11 Feb 2015
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Barracuda’s ‘dirty little secret’

By Heather Wright

Michael Hughes, Barracuda Networks senior vice president of worldwide sales drops his voice slightly.

“It’s our dirty little secret,” he says, conspiratorially. “Our data protection business, on a new revenue basis, is more significant than the security side of the business – and that’s on growing security business, too.”

The company, best known for its security products, but which started out in email archiving, has grown in the past three years to include backup.

Hughes says the company is investing heavily in the two main areas where it is seeing growth – data protection and security.

Last year it released Message Archiver 4.0, part of the Barracuda Data Protection Plus initiative, aimed at helping customers access, retain and share critical data from anywhere and any device.

“One of IT’s biggest challenges today is to ensure business applications are up and running – promoting application availability, productivity and collaboration – often with limited time and resources.

“As a result, protecting the modern workplace demands a new way of thinking,” the company says.

Barracuda says Data Protection Plus leverages the latest innovations across the vendor’s storage solutions, enabling and accelerating the use of virtualisation, cloud and mobile technologies.

On the security side, Hughes says it’s a ‘tough’ job for the channel with cloud changing the security landscape.

“It’s a tough job for them now. Increasingly, the way we see customers acquiring some of these services is online or without the channel’s involvement.

“They have to step up and understand cloud and align themselves with the right provider and offer a differentiated service for customers.

“There’s an onus on them to build out expertise around cloud – security, data protection and so on, for clouds.”

Hughes says customers are at a loss as to what to do. “So it’s up to VARs and IT providers to lead customers and advise them of the options.”

He says total threat protection requires ‘eliminating the seams between sectors’.

“And the implications of that applies to a bunch of trends including off-site delivery via cloud.”

Last month the company reported record Q3 fiscal results, with gross billings up 18%  year-on-year to a record US$92 billion. Total revenue was up 19% year-on-year to US$70 million in Q3, with total active subscribers now more than 234,900, up 19% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Hughes himself hit the news in the United States last week after selling 1875 shares of Barracuda Networks stock for a reported transaction of US$62,193. He maintains some 35,000 shares in the company.

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