Reports are coming through that Barracuda is now requiring many of its On-Premise filtering customers to purchase their version of Advanced Threat Protection during their renewal period. In some cases, this may increase pricing by 2-3 times for the average On-Premise customer.
While the value of Advanced Threat Protection is in many cases worthwhile, many organizations that value On-Premise email protection may not be interested in an upsell to cloud services. Additionally, given some of the concerns about cloud technology in general – whether out of privacy, regulatory requirements or other issues – it’s critical that providers continue to serve this segment of customers with the same value that they’ve always preferred.
Financial Squeeze on Customers Coming from the Top?
Since Barracuda was taken private by private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC in November 2017, a variety of changes have certainly come to the company – one of them likely being to maximize gross profit, with less worry about the impact on customers, brand and reputation in the IT community. The firm, with $17 Billion in assets under management, acquired Barracuda for less than one-tenth of that. This inevitably can lead to a shift in organizational mentality, with the possibility, much like we’ve seen with leadership changes in other security companies, that core “legacy” groups of clients are de-prioritized to refocus on the bottom-line.
Why You Still Deserve to Have Security Your Way
While we’ve seen very strong growth with our cloud offering, modusCloud, our On-Premise offering, modusGate, is one of the cases where we demonstrate our value to all sorts of SMB customers. We understand that on-premise solutions might not be the solution for all clients, but it certainly remains a cornerstone of the market, and still needs to provide the same value and features of a cloud solution. Clients should have access to a high-grade filtering solution that can still in fact be downloaded to a local server. While it may lack some “up-to-the-minute” threat intelligence, it still must offer reasonable pricing to a portion of the market as an outlet that manage costs while stopping spam, getting the best service possible and keeping their users productive.
Advanced Threat Protection is essential for the modern SMB, protecting against Targeted Phishing, Business Email Compromise, Malicious URLs and Malicious Attachments. Many industries we work with are driven by low margins and a large workforce (and associated mailboxes counts) which may leave them unable to afford some of the latest cloud protection available. On-Premise protection is in this case a reliable way of getting the job done, and also provides more than sufficient protection for email relays and larger systems or products that leverage email.
Whatever You’re Looking For, A Customer Should be Treated as More Than the Revenue They Offer
While the prevalence of advanced threats may make protection against them essential for most (if not all businesses) soon enough, the interim requires that customers are served in an appropriate and satisfactory way. That’s not to say that no customer should be pushed to a top tier solution, but protection against advanced threats is not an excuse to force customers into paying three times more for essential filtering.
Cloud products also don’t need to be offered at outrageous prices, or while sacrificing on customer service. If anything, Barracuda has only reduced the cost imposed on its customers for migrating to another service, simply because they’ve made the costs so high to stay with them. This choice only decreases the “switching costs” associated with looking for a new provider that isn’t Barracuda. For this group of customers, they may end up finding that On-Premise filtering can be deployed with higher quality, value, and without being worried about an upsell-at-all-costs sales strategy that makes a provider challenging to rely on. If you’re among this group, whether looking for On-Premise or considering a move to a Cloud solution with better customer service, it may be time to consider an alternative.