Blue Coat Systems protects and serves corporate networks. Its proxy appliances protect networks from viruses and other security threats and improve network performance. The devices provide Web content filtering, virus and spyware protection, user authentication, and the ability to limit or block peer-to-peer applications such as instant messaging. They can also be configured to provide WAN acceleration, speeding the delivery of business applications with Blue Coat's bandwidth management, protocol optimization, compression, and caching technologies. A significant portion of sales are made outside the US. Blue Coat was acquired by private equity investor Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion in 2012.
Blue Coat operates from a half dozen offices in the US. It has another 30 offices around the world, from Argentina to South Korea.
Sales and Marketing
Blue Coat markets its products to customers worldwide, selling primarily through distributors, systems integrators, managed service providers, and resellers such as Westcon Group and Arrow. It counts some 15,000 customers that come from the health care, finance, education, and other industries, as well as service providers and government entities.
The company is targeting Web security, WAN optimization, and cloud-based security services for growth. Blue Coat plans to invest in additional data centers and equipment to support its cloud computing initiatives. It is also further developing its Web security and WAN optimization appliances with cloud connectors that can be integrated with the Blue Coat Cloud Service. In 2014 the company partnered with Guidance Software to integrate its Security Analytics Platform with Guidance's EnCase Cybersecurity to provide more visibility into both network traffic and endpoint devices.
Mergers and Acquisitions
As part of a broader strategy to improve the way enterprises secure and optimize their networks, Blue Coat in 2013 the SSL appliance product line from Netronome, which improved its customers' ability to analyze their network traffic, and Solera Networks, which added network security analytics to its lineup. At the end of the year it bought Norman Shark (renamed Blue Coat Malware Analysis Appliance), a provider of malware analysis. In 2012 it bought fellow Thoma Bravo portfolio company Crossbeam Systems, a leading network security automation specialist based in Massachusetts. Crossbeam's technology helped Blue Coat gain a strong support infrastructure and a platform that scales to the needs of increasingly complex IT environments.