CSOs must plot DDoS blueprint ASAP: Radware

The combined solutions set of ADC and AMS works well for organizations, says Nikhil Taneja, MD, India at Radware.

DDoS attacks are on the rise globally that continue to threaten the security posture of the organizations. Today, digital companies demand high availability. Israel headquartered, Radware ensure that the companies stay secure and remain available always to its customers. CSO India spoke to Nikhil Taneja, MD-India and SAARC, Radware, on the company’s value prop to Indian CISOs and India GTM ahead.

Edited Excerpts.

How do you see India business for Radware in 2017 and beyond? How are you ramping up operations here?

We were the first vendor to bring layer 4 to layer 7 technology into India market in 2002, when layer 3 was the market trend. We took that evangelism path and shared the technical knowledge with the end organizations. Radware have been carrying security as part of application switching domain as an inherent part of overall company strategy. And that’s created lot and more of customer attention to us.

Over period of time, each security feature in the so called UTM became a product in itself. We also graduated to IPS device, then WAF and now DDoS is a separate device altogether. We are one of industry’s first vendors to launch with virtualized solution or specialized DDoS solution. And also our cloud model for our solutions.

We have seen both sides of our business – availability and security – grow parallel in India. We never focused on availability as a switch being available in terms of its uptime and its capacity, we have always taken the combination of switching availability and threat mitigation. The two domains are now separately defined as ADC (Application Delivery Control) and AMS (Attack Mitigation System).

Also Read : Cybersecurity is a chess marathon with hackers: Carl Herberger 

You compete with many technology vendors mostly in bits and pieces across ADC and AMS (security) domains. How do you outdo them?

We still find interesting connects in our extensive portfolio as we compete with switching vendors like F5 and A10 Networks in ADC domain and we now have started to invade the space of Arbors and McAfees of the world.

In the past three years, the market has evaluated us at par with the big names. Some key service providers in DC have started replacing competition or adding our devices to offer complete clear link services to the clients on security side. Any Indian large customer across banking, web trading companies, manufacturing, government, defense services, services domains (airline, hospitality etcetera) have been our customer in both domains.  

ADC is no longer receptive to a specialized device or solution. The growing competition has led to the price of tech per port per speed reducing constantly. We show our niche in the security more with DDoS solutions that helps us make inroads into an end customer.

We still find interesting connects in our extensive portfolio as we compete with switching vendors like F5 and A10 Networks in ADC domain and we now have started to invade the space of Arbors and McAfees of the world.

The government has been a focused vertical for Radware India. Comment. 

Almost 35% to 40% of our numbers emerge out of government business. The remaining is spread across various verticals as security and availability is the need across verticals. It is not the regular government business but we work with say the agencies of three defense forces. Radware has been part of most of the large projects like customs, UID, income tax, NIC for digital India.

We should commend the government departments for the IT initiatives related to network and security. The unique part of government business is that we can share our product expertise and they are receptive to work with layer 7 than the other widely available solutions in the market. Radware globally still has the biggest order coming out of Indian Air Force about seven year ago which included deployment of IPS at each of their stations.

What’s the update of channel partner route to address India market? Who makes the cut as an ideal partner of Radware?  

RAH Infotech is value added distributor in India besides Qi Network Enterprise. When we started business talking about layer 4 to layer 7, we knew that educating the market aggressively was the only way to success. A decade ago, a three day training program / workshop with 30 people hands on training was conducted every quarter in Mumbai Delhi and Bangalore for engineers of Tier-1 channel companies and our end customers.We used to get some panic calls as end organizations would understand firewall and router but not much about layer 4 to layer 7 switch. Our unique strategy which continues till date helped us to edcuate the channels cohesively and they become our friends to the market.

All tier-1 SI partners to the likes of TCS, HCL, Wipro, IBM re Radware partners helping to execute key projects in India. We have g 2 to 3 strong tech-oriented Tier-2 channels in each region. Ideally one security player and one in ADC partner each in each regions of India. It’s a very quality focus approach in Tier-2 channels as our technology requires extensive understanding and complete articulation unlike partners selling layer-3 switch. We also incentive the partners through certification trainings.

ADC business has spread across SMBs also. Our distys develop that market with tier-2 SMB centric partners. In recent past, we have launched products including mini DP and mini switches for that sector. However Radware’s main focus remains the enterprise and large enterprises.

What is the ‘foot in the door’ opportunity for Radware in India?

ADC is the requirement now for any modern set up. More than core switch, more time is spend on the layer 4 to layer 7 switch around issues like number of cores, capacity, virtualized instances. On the application side, we have ADC solutions around virtualization and other technologies for highly available infra of organizations.

Radware’s DDoS solutions is the real door opener for channels. We do something unique compared to other competitors besides competing on technology strength. We encourage partners to conduct POC on their customer site. Channels does not charge the customer and don’t charge anything and we don’t ask disty to invest on devices for POC. Almost every POC conducted turns out successful which prompts channels to close the deal.

Does Radware team and its channels have a strategy to cross sell and upsell their tech stack across companies?

We have good mix of business from existing customers and net new customers. The technology products we have always offers cross selling markets. We have models (pay as you grow) wherein you can buy speed and capacity within one hardware platform which is an upsell.

For cross sell, we have solution matrix wherein an existing customer can buy different licenses like WAF license, mgmt. model to name a few. Cross sell gives big business opportunities to channels. We have deployed inside sales for this business. RAH has a specify team to approach our existing customer base not only for renewals but sending information for the newer solutions like APM license and the security piece on top of it.

What is your opinion on the uptake for cloud by Indian companies?

India is still very much on premise model. As far as the security piece like buying or using WAF or DDoS device, there are directives from cybersecurity to all banks and service providers. We would have a hybrid with a need to have on premise as well. Large enterprises are building their own cloud. Buying cloud per se is yet to take off in India. We are selling cloud WAF and cloud DDoS in India. We are working with few telco who will offer load balancer as service which would be typically cloud based solutions

We have strong GSI business (through a separate team) in India. We recently concluded a large cloud deal with India based GSI but the customer is global. The confusion still exists for most companies on whether they build own cloud or outsource to service providers. That’s the clarity which CIOs and CTOs  are struggling with and if they get that right, the investments will flow in the direction of cloud.

What definite opportunities in India market will accelerate the company’s momentum in neat future?

Radware India recorded over 24% growth in 2016 over the year of 2015. We expect the continued momentum in 2017. We are ramping our sales and pre sales teams across three regions north and east, west and south in India. The local TAC in India (Delhi) keeps us ahead in terms of after sales support over our competition. Our engineering force is helping the customers release the benefit of technology by invoking every feature. We have good hands-on pre sales run the device as ours is a high technology intensive domain.

We are creating a separate security focus through evangelists and sales roles that will work hand in glove with the entire Radware team. Globally Radware gets 50% of its overall revenues from security domain. Security constitutes a substantial part of all large IT projects in India and Radware commands its differentiator factors in that space.