Canadian theft recovery software maker goes global

Absolute Software, a Vancouver-based software vendor whose solutions target the theft recovery space, hopes to increase its business in Canada through the help of its channel partners and by educating the overall market place.

Bill Hunka, director of business development at Absolute, says that although the company’s corporate headquarters are based in B.C. and the company has been around for 16 years, less than 20 per cent of the its overall business currently comes from Canada. Most of Absolute’s business comes from the U.S. because of its larger market size and because privacy laws in the U.S. also come with strict penalties, Hunka said.

“We’d love to grow our business in Canada,” he added. “Today, 95 per cent of our business goes through channel partners and how we’ll continue to scale and grow in the Canadian market is through our VAR (value-added reseller) and managed service provider communities.”

In addition to working on its expansion in Canada, the company is also further extending its global market reach, with offices around the world such as in Texas, the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Latin America, and more.

In Canada, the company has active relationships with PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and between 10 and 20 VARs across the country, he said. While the company is always on the lookout for new business partners to work with, Hunka said he’s not looking to grow the partner base that much more.

“We’re not looking to grow (our channel) significantly,” he said. “We’d probably want to add on another five to 10 key partners around Canada that are security-minded and that have relationships with PC OEMs. We also need education at the provincial and federal level to promote the securing of client devices. It’s important that legislators be able to understand the implications that lost computers have and how a solution like ours can help secure them.”

The company’s flagship solution, Computrace LoJack for Laptops, is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) recovery offering. The solution is based on Absolute’s Computrace technology, where a small software client, also known as a Computrace Agent, is embedded or installed into the basic input/output system (BIOS) firmware of a computer. The Agent will contact Absolute’s monitoring centre and will report any detected changes that are made to the user, hardware, or software configuration. This solution is especially beneficial for businesses in the education, healthcare and government markets because the solution can help track lost or stolen computers, Hunka explained. That way, if a computer is reported as lost or stolen, Absolute’s team will work with local police to help track and recover the missing PCs.

“Our going rate is over 80 computers that are recovered a week for customers,” Hunka said. “There’s also a remote data delete capability where the administrator can send a wipe signal down to ensure the files on the missing PC are safe. File types can also be targeted, so users can send the computer to an unusable state, or they can reduce the PC to just the operating system. Users also get a report back from the data delete so they can keep track of what was removed from their PC.”

Absolute’s Computrace technology is also available for the handheld space for use on portable devices such as BlackBerrys, Hunka said.

Because the solution can only track, recover and data delete, Hunka said Absolute encourages all of its customers to encrypt their data as well.

The SaaS solution is sold as a license per computer, on an annual basis of one, two, three or four years.

Partners should expect to receive anywhere between 15 and 25 points of margin on a per license basis with the solution, with the ability to negotiate further, he added.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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