“We Have Strong Network Of 2000+ Partners In India & SAARC Countries”

March, 27, 2018

Sophos is a leader in next-generation endpoint and network security, and as the pioneer of synchronized security develops its innovative portfolio of endpoint, network, encryption, web, email and mobile security solutions to work better together. In India, the company investing heavily in partner enablement, education and training to make sure their partners are taking advantage of the opportunity offered by Sophos; both in terms of more business and with better security for their customers. While interacting with DT, Sunil Sharma, Managing Director, Sales, India & SAARC at Sophos, reveals current market growth and his entire channel roadmap for Year 2018. 

DT: What have been the crucial milestones of your company during year 2017? 

Mr. Sunil: It has been an exciting year for us. There has been a surge in IT security awareness followed by a ransomware surge fuelled by Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and amplified by the resurgence of worms.Sophos has a unique approach to the massive cybersecurity market, which is really working – i.e. we deliver innovative and highly-effective but at the same time simple cybersecurity solutions to businesses of all sizes that includes such leading edge concepts as AI, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and automation. Then we instrument our highly advanced endpoint and network products to talk to each other and work together as a system via Synchronized Security. Our new version of the XG firewall with dynamic application control is surely going to help businesses better protect their environments. Our innovation engine is gaining momentum and we just upped the ante again by applying advanced deep learning neural network technology to the cybersecurity problem; Intercept X v2 just released in EAP.We will continue to offer cutting-edge technology, with robust third-party validation, that is easy to deploy and manage, through a single cloud console. 

DT: What were the major challenges for your company? How you fought those challenges?  

Mr. Sunil: There are more than 60 million businesses in our target market and gaining brand recognition within a vast market is challenging. We compete against big established names and small challenger companies in both endpoint and network security markets. We have made huge progress over the last five years but we still have work to do in continuing to make our brand stand out in this huge market.We are differentiated against the competition and gaining traction with our unique synchronized security vision, which is supported by our comprehensive network and endpoint security portfolio. 

DT: How do you support Government of India's 'Make-in-India' program?  

Mr. Sunil: Usage of modern technology solutions is pertinent to advance the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in terms of industrial growth. As more Government offices and establishments value IT, power virtualization to accelerate ICT-led socio-economic initiatives, they will gradually understand the need for reliable network securityand deep reporting capabilities. Given that the government and defense vertical is an important contributor to our business, Sophos always aims for a major role in safeguarding their IT ecosystem against targeted new threat actors and cyber criminals. By empaneling key products of Sophos XG Firewall with the Government eMarket Portal (GEM), we have been facilitating government access to next generation IT security. 

DT: What's your channel strength currently in India? How do you plan to boost channel strength in year 2018? 

Mr. Sunil: Sophos is committed to its highly successful ’channel first’ and ‘channel best’ sales strategy. Out of our 34000 global partners, we have a strong network of 2000+ partners in India & SAARC countries. Being a 100% channel driven company, we put the partner first in conversations with CIOs and CISOs. We constantly strive to empower and equip our team of channel partners via training and certifications programs that helps them provide effective IT security solutions to their customers. Over the next 12-18 months we intend to increase our active partner base across the regions. We also look forward to develop managed security providers that can offer security as a service to customers via our innovative, simple, and easy to deploy and manage security solutions powered via the cloud. 

DT: How do you assure your customer excellent service support?  

Mr. Sunil: We manage the quality of our support very closely using a number of different techniques including post-incident customer satisfaction surveys, technical and soft-skills audits, coaching and mentoring, and robust training programs. We have made significant investments in our India support operation and although we already cover all of India we are planning to continue to grow our operation in Ahmedabad.  In terms of delivery infrastructure, we will be implementing new, best-in-class case management and telephony tools.  Further, we have dedicated support centers around the world and we use a “follow-the-sun” model to provide 24X7 support globally.

DT: What will be your key Go-To-Market Strategy for year 2018? 

Mr. Sunil: We continue to consolidate our position as a leading vendor of innovative, simple and highly effective IT security for businesses of all sizes. In the year 2018, we will continue to prioritise our investment in technology and further strengthenour leadership position as the sole security vendor with a balanced portfolio across both enduser and network security.We are committed to our channel-only sales strategy. Delivering cloud-based, highly effective, synchronized security powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities will remain our key priority through FY19. And lastly, we believe that simple, integrated solutions deliver better security that is easier to manage for organizations of any size and particularly those in its chosen markets. 

DT: Please share your current revenue and market growth rate. What is target for year 2018? 

Mr. Sunil: Sophos continues to gain stronghold in all aspects of revenue and growth. In FY17, we reported $529.7 million in total revenue. Our subscription grew by 40,000 and we now serve 260,000 organisations through our IT security products. On the APJ front, where India & SAARC belong, our revenues grew by 9.8% to touch $80 million. Looking at the current business scenario and the strong user confidence that Sophos enjoys we are expecting a double digit growth next year as well.

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