Today it was confirmed that leading global private equity firm, Insight Venture Partners, has invested $62m in Mimecast. This will catapult us to even greater endeavors over the coming years as we build on our efforts and progress of the past nine. It’s a validation of the vision we had back in 2003, where we sought to consolidate the patchwork of fragmented LAN-based email infrastructure into a single cloud-based platform. We called it Unified Email Management (UEM), and today we’ve got more than 6,000 customers and 1.6m users on our service, processing, protecting and storing several petabytes of their most valuable business data.
However, my colleagues would probably agree – that now that ‘the cloud’ is going mainstream, some of the really interesting work and opportunities start here. First of all, more and more companies are buying into our UEM proposition. We compete strongly in multiple different markets here; email security, email archiving, email continuity and DR, DLP, eDiscovery, to name a few; and while we sell some of these things separately, our customer delight tends to come from the discovery that all of these things can be managed centrally through a single admin console as all of Mimecast’s applications are all built on a common platform.
Furthermore, some 50% of corporate email users are still on Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007, many of them increasingly throttled by the ‘point’ applications they have added to their network over the last five years or more. We are still 100% committed to helping these people as they think about their migration path to Exchange 2010 and 2013.
New frontiers are emerging too. While some people like to mutter about the impending death of email at the expense of social media and enterprise collaboration tools, we unashamedly fight in the opposing corner. Email is the ONLY global standard for asynchronous communication in business. It’s the global standard but, perhaps, not the gold standard. It has some issues.
So we’re taking up the challenge of trying to take email, the one tool we all know how to use, and make it better at supporting the collaboration scenarios we all face so often nowadays.
We’ve worked hard on solving some of the big email infrastructure problems like security, storage and information management, and now we’re looking at the end user problems too. It’s here that the frustration with email is boiling over.
We think we can make email even better. We already offer an incredibly rich experience for users of Microsoft Outlook, integrating security settings that the user can configure on a ‘per-email’ basis before pressing send, and real time archive search. And we extend this user experience to the full range of smart-phones and iPads, and of course the web.
But while tools and devices, and apps, have a reassuringly contemporary feel to them from an IT perspective, it’s what we do with the data in the archive that really will make the difference.
Our industry appears to be obsessed with long-term data storage. Words like ‘vault’ conjure images of dusty archives of information locked away behind ten inch steel doors. Even the word ‘archive’ sounds too passive – too much like a whisper-quiet library; books gathering dust.
We see a world where the business – HR people, IT people, end users from all departments – dip in and out of the archive every day, using clever apps, or suites of apps, that enable them to collaborate on projects, visualize complex relationships in the metadata chains, search and browse documents from file stores, email archives or Sharepoint on an iPad …
We’re currently calling this the Interactive Archive, and it underpins an idea we’ve been working on for some time called Information Banking. In a few years’ time, there will be a handful of companies with whom businesses of all sizes entrust their corporate data. We’re betting that they will do it because it’s safer with us, but also because they can do more – an awful lot more – with that data once we’ve got it in our Interactive Archive.
So that’s the next leg of the journey we’re mapping out for ourselves and our new investment partners, Insight. It’s going to be an exciting ride.