USB security vendor plugs into the channel

Jack Sebbag

Jack Sebbag, vice president of sales for North America at MXI Security.

Montreal-based MXI Security, a manufacturer of encrypted USB products, last week launched a strategic rebranding effort with an exclusive push on channel partners, as well as the company’s first secure USB-based desktop.

“We’re decided to go channel all the way,” says Jack Sebbag, the company’s vice president of sales for North America. “If we’re going to accomplish our full growth potential, there’s no way we can accomplish that without a channel strategy that saw us going 100 per cent channel and dedication to that model.”

MXI Security was established in 2001 as a division of Memory Experts International Inc. The company develops and manufactures management and encryption solutions for portable USB drives to better combat data theft and information loss.  The company produces portable storage devices with capacities between 1GB and 64GB that use strong password authentication and AES (256bit) hardware encryption and, in some cases, biometrics.

As part of its rebranding efforts, the company has redesigned its Web site and revamped all its corporate and product branding. Its products, formerly called the Stealth Series of encrypted USB drives, renamed the MXI Stealth Key, MXI Stealth HD, and the company has added a bootable USB desktop – the MXI Stealth ZONE.

The new MXI Stealth ZONE is a secure portable desktop product that allows users to boot Windows Embedded Standard 2009 directly from their USB drives. The product is encrypted with strong authentication, and secures the desktop by only being accessible through the boot environment. The host hard drive of the computer is never accessed, to prevent data leakage and malware infections.

“We’ve been a well-kept secret and it’s time to make some noise. So this week from a branding perspective we have: a brand new Web site, new logos, new branding, and new messaging. It’s all out there,” Sebbag says. “We did a great job (in the past) as a technology company… But we did a lousy job from a sales and marketing perspective.”

And that’s where Sebbag says the company’s channel partners come in, as well as a heavy commitment to its channel model. He says the company’s success is not going to be based on selling to, but better educating its potential customers.

Through OEM partnerships with McAfee and Imation, Sebbag says the company’s technology is already being sold through thousands of channel partners; however, he notes the company is pushing hard to grow a base of resellers of MXI-branded secure portable drives. Sebbag says he launched the channel program seven months ago and he plans to expand from the 60 current partners to 250 partners in the next six months.

Sebbag notes that the complexity of security solutions creates a need for quality over quantity of partners, and the company isn’t simply looking for fulfillment partners. The company will be looking for partners with industry expertise in security, as well as experience in security-heavy markets like government, banking and insurance, and healthcare.