As long as businesses have existed, there’s been disruption. And that’s especially true in the tech world. Compaq was the top dog in computing for a time before giving way to HP and Dell. There used to be one-hour photo labs on every corner and then digital took hold. Ask your kid if they know what a floppy disk is or a what PDA looks like.
Sometimes, a disruption happens because the new technology is better.
Sometimes, a disruption occurs because the original company rests on its laurels.
Sometimes, a disruption occurs because the upstart is more nimble and able to connect with its customers more easily.
Often, it’s a combination of all of those factors.
In the email security game, that’s exactly what’s happening.
For years, traditional companies like Mimecast and Proofpoint have led the way. They’ve both been around since the early 2000s; they’re both publicly traded; they both have large customer bases. They’ve been at the top since the beginning.
But slowly, that lead is getting chipped away. Every day, we speak with customers who are interested in leaving Proofpoint or Mimecast. Once they see Avanan’s solution, they often do.
We’ve written extensively about this, calling them “SEG Switchers.” Time after time, once they switch to Avanan, customers find the difference to be remarkable.
We believe this shift is two-fold. First, like with so many other disruptions, it starts with technology. Avanan pioneered securing email inline via API. Mimecast and Proofpoint are both Secure Email Gateways, essentially trying to place an old solution on a new problem. It would be like opening up a one-hour photoshop for digital pictures. It doesn’t compute.
The other, we believe, is due to a disconnect between the company and with customers and research and development. Despite growing rapidly, Avanan remains a small startup. Because of that, we're able to be nimble and respond on a dime to customer concerns. When you scroll through reviews in G2, you’ll see what we mean. Here’s what consistently comes up:
- “Their team is patient to answer or find the answers when needed.”
- “I measure a company’s competency and confidence in their product by how good their support team is, and I have to say they are amazing. Their support team is very knowledgable and kind and willing to explain what process they are going through to resolve an issue.”
- “Very responsive to user feedback.”
As a smaller company, Avanan can be more hands-on than bigger ones. We can actively work with customers on custom policies that end up benefitting the entire customer base. We can easily take suggestions and add them to our services.
Perhaps the best way to think of it is this: Legacy companies are like oil tankers—large, hard to maneuver and prone to destruction. Smaller companies, like Avanan, are more akin to fishing boats—nimble, able to change directions in a moment and gets you where you need to go.
One review summed it up. “My impression is that many of the traditional security vendors have only grudgingly entered into this SaaS/API arena as they already had services/hardware that was great 5+ years ago and still making a product. Don’t be afraid to go with the best option that’s unencumbered by that legacy.”
Disruption is a good thing. It forces everyone to be better, to innovate more, and to constantly meet the high demands of the market.
But the history of technology tells us that those that are more mobile and more responsive are in the best position.
Given the tremendous response, it’s no wonder the tides are turning for Avanan.