Careers at Sophos
Sophos’s mission is to be the best in the world at delivering complete IT security to small, mid-market enterprises and the channel that serves them worldwide.
Sophos is a security software and hardware company. The firm operates four reportable business segments based on geography: Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), The Americas, and Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ).
In 1985 Peter Lammer and Jan Hruska founded Sophos Group, a security software and hardware firm, in London. Through the next decade the company sold a variety of securitiy technologies, particularly encryption tools marketed to all types of users (businesses and individuals). In the late 1990s it shifted its focus to the development and selling of antivirus technology.
That period saw a number of other changes. Sophos began expanding aggressively, opening a number of subsidiary operations and international offices. It also began using channel partners as an exclusive sales channel. In terms of its portfolio, it added a range of data protection and security tools to its selection, as well as a series of remote administration tools.
In 2003 Sophos purchased ActiveState, a provider of anti-spam software. This acquistion enabled it to develop a combined antivirus and anti-spam solution. In 2010 Apax bought a majority interest in the company. In 2014 it revealed that it had acquired Cyberoam Technologies, a provider of network security products provider. Sophos is now listed on the London Stock Exchange and FTSE 250 Index.
Business model of Sophos
Sophos has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at organizations of all industries and sizes, including businesses, governments, universities, schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies.
Sophos offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, cost reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has acquired several firms since its founding, including ENDFORCE, Utimaco Safeware AG, Astaro, VirusBuster, DIALOGS, Cyberoam Technologies, Mojave Networks, and SurfRight. These purchases have enabled the company to significantly diversify its portfolio and expand its capabilities.
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for its customers. Its products secure every end point of clients‘ networks, from laptops to mobile devices to web/e-mail traffic to virtual desktops and servers.
The company reduces costs by providing free trials for several of its software solutions, including Sophos Home for PCs and Macs, Sophos Mobile Security for iOS, Malware Removal Tool, and Virus Removal Tool.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. Its products are used by over 100 million people in 150 countries. Its customers include 220,000 businesses, icnluding prominent firms such as Xerox, Pixar, Ford, Toshiba, Avis, Under Armour, and Northrop Grumman. In 2016 it generated $535 million in billings and $478 million in annual revenues. It has a client renewal rate of 90%. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including the following:
- Recognition as a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Unified Threat Management (UTM), Endpoint Protection Platforms, and Mobile Data Protection
- Recognition as a Leader in The Forrester Wave for Enterprise Mobile Management
- The Channel Company’s CRN Award for Security Vendor of the Year two years in a row
Sophos’s main channel is its network of channel partners and distributors. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, webinars, seminars, trade shows, and conferences.
Sophos’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
Support Services – Sophos offers a variety of service plans ranging from basic technical support to personalized delivery and access to senior support engineers. Several of the plans provide 24/7 phone and e-mail assistance and upgrades.
Training Services – Sophos offers certified training courses that provide instruction on how to use its products as well as updates on the latest product developments.
Professional Services – Sophos offers services for the implementation, configuration and upgrading of its solutions. The services are divided into the following categories:
- Plan Offerings – Includes Security Consulting and IT Security Architecture Design
- Build Offerings – Includes Sophos Quick Start and Enterprise Implementation
- Manage Offerings – Includes IT Security Health Check, Training, Managed Services and Residencies, and Project Management
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company’s website features the Sophos Knowledge Center, which includes useful resources such as white papers, buyer's guides, and analyst reports. It also provides access to its knowledgebase, which includes hundreds of online documentation files and thousands of articles. Lastly, there is a community element in the form of a forum where customers can interact with each other and industry experts.
Sophos’s business model entails designing and developing its software products and delivering associated services for customers.
Sophos’s key partners are the 20,000+ channel partners it relies on to help it sell its products. Many are members of the company’s partner program, which offers benefits such as competitive product discounts and deal registration, training and certification programs, joint lead generation programs, and support from a dedicated channel team.
The company also depends upon a set of suppliers that provide it with the goods and materials it needs to run is operations.
Sophos’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers that design and develop its software, the sales employees that promote and sell it, the customer service personnel who provide support, and the training/consulting staffers that provide instruction and advice.
Sophos has a value-driven cost structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent service enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is sales/marketing, a fixed expense. Other major drivers are cost of sales, a variable expense, and research/development, a fixed cost.
Sophos has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from sales of its software products under fixed term contracts and perpetual licenses.
info: Kris earned a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and Economics at Dartmouth College, an M.Phil. in International Relations at Cambridge University, and an MBA at Stanford University. He previously served as CEO of Corel Corporation and BigBook.
info: Nick earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at Aston University. He previously served as Group CFO of Micro Focus International, Fibernet Group, and Gentia Software, and held senior financial positions at Lotus Software and Comshare.
info: Matt earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Brigham Young University and an MBA at Southern Methodist University. He previously served as SVP of Product and Solution Marketing at McAfee and as VP of Product Marketing at Citrix.
info: Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queens College. He previously served as CTO of Blue Coat Systems, Solera Networks, and SonicWALL. He has over 20 years of leadership and development expertise in the area of information security.
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