This time last year I started with a number of different adjectives to describe 2019. This year though there is only one word to be used: COVID-19.
The impact on the market and economy has been, and continues to be, enormous. In all industries, in all areas on all levels. Additionally, on a personal level everybody encountered challenges, and sometimes struggles supporting colleagues, friends and relatives in this new normal.
During these unexpected times the Cybersecurity infrastructure market has continued to evolve. Palo Alto Networks made a number of acquisitions with Expanse (Solutions for network risk assessment and management), CloudGenix (Provider of Software-defined WAN solution) and Crypsis (Incident response & threat management solution for enterprise). Fortinet acquired OPAQ – a Cloud-based network security solution, while FireEye obtained Respond Software and Cloudvisory.
A number of our vendors received investment funds for a combined value of up to 1.5B$. SentinelOne obtained 267M$ in a first round, and added 200M$ more in the second. Axonius received 95M$, Nozomi 54M$ and Silverfort 30M$. But not only startup vendors were able to secure significant funding, a number of established vendors followed suit. Infoblox collected 73M$, Bain Capital Private Equity backed Nutanix for 750M$ and Elliot Management supported F5 Networks for an undisclosed amount.
Exclusive Networks BeLux also needed to adapt on all levels to cope with this new normal. Our workforce moved to 100% homeworking and we transformed to an all-virtual workshop and training organization. That way we could continue to provide our partners with knowledge and expertise. A service they are used to and which they, rightfully so, expect from us.
Despite this new way of working, we still did what we do best: disrupt the security market. We signed up a number of new cutting-edge vendors. AXONIUS – a cybersecurity asset management platform that gives organizations a comprehensive asset inventory, uncovers security solution coverage gaps, and automatically validates and enforces security policies. SAILPOINT – AI-enabled identity platform proactively spotting risky users and access that pose potential threats. And VECTRA – an AI-based network detection and response (NDR) solution for cloud, data center and enterprise infrastructures in real time, while empowering security analysts to perform conclusive incident investigations and AI-assisted threat hunting.
Our technical experts launched their new Threat Hunting Academy in November. This training provides a better understanding of the tactics, techniques and procedures used by attackers today and delivers an excellent immersive experience where you will be in the driver’s seat on both ends of the spectrum (Blue Team and Red Team).
Moreover, Exclusive Networks as Group is moving to the next stage of scale and success. Jesper Trolle was appointed our new CEO September 15th. He is the ideal leader to take Exclusive on this journey, having worked around the world at the head of multi-billion-dollar organizations. He brings a wealth of experience, entrepreneurial DNA, deep knowledge of upscaling global businesses and a strong commitment to adding and creating value in distribution.
We have increased our global presence and reach by acquiring JJNET in Hong-Kong, expanded our footprint into Eastern Europe with VERACOMP, and broadened our competencies in cloud, DevOps, containerization and related technologies with NUAWARE.
The launch of Exclusive on Demand (X-OD), a platform enabling subscription-based consumption for cybersecurity infrastructure solutions giving our partners the possibility to provide what the market is relentlessly moving towards – delivering ‘everything-as-a-service’, is a true game-changer within the distribution landscape. Piloted in France, UK and The Netherlands, it is available since November 1st in 6 additional countries including Belgium and Luxemburg.
As I already mentioned, the year has been tough. For all and every one of us, one way or the other, on an economical level or on a personal level, sometimes even both. We as Exclusive Networks BeLux have been able to arrive where we are today thanks to all of you: our reseller partners, vendors and end customers.
I want to “THANK YOU” for your continued commitment, support and above all – trust and confidence in doing business with us.
Traditionally I would now invite you to celebrate the New Year at the beginning of 2021. Obviously, I am not able to do that at this point. But rest assured, I will keep you informed as soon as we get a better view on when we are allowed to.
My Very Best Wishes for a fruitful, successful and secure 2021.
Country Manager, Exclusive Networks BeLux