IT Leader of the Year

Elitecore Technologies makes innovation a cornerstone of its business strategy to bring cost-effective superior products to companies of all sizes.

Fast Facts

Elitecore Technologies

CEO and Founder

Hemal Patel

Year founded

1999

Headquarters

India

Web site

www.cyberoam.com

Employees

400+

Technology innovation

Cyberoam, a unified threat management (UTM) series of appliances for small to large enterprises across all major verticals. Elitecore's technology also provides the ability to pinpoint the exact user involved in a security breach, while competing companies use "conventional technology and identify only the IP address of a machine".

Deserves the IT Leader award because...

Elitecore Technologies has been able to transfer its technology breakthroughs to business success. Security will continue to be the biggest concern in the online world, and Elitecore is well-positioned to grow and prosper.

What started off for Elitecore Technologies as simply a product that provided only Web content filtering software, has since evolved into major technology milestones for the company.

As the Internet grew in importance as a business tool, so did the ubiquity of security threats such as viruses, spam, malicious hacking and indiscriminate surfing. At the same time, security costs grew prohibitive, especially for the burgeoning small and midsize business (SMB) segment.

It was in 2005 that Elitecore decided to add firewall, gateway antivirus and antispam features into its core product, Cyberoam. In the process, the company scored its first milestone when it became the first Indian company to provide a unified threat management (UTM) appliance.

Technological superiority aside, a major force behind the company's success can also be attributed to CEO Hemal Patel's ability to provide futuristic insights that have shaped the company's products, and made innovation a cornerstone of its strategy.

This strategy was evident when internal threats first emerged as the most potent and frequent of all security threats.

Patel said: "Cyberoam was able to apprehend the rise of this threat and effectively control it well before the industry started noticing the danger," he told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail.

To do this, the company incorporated a "unique capability" in Cyberoam, allowing it to pinpoint the exact user involved in a security breach.

According to Elitecore, other companies use "conventional technology and identify only the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a machine", which it said is inadequate in controlling user-targeted and internal threats.

Patel explained: "This innovative patent pending technology makes Cyberoam truly capable of fighting the menace of internal threats and closing the user-linked security loopholes, by providing complete visibility into 'Who is doing What' in the network."

The technology was also one of the first few products to harness the power of multi-core processors, using software algorithms to achieve "an exceptional performance at an affordable price", he said.

"Cyberoam, a product from India, has thus shown an unprecedented ability to adapt, remain competitive and be part of the global supply chain. It is being adopted across sectors not merely for cost arbitrage, but also for increasing business value. Several companies in industrialized countries, across business sectors, are increasingly sourcing our solution to cut costs and increase efficiencies," Patel said.

Today, Elitecore has a global presence across 55 countries. The company supports its partners globally through extensive co-marketing activities as well as product support, training and certification.

Marks of a leader
It is the company's stellar performance, financial growth and technology innovation that sealed its anointment as IT Leader of the Year, under ZDNet Asia's Most Promising Asian TechnoVisionaries award.

On Elitecore's selection, Paul Jung, regional head of emerging products and technology at Visa International Asia-Pacific, said: "Security will continue to be the biggest concern in the online world for years to come, and Elitecore Technologies is well-positioned to grow and prosper." Jung is a Top Tech advisor.

Dane Anderson, CEO and executive vice president of research at Springboard Research, noted that the Indian company has generated outstanding financial growth and scale with 400 employees and its global presence.

"In my view, the company's impressive performance in the business arena sets it apart for this award," said Anderson, who is also a Top Tech advisor.

"Nevertheless, its technology breakthrough of tracking users instead of [relying on] just IP addresses for security excellence is an important one that has fueled its success. The company directs a healthy portion of its revenues toward R&D, which has remained a hallmark of the firm since its inception in 1999," he said.

"Moreover, the fact that it has been able to transfer its technology breakthroughs to business success is the accomplishment that matters most," Anderson added.

Patel said: "Such awards from the industry in recognition of our achievements mean a lot to us in enabling us to get more confidence in our business activities. These awards recognize not just our ability to protect networks across business sectors, but also acknowledge our contribution in raising the bar of standards in network security through innovation and sound business strategies.

"It would certainly give a boost and encourage upcoming technopreneurs who are constantly working on delivering low-cost and innovative technologies for enhancing productivity in today's scenario," he said.

Advising Asia's budding technopreneurs, Patel said today's dynamic business environment and rapid changes in technology present difficult challenges to entrepreneurs that were never previously experienced in traditional economies.

"Globalization of economies and the rise of the Internet as the main medium for business and convergence, have brought even greater challenges with stiff competition. To fight off these challenges and outshine others, the entrepreneurs need to innovate and effectively adapt to rapid market changes," he said.

"Also, it's just not enough for technopreneurs to write ideas on paper, but they must also have sufficient passion and belief to execute their vision."