Network cloud security vendor Cato Networks is on the lookout for VARs, MSPs and security MSPs as it launches a UK office as a springboard into Europe.
Cato Networks was founded in 2015 by CEO Shlomo Kramer (pictured below), who co-founded Check Point in 1993 and Imperva in 2002. He was also an early investor in Palo Alto, staying on the board of directors until 2012.
Cato raised $20m (£16m) in Series A funding last year, raising another $30m in Series B funding in September 2016. The vendor specialises in providing perimeter and wider network security as a cloud service.
"With Cato I am going back to the network security world," he said. "For 20 years folks have been using appliances to defend their perimeter and wider network. That was fine back then, but it doesn't work now. We need to modernise that as a cloud service."
Headquartered in Tel Aviv, the vendor also has an office in Georgia, US, and a sales team in Singapore. The UK office - opened this week - is based in London and the first employee starts in December.
Kramer said the UK office will be a European headquarters as it looks to expand further into the continent.
"We see the UK as the most advanced part of Europe in terms of adapting new concepts and technologies," he said. "That is the easiest place for us to start. We do have activity outside the UK in Europe. Right now we do it remotely but as time goes by you expand your original offices."
The vendor currently has four partners in the UK, but with the launch of the London office it is on the hunt for more.
"We are looking for security partners. Especially partners who are cloud savvy and have already made, at least mentally if not physically, the transition from box movers to cloud service providers," Kramer said.
"We are definitely looking for MSPs. Telco channels which sell multi-protocol label switching (MPLS - a data-carrying method for telecoms networks) are definitely relevant to what we offer, because we are a replacement and an augmentation to MPLS."
Erez Shalom, Cato Network's director of sales, said that the launch of the UK office has meant the firm is coming to the attention of channel partners.
"We are getting more and more interest from new partners and different types of partners," he said. "Some of them are MSSPs, some of them are security VARs. It is more about the revenue than the number of partners. It really depends on how much revenue we generate from the partners. So long as we generate the expected revenue, we don't have any desire to over-distribute our solution.
"We are not trying to expand too much. Right now this is the early days. We are a small company so we want to pick strategic partnerships where we can invest in these partnerships and make them successful before we can expand."
"For 20 years folks have been using appliances to defend their perimeter and wider network. That was fine back then, but it doesn't work now."
The vendor goes to market through its distributor Ignition. Sean Remnant, chief strategy officer at Ignition, said he has seen interest from partners because they are looking for solutions that better fit with more modern working environments.
"A lot of partners used to sell hardware-based security and the way we are working today means people are looking for solutions to cover that new way of working. People have been looking for a solution like this for a while. It is hugely compelling, and there is a huge market opportunity there," he said.
"Resellers seem to share our view that it is a good way to sell not only security but networking as well, which they might not have done before so it brings a new revenue stream for them and opens up new customers. We will be looking to have around 10 to 12 partners by 2017. We keep refining the number of partners in the programme. We want to focus on a small amount of partners."
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