Cyberoam To Strengthen Presence In Tier-2 and 3 Cities

Sunil Sharma
Vice President, Cyberoam
Cyberoam, one of the leading network security players in India is thrilled about the new financial year. Sunil Sharma, VP, Sales and Operations, India and SAARC, Cyberoam, shares his views with B.Swaminathan on the company’s plans, channel roadmap and the latest trends in the security industry. Excerpts

Channel Times: What are the one new trends amongst the partners selling security software products, which has come up in 2015 ?

Sunil Sharma: From the growing malware mayhem in the enterprise to the continued rise of application-borne attacks, and the increasingly complex landscape in network access and connectivity, which is set to be further compounded by the ‘Internet of Things,’ 2015 indeed smirks at IT managers with its own challenges in managing and securing the network.

As a result, a growing number of IT managers and CXOs see the need for comprehensive overhaul with a proactive and integrated approach on enterprise security and risk management. It is not possible to single out any dominating trend, still key security priorities include security for virtual and cloud environments, application-aware security, identity based access, protection and reporting, support for compliance needs and BYOD awareness. Additionally, several mid-market and large scale organizations that preferred clinging onto in-house security expertise now also see the need for managed security services.

CT: With more buzz around cloud security, how confident are you in the traditional licensing model?

Sharma: Despite all the buzz surrounding cloud and security-as-a-service, there’s still long way to go before majority of businesses feel ready to commit to a full build-out of cloud-based business processes and technology infrastructure. Traditional licensing model still has two strong aspects attached to it.

Firstly it is about the kind of focus and commitment a reseller or VAR partner brings together with the core competency of understanding and meeting customer’s unique needs with befitting security solutions while also ensuring continuous involvement and support at every stage of IT transformation. This produces immense business benefit, convenience, trust and value for the customer; Also, service entitlement, customer management and ensuring compliance becomes more complex at this juncture.

Traditional licensing model’s value proposition goes beyond pricing and remains more feasible. There’s no denying the fact that virtualization and cloud acceptance is growing rapidly and more businesses are eager to explore subscription-based models even for security needs. So to condense and conclude, the move from traditional license-based model to cloud-driven model is indeed set to grow, driven largely by the lower cost and increased flexibility it promises to customers.

However, for partners and resellers, tapping this segment will involve understanding the transformational change it brings in everything. They need to take a complete view of the business transformation, taking into account everything from service entitlement, customer support, internal IT capabilities, as well as their vendor partner’s technical readiness.

CT: How has been the acceptance of BYOD in India? What are the opportunities for the partners?

Sharma: Consumerization of enterprise mobility is no more a concept alien to India. However, our interactions with CXOs and findings from other independent sources reveal that while Indian businesses are turning favorable towards BYOD, there is still some skepticism. Their main concerns include risks like data leakage, compliance violations, usage of risk-prone mobile apps and likely loss of a mobile device that has invaluable business information residing on it.

Hence, there lies a significant opportunity for partners that have the right kind of security technology and know-how support from their vendors. Turning BYOD’s disruptive side into productive potential takes real skills and judicious application of security capabilities. Contrary to popular belief that talks about reducing costs, the real value of a BYOD is in boosting employee satisfaction, speeding up technology adoption and decision cycles, strengthening collaboration and in ensuring greater support for mission-critical projects.

The partners role does not end at delivery of products and solution, but begins. They will have to manage the life cycle of the BYOD environment and are 100% responsible for ensuring smooth connectivity, productivity and security in the organization. Partners need to provide help and guidance with the right security practices that would allow customers to gain visibility and control into BYOD environment for effective implementation of policies and IT governance as well.

CT: What is your channel roadmap for the new financial year?

Sharma: Working closely with partners, we have successfully entrenched our presence across all key regions, and our success is not limited to only tier 1 cities, but now also extends to tier-2 and tier-3 emerging markets as well. So as usual, we have plans in place to roll out bigger surprises, solutions and rewards for partners.

We have doubled our channel strength in these markets in the last one year. And we will continue expanding our network in the next year as well. At the same time, Cyberoam is gradually transforming its channel partners into security consultants and providers of end-to-end security solution. With a strong presence in the UTM market, we have also added NGFW for mid-market and large enterprises. And now we are also opening doors to new opportunities in end-point too.

CT: What is your distribution model? Who are all your national distributors?

Sharma: Reddington works as our National Distributor. We have Regional Distributors who cater to the requirement of a zone and service the sub-distributors. Our partners are also classified basis their performance and contribution to business as, Platinum and Gold.

CT: What are the industry verticals where you have strong presence? Which verticals you are planning to focus?

Sharma: Cyberoam enjoys the distinction of having partnered customers in a myriad of verticals. We secure businesses in wide range of segments including Education, retail, health care, financial services, government, defense, telecom, ISPs and managed service providers. Cyberoam understands unique pain points of security managers in these verticals and continues to support emerging use cases too. As a result, our growth is not confined to any specific vertical but emanates from various segments.

CT: Today rebate structure and ease-in-support decides the fate of any security brand in India. What is your focus on the rebate schemes for partners?

Sharma: As far as support is concerned, our commitment can match to gold-standards in the industry. Our ISO 20000:2011 certified support works 24×7 to monitor and evaluate customer calls on technical & quality assurance parameters, thereby providing a full suite of support services using multiple communication channels such as Toll Free call lines, Chat and Email.

As for other assistance pertaining to return and replace, we take into account multiple aspects and extend support for Software & OS Upgrades and Patches, Hot Fixes and Enhancement upgrades, Signature & database update, Hardware warranty & Replacement, flexible Return and Replacement policy and Advanced Hardware Replacement.

Our rebate structure is very inclusive and reaches all the way to even smallest partners in tier 3 cities, enabling them to qualify for their share of efforts and cash in on ongoing promotional announcements and opportunities.

CT: How many partners you are having in India? What plans you are having for partners?

Sharma:At present our partner ecosystem in India and SAARC together comprises of 600+ partners, which includes resellers, VARs, SIs and other security experts.

Having joined forces with Sophos, Cyberoam is all set to catalyze greater value and a wider range of innovative and differentiated products and solutions for customers. For partners, this translates into a significantly large opportunity.

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