• May 2, 2005
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

SecureWorks Protects Its Growth

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As an Internet security startup in 1999 SecureWorks relied on homegrown tools comprising an open source database and Web applications that it wrote to access that database. The company handled loads of its customer relationship undertakings off-the-cuff in the beginning, but as interest in the Internet steadily increased, so did the market's demand for the company's security services. According to Craig Bray, director of operations for SecureWorks, the company sought to automate the entire customer life cycle, including lead generation, marketing programs, sales forecasting, and sales process management. "We have a security operations center where security analysts respond not only to clients' requests, but to an event that happened from things that we monitor. So, we needed a ticketing system and we needed something to service the needs of our sales and marketing team," he says. But a chunk of its ability to deliver top-notch security levels relies on using iSensor, an information security device that runs an internal firewall, a monitoring system, a proprietary intrusion prevention system, and a remote configuration and management system. To ensure that its staff was armed with customer history, including data registered from iSensors installed at customer locations, SecureWorks needed a solution compatible with its existing technology, while outfitted with an open architecture. Working with Red Clay Consulting SecureWorks installed the Pivotal CRM software suite. By implementing the solution the company can automate its entire business cycle, can craft targeted cross- and upsell campaigns that it can offer to the appropriate customers at the proper time, and can track which marketing campaigns are successful. "We're able to modulate the amount of times you're going to a cross-sell opportunity so we don't...saturate them with opportunities, but we're able to start talking to them about cross sell when we determine the right business time to do it," Bray says. In fact, according to Marilynn Mobley, vice president of client advocacy, the tool allows the company to identify customers that meet the criteria for cross-sell opportunities and for how long. The company also created a service model allowing for incident escalation to go through a contact escalation process. When a lead is converted to an order, for instance, products are shipped automatically and service reps are alerted of the shipment and informed to follow up for an installation appointment. Once the installation is complete the customer activates the product online, and the system tracks the production location and contact information, updating contact information when it changes. By storing information from across the organization in one place, it can pick low-hanging fruit. "If we call them and [ask], 'Is there's anything you're concerned about?', we can follow through operationally and solve those concerns. It makes every employee smarter when they are interacting with a client." The approach is paying off: SecureWorks decreased the analysis time of each alert by 90 seconds, saving more than $342,000 annually; enjoyed a 195 percent compounded annual growth rate since 1999; and processed more than 300 million network security alerts. "We've had three straight years of greater than two hundred percent growth to our client base, and on average we have ninety-two percent client retention over those same years," Bray says. He credits much of that to the positive attitudes of the employees, but adds, "Pivotal drives all of that retention workflow, as well as the service delivery workflow." The Payoff Moving from a homegrown system to a software suite has allowed SecureWorks to:
  • decrease analysis time of each alert by 90 seconds, and save $342,000 annually as a result;
  • realize a 195 percent compounded annual growth rate since 1999;
  • process more than 300 million network security alerts;
  • enjoy more than 200 percent growth to its client base for three straight years;
  • attain on average a 92 percent client retention rate over those same years.
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