Jade Burke speaks to BullGuard’s CEO Nedko Ivanov about how the Snowden affairs are affecting home security, the company’s plans to bring new software into its portfolio and how parents can keep their children safe online...
How has BullGuard changed to reflect movements in the security sector?
The company has been through a restructuring process since I joined in September 2011, and as a result in 2012 BullGuard reported an operating profit of £2.4 million for the first time, compared to a £2.9 million loss in the preceding year, on revenues of £12.1 million, giving the company a 20 per cent margin.
Our rapidly expanding customer base and industry- leading renewal rate has helped us to realise significant growth in the past year, with some parts of the business seeing a 47 per cent year- on-year growth in 2014. The acquisition of NovaShield (behavioural security software) has also been very significant, allowing us to refine and improve our anti- malware capabilities and set strong foundations for the business’s future growth.
What opportunities do you offer your resellers?
The main attractive proposition to our resellers, in addition to the good margins, is the revenue share. It is a very attractive incentive for them, and as long as they actively sell BullGuard products, they can get the revenue share on renewals for life. I think that, coupled with our good quality products and loyal customer base, offers quite a unique proposition to the channel, from a small shop to an established reseller.
How should retailers emphasise the importance of security software to their customers?
I think the importance of software security is now more obvious than ever. I only have to look at the news and I see things like the Snowden affairs. Society is developing in areas where you might think that the consumer’s life needs more protection, with things like mobile and contactless payments. This exposes the consumer to more threats, and I think it is about educating the consumer of potential risks.
If a retailer had to pick one of your products, what’s the best all-round product that they should stock?
That depends on what they’re looking for. If they’d like a product that features all the bells and whistles, then BullGuard Premium Protection is the perfect choice. This offers, in addition to the internet security suite, identity and social media protection, plus 25GB of secure backup. I think these modules are very relevant to today’s consumer needs.
Do you plan to move into the small businesses and enterprise market?
We are purely a consumer- focused business, and I think it’s important for us to create a product that resonates well with our customer base.
We don’t have any current plans to expand into the enterprise space. Our very clear focus is to continue to deliver a consistent level of quality our consumers have come to expect from us.
What BullGuard products help parents keep their children safe online?
There is a parental control feature in the Internet Security and the Premium Protection package, which allows parents to create pre- set profiles for a range of different age groups. It provides an opportunity to limit the access to the internet with an application lock. Our aim is to give parents an extra layer of visibility.
We also have social media protection as part of our Identity Protection and Premium Protection suites. This allows parents to monitor their child’s activities on social media sites, and warns them if bad language is used. It also lets parents take proactive action if their child befriends someone who is significantly older than them.
What does the future hold for BullGuard?
We are looking at expanding into new markets, and the agenda for the future is growth and to bring some exciting products into our portfolio in the near future.