"We have 90% of our business through UTM": Mohit Puri, country manager, India-Saarc

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WatchGuard Technologies, an integrated security appliance vendor and services provider, plans to capture 15% of the total network security market in India, primarily from UTM deployments, by the end of FY 2014. Currently, UTM is one of the biggest growth drivers for Watch Guard along with email security, access point solutions and VPN services. Mohit Puri, country manager, India-Saarc spoke to DQ Channels on WatchGuard's growth, strategy and on so-called weakness.


Can you give an overview of Watch Guard and its growth?

Starting from XTM 2 Series of UTM, we can cater up to enterprise segment. Then we have another line of product called email security. The email security was never our forte but then we acquired a company called BorderWare in 2009. Then we have services for VPN which we also sell it standalone. Recently, we have come out with Access Point solutions. We had fantastic growth in the last year, by 30 %--the best in the last four years.

What percent of your business comes through UTM?

We have 90% of our business through UTM. Rest all the products will have 10% of it.

What do you have to say about your market situation?

Our forte is in SMB; which I call it our ‘sweet spot'. We are the market leader world-wide as far as the SMB is concerned. In India also, we would in top 2-3 brand. But now we have expanded to work on enterprise projects too. 60% of our business comes from SMB and the rest from enterprise.


What are your growth drivers?

People are getting educated; customers are becoming more tech savvy. Obviously there are security breaches, vulnerabilities. We have also been aggressive.


Has the economic downturn curtailed customer's security spending?

I don't think so because people who have been conscious are spending and that is reason we have been growing from the last few quarters.


Out of the total IT budget, how much they spend in security?

Obviously security is not a big choice because in India as people are still building around their infrastructure. They are still going for server or main IT. Obviously if you have IT then you invest in security. Of the whole IT budget, IT security is around 5-7%.

In the competitive factors viz. Price, Ease of Management, features, how is WatchGuard different from others?

India is a price sensitive market. We have been aggressive based on projects. Whenever there is a need to offer good discounts, we do. Talk about features we have partnered with six different vendors, all these are brands in themselves. We have something called repetition enabled defense, which is not there with our competition. Even our DLP, apart from 2-3 vendors, none of them have it. In terms of ease of management, we have been using our own tool-WatchGuard system manager. It is striking, friendly tool. We have just come out with core relational tool called Dimension. It will show more inside of the network resulting in more insights. So, we have an edge over our competition

So doesn't it leave you dependent on third-party? Even Frost and Sullivan report stated this as your weakness?

We are dependent on other signatures, which is correct, and there is nothing to hide. Obviously they have already done the hard work and we have just integrated that in our UTM. Our own expertise is not been used but why should we re-invent the wheel. We have chosen the best of the breed. Our competition does not give open feedback on what signatures they are using in say, Anti Virus , IPS, Web filtering etc . We say it openly because we are confident.


What are the verticals driving your growth?

We have done well in the co-operative banks in Maharastra , Rajasthan and Gujarat. We have been participating in lot of projects: power project s, defense projects, in PSUs etc.

How have been the demands in Virtual appliances?

Not as good as non-virtual UTM. It is still in early days and in another 2-3 years it will catch up more.

What are the challenges you are facing?

Couple of years ago pushing UTM appliances were easy. The numbers we are supposed to do, we are still doing it but the push strategy is more. We have got really aggressive and have to launch lot of schemes in business.

Tell us something about the latest in the channel space?

We just concluded three city technical training event for our partners: Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. We have another three cities lined up. Also, we are just about to launch a Partner Program for Managed Security Services (WSP-MSS), which enables our partner with superior support and know-how. We have increased our channel base in the range of 120-150. This time WSP-MSS program is much more structured than before.