GlobalScape Turns To Channel For Managed File Transfer Growth

GlobalScape is looking to fuel interest in its managed file transfer platform by shifting from a decade-long direct sales approach to the channel to get into midsize and large businesses looking for a more secure way to move files.

The San Antonio-based company hired Kaspersky Lab channel executive Matthew Goulet to serve as its vice president of sales in October to spearhead the effort. Goulet recently inked a deal with Ingram Micro to get the company's portfolio more widely distributed to the channel and is heavily recruiting partners eager to sell the file transfer software as part of security and compliance efforts.

GlobalScape gets about 25 percent of its domestic business through the channel, Goulet said. By the end of 2016, the company hopes the channel contribution will be more than 60 percent of GlobalScape's overall revenue. The company is investing heavily to attract up to 10,000 solution providers. The effort includes reorganizing its sales organization and building out a channel team to recruit and support the partner network, Goulet said.

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"We have put together a targeted list of solution providers selling into the midmarket or enterprise with mobility and security products and we are targeting those based on their revenue size and willingness to partner with us," Goulet said. "We've built out a partner program that we think is attractive to those providers."

The company has more than doubled its investment in its channel activities and lead generation, Goulet said, calling it a significant increase over 2013. A new two-tiered program consists of Emerging Partners, mainly resellers and Focus Partners who commit to a sales plan and technical training. A regional channel sales manager will meet with the most engaged partners for training and support, Goulet said.

GlobalScape faces competition from a variety of firms that either specialize in managed file transfer or have added secure file transfer capabilities to larger suites. In addition to Axway, the company sees competition from Ipswitch File Transfer, TIBCO, SSH Communications and DataMotion. Industry analysts say most firms turn to an MFT platform as part of cost-cutting efforts and compliance requirements for reporting and auditing capabilities. IBM also is adding the capability to its product line with the acquisition of high-speed file transfer vendor Aspera in December.

"The whole industry has gotten convoluted and, like endpoint and email security, there's only a handful of really good ones," said Janine Bodwin, a data management specialist who serves as president and CEO of Blue Karma Security and is an early GlobalScape partner. Bodwin said businesses often deploy email security, data loss prevention and encryption, but many firms rely on standard file transfer protocol instead of adding automation and management features to better control the activity.

"Some clients are using a homegrown solution, but, ultimately, they're not going to get the security they need," Bodwin said.

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GlobalScape's product set includes an Enhanced File Transfer platform for automating, securing and simplifying the file transfer process at enterprises and a hosted or managed version with pay-as-you-go pricing. A separate Mail Express component is sold for secure email file sharing and Wide Area File Service collaboration software for remote offices.

The most attractive partners have been working with midsize and enterprise clients on mobile device management, antimalware and data protection projects, Goulet said. Focus partners need to commit to an active, working relationship, Goulet said. GlobalScape has introduced three levels of technical training in addition to on-site sales training. A deal registration program is available to both partner tiers to protect opportunities, he said.

"If they bring GlobalScape a new account, we want to make sure our commitment stays with the partner; we don't want to take those opportunities direct," Goulet said. "We want to make sure that they win that business with big margins and incentives that we have put in place."

Opportunity exists for partners, Goulet said, because many businesses have outgrown their existing file transfer products, are unhappy with the level of support they are getting or are missing key features, such as mobility. Buyers of managed file transfer solutions are generally networking team leaders or security professionals, he said.

"Once we are entrenched within an enterprise organization, it is very difficult to displace us," Goulet said. "We've got an 18-year history and a rock-solid product line, and North America, U.S.-based support."