Titus’ integrating capabilities of their two newer product sets creates new synergies in their expanded market strategy, and is complemented by a deepening of their channel Go-to-Market model.
Ottawa-based Titus has introduced Titus Illuminate 2020, the new version of their offering for identifying and classifying unstructured data at rest. It features an integration with Titus Accelerator for Privacy, which manages personally identifiable information. This integration between the two newer members of the Titus family deepens their strategy of market expansion. It is supported by the company’s pivot towards a 100% channel model, which has involved bringing in Mike Gomes as their first-ever Vice President Channel for North America.
TITUS began in 2005 as a focused maker of data classification software for multiple messaging, collaboration and operating systems vendors, and that remains their core product today with the Titus Classification Suite. They have expanded their business model more recently and now have two other product sets. Titus Accelerator for Privacy, introduced last year, leverages artificial intelligence and containers to automatically identify personally identifiable information [PIA], while Titus Illuminate is three years old and helps identify and classify unstructured data at rest.
The broadening out of the portfolio came as a result of the December 2017 acquisition of a majority share in Titus by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, which believed that data identification and classification was going to become more important in a market where privacy was becoming more important.
“Titus Classification Suite remains our flagship but Illuminate is getting a lot more attention these days,” said Jamie Manuel, Vice President, Product Management & Marketing at Titus. “The main premise of the product has been to identify unstructured data at rest. What spurred its development is situations like where you have an employee who printed a PDF and is emailing it, where data that you don’t know about can contain personal information. We were very good at helping deal with data at creation, but there was a business need to address unstructured data at rest. The way that Illuminate works is we take the same detection methods of the Classification Suite and then apply them to unstructured data, with the addition of automated categorizations for machine learning.”
The main addition to Titus Illuminate 2020 is an integration with the new offering Titus Accelerator for Privacy.
“The advantage in doing them together is that Illuminate will now automatically look for specific terms and expressions related to PIA that are important because of newer privacy regulations with GDPR and the CCPA,” Manuel said. “The Accelerate for Privacy part of the solution will automatically look for keys without you having to tell it what to look for in terms of finding a liability, while the Illuminate component then allows you to take action.”
Titus is also emphasizing another feature, Smart RegEx, which became available just before Christmas.
“Smart RegEx expedites the search and discovery of potentially sensitive or personal data,” Manuel indicated. “It tokenizes everything in a document and limits search to relevant data. If you are looking for a credit card, before it would go through every character line by line, and now Smart RegEx will identify characters which are numbers. It speeds things up.”
Titus Illuminate and the other Titus products go to market today with a much more systematic and comprehensive channel strategy than they did before Blackstone’s involvement in the company. Blackstone’s expansion of the portfolio was accompanied by building out Titus’ ecosystem of strategic partners, and taking its channel business, which had always been there to some degree, to a much higher level. This creation of a partner-centric Go-to-Market model was Mike Kuehn’s focus when he joined Titus in February 2019. Mike Gomes, who had worked with Kuehn at Actifio, followed him to Titus last April as Vice President Channel for North America.
“I was hired to come over here to help Mike Kuehn with building out a 100% partner-centric model,” Gomes said. His newly-created position focuses on managing joint execution around opportunities by Titus, their vendor ecosystem partners, and their reseller channel partners.
“My role is to give us a greater focus,” Gomes said. “Before the change to this model, we focused on selling to customers directly and owned the relationship, although we had some partners. Now, we enable a plethora of ecosystem partners. We work hand in hand with vendor partners like Palo Alto Networks and Netskope and they have a wealth of reseller partners. It gives us better focus when we go into accounts with ecosystem partners and reseller partners. Some reseller partners may sell 150 different items, where we are used to complement things like a firewall solution or a CASB solution. We develop reference architectures and joint briefs with them. For them, the drag from Titus in selling additional things into the customer’s environment could be 2-4x.”
Gomes stressed that the partner-centric model will bring in greater returns for Titus as well as their channel.
“Our goal is to create an environment with a finite set of focused partners that give us additional enterprise opportunities,” he said. “Those are the guys who have the relationships. That’s the spirit behind the creation of my position and moving to a 100% channel partner-centric model.”