Cloud computing is all the rage now. But Qualys, a fast-growing Redwood City-based network security firm, was a pioneer in offering computing applications and services over the Internet when it was founded in 1999. And Qualys is poised for more growth as cloud computing caters to companies looking for ways to avoid costly licensed products during a recession. Today, Qualys is almost an insider, with nearly 40 Fortune 100 companies among its 4,000 customers and revenue growing quickly.
John Pescatore, vice president of Internet security at Gartner, said that Qualys is a top-rated vendor, was indeed a leader in providing security as a service, and has a reputation for making clients happy. "They have a really good reputation for customer service," he said. "They are not tremendously differentiated technologically anymore." Qualys got out front with its vulnerability assessment service, its first product, and it has become an industry leader in providing credit card database security, Pescatore said. Customers for those products include General Electric, Google, eBay, DuPont, Hershey Foods, BASF, Hewlett-Packard and even Symantec.
This year, Qualys introduced two less innovative products, a policy compliance tool in June, and a web application scanning service last month, that are similar to what other companies like Symantec and Whitehat, respectively, already offer, Pescatore said. Qualys has an advantage, Philippe Courtot, Chairman & CEO of Qualys said, in that it can instantly add new services to its platform without customers having to spend major capital for equipment, software or labor. In addition, clients can instantly scale up or down based on their needs because Qualys is subscription-based. Pescatore said the ability to layer on new services easily could be a big advantage, particularly given Qualys' excellent relationships with its
Courtot said Qualys, which is profitable, reinvests 25 percent of its revenue in research and development. It now employs 210 people, up from 194 last year, with about half of them at its headquarters in Redwood Shores. Qualys is one of a handful of software-as-a-service pathbreakers, like Salesforce.com and Netsuite, that survived the bursting of the Internet bubble and a retrenchment in venture capital investing, and today are leading the charge into the cloud, he said.