Marshal and 8e6 combine to control Web and mail communications

UK-based security firm Marshal Ltd has joined forces with 8e6 Technologies to unite their Web filtering, email security and instant messaging offerings.

UK-based email and Web security firm Marshal Ltd. has merged with 8e6 Technologies Corp. of California to form a company they say will be able to secure all forms of Internet-based communication streams, including internal corporate emails, Internet-based email services, websites and instant messaging.

Marshal CEO Ed Macnair said the two companies -- both of which are privately held -- had been working on the deal for a year, and have come together as equal partners in a new company called Marshal8e6. It will be headquartered in Orange, California, with international headquarters in Basingstoke.

Marshal specialises in email and Web content security. It launched in 1997 with its MailMarshal product, which was acquired by NetIQ Corp. in 2002, and then in 2006 became independent again following a management buyout. 8e6 focuses on Web filtering, including control of instant messaging and other non-browser applications.

Macnair said the two companies dovetail together well, with very little overlap in terms of product, markets or customers. "In North America, we found a handful of customers who use both [companies]," he said. The deal could therefore open up big opportunities for both sides to move into new markets, and expand their offering to existing customers.

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of distributor Wick Hill Ltd., which already handles the 8e6 product lines, welcomed the news. "Marshal has changed significantly since they bought themselves out of NetIQ, and they have a good reputation," he said. "It makes a lot of sense for both of them; they get scale, they get to double their installed base for upselling, and it's a great time with SurfControl customers coming up for renewal."

The combined workforce of both companies will be around 250 people, with combined annual revenues of $50 million.

As we reported in February, 8e6 web filtering opened up for business in the U.K. hoping to pick up disaffected customers and resellers of SurfControl plc, a Cheshire-based Web filtering company which was sold to Websense Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, last October. The merger with Marshal, however, could provide 8e6 the opening it needs to get into European markets, as well as those of Australia and New Zealand, where Marshal is also strong.

Paul Myer, president and COO for 8e6, added: "We knew we had to include messaging in our offering. We have had arrangements in the past to resell Ciphertrust and Proofpoint, but now Marshal gives us that."

The two will be able to share other resources such as 8e6's URL library and Marshal's TRACE (Threat Research and Content Engineering) Labs.

George Shih, CEO of 8e6, has taken on the role of acting CEO for the new company until a new person can be recruited. The new chief financial officer is Simon Wilson, formerly of SurfControl.

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