Foresite eyes UK expansion

Cybersecurity service provider Foresite’s UK partner recruitment campaign has entered acceleration mode following the roll out of a strengthened EMEA programme that could quintuple the size of the channel-only business within five years.

According to EMEA Managing Director Jason Humphreys, expansion trends in its partner network indicate that Foresite will witness a sharp increase in partnership numbers with the addition of multiple types of VARs in more countries and regions worldwide. Foresite’s Farnborough-based EMEA headquarters is the focal point of its ambitions in the region, complementing its US base in Kansas. The company was founded in 2013 by CEO Robin Mayo along with President Marc Brungardt and Chief Technical Architect Adam Shaw. Having previously worked together at former global security distributor Integralis (acquired by NTT Com and now called NTT Security) for a number of years Humphreys and Foresite’s founders were well known to each other.

“During our time at Integralis – and though we were also selling direct to customers – we worked closely to successfully help a large US telco establish and build a multimillion dollar MSSP business, as we did with a number of other MSSP providers,” said Humphreys. “This gave us first-hand experience and knowledge of the increasingly popular MSSP model.

“In 2013 we identified an emerging and potentially large market opportunity for setting up a global MSSP business of our own, but one that focused on selling exclusively through the channel. The demand for managed services and managed security services in particular was already larger than just three or four years before.

“We believed it was ripe for development and the channel would be the ideal route to market since small and medium sized organisations were now increasingly looking for help, and managed services was the way to do it. Now my focus is on growing EMEA revenues and building strong reseller partnerships. The two are inextricably linked.”

My focus is on growing our EMEA revenues and building strong reseller partnerships. The two are inextricably linked

The privately held company currently employs circa 60 people overall, having doubled its headcount and turnover during the past three years. Its ProVision software platform for security monitoring, management, threat detection, security testing and compliance is serviced through the company’s two SOCs (Security Operations Centres) where analysts provide round-the-clock monitoring for customers. “Owning the IP and having full control over ProVision’s development and marketing has enabled increased cost-effectiveness and much greater agility for going to market far more aggressively,” added Humphreys.

“We now have a full blown SOC-as-a-service offering rather than just the typical MSSP ‘SIEM’ managed service solution. Many MSSPs don’t actually own their platform so are beholden to the development road maps, pricing structures and whims of their software providers. Our proprietary cybersecurity technology platform allows growing and established VAR partners to address the constant and increasing security concerns of their customers on a subscription basis.”

Foresite took on its first institutional investor, Elsewhere Partners, last year; and a significant portion of the multimillion pound funding package is allocated towards scaling up its partner network while ensuring the supporting resources and infrastructure are in place. The funding will also allow Foresite to accelerate organisational growth, marketing development, geographic expansion and product development.

A key market for Foresite, reiterated Humphreys, is the SME sector. “This is a major and largely untapped growth area,” he stated. “To address this opportunity in the EMEA region we are scaling up our UK partner network in partnership with MSPs, ICT resellers and security consultants looking to broaden their portfolios with a flexible multi-tenant service offering for end users of all sizes across all verticals, on a pay-as-you-go subscription basis.”

Responding to feedback from partners, Foresite has combined its Cyber Consulting Compliance Services division with its core MSSP cybersecurity monitoring, alerting, threat intelligence and incidence response platform – all now available through ProVision. The move streamlines how Foresite helps companies address regulatory issues, respond to business threats, pinpoint operational inefficiencies and focus on the core of their business.

“We maintain a close watching brief on many cybersecurity technology developments as well as infrastructure technology trends such as those affecting public, private and hybrid cloud delivery,” added Humphreys. “We are currently working on enhancing our Microsoft Office 365 services offering.”

To provide a boost to its EMEA channel expansion ambitions Foresite introduced a new partner programme this year and appointed Mark Collins as Partner Account Director tasked with helping MSPs, SIs and VARs integrate ProVision into their portfolios or gain access to white labelling, joint promotional opportunities, educational tools and resources. “We are seeing many more resellers looking for ways to add value to their businesses by shifting from selling tin to software and managed services,” said Humphreys. “With cybersecurity and managed services strongly in the ascendancy for many years to come, we aim to help them transform their businesses.”

But simplifying the process of selling and provisioning IT services requires a shift to a services-led corporate culture versus the increasingly irrelevant product-led approach, believes Humphreys. “C-level and procurement officers need to move on from the conventional notion of two to three year sales cycles including a long trial period,” he commented.

“The essence and beauty of managed as-a-service solutions such as the MSSP model is that they can be turned on without delay, and scaled up or down as needed. Why wait! Resellers should embrace and leverage the business value and market opportunity offered by selling real services, not point software products and definitely not tin.”

Humphreys’ ability to read the market and give customers what they want can in part be traced back to when his interest in IT was fired up during childhood while using a Sinclair ZX spectrum home computer on which he created software programmes and played games. “That steered me towards a career in IT, initially at mainframe computer manufacturer Honeywell Bull in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, before moving to various other IT roles elsewhere and eventually Integralis,” he stated.

“I have always had a passion for IT and am comfortable in embracing the application of technology. This helps me today in my understanding of the many business challenges faced, and the IT solutions required, by our partners to deliver value and service to their customers.”

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