—Sandhya Malhotra

New Delhi, July 08: With a clear focus on the Indian market, file encryption company Winmagic has augmented its efforts on building the right and strong channel base in the country in the past nine months. It has appointed Bangalore-based Technobind as its distributor and along with the distributor, it has selected close to 30 active tier II partners in North, South and West regions.

With the channel and local team in place, the company has started seeing significant jump in its customer acquisition across SMBs and enterprises.

Mark Hickman

Speaking exclusively to Channeltimes, Mark Hickman, COO, Winmagic, said, “Being in India for over 2 years has been a learning experience. In the past nine months, we started to ramp in right directions– be it building sales and technical resource team. For the customer support, we have just built our support center in Chandigarh, which will be starting operation from August 1.”

Being a new player in file and data encryption, the company has spread its footprints in markets like Canada, London, Tokyo and Singapore. With focus on India, it has set aggressive growth plans.

“India is still not that matured in terms of data security, but it is rapidly becoming so. The compliance and legislation are high in countries like Europe, EU and north America, however, it is definitely catching up in India. Also, because India is a global marketplace with the global companies having footprints in India it has to seriously look at compliance in terms of encryption. Now, we see there is a marketplace and we want to be a part of this growth curve,” he added.

Presently, Winmagic has 55 customers, comprising large and mid-sized companies. Apart from local customers, it has 40 global customers. “We want to be top of mind among our channel. We have seen 100% growth in numbers of partners. We are investing in partners training and enablement. We may be new to India, but we are not new to channels. Our global business in countries like Europe, Japan and Asia are all channel driven.”

Foray into Managed Services
The other focus area for Winmagic is rolling out its cloud services. The company is looking to partner with managed service providers. In Japan, Winmagic has a strong partnership with NEC Capital for last three years. Similarly, it wants to have same model here for its SMBs and enterprise customers in coming six months.

Trends in Data Security
The trends are similar in other countries, as there has been a significant surge in data breaches everywhere, be it Hollywood stars information leaks, Sony, iCloud. Organization are now understanding that data breaches can be punitive. Today, companies can be hacked anywhere and everywhere. With BYOD and smartphones, IP is accessible to anybody.

Companies want to secure the data and they are focusing more on encrypting the files. Earlier, encryption used to be a complex algorithm, but now it is becoming commodity as it is all about key management and manage the keys across the devices and OS, securely and without compromising on user experience.

Within encryption, Winmagic is looking to foray into application encryption and cloud storage solutions on Amazon in next year.

“We have been ramping up our customers, but as we don’t get any deal without POC and pilot, that is why we are shy. But, we have won most of the deals. In matured markets, we have replaced Symantec, Trendmicro, Checkpoint and McAfee. Customers are looking for new solutions, and in india, we see lots of green field opportunities,” Hickman said.

Microsoft Bitlocker

When asked how company is positioning against Microsoft’s free Bitlockers and things will be after Microsoft 10.

Hickman pointed, “One of the biggest competitors is bitlocker from Microsoft as it is “free”. With Microsoft 10, Windows is one platform, very few organizations use it, most of the companies use Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and others. We don’t see Windows 10 will have any huge impacts as windows 8 had no impact on marketplace. I don’t think windows 10 is going to take the world by storm.”

We manage Bitlocker better than Microsoft does, we do manage it better faster and cheaper. There are significant compliance problems that make Bitlocker difficult to manage that we address. So, we are replacing Bitlocker and being brought in manage Bitlocker and see good opportunities. We would never recommend ripping out Bitlocker, we just say we manage it better than Microsoft.