AccessData Turns To Channel For Its Forensics, E-Discovery Platform

AccessData, known for its digital forensics tools, is looking to boost its presence in the security market and hopes to ramp up interest in its portfolio by turning to the channel to bolster sales.

AccessData channel chief Chad Gailey said the firm is investing millions in its new indirect sales model and sees signs of strong growth in its arsenal of forensics tools and e-discovery platform. With analyst firms predicting steady growth in the cybersecurity space, the firm is aligning itself in the security community, where Gailey said it has quietly been for many years.

"We've done a lot of work with the plumbers in the field, the crime scene guys over the years," said Gailey, AccessData's vice president of worldwide channel sales.

[Related: Verizon Analysis: Top 10 Causes Behind Data Breaches ]

Sponsored post

The Lindon, Utah-based firm's portfolio runs the gamut and begins with its flagship Forensics Toolkit, a favorite in law enforcement circles. Its SilentRunner network forensics software captures and analyzes network traffic, and its Live Response USB stick is designed for first responders. The company's portfolio now covers a large part of the electronic discovery records management (EDRM) framework from identification to collection to processing and analysis.

The firm struck a close relationship with Denver-based security firm Accuvant that Gailey called a potential $20 million pipeline between the two firms. Gailey said he is cultivating similar relationships with Fishnet, Forsythe IBM and HP.

AccessData has been in a tight race against its chief rival, Guidance Software, in which both firms are the strongest on the left side of the EDRM with forensics and data collection, said David Horrigan, an analyst covering e-discovery and information governance at the 451 Group. Horrigan said the firm is in a good position to capitalize on the concerns over big data and information governance.

"There's been a lot of questions about what will be done with all this data that's being collected, and it's been a real boon with this company and many of its competitors," Horrigan said. "Security is becoming an important part of process, especially with cloud computing adoption and the NSA surveillance discussion."

AccessData's forensics tools attracted Accuvant because there's been considerable interest in Accuvant's consulting business for incident response, said Chris Scanlan, vice president of sales in the south region at Accuvant. AccessData took the time to understand the Accuvant business model, solution and methodology, Scanlan said.

"We see this as an opportunity to sell on the heels of a consulting engagement and bring new opportunities to AccessData," Scanlan said. "Our malware research group also uses this as part of a subset of tools by which they can do their job."

NEXT: AccessData Seeing Steady Growth, Encouraging Channel Engagement

AccessData's Gailey said his company has seen steady growth from moving its portfolio from separate point products to becoming a full platform of integrated technologies. The move has been a mixture of organic growth and acquisitions. In 2010, the company acquired CT Summation, an e-discovery platform that has been a longtime favorite at law firms. Developers have been completely re-engineering it while continuing to build out its arsenal of analytics and forensics capabilities. Meanwhile the AccessData sales organization has grown from seven sales people to more than 140 in four years, Gailey said.

"We've grown so much that we can't keep up pace organically, we have to now have an indirect channel," Gailey said.

Gailey was hired to build out a channel strategy last year and has been bringing on channel sales experts to help close deals. The company is looking to grow the channel by revenue by over 75 percent this year. It did about $29 million in indirect sales worldwide last year mainly from distributors, and the target is $50 million in 2013, Gailey said. The company entered Russia and China this year.

The company is also investing heavily in marketing, doing about 40 events in the last six months with about 10 different partners, Gailey said.

"We're spending money to build relationships with our partner sales organizations and executive organizations with our internal team, and we're doing it to build relationships with their top customers," Gailey said.

AccessData has also implemented a pro-channel compensation model, using an uplift to incent its direct sales people to move sales through the channel. It set aside about $3 million in the U.S. market to pay uplifts back to its sales people, Gailey said. If sales reps take the deal through the channel, they will make an additional 20 percent margin.

"If the executive management of this company and sales organization don't understand this strategy, then we'll all be dead in the water, but the good news is that all our front-line managers come from huge channel organizations and they get it," Gailey said. "We don't have channel fighting and conflict here."