Channelnomics

Channelnomics 2011 Influencers Awards: Part 3

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Security

Winner:
Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab

The security vendor on everyone’s watch list remains Kaspersky Lab, thanks in large part to its founder and chief executive, Eugene Kaspersky. Kaspersky has built an impressive company and equally impressive channel around its expanding portfolio of security products and services. The company’s embracing of the channel has contributed greatly to Kaspersky Lab emerging from curiosity coming out of Russia to a global contender in the security market, threatening to displace Trend Micro as the number 3 vendor in market share. Kaspersky has built an impressive channel and sales team – Steve Orenberg, Nancy Reynolds and Gary Abod – that supports solution providers and drive value through the channel. But much of the credit goes to the chief cheerleader, Eugene, who tirelessly promotes his company, products and partners to a market that’s facing ever more powerful security threats. While Kaspersky and its channel remain small in comparison to the likes of Symantec and McAfee, it is nonetheless influencing the conversation between security vendors and partners, and partners and customers – thanks, again, to Eugene’s personal campaign to raise awareness on cybercrime, hacking and malware.

Winner:
Palo Alto Networks

Let’s call Palo Alto Networks the little security startup that could. After struggling in its first few years as the pioneer in next-generation firewall technology, Palo Alto Networks found its footing over the past two years to become a significant player in the security market. Its continued leadership position in promoting and selling application-aware firewalls has made it a darling of the security market and contributed greatly to its growth. And its channel-first strategy of working mostly through partners to reach customers is making it a favorite among resellers looking for that next big thing in product sales and services. The success Palo Alto Networks is having influences the rest of the security market, as other vendors have followed its lead with the release of competitive next-gen firewalls. You could say Palo Alto Networks has become the benchmark by which all other next-gen firewalls and channel programs are measured.

Ones to Watch in 2012

Steve Hale, Sophos: Steve Hale joined Sophos last year at an opportune time. The security software vendor’s channel network had been aptly managed by a team following the surprise departure of long-time channel chief Chris Doggett. It was picking up momentum when Sophos acquired Astaro and began its first foray into hardware (Astaro is a specialist in unified threat management appliances). Then came Hale. He inherited the challenge of integrating two distinctly different channel programs that offered different products. The combined Sophos-Astaro company essentially doubled its competition, as it now rivals all the antivirus (Sophos, McAfee, Kaspersky, Trend Micro) and UTM vendors (SonicWall, Fortinet, WatchGuard). Hale has a monumental task and opportunity ahead, making him one to watch.

SourceFire: In enterprise security, SourceFire is well-known for its intrusion prevention systems built on the legacy of the open-source Snort network sensor. As 2011 came to a close, SourceFire released its first next-generation firewall that includes next-generation intrusion prevention. The modifying adjective “next-generation” may seem overused, but it is already catching on with other security vendors when it comes to the next iteration of IPS products. SourceFire may prove a significant challenger in the next-gen firewall market and change the dynamics of an already volatile market segment.

Gary Fish, FishNet Security and FireMon: When it comes to security solution provider executives, few are mentioned as often or with the reverence of Gary Fish, founder and CEO of FishNet Security. In 15 years, he went from a startup security reseller to one of the largest (if not the largest) security integrators in North America. The proceeds and technology development investments from FishNet led to the creation of FireMon, a security vendor specializing in risk management and firewall ruleset administration. He has the ear of virtually every significant security vendor CEO and is on the short list of every security vendor trying to break into the market. FishNet’s recent acquisition of Logic Trends not only strengthens the company’s security portfolio, but puts it in a position to break the $500 million revenue mark in 2012. Fish’s continued success makes him one to watch in 2012 and beyond.

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One Response to “Channelnomics 2011 Influencers Awards: Part 3”

  • Craig Kensek:

    Good selections. From a “b” player often found under the hood as the second malware engine in appliances, Kaspersky has demonstrated both innovation and growth. They’ll probably overtake Trend Micro this year in total revenues.

    Palo Alto Networks is hot. Talks/demos by its founders are well attended. They’ve defined the standards for next generation firewalls (defining the standards is half the battle in winning the market). Gartner likes them. Check Point, SonicWall, Blue Coat Systems, Cisco, and Websense (some of the leaders in firewalls, and secure web gateway technology) have to be paying attention to them. Look for an IPO this year by PAN.

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