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Montreal security vendor looking for channel partners

MXI Security Canada to increase market presence in the encrypted USB device space

One of the more well-kept secrets in the Canadian IT industry is MXI Security of Montreal. The developer of encrypted USB devices has purposely flown under the radar since its inception in 1994, choosing to partner on OEM agreements with big time security vendors such as McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE).

But that’s all about to change as the company is looking to become the next VMware in the IT security market place. It has hired two channel veterans to lead the company down this path. Jack Sebbag, formerly chief executive at McAfee Canada, is running the show and former NEC Canada executive Pat Kewin is running channels for MXI.

The company has a unique infrastructure where manufacturing is based in Santa Ana, Calif., research and development is in Ottawa, and the main offices in London, U.K., and Hong Kong.

MXI’s short term and long term goals are to hit the consumer market and eventually become a public company. Sebbag, after a two year stint at Oracle Canada, has been tasked to accomplish these goals.

“We’re a security company and most of our products fall in the government space and in the Forture 500, like banks, and that’s been our mainstay for years. In the past, most of our sales where through OEM partners such as McAfee. Their encrypted USB devices are ours and the same goes for Imation, who sold 10 million ISB drivers a year ago. We manufacture their devices as well,” Sebbag said.

Under Sebbag’s leadership, MXI has done away with direct sales. He said the company needs to grow at a 250 per cent clip year over year and the best strategy for that is to go 100 per cent channel. He believes this move will triple the size of MXI in the near future.

Sebbag and Kewin have wasted no time in furthering its partnering strategy and have inked key alliances with Microsoft, Ceedo, Tresys, RSA, RingCube, SkyCatcher, Unisys and Identrust, along with MXI existing partners McAfee and Imation.

Currently, MXI has 60 reseller partners in Canada and Sebbag and Kewin said they need that to get to 250 in the next 12 months. “We’re not looking to sign thousands upon thousands of partners but we want the real good ones and we have developed a platinum and silver channel program structure for them,” Sebbag said.

A big part of MXI’s go to market strategy is its Stealth line of products headed by StealthZone portable desktop USB technology. Other products include Stealth Key with biometrics; it will be one of the first on the market with fingerprint scan and password protection.

This product is made of magnesium alloy and can withstand being driven over by an truck. It’s also water and sand proof. Rounding out the Stealth line is StealthHD and StealthHD bio.

The Stealth line starts at $249 and offers 2560bit encryption all computing occurs in the device protecting the system.

Follow Paolo Del Nibletto on Twitter: @PaoloCDN.