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News on messaging, content control, compliance, e-discovery, data leak prevention
Daily Digest: August 29, 2008
Ferris News Service will not be published September 1st due to the U.S. Labor Day holiday. Publication will resume on September 2nd.
Content Control, Compliance, Archiving, E-Discovery, & Data Leak Prevention

FTI Announces Availability of Attenex Patterns 5.0
Enhancements to help IT departments administer and enforce a repeatable in-house eDiscovery process

Return Path Acquires Habeas--Your Input Requested

Proofpoint Acquires Fortiva--Your Input Requested

Survey of Archiving Products -- Let us know what you think about the archiving products you use. If you add your own data, we will send you a summary of the findings. The survey just started--great if you can help get this off the ground by contributing your own policies

Archive Attender voted MSExchange.org Readers' Choice Award Winner - Second Runner-up  

iCONECT and Wave Software Collaborate  

MessageSolution Enterprise Email Archive Wins MSExchange.org Readers' Choice Award for Exchange Archiving  

IntApp and Recommind Partner to Strengthen Confidentiality Controls for Law Firms
Recommind integrating its Decisiv Email email management platform with IntApp's Wall Builder confidentiality management product, enabling firms to give attorneys rapid access to client information while maintaining internal access controls

Messaging & Collaboration

South Carolina ISP Dumps Big Name Virus Protection in Favor of AVG Anti-Virus
Baja Broadband moves to AVG Anti-Virus Network Edition after competing product fails to keep viruses out of their network

Blog Item(s)

Snapshot:Proofpoint -- Spam and Virus Control, DLP, Archiving

Business Value of Proofpoint's Offerings

  • Suppresses spam and email-borne viruses, so users time isn't wasted.
  • Helps ensure sensitive information (e.g., customer bank account numbers, intellectual property) isn't sent to people it shouldn't be sent to.
  • Archiving of emails, for easy search and access, to respond better to lawsuits, and to satisfy laws and regulations requiring such archiving.

Current Offering

  • Email-based spam, phishing, and virus control; policy-based encryption.
  • Filtering of outbound information to prevent data leaks. This covers many types of content, including email and attachments, webmail, files, FTP, instant messaging, and blog postings.
  • Archiving (SaaS only, through recent Fortiva acquisition).
  • Secure file transfer. This is a secondary offering, and not described on Proofpoint's Web site.
  • FTP, HTTP scanning, for data leak protection. This is a secondary offering, and not described on Proofpoint's Web site.
  • Majority of components can be purchased as customer-premises software (option to run as virtual device), customer-premises appliance, or SaaS.
  • Majority of products have same code base across customer-premises software, customer-premises appliance, customer-premises virtual device, SaaS.

Customer Sweet Spot

  • The majority of customers are medium-sized (250 employees+) and large organizations.

Company Statistics

  • Founded 2002.
  • Revenues: privately held, not disclosed. Ferris Research estimates current rate at $40M annually.
  • Growth rate: GAAP revenues for calendar 2007 were up 50% on calendar 2006; calendar 2008 projected at 70% over calendar 2007. (Source: VP Marketing Sandra Vaughan, August 13, 2008.)
  • Financing to date: $86M. Last round 1Q08 for $28M, for acquisitions and growth; sources indicate a $300M valuation.

Main Competition

Main Competitive Strengths, as Perceived by Company

  • Strong spam control: good catch rates with low false positives.
  • Focus on email security, so can provide effective and personalized pre- and post-sales support for larger organizations.
  • Customers can have dedicated SaaS environment separate from other organizations, helping to provide for privacy.
  • Breadth of functionality: spam/virus/malware control, DLP, and archiving. Many competitors are limited to spam/virus/malware control.
  • Spam effectiveness -- higher catch rate with few false positives.
  • Not distracted by an overreliance on sender reputation for spam filtering, which usefully strengthens the emphasis on content filtering.
  • Strong archiving (via the recent Fortiva acquisition) -- SaaS only.
  • Multiple servers are managed as a unified, integrated system, from a single place -- on-premise only.


  • Proofpoint's focus today is primarily on email. It needs to extend the core capabilities to other protocols (e.g., IM, HTTP, FTP, print streams, file server I/O) and data at rest. That's tough to do.
  • The archiving capabilities delivered by the acquisition of Fortiva are an attractive enhancement to the SaaS offering. It's to be regretted that these capabilities aren't provided by the customer-premises offerings.
  • Proofpoint's technology is mainly located at the Internet boundary. To build a strong content control offering, it needs to extend its technology to the interior of customers' networks.
  • An important strength is the integrated, single point of administration of the spam/virus/malware/DLP technology. However, Fortiva's archiving and e-discovery code base is entirely separate, and will need to be integrated. That's tough to do, and is likely to detract from the single-point-of-administration strength.

Other Comments

  • Company is doing well. It's a survivor among the myriad spam control firms that have appeared and disappeared over the last few years.
  • Company hopes for an IPO in 2009; an acquisition is also an obvious exit route for investors.
  • There are no immediate plans to integrate the Fortiva SaaS archiving service into the core Proofpoint offerings.
  • SaaS offering was launched in 2008; it's doing well and Proofpoint estimates it will constitute around 20% of revenues by the end of 2008.
  • Proofpoint sells exclusively through channels for the SME market. These are typically systems integrators such as SBS Security and Fish.Net. This is a bold commitment to its partners.
  • Proofpoint also has a strong direct sales and support organization aimed at larger organizations; but even here, all these sales are in collaboration with partners.

... David Ferris



Upcoming Reports & Events

Emerging Technology: Compliance, Content Control, and Data Leak Prevention
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008
8:30 a.m. Pacific, 11:30 a.m. Eastern, 4:30 p.m. U.K., 5:30 p.m. CET. One hour.

In this event, David Ferris introduces three new or newish vendors that he finds interesting or innovative in the overlapping fields of compliance, content control, and data leak prevention. Each vendor's CEO briefly describes the company's business; then he or she and David discuss the business and its industry context. A Q&A period follows.

To register for the webcast, click here. For more information, click here.

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About Ferris Research

Ferris Research studies messaging, and the control of electronic information. More specifically, we help IT staff evaluate and implement products and services that:

  • Provide messaging and collaborative technologies
  • Archive electronic information
  • Ensure compliance with corporate policy, industry regulations, and laws
  • Facilitate e-discovery, and contain its costs
  • Reduce the dangers of information leaks

Email is the most important type of electronic information that requires control today. Other important types include instant messages, Sharepoint teamspaces, images, voice, video, and miscellaneous desktop files.

We've been in business since 1990--longer than any other analyst firm in our field:

  • Clients include 300 of the world's 1,000 largest organizations, and computer vendors from the largest corporations to small startups
  • While other analysts have come and gone, we've published more than 200 formal reports and 1,100 short bulletins
  • Our news service covers more than 2,000 highly specialized announcements annually
  • We have nine experts in our research team, sharing many decades of experience in our core competencies

In short, our technology and industry depth helps you understand today's products, where they've come from and where they're going.

Have news you want to share with us or product or interest area that you would like us to cover? Send press releases to releases@ferris.com.

Copyright © Ferris Research 2008.


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