Canada has historically lagged behind the U.S. when it comes to adoption of cloud-based technologies, but that gap is closing, and that gives Bryan Rutledge, country manager for McAfee Canada, confidence that his company’s new Mvision cloud-first strategy for security will fit in well here.
At the company’s Mpower conference last week in Las Vegas, where it unveiled its Mvision strategy which aims to bring most of its flagship offerings together under one cloud-based management system, Rutledge told ChannelBuzz.ca that he believes the Canadian cloud market is accelerating, with strong evidence in the level of interest he’s reporting around the company’s cloud protection software, acquired earlier this year with the purchase of Skyhigh Networks, by Canadian customers.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest, but we’re not moving as quickly [as the U.S.] on adoption,” Rutledge said of the cloud access security broker [CASB] technology from Skyhigh. “We’re seeing a lot of attention towards Skyhigh, and Office 365 is such a big driver of cloud in Canada. We’re going to get there. We’re planning, but the rollout really isn’t there yet.”
That’s at least in part because the technology acquired from Skyhigh, which aims to implement the same kind of data security in the cloud that many enterprises enforce on their own infrastructure, is still largely being introduced to Canadian customers. Pre-acquisition, Skyhigh had presence in Canada, but was still nascent compared to the well-established Canadian chapter of McAfee.
Rutledge’s observations on the maturity of the Canadian cloud market echo those of McAfee CEO Chris Young on the cloud market around the world. At Mpower last week, Young told reporters that even two years ago, a security stack with a cloud-first mentality would have been a non-starter. Today, the company is seeing “RFP after RFP that require the ability to manage their security franchise in the cloud,” Young said.
The cloud-based data loss prevention (DLP) nature of Mvision Cloud — which includes and expands upon what Skyhigh was doing — also plays into what Rutledge describes as a very strong market for DLP in Canada right now. Some of that is “bleed over” from this year’s GDPR mega-regulation in the EU, but it’s also the result of more light being shone on the topic of keeping data where it belongs, Rutedge said.
Another factor working for Mvision in Canada is that Windows 10 is on the rise with Canadian businesses. The company has shown a great focus on hooking Mvision’s endpoint security into Microsoft’s own security standards in its latest operating system.
“The value with Mvision on Windows 10 is very strong, and I think we’ll see that accelerate” as Windows 10 acceptance continues to accelerate, Rutledge said.
Another area of the Mvision stack getting a lot of attention is its Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) software, which is slated for release as part of Mvision in the first quarter of 2019. Rutledge said that the level of automation offered in the Mvision EDR software will play well for smaller companies that don’t have access to do the job with the resources SMBs have available.
“We’re going to fill a niche that nobody’s doing right now,” Rutledge predicted.
The EDR offering also is “a great opportunity to add value” for partners offering it as a managed service.
“It’s about providing them that hunting, remediation, and detection capability,” Rutledge said. “We’re lucky that we have have a strong presence of partners with great managed services in the Canadian market. Our partners are actually ahead of the U.S. partner community in delivering services.”
Partners will be key to the rollout and acceptance of the new cloud-based stack in Canada, Rutledge said. His sales force in Canada has 20 people on it, meaning he “can’t get the message out without them.”
“I look for them to embrace what we’re doing, understand it, and get it out there,” Rutledge said. “I hope they’ll really understand what we’re doing, and help us spread that.”