US-based cloud security vendor, Menlo Security has ramped up its investment in Australia through its partnership with Westcon-Comstor.
Menlo Security’s Internet Isolation technology separates an enterprise network from the public web, while still allowing employees to access the Internet seamlessly. It removes the viewing of email attachments and web browsing from the desktop to the cloud with a Zero-Trust approach, protecting users from malware, ransomware and phishing attacks.
The investment comes not long after the vendor achieved US$75 million in Series D funding in July, which will be used to expand its global sales team as well as go-to-market strategies, a portion of which, will also be directed towards the Australian and Asia Pacific markets.
On his visit to Australia, Menlo Security chief revenue officer, Scott Fuselier, explained that as the company was developing its presence in the US market, it was also developing its Asia market strategy, and was specifically targeting its investment in this corner of the market.
“It is a priority for us and part of the global plan. We’ve been in Asia for just over three years. We had some strong resources in the region and a strong Japan team, Australia was one of our later markets to enter in Asia,” he said.
“We’re a channel first company that uses distributors and we’ve gone into many markets where we’ve looked for a trusted partner, Westcon was the best fit for us.
“We’re seeing a transition to cloud/digital transformation -- customers moving to adopt SaaS-based applications in the cloud, or moving their own workloads to the cloud, and we’re one of the few cyber security platforms that lives in the cloud. We support both the data centre and cloud environment from a security standpoint.”
Fuselier was also joined by vice president of Asia Pacific sales and field operations, Stephanie Boo, who drove the engagement opportunity out of Singapore, where it also has a distribution relationship with Westcon, as well as in the Philippines.
“We started off in Singapore and the Philippines, and decided now was a good time to engage with them in Australia as well, since we have invested more into the Australian market than what we have before,” Boo said. “We had very early success in Australia, with securing one of the big four banks as a customer that have deployed Menlo on a global basis, and landing one of the biggest Defence contractors in Australia.
“Our criteria when looking at channel partners is first and foremost, looking at partners selling security, and it would be a big plus if they’re also already selling some sort of cloud offering, like Microsoft O365, because that will resonate well. We’re also looking to partner with MSSPs.”
Additionally Boo said that the isolation concept in the company's platform was gaining traction among security practitioners, as companies can no longer afford to take a reactive approach to web threats.
“In the last 18 months, we’ve going beyond just web isolation, and we have partnered with JP Morgan Chase in developing our email isolation, and we’re now starting to look into how we secure the whole cloud transformation move, especially after Microsoft announced their end-of-support for on-prem Outlook, forcing everyone to go to cloud in some shape or form,” she said.
Westcon-Comstor UCC and emerging vendors leader, Steve Jones, said the timing of the relationship was an important factor as well.
“Whilst we had been in discussions for a while, until Keith Symons joined Menlo in May as its A/NZ regional director, and we saw their investment plan, it was another tick for us,” Jones said.
Under the partnership with Westcon, partners will have access to training, deal registration, technical support, resources, and the chance to capitalise on a ‘healthy’ margin opportunity.
Westcon-Comstor Australia managing director, Phil Cameron, added that Menlo was a complementary fit within the company's security pillar.
“In addition, when we set up the emerging vendor business unit under Steve earlier in the year, it made sense, because that was an additional opportunity for us within our security and emerging vendor focus,” Cameron said.
It has been a strong year for the distributor in Australia, after witnessing its net profit turn around from $5.2 million in the red in 2018, to back in the black at $995,952 for the year ending 28 February.
Revenues for the distributor also increased 7.8 per cent to more than $442 million in Australia.
Cameron, who has been at the helm for the past 18 months, watched the company grow more than 16 per cent since then, and spent time building up its leadership team, investing in a digital distribution platform and growing its services business.
“We’re going to continue our vendor specialisation, investment in our digital distribution platform and rolling out our services offerings. We’re doing a lot of work around complementary vendors,” he said.
“We’ll continue with the strong leadership that I’ve brought into the team in the last 12 months, and we’ve been focusing on being a real specialist distributor, driving deep skills through our core vendors.