As a market leader for cybersecurity and digital risk management solutions, this tech company sought a strategic refresh of pricing and packaging (P&P) for their enterprise-grade Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution.


IAM solutions are at the forefront of enterprise security, enabling businesses to have more control over their user identities and sensitive information. After leading the market for decades, well-funded Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) competitors were starting to eat into their market share. The company wanted to reverse that trend. Other considerations included:

  • The tremendous growth in cloud computing (e.g., SaaS, IaaS) and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), have shifted the dynamics of IAM security from perimeter-based approaches to identity-context-based approaches that provide real-time adaptive access to all target resources. 
  • More agile, cloud-first IAM vendors were offering a streamlined portfolio and purchase customer experience. To effectively compete, this Cybersecurity Company (along with other long-standing vendors) had to constantly adapt and expand the components and capabilities of their IAM offerings, resulting in increased complexity of their P&P. The IAM solution had been developed and refined over the years and had numerous components and authentication methods (see Figure 1), which made the purchase process more complex for the customer.
  • Due to the evolution of the market, the company wished to refresh P&P and develop a strategy that allowed the transition of a significant portion of its customer base to migrate from perpetual licensing to term-based licenses.

We knew assisting a market leader with evaluating and reimagining their pricing and packaging approach would be a challenging engagement. Our experience with enterprise clients and the importance of balancing the needs of multiple stakeholder groups was a key part of driving through to a successful solution.
—Bob Caruso, SaaS Growth Consultant, Orchid Black
The Problem

This cybersecurity leader approached Orchid Black to update their P&P for their IAM solution:

Packaging Complexity

  • The packaging concepts differed from the market.
  • The portfolio had too many components and SKUs, and quotes had become too complex.
  • There was friction in selling through its channel (a large portion  of product sales).
  • It was challenging to move traditional, long-time customers from term-based to license-based models.

Pricing Problems

  • A perception of being expensive existed, which led to continual high discount expectations from customers.
  • Pricing pressure in certain markets (e.g., Latin American).

The Team
Bob Caruso, Managing Partner, Orchid Black
Bob Caruso
Delivery Lead
Howard Joyce, Managing Partner, Orchid Black
Howard Joyce
Managing Partner
Jim Barnish Jr., Founding Managing Partner, Orchid Black
Jim Barnish Jr.
Managing Partner
Head of Strategy & Business Architect
Robert Nix, Operating Partner, Orchid Black
Robert Nix
Financial Modeling & Analytics
Nick Tarsi, Senior Associate, Orchid Black
Nick Tarsi
Sr. Associate
The Partnership

Orchid Black’s deep market research capabilities and operational experience with assisting enterprise software and technology companies was a highly relevant fit for the company’s objectives. The primary goal for the project was to develop options for repositioning the IAM solution from a license-based pricing approach to a user-based subscription program. Caruso and Joyce brought extensive experience working with other technology organizations similar to this cybersecurity enterprise that had gone through P&P transformations.

Some examples of Orchid Black’s  work over the years include managing channel operational changes in Microsoft’s transition from perpetual-based licensing to subscription-based licensing, developing packaging approaches for SaaS conversions,  and establishing subscription-pricing schemas for multiple clients. Additionally, they brought a deep knowledge of channel sales, optimization and economics, a significant asset,  as the company  primarily sold through a two-tiered channel. Orchid Black’s experience working with channel optimization as both channel partners and consultants to clients with extensive channel distribution programs was highly valuable.

There were two big “aha moments” that were encountered during the engagement.

The first was the disparity between the market's perception of the company's solution capabilities versus their competitors. New competitors were being viewed as “cloud-built” and therefore having deeper capabilities than this market leader. This misperception, wide-spread with customers and channel partners, was anything but true. The company had one of the most comprehensive IAM solutions available in the market. 

The second “aha moment” was found in reviewing competitive offerings. Conspicuously missing from the company was an easy “get-started, cloud-first” offering. This offering was a key differentiation from their competitors, who were utilizing it quite effectively in head-to-head sales situations. The team agreed this was a gap and was excited about having a “wedge offering” to use to get a foot in the door for new logos, or new departments within current clients. 

These “aha moments” led to a P&P strategy that could utilize the “wedge offering” to reduce sales friction and effectively compete for new sales, but also lay the foundation for easily expanding as customers’ needs might require in the future.

The Solution

“This company defined the market and has a legacy of delivering innovative security solutions to their customers. Our approach involved deep collaboration with their team, their channel partners, and their customers to understand this legacy and to contrast that with current market trends to define an approach that would extend their leadership position for the future.”

—Howard Joyce
Channel/Enterprise Software SME, Orchid Black

When a company has a history of success as long as this one, there is a reluctance to change. It’s easier to maintain the status quo as they would still be rated as a highly successful company by most metrics. If one metric needs to be improved moving forward, it would be growth (both new logo and existing customers), and that became the north star for this entire engagement. Our work included:

  • We completed 55 interviews (internal and external) with 103 individuals to first understand the problem internally and the opportunity in the market. 
  • The compilation of our Summary of Findings evolved into a recommendations report, which included the new P&P and important considerations for the roll-out.
  • Once a recommendation for the updated P&P was made, an in-depth financial analysis was conducted to understand the effects of the change from both a historical and future projections viewpoint.
Pricing & Packaging Revamp for Fortune 500 Cybersecurity Company
The Results

Orchid Black’s SaaS growth consultants and the company worked together to successfully create a new P&P (with an entry-level, cloud-first solution) for this long-standing IAM product that positioned the company for long-term growth.

“Assisting market leaders to position for future growth demanded creativity, deep knowledge of the space and a vision for success. Our experience was a great fit to support the company in re-imagining their packaging and pricing strategy.” 


“We worked with Orchid Black on a P&P project for one of our key portfolios. Overall, the project was a success. The team excelled in gathering and synthesizing a ton of qualitative and quantitative data through internal, customer, and partner interviews and primary/secondary market research. The team members added a lot of value with their B2B Enterprise Software expertise and rich experience of having worked in large enterprise partner programs."

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

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