Background: The enterprise security space is a well-established market with big name vendors, countless categories and a steady stream of media coverage. For a newly funded startup trying to beak into the space, it takes a clever angle, ground-breaking technology and proven track record to stand out from the crowd, assuming you attract notice at all.
Strategy: Gazzang hadn’t yet signed its Series A term sheet when CEO Larry Warnock called FOLIO to help him launch his new company (Warnock was a former client and CEO at Phurnace Software, which he sold to BMC in 2010). In literal terms, Gazzang provided an encryption tool for MySQL databases, but the company needed to tell a broader story to capture the attention of security industry influencers covering the cloud, open source and big data trends. With FOLIO’s help, Gazzang repositioned itself as a provider of security and diagnostic solutions for the cloud and big data, with a focus on Linux and open source environments.
Sample tactics included: regularly engaging with industry analysts through briefings, inquiries and custom projects; maintaining a consistent drumbeat of proactive announcements; implementing a contributed content program where Gazzang blog content is syndicated to other high-profile media sites; aggressively pursuing industry award and speaking opportunities; developing co-marketing programs with high profile partners; and holding desk-side meeting with press at every travel opportunity.
Results: In just three short years, Gazzang has become a company to watch among analyst and media influencers. The company has been consistently featured in top tier media, including Bloomberg, CIO, Computer Business Review, CRN, Enterprise Systems Journal, Forbes, Gigaom, InfoWorld, Network World, ReadWrite and others. Awards and accolades include Gartner “Cool Vendor” in Big Data, CRN’s “Ten Hot Tech Startups”, “Emerging Vendor in Security”, and “Big Data 100” lists, DBTA 100, SC Magazine Finalist for Rookie Security Company of the Year, “10 Austin Startups to Meet at SXSW 2012” by Gigaom, RSA Innovation Sandbox, MIT Sloan CIO Innovation Showcase and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce 2012 A-List, among others.
In June 2014, Gazzang was acquired by big data powerhouse Cloudera to become a research hub called the Cloudera Center for Security Excellence.