iSheriff thinks that even in an ultra-competitive security market, their next-generation delivery architecture, strong technical solution and distinctive use of the channel in their go-to-market model positions them well in today’s cloud universe.
Redwood Shores CA-based iSheriff has released iSheriff Complete, a comprehensive offering that the company is heralding as the industry’s first cloud-based product that delivers total protection through a single Web-based management console.
“iSheriff Complete offers the full value of all of our products — Web, endpoint and email scanning combined with data in transit protection and archiving capability,” said John Mutch, iSheriff’s CEO, “What’s unique is that we have this broad security footprint in a cloud architecture, to provide a low cost-broad security value targeted at SMEs.” ISheriff defines that market as companies with less than $500 million in revenue.
iSheriff started out in 1999 as an Australian-based software security vendor, but within a decade had both moved its offices to the U.S. and moved its offerings to the cloud. More recently the company was effectively merged with Total Defense — the CA Technologies security spinoff — when the same VC acquired both companies. With Total Defense selling off their consumer brands — and their name — the new company wound up being branded as iSheriff, a move Mutch said made sense anyway because iSheriff was cloud based, and that was the new company’s future.
“First and foremost, what we are seeing today is a shift from the last generation architecture and solution to a next generation one,” Mutch said. “Before, our customers would buy a Barracuda rack or a WatchGuard rack and put it in their IT rack. They are now connecting up to the cloud. iSheriff is largely a virtual BYOD environment itself, and that’s more prototypical of what customers are like today. Customers going to the cloud is the first checkmark for us, and the integrated product set is the second. In niches like education, where we offer archiving capability, that’s a real value-add to them.”
Mutch said that iSheriff Complete positions the company strategically for this market.
“It’s one console, one policy-based, one provisioning, one forensics environment — it’s all integrated.” he said. “It’s a real-time breathing sandbox in the cloud.
Selling that solution, no matter how good it is, in a North American security market overpopulated with dozens of players large and small, is something else again. iSheriff thinks that its’ relatively unique go-to-market model can compensate for this.
“We have a channel sales model, and our total channel count is about 1500, but our strategy with the channel is more focused than that, and focuses on a smaller subset,” Mutch said. “Our go-to-market model is very efficient, and is what we call a hybrid inbound marketing model. We have direct sales people on the phone inside, talking to customers, organizing webinars and demos, doing trials and closing. We also generate leads and interest from people hitting our website. But we then do all the fulfilment through the channel, which does the work, does the billing, and then later, does the renewal. So, most sales actually come from our own direct people selling, and then bringing a partner into the sale.”
“We are more designed to prime the partner’s pump than the reverse,” said Oscar Marquez, Chief Technology Officer at iSheriff.
Mutch said they are using this model now to drive their business through a congested channel.
“What we are trying to do now is take a lead in engaging the channel, to gain their credibility and have a much stronger relationship with them,” he said.
“At our size and scale, and with the entrenched number of competitors we face, we can’t just roll out to 7000 partners and say ‘sell our products — here’s a better idea,’” he said. “We need to execute on this inside inbound sales model, where we contact the customer’s partner of choice, bring them in, and hopefully build a relationship based on actual transaction value rather than on things like MDF.”
Marquez stressed that iSheriff has several additional things which help it out today.
“We have a ground-up cloud solution that is now in its fifth generation,” he said. “We have been working with MSPs and ISPs since we started, and our solution is very scalable and robust and truly multitenanted. Because we are cloud, the Internet of Things is really helping us take off. We have 3000 plus customers, and on average most customers run around 2 products.”
Marquez said a majority of their wins are takeaways from other vendors, particularly those who don’t offer fully multi-tenanted solutions.
“About 60 per cent of our wins are takeaways. and about 40 per cent greenfields,” he said. “We often walk in and take out four products and often four management consoles.” Marquez also said that while they have a big chunk of their business in Europe and Asia, over 45 per cent is in the Americas. This includes Canada, where they have a couple hundred customers.
“We have a next-generation delivery architecture, a superior technical solution and the benefits of all the lessons we have learned about the go-to-market model,” Mutch said.