread of malware, crypto-virus, and ransomware attacks.
WALLIX Trustelem (IDaaS): A service platform that unifies, simplifies, and controls user access to applications.
WALLIX Authenticator (MFA): A strong multi-factor authentication solution to protect access to IT assets, applications, and data.
Another cornerstone of WALLIX is in fact its global partner network: from distributors and value-added resellers to Global Systems Integrators (GSI) and consulting firms. Kristine Kirchner, VP Channel EMEA is at the head of the 15-person team working on the Channel, which manages the WALLIX distribution network through the Business Partner Program. We currently have more than 180 partners worldwide and our network continues to grow every day. For example, we have just signed a contract with Arrow Electronics, the second largest IT distributor in the United States. Today, we cover nearly the entire global market thanks to a solid system: the WALLIX Academy (capacity strengthening), a PRM platform (Partner Relation Management) that centralizes the program’s monitoring and piloting tools, the Success Stories, a document library to improve the command of WALLIX solutions, the possibility of joint marketing actions (for our most committed partners), and a regional and sectoral development strategy.
Finally, our customers and partners recognize the quality of our Customer Success (24/7 support). We are proud to offer a high-quality service with responsive teams capable of supporting our customers and partners wherever they are in the world. This international dimension and vision is part of WALLIX’s DNA and enables us to be as close to your needs as possible.
You expect to cover 80% of the international market by 2021. How are you going to achieve it?
Thanks to our Business Partner Program, by applying a regional and sectoral development strategy. The goal is to consolidate our presence in those territories where we are already present, but also to launch ourselves into new regions, and thus meet the demands of the global market. Since the beginning of this year, the Business Partner Program has undergone a major acceleration. In order to meet the specific needs of each market (regulations, business sectors, etc.), we have adapted the Business Partner Program according to the region, a strategy that is bearing fruit. WALLIX has learned how to transfer local customer case models to other regions.
A few months ago, we appointed Kristine Kirchner as VP Channel EMEA to expand this success to all countries of this region. Her mission is to ensure the expansion of these models of success through strong coordination and by infusing the overall strategic vision of the company, essential to this important position.
Kristine Kirchner’s second mission is to accelerate the development of the Business Partner Program in WALLIX’s key sectors in 2021: healthcare, industry, and financial services. The objective is to strengthen its presence in international key accounts and to continue its conquest of SMEs.
One of Kristine’s main tasks will be to multiply strategic partnerships with specialists in industrial technologies (OT – Operational Technology), as we have already done with Fives, an industrial engineering company. Both Fives and we share the idea that the successful digital transformation of factories requires cybersecurity. Thus, Fives has integrated WALLIX Inside into its Fives CortX Gateway right from the design phase. WALLIX Inside is all WALLIX access and identity securitization technologies, which are already available “by design” in any digital tool.
Kristine will also accelerate the conquest of SMEs while integrating more and more Managed Security Service Providers in the Business Partner Program that are addressed to those companies that have neither the expertise nor the in-house resources to ensure their cybersecurity, and will therefore turn to the MSSP, these specialists in cybersecurity service management.
In 2021, the Business Partner Program has truly become a pillar of WALLIX’s international development, representing 739 certified people and 1,300 customers worldwide. Thanks to all this, we are confident that we will reach 80% of the global market by the end of 2021.
What makes Wallix different from other companies in the industry?
First of all, we are the European leader in PAM (Privileged Access Management) and, in general, in protecting access to IT infrastructures. We offer the global market a European alternative that also complies with the UE data protection regulations. In addition to “data security” we guarantee “data privacy”, and nowadays, “data privacy” must be a selection criterion for any digital tool.
In the same line, our solutions are very easy to integrate and to use for both the IT department and the user. This simplicity makes it possible to reduce the cost of access and maintenance of a PAM technology. Our offer allows complete control of all access to the IT infrastructure regardless of its origin: remote, external, internal, from the IT or industrial network, from the cloud, or even from the users’ workstation. Our global approach to cybersecurity enables companies to succeed in their business transformation.
Today, the particularity of our offer is that it is already available “by design” for all digital companies that don’t work as cybersecurity providers but consider that securing access to data is mandatory. We call this cybersecurity offer “by design” WALLIX Inside.
WALLIX Inside is integrated into the solutions of manufacturers in all sectors who wish to offer their customers cybersecurity “as standard”. As we mentioned earlier, this is already the case for Fives, an industrial engineering specialist that manufactures a gateway that connects the production environment to the plant’s information system. By integrating WALLIX Inside into their gateway, manufacturers can take advantage of the data generated to improve production while benefiting from a high level of protection.
With WALLIX Inside, we have a sector-oriented approach to cybersecurity. Manufacturers, by choosing a solution that incorporates WALLIX Inside, can focus on their business activity in full safety. Whether they are cloud service providers, software publishers, or manufacturers of connected objects, WALLIX Inside is made for them.
What are the challenges Spain faces and how do you see the country in terms of cybersecurity? Where do they need to improve?
It is undeniable that there is know-how in cybersecurity, but organizations invest less in cybersecurity solutions than elsewhere. However, Spain is not spared from cyber-attacks, and sensitive sectors, such as the public sector or banking, are particularly affected. There is a real effort to modernize the IT infrastructure and increase the overall level of cybersecurity. However, this will create budgetary stress and organizations will then turn to less expensive solutions that are less complex to implement. In addition, there is a shortage of cybersecurity talent, as is the case in France.
The challenge for cybersecurity manufacturers such as WALLIX is to do a great job of raising awareness and training DSIs by offering them packaged solutions that are scalable, easy to implement, and affordable.
Furthermore, we have to make them see that there is a European cybersecurity and digital industry that respects data privacy. As for Spanish organizations, they don’t need to look very far since WALLIX is also a Spanish company whose R&D center is in Spain and that will continue to invest in this country in the coming years.