SurfControl Weaves Managed Services Web Via BlackSpider Buy

Through the already completed $37 million acquisition, SurfControl now offers security technology via software, appliances and as on-demand services to secure e-mail and the Web, said Patricia Sueltz, CEO of SurfControl, Scotts Valley, Calif.

"What our customers have been asking for increasingly is to have different levels of protection," Sueltz said.

BlackSpider, with annual sales of $7 million, has 500,000 users, Sueltz said. Its offerings combat blended Web and e-mail threats through its MailControl antivirus, antispam, encryption and content-filtering services for e-mail and WebDefence Web threat and access-management services.

SurfControl plans to offer its new managed services through its worldwide channel partners, executives said. However, BlackSpider doesn't currently operate in the United States, so SurfControl will need to open U.S. data centers to host the services, said David Harris, vice president of worldwide channels at SurfControl. BlackSpider has been selling through a 100-percent channel model overseas, he said.

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"One of the benefits for putting the two companies together is that we will be able to bring the services to the U.S. through our channels," Harris said. SurfControl also gains a business team that is experienced in selling managed services via the channel, he added.

BlackSpider CEO John Cheney will report to Sueltz as general manager of on-demand security services.

The new services should help expand small- and midsize-business opportunities for SurfControl's U.S. partners, Harris said.

Al Melquist, director of sales at Renapse, a Beaverton, Ore.-based SurfControl partner, said the vendor's new managed services make the company more competitive against rival Websense. He said he expects Renapse's SurfControl sales to increase as much as 15 percent in its first year selling the services and by 30 percent in the second year.

"The third, fourth and fifth years are where I think there will be significant growth, 50 percent or 60 percent," Melquist said, adding that growth will come as customers become more comfortable with outsourcing.

SurfControl is now embarking on a 90-day integration process that will include the rollout of training and certification to its channel partners, Sueltz said. Training and testing for U.S. partners likely will be available online and through seminars sometime during the integration period, according to Harris.