Kaspersky Lab has always kept a keen eye on the competition, and in 2011 its key goal is to overthrow Trend Micro for the No. 3 spot for endpoint security market share.
That is, if Moscow-based Kaspersky hasn't already snagged the bronze medal.
"We are winners. We like to win. We like the challenge. We like to compete," Eugene Buyakin, Kaspersky's COO, told a room full for more than 200 partners Friday at the 2011 Kaspersky Lab Americas Partner Conference in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Preliminary numbers show that Kaspersky nabbed 7.5 percent of endpoint security market share in 2010, Buyakin said. So far, Buyakin said, the 2010 market share numbers for Kaspersky's key competitors, including Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro, have yet to be released.
"We continue to gain market share from our competitors," Buyakin said, noting that Kaspersky's 2010 market share increase was its largest in the company's history.
Kaspersky's 7.5 percent of market share is a big jump on the 5.8 percent it held in 2009 and the 4.2 percent in 2008, Buyakin said.
If 2010's 7.5 percent stake in the endpoint security market hasn't taken away Trend Micro's third seat at the table -- Trend Micro in 2009 had just over 6 percent market share -- Buyakin said 2011 will be the tipping point.
"We do want to become clearly the No. 3 player in this industry [in 2011]," he said.
In addition to global endpoint security market share growth, Kaspersky's 2010 also saw revenue increase 28 percent to $538 million and sales bookings of $604 million, up 19 percent. Going into 2011, Buyakin said Kaspersky hopes to see sales hit $750 million.
A key to growth for Kaspersky and its partners has been the companies increasing brand awareness and recognition. In 2010, Kaspersky global brand awareness grew to 58 percent in the consumer space and to 61 percent in the corporate world.
That awareness helped Kaspersky grow total bookings 60 percent in 2010 over 2009 and, according to NPD Group data, Kaspersky nabbed the No. 1 spot in security product retail sales in America with more than 4.85 million units sold in retail, an increase of 165.3 percent over the previous year, said Steve Orenberg, president of Kaspersky Lab Americas.
"Our brand is one of the strongest brands in the industry," Buyakin said, adding that brand awareness in the U.S. specifically grew to 16 percent in 2010 from 12 percent in 2009, meaning American partners will be able to leverage that brand awareness to boost the bottom line.
"What partners can expect, in a certain period of time, we'll enjoy the same brand awareness we do in other parts of the world," he said.
Buyakin said Kaspersky will also continue its technology roadmap, seeing the fruits of the past few years of development investment and it will focus heavily on three key trends: the consumerization of IT, data protection and cloud computing, which "will be the foundation of the security business sin the future."
Another factor fueling Kaspersky and the vendor's partner growth in 2011 will be the recent investment from private investment firm General Atlantic, which bought enough Kaspersky shares to become the No. 2 shareholder behind CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky.
With the financial injection, General Atlantic will be able to support Kaspersky's management team, have a spot on Kaspersky's board, help with upcoming acquisitions and assist in the future if an IPO is in the cards, said John Bernstein, General Atlantic managing director.
Buyakin assured partners that the financial boost General Atlantic will not change Kaspersky's core values and adds "a different level of strategic thinking; strategic expertise."