Sophos Reports Record Momentum in 2002

Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus solutions, today announced record momentum in 2002. Sophos reported record results for last fiscal year, where it experienced nearly a 40% growth rate – more than twice the rate of analyst expectations for the overall anti-virus market. The company attributes this growth to several key factors including its commitment to execution, product development, its extended protection through partners and its growing customer base of well over 20 million.

Analyst group IDC expects the anti-virus market as a whole to grow at 15.3% annually between 2001 and 2006*. Sophos’s revenue grew at 40% last fiscal year – more than twice the predicted rate, demonstrating the company’s continued success in the highly competitive anti-virus market. The company has enjoyed consecutive years of impressive and steady growth. Since 1994, Sophos has experienced compound annual revenue growth of 44% and compound pre-tax profits growth of 47%.

“Given the downturn in the economy and the technology sector, and with the cut backs in IT spending, we are thrilled to report record growth,” said Stephen Orenberg, president at Sophos, Inc. “As a corporate-focused, anti-virus only vendor, our growth validates the relevance and value of our unique offering to organizations worldwide and the strength of our business model.”

In May 2002, TA Associates, a leading private equity and buyout firm, bought a minority investment of $60 million. Sophos has offices beyond the US – in England, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and Singapore and virus labs in both the UK and Australia. This past year, Sophos opened an office in Milan, Italy, to further strengthen its European presence. In 2002, Sophos experienced a 40% employee growth rate, bringing the total headcount to more than 450 employees worldwide. Key hires at Sophos, Inc. included Stephen Orenberg, president; Mark Hatton, VP of North American sales; Chris Belthoff, senior product marketing manager; Steven Bell, director of finance; and Richard Atkind, senior HR manager. In addition, Geoff Snare joined the global management team as head of global support.

Key client wins
Sophos protects more than 20 million users worldwide and its client-base continues to grow. New customers based in the US include the University of California, who selected Sophos to protect its desktop, server and gateway for up to 100,000 users at a number of its campuses. The campuses that implemented Sophos’s anti-virus solutions include: UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Francisco, UCLA and the UC Office of the President. San Diego School District also selected Sophos to protect students, staff and faculty. In the US alone, Sophos protects over one million desktops in the academic sector.

In 2002, Sophos continued to maintain its high renewal rate. McCormick & Company, Inc., the largest spice company in the world, renewed their license. The company’s ongoing dedication to customer service and support continues to drive renewals from year to year. In a 2002 customer survey, Sophos earned an 89% customer satisfaction rating. Customers consider Sophos’s products superior to other anti-virus software they have tried. With global virus labs and support teams in the UK, Australia and the US, all clients receive first-rate support and timely virus protection updates. In the year to come, Sophos will continue to invest in its anti-virus product line, as well as management and reporting tools.

“Sophos’s tech support is top-notch,” said MIS Manager Mark Rhodes at Ship-Pac Inc. based in Michigan. “I can recall a tech that worked with me after his shift was over, long into the evening assisting us in implementing our Sophos solution. That kind of support and attention to your customers’ needs is, quite frankly, hard to come by in the technology world – I never received that kind of support from our last anti-virus vendor.”

Key partnerships
In May 2002, Sophos implemented a global OEM team to further develop and service worldwide technology partners. Due to increasing demand within the marketplace, Sophos expanded its OEM service and support worldwide to accommodate third-party developer interest.

Many of Sophos’s strategic partners contributed to Sophos’s success in 2002 including:

  • CipherTrust – developer of IronMail, a security appliance for corporate email systems
  • Elron Software Inc. – provider of a comprehensive set of solutions for email and spam content filtering, as well as web access control
  • eSoft – provider of simplified internet security solutions offering organizations a complete suite of modular internet security applications
  • Mirapoint – provider of dedicated email servers, which simplify the delivery of web and wireless messaging services, while providing hardened email security through intelligent anti-spam and anti-virus filtering
  • Ositis Software Inc. – developer of security and internet access technologies
  • Qubux – provider of server appliance software, which extends anti-virus protection in conjunction with its internet filtering solution for Sun Microsystems Linux platforms, as well as other providers of Linux based server appliances
  • Stalker Software – messaging solutions technology provider
  • Sybari – developer of Antigen, a comprehensive anti-virus, content-filtering, and email security solution for messaging and collaboration platforms
  • United Messaging – outsourced messaging provider, messaging and email application service provider
Sophos has a wide range of nearly 100 OEM partnerships. Sophos, unlike most anti-virus vendors, avoids partnering conflicts by not competing in other areas such as content filtering, anti-spam and firewalls. Sophos has built a solid reputation for its dependable, high performance anti-virus solutions, as well as its ease of doing business within this industry. Read a more in-depth list of strategic alliances.

In September, Sophos re-launched the Sophos Partner Program in North America in an effort to drive channel growth. The enhanced Partner Program focuses on the unique needs of consultants, value-added resellers, systems integrators and corporate resellers who are dedicated to providing best-of-breed security solutions coupled with the highest quality of services. Sophos anticipates 50% of its revenue to come through the channel in 2003. Read more information on the Sophos Partner Program.

Corporate and technical recognition
Sophos received two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the categories of ‘Innovation’ and ‘International Trade’. Sophos’s anti-virus products have received accolades and certifications from independent testing bodies such as ICSA Labs, West Coast Labs, AV-Test.Org and Virus Bulletin. Sophos also had several positive reviews from Federal Computer Week, InfoWorld, Le Monde Informatique, PC Pro, Network News and SC Magazine.

*IDC Bulletin 27864 ‘Antivirus Software 2002: A Segmentation of the market’

About Sophos
Sophos is one of the world’s largest specialist developers of anti-virus software. Headquartered in the UK, its products are sold and supported through a global network of subsidiaries and partners in more than 150 countries. Sophos solutions are specifically designed to protect businesses and organisations from virus attack. The company’s products are widely deployed by large corporations, banks and governments.

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