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Leveraging Analysts: Helping Bradford Networks Expand into New Markets

The Challenge

Founded in 1999, Bradford Networks, a provider of comprehensive network access control (NAC) solutions, is dedicated to solving the security challenges facing enterprise establishments, educational institutions, and government organizations by developing innovative network access control solutions for wired, wireless and VPN networks that deliver automated security services leveraging existing network infrastructures and investments.

Bradford's Campus Manager has been very successful, delivering comprehensive NAC to more than 250 educational institutions, actively monitoring and protecting campus networks. For the fall 2006 semester, Campus Manager secured move-in for more than half-a-million students, faculty, and staff at hundreds of educational institutions worldwide. Without Campus Manager, the IT departments would have spent days identifying and remediating problems with noncompliant computers – which would have left either students unable to use their computers on the network or expose the schools to significant risk.

In Jan. 2007, Bradford decided to expand its customer base beyond the education market – into the very crowded enterprise market. The reason: As traditional enterprises become increasingly open and more difficult to manage, NAC becomes more important as a key component to a company’s security infrastructure. Decentralizing organization models, remote offices and workers, VPNs, exploding use of wireless access, the complexities of guest and contractor access, and governmental regulation have created environments that require a single solution to manage, administer, and deploy network access control.

The challenge: while Campus Manager delivered on its promise to colleges and universities – whose networks can be more difficult to control than corporate networks because most college students use their own devices, not school-issued PCs, to log onto college networks, making it harder to enforce uniform security policies. Unfortunately, the enterprise market and the media covering that space are not interested in case studies or testamonials from the academic world.

The Activity

  • Developed the media and analyst strategy tied to launching before RSA 2007, an important but very crowded security conference.
  • Targeted the top 10 security and general analyst firms. Over three months Bradford briefed every one, including analysts from Gartner, Forrester, Security Incite, and Enterprise Strategy Group.
  • Wrote press materials, including press release, fact sheets, etc.
  • Conducted media outreach to major enterprise (non-academic) outlets.

The Results

Bolstered by positive comments from the analysts, Bradford validated its product positioning, refined its messages, and landed key support. At the time of the product launch, Bradford sent prospects and press to Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and Enterprise Strategy Group.

Media result: We secured very positive coverage for NAC Director, with coverage that carried our key messages in our top targets.

Key messages included:

  • Andy Segal, president of Vandis, an Albertson, N.Y.-based solution provider that sells Campus Manager, said NAC Director is likely to succeed in the broader NAC space because it's easily scalable. "There's a lot of customer interest around NAC but much less actual implementation because of the large price tag," Segal said. "Something that can scale with a reasonable investment has a good chance of succeeding in this market."
  • The device can be dropped into heterogeneous networks without altering their architecture, essentially adding a security-control plane, says Eric Ogren, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. This lets customers add NAC functionality without a big investment in new network switches or software on every device connected to the network, he says.

Coverage included:

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