Barracuda Networks has over the years become a strong player in the cloud space.
Murali Urs, Country Manager – India, Barracuda Networks, in an interaction with CRN, sheds light on Barracuda’s market presence, offerings and growth plans
What sort of direction is the company moving to, in terms of the market, technology, environment and innovations?
We are Cloud Connected Storage and Security Solution providers, and have become very strong in the cloud space in the past couple of years. We offer around eight to nine products cutting across technologies, which include security availability (application delivery, availability and storage). In the security space, we cut across four different threat vectors – email, network, web and applications. Of the eight or nine technologies we sell, we are now focused more on four which are the key pillars of the company globally, which is basically email security, coming through the O365 offering. Then we have the Next Generation Network Firewalls; basically the network security part. We are also focused on backup, because we have a great presence on the backup front, especially purposeful backup solutions followed by cloud, because we are probably way ahead of our competitors when it comes to cloud solutions. We have been doing business only with channel.
We have registered authorized, preferred and premier categories of channel partners – each one has to be a registered partner. Following registration, they decide on what kind of commitments both of us need to give each other, then we decide where the partner fits in. The premier is highest category of partners with a larger target and larger commitment from their side as well as from our side; whereas, the preferred have lesser target. The qualification criterion from a technical standpoint is lower than premier – the number of people need to be certified, sales officials and technical officers. We have close to around 70 partners, but focus-wise there are around 20 to 25 partners we engage with consistently.
They bring in opportunities, they open their account list, then we plan call out days with them. We also do EDM blasts with them. We put significant efforts to generate joint opportunities and leads for all these partners. We do customer events, market development fund contribution for their marketing activities, which helps them have an event together and position our technologies for their customer base. The partners find a huge attached rate with Barracuda primarily because we have that sort of products. It’s not that we give one technology and just walk away; Barracuda always gives an opportunity for them to sell more to the same customer.
What will be the focus areas for the company this year?
All the four pillars definitely have potential. Backup, network security and firewalls are never-ending markets. I think from interest, engagement and talking standpoints cloud is important – it’s an upcoming market. Everybody wants to see what new we can bring on to that particular platform. We are able to engage with a lot of Microsoft Cloud partners – the MSPs. We’re also able to attract numerous AWS partners.
The large opportunity we actually see is O365, because we are the only vendor who can actually give cloud based immune security. We can give cloud based backup and we can do cloud based archive, which no other vendor can talk about. From a single console, you can manage all of them. The opportunity is phenomenally large, because native customers of O365 do have these challenges which we address. There are other vendors also in the market. But, they do it in bits and pieces. One vendor will do only backup, one vendor will only look at immune security. We are able to give a complete bundle which addresses all the three key challenges of customers.
What efforts being put to equip partners to address the changing market requirement?
We have a Barracuda University or the Barracuda Campus, where authorized partners are given a complete permission to access the entire content of what our internal people learn – almost everything; right from sale certification to pre-sales to post-sales handling of customers. Partners can do this online. To bring the attention of partners to this particular portal, we conduct sessions in every city and we try to conduct on-premise certification training, wherein the partners get certified on the spot – this is particularly for the pre-sales teams.
Post-sales, they need to go through a larger curriculum to get the certification. This financial year we completed a six-city round of events including ‘Learn and Earn Session’ where we had a very unique way of making partners learn what Barracuda has to offer.
Currently which are the primary focus verticals for the company?
Each technology comes with a specific focus. In web application, firewall has typically been in the BFSI sector in India. We have many customers in the BFSI vertical using our vast solutions. When it comes to email security, our customers include education institutes, manufacturing companies, PSUs, IT, ITES companies or anyone of them, because email security is a core infrastructure any customer would like to have. Now we’re seeing the same kind of traction happening with backup – we are able to sell across multiple verticals from the backup standpoint. Archiving typically has been only for IT-ITES and for the BFSI. We haven’t seen manufacturing organizations wanting to do email archiving, because we don’t know what their compliance or requirement is. For BFSI, compliance is a big factor; they need to store emails for long time. Whereas in IT-ITES deals with customers outside India, they have their own challenges, because the employer’s attrition is very high. Hence, they’d like to retain emails; they are buying a lot of archives.
What’s your opinion on the prevention and detection debate which has been a talk point in the industry?
Barracuda plays in all the three – prevention, detection and remedial. You need to have technology that enables you detect things even before they happen. Barracuda has two technologies which are very crucial to customers’ environment. One is email, wherein we have a service called Email Threat Scanner (ETS), which is absolutely free of cost service to scan, exchange online as well as exchange on premise. Secondly, we have a product called Barracuda Vulnerability Manager, specifically designed for web applications. We can scan customers’ web application, which will be running on an Apache Server or a Web logic Server.
We also provide a dashboard to the customer, featuring what are the kinds of threats those web applications have. That is from a detection standpoint; and both of these are free, which is the greatest USP of Barracuda and a great advantage for us. Next is the prevention part, wherein we have four different vectors – event security, web security, network security and application. All four are backed up by a fantastic ATP. Barracuda is probably the only vendor in this space. We have ATPs for email, NG, application and web filter. We have close to 150,000 customers in this area, and have crossed 300,000 subscriptions of our product. We get a huge amount of feedback from those customers into our GIN (Global Intelligence Network). Additionally, we have thousands of honeypots that we have deployed worldwide. We are
able to give a fantastic ATP solution, where our hold percentage is only five to seven per cent. The balance 90 to 95 per cent can be passed through, because the intelligence we gather is coming not from one specific vector.
What’s your message to the partners?
With Barracuda Solutions or with Barracuda Networks, you basically are partnering with an OEM which gives you a platform to sell more products with existing customers. With the products, we have been able to open up new doors for our partners. Secondly, we are definitely a partner whom you need to work with to get into the cloud, because Barracuda is one of the best vendors today providing cloud technology. It could be public cloud or SAS model, addressing the largest market with O365 customer base, the largest AWS market and largest Azure market.