Sophos will have integrated recently acquired Invincea into its product portfolio by the end of this year, according to CEO Kris Hagerman, who also hinted that Sophos' acquisitive nature is set to continue.
Hagerman (pictured) told CRN that the Invincea technology will be integrated into Sophos' cloud-based management platform Sophos Central and ready to ship "sometime this calendar year".
"Partners and customers can expect that we'll integrate and deliver to market the Invincea technology with a very similar game plan that we applied for [anti-ransomware product] Intercept X," he said.
"We'll take that core Invincea world-class, machine-learning technology, we'll integrate it with some other technology that we've developed internally, and deliver it within Sophos Central.
"It will be fully signature-less and I think it will be one of the very best machine-learning technologies in the world. I can say almost without hesitation that it will be the easiest and simplest to manage."
Hagerman said that the core team of employees at Invincea has been kept on post-acquisition, but added that the Invincea name will not necessarily remain for much longer.
"We have several months before we actually ship the product so we don't know what we'll call it yet," he said. "The capability around machine learning will be a discreet capability and product within Sophos Central. You'll have to see what we'll call it."
Hagerman also revealed a light-hearted debate between the two vendors over the similar names of Sophos' Intercept X product and Invincea's X by Invincea product.
"We had a good-natured debate between the two of us around who came up with the X name first. I think, to give them credit, they came up with X by Invincea before we at least launched Intercept X. We might claim that on some PowerPoint slide internally it had popped up, but we both agree that it's a good name."
While remaining coy on the nature of future acquisitions, Hagerman said to expect more M&A activity at some stage over the next few years, in line with how the vendor has acquired over his five-year tenure.
"There isn't an acquisition policy," he said. "We are committed to innovating and we spend a lot on R&D to do that - we have a higher percentage of our revenue and billings on R&D than many of our competitors do.
"We rely on a mix of organic development and every now and then some targeted, we hope disciplined, M&A to help enhance or accelerate our own efforts. I would expect in the years to come something reasonably similar to what you've seen over the last five or six years.
"I haven't totalled it up recently, but we've probably acquired half a dozen companies over the last four or five years - it's probably reasonable to expect something in a similar zip code over the next few years, but all product [-focused acquisitions]. For us acquisitions are all about quality of technology and the quality of the people building it."
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