NetClarity claims the network access control (NAC) market is set for a second wind after enlisting former Packeteer EMEA boss Bernard Girbal to spearhead its international expansion.
In contrast to early NAC players – several of which crashed and burned in the late naughties – NetClarity's appliance is agentless and targeted at SMEs rather than large enterprises.
Talking to ChannelWeb, chief executive Hal Charnley claimed the Boston-based vendor has surmounted the two obstacles that initially prevented NAC from taking off – price and complexity.
"We have come up with a solution that is very cost-effective and scalable," he said.
Charnley argued that 85–90 per cent of opportunities for "second-generation" NAC would fall below the large enterprise space. NetClarity's newest appliance, Nano, caters for firms with as few as 15 employees.
"Hackers have turned their attention to SMBs because they have realised they have minimal investment in network security and are easier to hack," said Charnley. "We are focused on the smaller enterprises and the bigger guys like Cisco and Juniper are focused on the global 1,000 firms.
According to Infonetics Research, the NAC market rebounded solidly in 2010, with revenues set to surpass the market's 2008 peak by 2013.
NetClarity appointed Exclusive Networks as its sole UK distributor in April and has since amassed about five UK resellers.
Girbal, who worked with Charnley in the 1990s at networking vendor Chipcom, added: "We are starting to invest heavily in Europe as that's where we see big potential. NetClarity is not like a traditional startup, as its technology is ready. We are now ready to develop an international business."
Chris Walsh, sales director at Exclusive Networks, said the distributor is aiming to establish a core of 15-20 resellers. Those selling gateway appliances from the likes of Fortinet and Exinda top his wishlist.
"We believe behind every firewall should be sat a NAC wall," he said.
Grahame Smee, managing director of distributor Cohort - which works with rival NAC vendor Forescout - said the market opportunity is large enough to support another entrant.
"NAC is one of those technologies that seems to have been around for ages," he said. "A lot of NAC companies disappeared through lack of scale. Forescout is one of the few successful vendors as it adapted to fit the market's needs."
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