CWSI, mobile and cloud security specialists is investing over £1M to support the growth of its business in the UK. Additionally, the company is embarking on a new partnership with SentinelOne, to extend its capabilities in Endpoint Detection and Response. The company was also recently named as one of a select number of UK and Irish members of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA). Michelle Winny, Editor of PCR caught up with CWSI’s CEO, Ronan Murphy to find out more.
CWSI’s new investment of over £1M to support the planned growth of the business in the UK includes the creation of 25 new roles in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2022. Most of the new roles are being created within CWSI’s service delivery and technical consulting teams, and the new hires will also include apprentices as CWSI is launching a new UK apprenticeship programme in 2022 to encourage more young people into a career in IT and security.
This announcement is part of CWSI’s wider plan for growth through a combination of organic expansion and M&A activity. Earlier this year, CWSI acquired UK-based cyber and cloud security services provider, AVR, which consolidated its UK credentials and capabilities and resulted in a 100% staff retention rate.
Please could you tell us a bit more about CWSI and your role within the company?
CWSI has been in business since 2010. We focused on mobile security from our inception as mobile was in our DNA having previously worked in this area, traditionally supporting devices and operating systems such as RIM/Blackberry. We have extended our reach into cloud and mobile security as the world moves to a cloud first/mobile first environment. CWSI is not a generalist IT service provider, but a specialist, and we intentionally focus on providing modern security solutions, partnering with market-leading software vendors, to help clients to get secure and stay secure. The experience and knowledge we have gained over the last 10 years in modern security is now in much demand.
I am privileged to lead the business and most of my time is spent on our strategic goals regarding new markets, new partnerships and making sure we have the right resources in place to deliver on all of the above.
Please could you tell us a bit more about the £1M investment to support UK growth plans? What does this involve and what are the benefits?
This investment will support the planned growth of the business and represents our most significant commitment to people we have made to date – we are essentially a “People Business” and the technical delivery, consultancy, service assurance and project management roles here will enhance our customer experience and service delivery offerings going forward by beefing up each area with resource and talent. The investment underscores our dedication to our customers and enables us to enhance our capabilities in line with demand as we continue to grow.
Pease could you explain a bit more about CWSI’s plan to launch a UK apprenticeship programme?
We’re partnering with an organisation called Intequal who specialise in IT and digital apprenticeships. We’re starting with four apprenticeship roles: one in engineering, two in service desk and one in digital marketing. The apprenticeships run for 15 months and consist of 80% on-the-job training and 20% virtual classroom training. It’s a great opportunity for motivated young workers to begin a career in IT and helps CWSI to build skills in an extremely competitive marketplace. We have seen how the IT skills gap has negatively impacted the industry and plan to play our part in helping to narrow this gap.
What does being named as one of a select number of UK and Irish members of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA) and recognised as a Deloitte Best Managed Company mean to you and CWSI?
Our acceptance as the first Irish Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) into MISA, and one of a select few in the UK, is a huge validation of our strategy over the last three or four years. Only around 10% of Microsoft partners have accreditations in security and of these only a tiny minority become MISA members. It’s another way for our customers and potential customers to recognise CWSI as one of the very best Microsoft security partners and reassures them that they can trust us with their security. It also increases our visibility within Microsoft, enables us to learn from our peers and to get early access to, and provide feedback on, new Microsoft security products and features.
Being recognised as a Deloitte Best Managed Company means a lot to us. It is acknowledgement of the Senior Management Team we have built up over the past five years and of the processes we have in place within the business to deliver best in class services to our clients, who can see the investment we make on an ongoing basis to support their organisations and their employees.
Please could you tell us a bit more about the new partnership with SentinelOne and how this extends CWSI’s capabilities in Endpoint Detection and Response?
CWSI has a heritage in enterprise mobility but what we’re seeing now is a trend towards more convergence of endpoint security across all endpoint types. In May 2021, we acquired UK-based cyber and cloud security services provider AVR. AVR was one of the first SentinelOne partners in Europe and we are continuing to build on this strong relationship. SentinelOne’s Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) and Extended Detection & Response (XDR) capabilities allow us to move beyond the mobile conversation and help customers to secure PCs, laptops, servers and even cloud workloads. By partnering with SentinelOne we can now provide real-time SOC services for the first time.
What benefits does achieving Android Enterprise Service Provider accreditation deliver?
Android has long been the dominant operating system in the consumer mobile space but it has also consistently grown market share as a mobile operating system within the business market. Achieving this status gives us the Google “seal of approval”. Our engineers need to pass exams for us to be accepted, meaning customers can be confident in our skills and capability. From a technical perspective, our engineers get additional access to Google’s own experts and resources to stay close to developments in the Android platform. This accreditation recognises our depth of expertise in building and supporting solutions for business and government using Android’s in-built capabilities. We’ll be also promoted in the Android Solutions directory.
What other plans do you have to drive business forward?
We have some exciting new partnerships we will be announcing before the year end and we continue to look at complimentary businesses from an acquisition point of view. We are currently experiencing CAGR of 30% organically and we expect to see this number increase in 2022 due to the hyper growth sector of the market we operate in – so we will be busy on the growth front – that’s for sure!
What growth plans do you have for the UK and beyond?
As mentioned, we are continuously developing new partnerships and recently we have invested in our own security and compliance solutions, which we will bring to the UK market early next year. We are also looking at expanding our existing teams in our UK direct and indirect channels to meet market demand. We have recently won a number of EMEA-wide contracts and we expect to have a presence in mainland Europe before the end of H2 next year. Our longer-term vision is to become a pan-European leader in modern security through a combination of organic growth and M&A activity.
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