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By | Christopher Williams 30th January 2007 16:29

Surfcontrol finding channel waters choppy

Especially on the western side of the Atlantic

Silicon Valley/Congleton/wherever-based net security firm Surfcontrol said its plan to become a channel-led services outfit was on track as it announced its Q2 numbers on Thursday, despite registering a $400,000 loss - the same as a year ago.

Revenues were up 26 per cent to $31.6m and channel billings now make up 79 per cent of its sales take, up from 68 per cent in the three months to December 2005.

Surfcontrol said its policy of no longer offering discounts for lengthy contracts meant it was becoming an "on-demand" security firm. Such a plan will leave the firm more vulnerable to fluctuations in the market too, however.

CEO Patricia Sueltz said: "Market demand for on-demand services and appliances continues to grow faster than software and the shift in our sales mix directly reflects this."

The take-up of on-demand had been "largely driven" by customers in EMEA. The more services-ready audience in Europe shifted the overall geographic balance for Surfcontrol; the Americas accounted for 53 per cent of revenues in Q2 2007, down from 61 per cent last year.

December's unsolicited approach to buy the firm had given a few potential customers jitters, Surfcontrol conceded, which might have squeezed the numbers for the last three weeks before the new year. The firm reckons its MailControl software's image spam blocking technology has it placed well for the increases in these attacks firms will see in 2007.

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