Interview with Adi Ruppin, Founder and Managing Director of SofaWare
by Berislav Kucan - Tuesday, 21 January 2003.
SofaWare Technologies, a Check Point company, makes secure Internet access simple and affordable for small businesses, consumers, and service providers seeking to deliver security services. We have talked with Adi Ruppin, founder and managing director of SofaWare.

What's the background behind SofaWare Technologies?

SofaWare was founded in 1999 in cooperation with Check Point Software Technologies, in order to leverage Check Point's market-leading enterprise security technology to address the specific and unique requirements of consumers and small business users.

The Company's vision is to take this enterprise-strength technology and make it as simple to use and as affordable as possible without detracting from its quality. One of the key aspects of this effort has been the creation of a management system designed to enable service providers or value added resellers to lift the burden of security management from the end users while at the same time delivering additional services such as automatic security and software updates, content filtering, anti-virus and more.

SofaWare is also well-positioned as a ROBO enterprise solution, with interoperability with Check Point's VPN-1 and management systems.

What are your company's flagship products and for what types of users are they created for?

SofaWare's Safe@ product suite includes Safe@Home, Safe@Home Pro and Safe@Office.

These are available on multiple appliances from leading vendors, such as Nokia, Celestix, NEC, Intrusion as well as SofaWare's own S-box and high-speed modems such as the new Toshiba PCX5000 wireless cable modem gateway. Safe@Home is targeted at the home or home office user, Safe@Home Pro at the teleworker (and therefore includes a VPN client functionality) and Safe@Office is the small business product (with full firewall and VPN capabilities for up to 25 users and more in the future).

How was the business year 2002 for SofaWare (business results, new alliances or product releases etc)?

2002 was the first year safe@ appliances were sold (the product was announced in mid-December 2001) and I am delighted to say that we are very pleased with the results of 2002:
  • We have released solid Safe@ appliances and management products, culminating in our 3.0 release.
  • We have signed up six leading hardware partners, including Nokia, NEC, Toshiba, Intrusion, Celestix and VPN Dynamics.
  • We have generated sales both in the small business and distributed enterprise markets.
SofaWare recently released new Safe@ 3.0. What is the feedback you received on it and what appliances are using it?

Once again I am very happy to say that we have received great feedback so far. Users have repeatedly mentioned the ease-of-use and intuitive nature of the Safe@ appliances. VARs and service providers also seem very pleased with central management platform, particularly with its ability to deliver services to large deployments with great simplicity and minimum overhead and investment.

What is your take on the firewall market in 2002 and what are your expectations for 2003?

2002 saw growing awareness amongst small businesses and consumers to the need for to secure themselves against Internet hazards, accompanied with dozens of appliances and vendors popping up with different capabilities and price points.

We expect 2003 to be the year the consumer and small business security market really takes off, through added awareness as well as increased broadband penetration. We also expect to see consolidation in the market from which just a few leaders will emerge - delivering the quality, simplicity and innovation this market needs and deserves.

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