"IBM has been crucial to the growth and success of not only our Lotus products, but our company itself, from its very beginning."
— Tim Choi, Director of Business Development, Voltage Security
Voltage Security, an IBM Advanced Business Partner which specializes in enterprise security and information encryption technology, has provided large enterprise customers worldwide with sophisticated protection for their data and messaging applications since its inception in 2002. Voltage is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
Voltage customers are typically in regulated industries, such as financial services, insurance, banking, healthcare and, increasingly, retail. Ongoing threats of identity theft and increasingly stringent regulatory environments across a wide range of industries demand that businesses vigilantly safeguard sensitive customer and partner data, applications, documents and communications. Complicating that task is a growing dependence on third-party collaboration and outsourced IT environments.
The IBM strategic advantage
Voltage is able to expand its customer base by taking advantage of help from IBM sales representatives and IBM Global Services.
"This company approached IBM Global Services, asking for a recommendation on an encryption solution. IBM Global Services identified us and teamed with us to deliver the solution," Choi recalled. "It was a win for us and IBM. IBM Global services provided security consulting, and there was an element of the solution delivered as a hosted service through IBM," Choi said.
Eastman Kodak is another example. "A Lotus security team representative provided Kodak with validation of our integration approach, and a support team member who manages the Eastman Kodak account for the Lotus brand supported us on the ground level. So this is a case where we had already identified the account, but we found the synergy needed to close the deal through the Lotus account team," Choi said.
"Our customers tend to be large enterprises and our market is global - North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific," Choi said. Voltage was able to align its sales efforts with IBM sales and technical teams, allowing the company to extend its reach into new markets and make a more powerful business case for the Voltage solutions. This was important, as the vast majority of the 80 Voltage employees are in the United States.
The venture capital firm
In 2002, Voltage was brought to the attention of the IBM Venture Capital Group (IBM VCG), by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, a venture capital firm headquartered in San Francisco, California.
"Voltage Security's breakthrough end to end encryptions solution represents huge potential in protecting sensitive data and communications across even the largest of IBM's customers. Connecting Voltage with IBM VCG early on enabled Voltage to understand the engagement model, as well as the technology platforms for IBM's top customers. Today, some of Voltage's largest customers utilize IBM platforms across their organizations and rely on the strong relationships that Voltage has forged with IBM," said Ann Winblad, Managing Partner, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.