Sophos enhanced its value proposition by acquiring smaller companies that supplement our portfolio like network Security Company Cyberoam as an example. Last year we bought security software firm SurfRight. We recently launched Intercept X to beat ransomware. We innovate and also tuck in M&A deals to stay ahead of the curve.
Let’s talk about channels. Have the challenges around integrating channels of Sophos and acquired UTM companies Astaro and Cyberoam been ironed out?
All channel partners across the companies are effectively under a single channel program of Sophos. It is true that over the year we had channels that were proficient in end-point security (Sophos) and some were only selling network security (Astaro and/or Cyberoam). However, over the past 18 months, our strongest channels partners are selling both – end-point and network.
The results for six months ended Sept. 30, 2016, indicated that customers who have both Endpoint and UTM products increased from 6.4 percent to 8.4 percent YOY. We grew our overall number of partners to 26,000 and increased our blue chip partners (those generating at least 5 transactions in the prior 6 months) from 4,700 at the prior year-end to 5,400.That is a very encouraging trend.
And what about consolidation of three prominent brands -- Sophos, Astaro, and Cyberoam -- to avoid any conflict of interest amongst CISOs and channels?
We now sell only one brand Sophos. We today offer three series of UTM - SG (from Astaro), NG series (from Cyberoam) and XG. XG is the future platform that is the superset of SG and NG and combines its best features together.
We basically do not want to compel customers to migrate to the innovative platform XG from their earlier model but only when they are ready to move to a newer platform along with investment protection. We want to make the transition as smooth and as friendly for customers and partners and channels and customers over time will see more value in our future UTM platform.
Last year the company’s key focus was pragmatic (SME) enterprises. Does that strategy hold true today or is Sophos keen to address large enterprise clients?
The value prop of the complete advanced security appeals to organizations of all sizes from 50 users to over 5000 users too. However, there is no question that we are the best fit for SMB market and the channels that serve them. Our solutions are complete, work as a system and easy to use and manage which is a huge benefit for small and medium businesses who are mostly short of dedicated IT or security professionals.
Kris Hagerman’s 5 Security Trends for 2017
1. Cybercrime industry to become much more difficult, complex and sophisticated.
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