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Making sense of security

A Kiwi connection is helping keep New Zealand in focus at the Asia Pacific headquarters of unified security company Websense.

Alison Higgins-Miller, Websense’s Singapore based Asia-Pacific vice president, says she’s a proud ‘native New Zealander’ keen to see the local business prosper.

“New Zealand is obviously personal for me and so I’m obviously very happy to see the business grow here and prepared to put in resources here.”

The company, which has about 40 customers in New Zealand including government departments such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, along with large corporates such as Air New Zealand, opened a New Zealand office last year.

The office now has two staff, a sales person and a sales engineer, both roles geared towards channel enablement.

The company, which has 19 New Zealand partners, also ramped up its ANZ channel support late last year with two new hires – Marie Nalty in the newly created role of channel sales manager, and Stephen Richardson as channel account manager – albeit both Sydney-based.

While the company offers scalable solutions covering ‘right across the spectrum’ from small business to enterprise and government, Higgins-Miller says it is growing fastest in the enterprise segment with security increasingly garnering the attention and awareness of the entire business, from IT through HR, finance and on up to the board level.

Websense started as a web filtering company, before adding the likes of email and data security to its portfolio.

Four years ago, Websense built an integrated platform which enables companies to see data flowing through an organisation ensuring data isn’t moving ‘inappropriately’.

“Clearly, this is quite important for government organisations in particular,” Higgins-Miller says. “Somehow ACC managed to expose 6500 people’s details. If they had been using our software, that wouldn’t have happened.”

Integration to the fore

Higgins-Miller says many organisations have built their IT on the basis of best of breed, but now find themselves with separate offerings for web security, data security, mobile solutions, cloud offerings... “Very few have it all integrated.”

She says integration and the improved ease of use, plus cost benefits, are key benefits resellers need to be stressing.

“They need to get the information out to organisations that it makes everything much easier.”

Higgins-Miller says Triton’s modular structure stands it in good stead with companies not having to do a complete rip and replace of all the systems at once, and resellers able to get a foot in the door more easily.

“Once [resellers] have an anchoring solution in place they can learn more about the businesses requirements and pains, and expand.

“Email and web security are probably the easiest to swap out. Data security is more intense because you have to understand the flow of data,” she says.

“But at the end of the day, it really depends on the business pain you’re trying to solve. Is it leaking data? Spam? Antivirus? Web security? Email?

“Partners are morphing into real value added partners for customers,” Higgins-Miller adds.

“They really are having to become trusted advisors because they need to get into an organisation and understand the information that needs to be protected.

“One of the things we’re seeing with our partners is a move away from being purely IT focused and going to a business focus as well. We encourage that multifaceted approach.”

She says the company saw ‘very strong’ renewals in 2012 as well as adding new customers.

Globally the company recently announced turnover of US$400 million, with Triton as their strongest solution, Higgins- Miller says.

“There’s definitely money to be made here. Resellers need to be trusted advisors in the world of security today. It’s about more than just email or web security. It’s information protection.”