Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Interview with John Street, MX Logic
Denver, Colorado-based MX Logic (www.mxlogic.com) is in the business of managing email defense for businesses. The firm's hosted services allow businesses to offload the management of email scanning. The sector has seen some activity lately, with Microsoft acquiring a competitor, FrontBridge, and lots of attention to managed services. We spoke with John Street, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MX Logic about the market, where the company is now, as well as where the company is headed.
Techrockies: For those who aren't familiar with MX Logic, tell us a bit about what the company does and what your products are?
John Street: MX Logic is an email and web defense managed service provider. We protect the networks of over 12,000 business customers from spam, viruses, worms, adware, spyware, phishing attacks, and counterproductive employee behaviors.
Techrockies: What kinds of companies typically use your email scanning services, and why do they go with your service as opposed to installing some in-house software?
John Street: Our solutions are ideal for small and medium sized businesses (up to 2,500 seats), because this customer set tends to receive a disproportionate amount of email and web threats and generally does not have the dedicated internal IT resources necessary to manage, update and maintain email and web threat protection on a full-time basis.
Techrockies: I see you're backed by venture capital. Who are the company's investors?
John Street: Our leading investors include Adams Street Partners, Axiom Venture Partners, Grayhawk Venture Partners, River Cities Capital Funds, UV Partners and Vista Ventures.
Techrockies: Where's the company, in terms of stage and funding now?
John Street: We are fully capitalized now. We've experienced significant growth in terms of employees and revenues in 2006, and are enjoying tremendous success with the adoption of our solutions and managed services model by customers and channel partners.
Techrockies: You're in a pretty crowded market, with what must be a million software solutions, a slew of hardware products, and other outsourced service providers. How are you keeping ahead of the crowd and continuing to grow?
John Street: Actually, there are only a handful of managed service providers that are widely recognized as capable of staying ahead of the growing security problem. We are certainly among that group. We are virtually always on the short list of service providers when an organization is making a purchasing decision. Email security provided as a managed service is the fastest growing sector of email security and we see more and more organizations opting for this approach. While there are many players in our space, we are the only one exclusively focused on small and medium-sized business customers, and we've had a lot of success from that segment because managed service is particularly appropriate for the SMB market.
Techrockies: Is the move by Microsoft, which purchased FrontBridge last year, affecting your business in any way?
John Street: In the short run, FrontBridge/Microsoft has actually been less aggressive. We attribute that to the normal issues of absorbing an acquired enterprise and establishing a new direction. Microsoft's acquisition of FrontBridge brings more attention to a managed service approach to email security, so competing with Microsoft has actually raised our profile. Microsoft is not well known for their service prowess, and we're finding that our prospects give us real consideration as a worthy alternative. An effective security strategy is to utilize multiple, diverse technology solutions in the managed security layer, and since Microsoft has a large desktop presence, the customer understands very well that it makes a lot of sense to use a different service at the edge. We have an advantage of being able to provide best of breed security software within our service environment and none of it is from Microsoft. If a customer is using MS Exchange or Outlook as the email client, it doesn't necessarily add additional security at the managed service layer to use the very same security techniques that are present in the desktop solution.
Techrockies: How many people are there now at MX Logic?
John Street: 150 and counting. Anyone looking for a great company to work for should check us out at http://www.mxlogic.com/about/careers/.
Techrockies: Finally, what's next for MX Logic now?
John Street: A number of new product offerings coming in Q4 and 2007 that will allow us to expand our ability to secure business customers' IT systems and information. Also we are making sure that we continue to have fun on the job even as we strive for the next milestone. I have led enough companies to know that keeping that balance is an important factor for overall success.
Techrockies: Thanks for the interview!