Snapshot: Marshal’s Email/Web Content Control

Here's an update on content control software vendor Marshal.

Products Summary

  • MailMarshal SMTP filters email for virus, spam, malware; applies policy-based acceptable use, data leak prevention, and encryption. Operates at Internet boundary.
  • MailMarshal Exchange does the same, but for internal MS Exchange traffic.
  • WebMarshal controls Web sessions: provides malware suppression, and policy-based URL filtering and data leak prevention.
  • MailMarshal Secure Email Server is a module that applies policy-based encryption.
  • MailMarshal Service Provider Edition is software for service providers that lets them offer MailMarshal SMTP capabilities.
  • All products use the same content management and policy engine.
  • Mainly provided as software; email gateway product also available as appliance.

Immediate Development Plans

  • Simplify user and administrative interfaces.
  • Support for E2007 in MailMarshal Exchange.
  • MailMarshal for SMTP and for Exchange will have the same management console.
  • MailMarshal for Exchange architecture is being moved to a distributed grid model (i.e., runs on an array of commodity PCs).
  • WebMarshal: improved virus and malware scanning.
  • Integration of Web and email control technologies, to a common code base.

Customers and Sales

  • Customers range from very large organizations to small ones.
  • 70% of revenues come from MailMarshal. Of this, 60% are from MailMarshal SMTP; 10% from MailMarshal Exchange.
  • About 28% of revenues are from WebMarshal.
  • 100% of sales are through channels.


  • Email filtering: Cisco/IronPort (in large organizations); Proofpoint (in midsize organizations); to a lesser degree, Barracuda (in smaller businesses).
  • Web filtering: mainly Websense, then Bluecoat; to a lesser degree Secure Computing/McAfee.
  • Managed service providers: mainly MessageLabs.

Competitive Strengths as Perceived by Marshal

  • Large organizations like the scalability (based on expandable grid of commodity PCs), DMZ-based security, centralized administration and reporting.
  • Depth and granularity of policy engine: more file types supported, better and deeper attachment unpacking, better logic flexibility in policy definition.
  • Anti-spam engine has consistently high catch rates and consistently low false positives.

Company and Finances

  • Current run rate: Ferris Research estimates at $26M.
  • Revenues for FYE 6/08, up by 39% on prior year.
  • Revenues for FYE 6/07, up by 43% on prior year.
  • Privately held.
  • 114 staff.
  • Profitable for last four quarters.
  • No external funding since the firm was bought back from NetIQ in December 2005.
  • At buyout, Marshal had an undisclosed round of funding from venture and a bank loan.

Other Comments

  • Good technology.
  • Company is doing well and is in a healthy state. It has recovered from the distraction of NetIQ acquisition and ensuing divestment.
  • Not a well-known name, deserves greater visibility.
  • It would be delightful if the company could expand from email and Web, to other electronic information such as instant messages, SharePoint teamspaces, files at rest.

... David Ferris

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