The coming together of two companies in the application security space with very different focus areas is expected to create significant synergies – and a broader channel focus on the Arxan side than in the past.
San Francisco based Arxan Technologies, which provides application attack prevention for consumer-facing apps, has significantly enhanced its capabilities with the acquisition of Apperian, a Boston-based security provider that focuses on mobile application management [MAM]. Apperian will retain its name and become a subsidiary of Arxan.
“Arxan has been around for more than a dozen years, starting as a Department of Defense research project out of Purdue, but evolving considerably since then,” said Mandeep Khera, Arxan’s CMO. “Over the last year or so, we have been focused on protecting mobile and IoT [Internet of Things] applications.”
Khera said that while application security is a big area, Arxan’s focus has been protecting at the binary code level.
“Binary code is vulnerable and hackers have been coming through it,” he indicated. “That’s where we fit on mobile apps. Our IoT focus is on connected medical devices – where binary code vulnerability can lead to loss of life. We are also focusing on connected cars.”
Khera stressed that adding Apperian’s capabilities will significantly extend Arxan’s abilities around both mobile and IoT.
“They add a lot of things we don’t have,” he said. “We didn’t do MAM at all. We were also focused on the security piece for consumer-facing apps. Apperian gets us into employee apps and B2B apps, which we didn’t have. So Apperian lets us do not only binary code protection, but also MAM, for all apps – employee, consumer and B2B. The story here is that this combination will give both partners and users a one stop shop for all apps – consumer employee and business, It will do this for both application management and application protection – and that’s pretty powerful.”
The Apperian side also stresses the logicality of the match.
“Because we are interested in driving growth in the business, we often discuss potential strategic partnerships,” said Mark Lorion, Apperian’s Chief Marketing and Products Officer, who will become President and General Manager for Apperian. “Every once in a while, you get a connection that just seems different. Being married in this case makes a lot of sense. We have common ideas on how apps should be protected, and we had different strengths there. Coming together as one group will make it easier to develop solutions, particularly over time.”
Lorion said that these differences mean there is little duplication, either in terms of products, or channel.
“There is almost no overlap whatsoever,” he said. “Over time, we will develop more technical synergies, but even out of the gate, this is a great 1+1=3.”
Axan uses a hybrid go-to-market model, which has used a select channel until now, but Khera expects that the acquisition, and expansion of the company’s capabilities, will also expand their channel.
“We have about a dozen quality partners,” he said. “IBM is a big partner of ours, and we also have some significant service provider partners. We will be adding more channels in 2017 than we ever have before. We will be expanding the channel significantly on both the mobile app side, and in the health and connected automotive areas. We also expect to do more work with service providers, because most MAM development is outsourced now, and service providers do a lot of this.”
“Apperian has been active with reselling partners,” Lorion said. “With this deal, we expect many will get trained up and be interested in reselling Arxan as well.”
“We expect to see more active selling of both product sets in the same sales cycle,” Khera indicated.