iboss is well known in the education space, where it has a strong presence, but new SVP of Worldwide Sales Frank McLallen is looking to take advantage of their solutions’ scalability, and expand much more deeply into other markets.San Diego-based iboss Network Security has announced the appointment of Frank McLallen as senior vice president of worldwide sales. McLallen is tasked with expanding iboss’s presence by expanding its channel, particularly by enlisting large security VARs like Accuvant, where he was vice president of public sector sales in his previous role.
iboss has been around since 2003, when it was co-founded by brothers Peter and Paul Martini. Paul is the CEO and Peter is the President.
“What impressed me about Paul and Peter was that they view security as more than just technology, and as an ‘inside out’ approach with smart defense,” McLallen said. “We do many of the same things that other security vendors do. What we do differently is focus on stopping the impact of the malware – preventing data exfiltration – whether the malware is found or not.”
iboss has 4000 clients today, and their offerings include FireSphere, an APT anti-malware solution, and MobileEther, a unified MDM and Web security solution. While iBoss customers do extend beyond the education vertical, including government, healthcare, and financial services, the company is very strong in education.
“iboss has focused very strongly on education, especially K-12,” McLallen said. “It’s not the most glamorous vertical, although it is very important, and the name iBoss is widely known there.”
McLallen’s objective is to expand in strength far beyond the education space, emphasizing iBoss’s focus on data exfiltration.
“While we are associated with the education market, we do education because that market came to us,” he said. “We have the ability to scale very, very large. I can take what we have done in that niche space and translate it into many other markets, because data exfiltration is what other verticals like government, health care, and retail all care about as well.”
McLallen intends to use the channel to drive a strong presence in these markets.
While iboss started out selling direct to establish proof of concept, they soon formed a channel out of need, since in education having established partners made customer acquisition much easier.
“Officially, we are now 100 per cent channel, although they are nichey and mid-tier regional partners for the most part,” McLallen said. An exception would be recently established relationships with DMRs CDW and SHI. iboss has approximately 50 partners in the U.S. and they have a channel presence in Canada as well, with five to seven Canadian-based partners, and a few U.S. based partners who also sell into Canada. As their channel is relatively small, they deal directly with them, without distribution.
A top priority for McLallen is to establish relationships with some of the high-profile security VARs, notably Accuvant, his old employer.
“We want to be relevant with an organization like that,” he said. “At our size, it’s critical to become relevant to the partner community. We need to show we can be relevant to that kind of partner business model, to be relevant to the larger security partners. Accuvant has done very large enterprise class business, not so much midmarket or education, and they can introduce us in business areas where we are not that strong.
“We want partners who are relevant in the industry,” McLallen emphasized. “There aren’t thousands or even hundreds of credible security partners out there. I see us having a few national partners, a few more regional partners, and where it makes sense, smaller partners in specific areas.”
Making iboss attractive to these strong partners requires the company demonstrating that it knows how to be a good partner itself.
“If you look at the security companies that have done well with the channel, they are easy to do business with,” McLallen said. “They have consistent rules of engagement. Partners don’t have to worry about other partners poaching their deals. In contrast, you have some other vendors who don’t even have their own house in order, let alone their other partners.”
For iboss, making themselves easy to work with won’t require any big changes, just expanding and maturing what they have.
“We were headed down that path anyway,” McLallen said. “We just need to show we can bring that clear focus and be a good partner in the community.”