Vendor focus

Armed and ready

Graham Field, senior pre-sales engineer at Swivel

Swivel, an authentication solutions provider has recently ventured into the region. Here, the company talks about the benefits of token-less technology and picky partner selection.

Graham Field, senior pre-sales engineer at Swivel, discribes the company, a member of the Mara Group of Companies, as a purely token less authentication vendor.

“Our multi-factor platform is underpinned by our patented technology, PINsafe. With this technology we have been successful in providing solutions for organisations of all shapes and sizes across any situation that requires filtering access to systems or data. More importantly, our solutions are aimed at replacing the traditional two factor or token based authentication systems that require the use of passwords or authentication documents like passports or identity cards. These systems were not just expensive but also hugely inconvenient,” Field explains.

“PINsafe is the very root of our offering, a unique feature that allows challenge response authentication, without the need of a traditional token. PINsafe combines the use of a registered PIN with a 10 digit strings that are sent to you either by SMS, Mobile app, email, or web, either on demand or in advance. You then combine these in your head to work out your unique one-time access codes, putting you at the heart of the strong multi-factor authentication process. The different user devices can be assigned to different users depending on the organisation’s corporate security and access policies. It is designed with ultimate flexibility in mind – regardless of the size of the organisation,” he adds.

Like other network security solution providers, Swivel saw huge opportunities emerging in the Middle East and a year ago, the company decided to venture into the region after signing an exclusive distribution agreement with a prominent regional value-added distributor.

“Many of our existing clients are global players with a local presence in the Middle East. In addition to this, as a company we were already in the process of expanding operations across several regions. The UAE today represents not just a regional trade hub but gives us access to an emerging market where investments are booming and more organisations are investing in key technologies and security solutions to keep their operations going,” Field says.

As a new player in the region, Swivel decided to begin its operations in the region through a sole distributor- Optimus Technology & Telecommunications.

“This region is fairly new to us and we are traditionally a channel-focused company that drives its business through primary distributors who understand the market and the culture. For instance, in this region, Optimus is Swivel’s ‘feet on the street’, not only do they possess the necessary market experience but they also have the essential knowledge of the partner community,” he adds.

As part of its role, Optimus then executes Swivel’s channel strategy by selecting the right breed of partners and then enabling them to grow the business.

Field says that the nature of the company’s technology necessitates the need to be choosy when it comes to partner selection.

“This is not a solution that just anybody can talk about. Partners need to have the right skills and knowledge to be able to offer customers a superior level of technical and post implementation support. While, we do offer training programmes and exercise for partners, we have consciously selected partners that have an active security practice, know exactly how to position Swivel solutions and possess a loyal customer base. In turn, we drive our business and customer enquiries in the region through these partners to ensure that the pie continues to be big enough for all to share, profitably,” Field states.

Field adds that at this point the company has about 10 active partners in the region and is looking to increase this number in the future, yet it will continue to look for niche skilled players and not crowd the channel for Swivel solutions in the region.

With a robust channel strategy already in place, Field says that in due time the company will establish a local presence in the region to better support both its partners and customers. “If a recent Gartner document is anything to go by, we have a bright future ahead of us. The document reported that Swivel has the broadest range of authentication products in comparison to any other vendor. We want to bring this first-hand innovation to the region,” he concludes. //


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