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Mimecast Partner Awards 2014 – Winners Celebrate

Mimecast Partner Awards 2014 winner’s photo, left-to-right: Ernesto Broersma, IT Lab; Nessa Lynchehaun, Mimecast; Ben Konopinksi, Koncise; Adam Thornton, Bytes Software Services; Ollie Downs, Softcat; Steve Timothy, EACS and Brian Emmerson, EACS.

Mimecast Partner Awards 2014 winner’s photo, left-to-right: Ernesto Broersma, IT Lab; Nessa Lynchehaun, Mimecast; Ben Konopinksi, Koncise; Adam Thornton, Bytes Software Services; Ollie Downs, Softcat; Steve Timothy, EACS and Brian Emmerson, EACS.

Last week saw two of the biggest events in our UK channel world – 2014 CRN Fight Night and the Mimecast Partner Awards 2014. Although our Mimecast contender Sam ‘Baby-faced Assassin’ Oliver didn’t prevail in his fight I can say, as I was next to the ring, it was a heroic performance.

The Mimecast Partner Awards, was held just before Fight Night and was equally as exciting. Six winners were announced in total (detailed at the end of this post) and some exclusive material was previewed by Mimecast.

Mimecasters introduced the new UK channel strategy to partners, which includes a new and larger Mimecast team to support partners drive a deeper engagement with customers. In addition, Gillian Crewdson, Channel Director teased the audience with a sneak preview of our impressive position in the upcoming CRN Vendor Report 2014 report. More to come on that when CRN launch it…

Mimecast Partner Awards 2014 winner’s photo, left-to-right: Malcolm Tinkler, Mimecast; Matthew Helling, Softcat; Paul Treacy, IT Lab; Nessa Lynchehaun, Mimecast and Pat Foyle, Kelway.

Mimecast Partner Awards 2014 winner’s photo, left-to-right: Malcolm Tinkler, Mimecast; Matthew Helling, Softcat; Paul Treacy, IT Lab; Nessa Lynchehaun, Mimecast and Pat Foyle, Kelway.

We also lifted the lid on the expanded range of products on offer from Mimecast this year and heard from our CTO, Neil Murray, about the evolution of our technology platform which delivers our services.

The feedback and participation we get from the Partner Awards always highlights how privileged we are to have a large and highly committed partner channel in the UK…I can’t wait to see who wins next year.

*****

Mimecast Partner Awards 2014 Winners

Premier Partner of the Year: Softcat Limited

This is the premier award and recognizes the partner that has generated the highest revenue in the last year and demonstrates exemplary dedication to its partnership with Mimecast.

Growth Partner of the Year: Bytes Software Services

This award goes to the partner that has achieved the highest level of growth.

Champion Partner of the Year: EACS Limited

This is for the organization that is leading in raising Mimecast’s profile within its business and customer base.

Champion of the Year: Pat Foyle, Kelway Ltd

This goes to the individual within a partner organization who has demonstrated strong support for Mimecast’s technology and is responsible for securing significant customer results.

Customer Excellence Partner of the Year: Koncise Solutions Limited

This is for the partner that has shown unrivalled dedication to customer service excellence.

Technical Services Partner of the Year: IT Lab Limited

This award recognizes the partner with exemplary levels of technical proficiency and customer assistance on Mimecast’s services.

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Ding! Ding! Seconds Out! (Nearly)

After months of training, sweat, tears, blood, protein shakes and ill-fitting gym shorts it’s nearly here. Sam ‘Baby-faced Assassin’ Oliver is hours from stepping into the ring to represent Mimecast at the 2014 CRN Fight Night tonight in London. So how’s Sam shaping up?

Sam in his latest training session with Phil from The Fit Scene…double hard.

Sam in his latest training session with Phil from The Fit Scene…double hard.

When I last interviewed Sam, he was at the beginning of his training, so I expected things to be different this time.

I caught up with Sam as he was on the way out of his latest training session with Phil from The Fit Scene. At first I didn’t recognize him. No longer was Sam buried in a massive cuddly overcoat of pink flesh…he looked like the toned and ruggedly handsome younger brother of the Sam Oliver I once knew.

Sadly, it seems that good looks alone aren’t enough to guaranteed victory at CRN Fight Night, but as Sam’s victory will likely trigger a rush from international fashion brands to sign him up to endorse their products, it can’t hurt right?

The support of the international fashion houses, the public and Mimecast are assured, but we’re very conscious that this is a channel event so partners will be key to creating an electric atmosphere for Sam to feed off.

Which is why the timing couldn’t be better for our Partner Advisory and Awards event – it’s just before the fight. The awards feature guest speakers from Mimecast such as Neil Murray, our CTO, who’ll be presenting a high level preview of Mimecast’s integration with Office 365, Malcolm Tinkler, General Manager, introducing the UK leadership team and Gillian Crewdson, our new Channel Director, revealing some interesting research results which have yet to be published.

It promises to be an ideal way to prepare for the evening’s entertainment – we look forward to seeing our partners there to cheer Sam to victory.

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Protecting Yourself from Phishing Doesn’t Have to Be That Hard

I just read in Computer Weekly and Computing about the BBC’s method of dealing with phishing attacks. The articles were based on a keynote presentation by David Jones, Head of Information Security at the BBC at InfoSec.

His experience of how challenging it is to protect users and the network from phishing reflects comments I hear from many organizations.

I was struck by this in particular: To combat future attacks, Jones said the BBC has created a flag pole. “This enables us to say we have a phish attack and we can block the phishing attack domain, then set a search to delete phishing messages from inboxes.” While such an approach works on desktops and laptops, Jones said it is still necessary to in touch with mobile users, as mobile devices are generally outside the control of corporate IT.

This ‘monitor, identify and purge’ method to phishing protection has been the de-facto approach for most IT teams. As his comments suggest, it’s expensive, complex and time consuming. Also it’s not a complete solution as it doesn’t always cover mobile as we see here. This is a rapidly growing problem with the proliferation of mobile devices sitting on the average network or email system today. For many of us our mobile might even be our primary email device.

But the good news is that you can protect yourself from this threat and before the attack reaches your end users. It doesn’t have to be this hard (or expensive). Please excuse the blatant plug but this is exactly the kind of problem we set out to fix with our own phishing service announced last week – Targeted Threat Protection. It stops the phishing problem organizations are currently battling in its tracks.

Targeted Threat Protection means phishing emails that clear the email gateway have their links rewritten and Mimecast checks the webpage every time the link is clicked by the user. If it’s clean the user goes straight to the site and if not, it’s blocked. And this happens every time it’s clicked because many phishing attacks may start with clean webpages only changing them later to malware hoping to catch a later or second click. And importantly, this protection extends to every device they use to access their corporate email – mobile or desktop, corporate or BYOD.

The IT team can be alerted automatically that they have phishing mail on the network helping them get an early warning of threats.  But they can relax knowing that, users are protected even if they ignore their training or instinct and decide to click on the link in the email.

And it’s a service on the Mimecast cloud so no local hardware, installs or updates required. The IT team enable it centrally from their Mimecast administration console.

I also see that Mr Jones went on to talk about the importance of user training – I couldn’t agree more. You need technical protection matched with end-user training. This is partly why we’re building reporting tools into the administration console so the IT team can see whose clicking malicious links, adapt security profiles or initiate training to reduce a future threat from risky online behavior.

So the bad news – the phishing threat (and spear phishing in particular) is growing and it’s real. The good news – cloud email security services like those from Mimecast mean you can protect yourself without adding yet more complexity and cost to your infrastructure.

Anyway plug over.

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Mimecast Awarded 5-Star Rating by CRN. Why the U.S. Channel Program is Having a Standout Year

Mimecast has been awarded 5-Star Rating in CRN’s 2014 Partner Program Guide for the second consecutive year.

This annual guide recognizes the best channel partner programs in the market based on features including partner profitability, marketing programs, and partner training, education and support. You may be wondering: What has landed Mimecast on this list for two years in a row? We are experiencing rapid growth and success in the U.S. channel market for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we provide our partners with a platform to grow their business. Period. Not to mention, there have been many benefits to being in the cloud space.

Mimecast named a CRN 5-Star Channel Partner for the second year in a row.

Mimecast named a CRN 5-Star Channel Partner for the second year in a row.

The Mimecast solution provides real-life comprehensive value to our partners’ customers, and a platform for them to build services practices around – such as high availability from human generated data, email environments and security suites. Second, our model sets us apart. We are a 100 percent channel-focused organization and we reward partners for their investment in Mimecast. Reward takes many forms, such as lead generation from Mimecast and industry-leading margins for partner-generated opportunities. We also reward our partners with deal protection for the life of the customer – this is a key benefit when it comes to subscription services.

These features are the cornerstones on which we have built the Mimecast U.S. channel program over the past two years. The next step for us is to develop a set of certifications that allow our partners to take advantage of the professional services that Mimecast can provide. This means we will begin to finalize different tiers of certifications that will open up a new level of engagement with Mimecast, as well as business value (margins!). Another area of focus for us – and area of opportunity for partners – is growing our MSP partner base. We recently announced a series of tools and capabilities that allow our MSP partners to seamlessly manage their environment.

The 2014 Partner Program Guide is featured on CRN.com and the 5-Star Partners listing will be highlighted in the April issue of CRN.