Security vendor Cyren is hunting for UK-based partners after a shift in strategy has seen the vendor start taking its products to market via the channel.
Since launching in 1991 Cyren has typically focused on OEM deals, with its threat intelligence feeds used by the likes of Google and Microsoft, as well as other security vendors including Forcepoint and Checkpoint.
However, EMEA channel boss Zoe Clark said that in 2016 the decision was made to wrap up all of Cyren's technology into a 100 per cent cloud-based product, delivered solely through the channel.
Clarke joined Cyren in September 2016 along with Atif Ahmed, who joined as VP of sales.
"Cyren up until 2017 was the best-kept secret in the security market," Clark explained. "We were - and still very much are - prominent in the OEM space of providing threat intelligence feeds to other leading security vendors.
"A couple of years or so ago, the decision was taken to formulate all the different threat intelligence and product ties to take out to market, but it was like a number of vendors where you have a couple of individuals in different territories that are going out and evangelising products and the organisation.
"Really, it was 2016 with the appointment of Atif and the broader team that we started creating a strong go-to-market strategy that was supported with a channel strategy."
Clark said that 2017 was very much a year of recruitment for Cyren, with the addition of partners to the channel ecosystem and employees to Cyren's UK business.
Since Clarke joined, the UK employee base has grown from a handful of people to a team of 21.
The hunt for partners was aided by Cloud Distribution, which Cyren partnered with in November 2016.
The Cyren cloud offering works across businesses of all sizes, Clark explained, and for that reason the vendor is looking to add a range of partners to its channel ecosystem.
Specifically, she said that some traditional IT VARs may have a gap in their portfolio when it comes to cloud security, as might MSPs.
"We span so many different types of partners and what I have been trying to do is ensure that we have a really good landscape," she explained. "I don't just [want to] have partners that are all similar in the customer base they're going after.
"We need to have a variation of partners that are strong in their cloud messaging but don't necessarily have security at the front of the cloud offering. There are also the traditional security resellers who have a gap in their portfolio where they are being [asked to provide] cloud solutions above and beyond on-premise solutions. There are also the managed service providers that sit within that remit and are looking to take cloud offerings easily into their service."
In its most recent financial report, NASDAQ-listed Cyren reported Q3 revenue of $7.6m, down 3.8 per cent from the previous year.
While revenue declined, the vendor said its cloud services unit signed up 60 new enterprise customers and increased its average new order size by over 250 per cent.
At the end of last year Cyren also secured $19.6m (£14.1m) investment from Warburg Pincus, taking the private equity firm's ownership in Cyren up to around 21 per cent.
At the time, Warburg Pincus said it was exploring the possibility of boosting its ownership stake to up to 75 per cent.
Gary Haycock-West, CEO at security VAR and Cyren partner Blue Cube, said that while Cyren's technology is solid, there is still work to be done to boost the vendor's name in the market.
Blue Cube overhauled its vendor line-up last year, with Cyren one of the security players it added into the mix.
"I think there's still a little bit of an identity issue in the broader market," he said. "It's not a well-known vendor, but as we all know it's a highly proliferated technology, OEMing all around the world.
"It's a crowded end of the market and everyone has their differentiators and it's about trying to get traction in the market where there is enough of a differentiator for someone to see the reason to move, so while we've had some good traction it's not been as high as we'd have liked, but that's not from a lack of effort or belief.
"The underlying technology though is very good and the support from the vendor is very good, so it's one of those situations where we have to persevere a little bit more and build on the successes that we've got to get to a level everyone is excited about."
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