“UK PR is a logical extension of our own team”

Vectra is an innovative specialist in the cutting-edge field of applying artificial intelligence to cyber security. Its pioneering Cognito threat detection and response platform automates the time and resource-heavy process of manually analysing security events. The platform’s advanced use of AI can reduce attack investigation workloads by as much as 29 times over, enabling security teams to respond to threats with unparalleled speed.

vectra logoCognito performs non-stop automated threat hunting, powered by AI that uses always-learning behaviour models to constantly adapt to advanced new attack tactics and tools. The solution uses a blind spot free approach, which analyses all network traffic, including cloud and data centre workloads. This enables Cognito to identify potential threats anywhere on the network, including BYOD devices and IoT devices.

Cognito works with existing security measures and enforcement points such as firewalls, endpoint security and network access control, to fortify the global network infrastructure. Alongside helping to identify and block advanced cyber-attacks in real time, Cognito also provides SIEMs and forensic tools with powerful data for their threat investigations.
Vectra was established in 2011 and, following years of successful growth in the US, the company began planning international expansion.

Why the UK market?
matt walmsleyMatt Walmsley, Head of EMEA Marketing at Vectra, comments: “It’s easy to see why the UK is the most popular choice for US tech vendors expanding internationally. It has a very attractive market size, and lower barriers of entry than most thanks to the language and cultural similarities.”

The challenge
Vectra immediately considered the channel to be an important part of its go to market strategy. Partnering with a distributor and establishing a channel network was a priority from day one, with the aim of fast tracking end customer engagement and co-selling with support from their partners.

As a younger cyber security company armed with disruptive technology, Vectra had a very specific set of needs that a partner network would need to meet. Matt explained: “It was important for us to find a partner that is truly ‘value add’ and brings complementary skills to the Vectra value proposition. We’re looking to partner with ‘market makers’, not ‘market followers’, who share our technology vision and understand of the market opportunity.”

He continued: “People tend to buy what they know. This means that solutions in more established fields tend to get pigeon-holed and compared to existing technology – “oh, you’re like a next gen so-and-so”. Our AI technology is avant-garde enough not to fit into any of the existing paradigms, but this presented the new problem of having to establish our credibility from scratch. Technology like ours is a very exciting proposition for the right channel partners, but also demands a lot more work and proactivity from them to start building momentum.”

Choosing a channel partner
To this end, Vectra opted to find a distribution partner with a proven track record for launching companies with a similar profile in the UK market. Its search quickly led to Cloud Distribution, a value-added distributor specialising in bringing disruptive security and networking solutions to the UK.

“We were impressed with Cloud Distribution’s track record in establishing new companies like Vectra in the UK,” explains Matt. “One of the most important factors was their well-established infrastructure and channel relationships. They act as an logical extension of our own team. We quickly established a close working relationship with our channel network, including having partners shadow our team to get to grips with the technology and how to position it. Cloud Distribution also freely offered their office space for our staff to use as needed, which was especially valuable early on in our UK activity.”

Continued growth
Close to three years on from its initial UK launch, Vectra has seen solid growth and strong engagement. The company has continued to invest in its UK operations, establishing additional sales teams and adding supporting functions including local tech support and professional services.

Buoyed from its success in the UK and DACH, Vectra has continued its international expansion, introducing Cognito to new markets including other locations in Western Europe, the Nordics, Benelux, and most recently the Middle East.