Turning the focus on the consumer segment

Friday, April 1, 2011

US firm Blue Coat has launched a solution called Proxy One in Latin America, through which it expects to target the consumer segment.

The company is in the process of developing the distribution model for this new solution, as Blue Coat has traditionally focused on the corporate segment.

To find out more about this launch and the company's plans for this year, BNamericas spoke with Blue Coat's manager for the Southern Cone, Federico Chaniz.

BNamericas: Blue Coat has always focused on security solutions for the corporate segment. However, the company recently launched a solution directed toward the consumer segment. Are you planning to expand the company's existing channel base for these solutions?

Chaniz: We already have good coverage of channel partners for our corporate security solutions. We don't need to continue developing our channel base in the security field. However, we do need more development for the WAN optimization solutions in the region. Regarding our new solution for the consumer segment, which is called Proxy One, we will certainly have to recruit new channels exclusively for this segment.

BNamericas: How many channels do you currently have for the corporate segment in the Southern Cone?

Chaniz: We currently have over 20 channels across the Southern Cone region. Half of these channels are exclusively oriented to large corporations, while the other half focuses on solutions for midsized companies and the consumer segment. We're trying to boost sales in our consumer segment and are putting our efforts in our recently launched Proxy One solution.

BNamericas: How many channels are you planning to recruit for the consumer segment across the region?

Chaniz: The number of new channels will depend on the design of our distribution model, which we are in the process of reviewing. To target the consumer segment, we need to have a larger volume of channels and distributors with wide capillarity. We aren't in a position to target the mid-markets with the channels we currently have for the corporate segment.

BNamericas: When are you expecting to define the strategy to target the consumer market?

Chaniz: We believe that it will be completed and defined during the next quarter to start having results during the second half of 2011. However, our strategy to target the consumer segment is a long-term strategy.

BNamericas: How important is the Southern Cone in terms of revenue contribution, taking into account the overall regional operation?

Chaniz: The Latin American region is split into different sub-regions, namely Mexico, Brazil, Spanish-speaking South America and the Caribbean. Our revenues in Latin America are very well balanced, with the three first sub-regions each accounting for approximately 30% of our regional revenues, while the Caribbean contributes the remainder. Taking into account the Spanish-speaking South America sub-region, we can say that the Southern Cone - which includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay - contributes half of the revenues.

BNamericas: Which are the main markets for you in terms of business volume within the Southern Cone region?

Chaniz: Our main markets in this region are Chile and Argentina. However, our Chilean business is currently double the size of our business in Argentina. The IT market in Chile is very mature compared to other countries, and the macroeconomic scenario is stable. This is why we have a higher volume of business in Chile.

BNamericas: In which verticals does the company focus on in Chile and Argentina?

Chaniz: Both markets have differences in terms of the verticals we target. In Chile, for example, we have a significant penetration in verticals such as government, education, mining and industry. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the market where we're seeing more activity is financing.

BNamericas: Are you also pursuing opportunities in the government segment?

Chaniz: Yes. We're targeting the government segment in Argentina, mainly with projects at a national level. We are focusing on security and infrastructure projects for the national government. We're participating in approximately 5-6 large projects that will possibly be auctioned this year.

At a provincial level, we aren't yet seeing significant activity in terms of security solution adoption by local governments.

Meanwhile, in Chile, the government segment is not strong for us. But we are seeing a lot of activity in the education segment, where we're implementing several projects related to content filtering.

BNamericas: For what sorts of solutions are you seeing more demand in Southern Cone markets?

Chaniz: We're seeing increasing demand for solutions such as content filtering. We are very well positioned in this field and becoming a very relevant player in projects for network access control and web security. We're offering large corporations and medium-sized companies more complex solutions in these fields, since there are many threats that could potentially affect them.

We're also seeing opportunities in projects for video implementation in networks. We have a lot of expertise in WAN optimization projects.

BNamericas: What expectations do you have for the Proxy One solution in the Southern Cone?

Chaniz: We're very happy with this new product for the consumer segment. It's very important for us to be able to reach this market, so we have high expectations. However, we believe that it will be hard work to create demand for the product, since this segment is not mature in terms of using security solutions compared with the corporate market. We'll need to evangelize the consumer segment on the benefits of security solutions.

We will work hard to start creating demand during the second half of this year, and expect more significant demand in 2012. This year will be the year for developing the model.

In the US, Blue Coat is seeing more demand for these solutions from the consumer market, which is more mature in comparison to Latin America.

About the company

Blue Coat Systems provides web security and WAN optimization solutions. It also offers service provider solutions for managed security, as well as carrier-grade caching solutions to save on bandwidth and enhance the end user's web experience.