Expel rides a Wave


Forrester recently invited Expel and a number of other cybersecurity companies to participate in research for its report, The Forrester Wave™: Managed Detection and Response, Q2 2023, and we jumped at the chance.

Well, the report is out, and Forrester named Expel a Leader! As Forrester says, “Expel continues its history of flawless roadmap execution and maintains its place as one of the vendors with the clearest vision of where security operations and MDR will go in the future.” We had the highest score in the Current Offering category – with the highest scores possible in 12 of the 15 criteria within the category.

We’re really thrilled with this outcome, and we hope you’ll check out the full Forrester Wave report.

Is the Forrester Wave a big deal?

Forrester is one of the most trusted research and advisory firms in the world, and it describes its Wave reports as guides “for buyers considering their purchasing options in a technology marketplace.” These reports are some of the most heavily researched and thereby trusted resources available to tech buyers. To us, that’s a big deal.

It’s also important because this Forrester Wave evaluates many of the most important players in the industry, rating companies on 23 criteria grouped into three high level categories: current offering, strategy, and market presence.

Simply put, participating companies strive to be in the “Leaders” territory. And that’s where Expel sits.

What does Forrester say about Expel?

In addition to our being named a Leader, Forrester also explains why they scored us the way they did. Here’s what Forrester had to say about Expel’s MDR offering and strategy:

“Expel understands security operations in ways few in the industry can match. Expel continues its history of flawless roadmap execution and maintains its place as one of the vendors with the clearest vision of where security operations and MDR will go in the future. The provider’s vision and planned enhancements recognize that security practitioners want to work directly with their data and the platforms of their MDR provider.”

We’re glad to see Forrester citing our MDR roadmap and vision—and this sentiment is often echoed by our customers. We think a lot of this has to do with the recent MDR innovations we’ve introduced, like Expel MDR for Kubernetes. We strive to bring a differentiated and optimized approach to how we handle security operations. We believe the analysis also found that we have our finger on the pulse of what our customers need in their environments; Expel was the only vendor to get a top score of five in the Planned Enhancements criterion in the strategy category.

The tight alignment between where we want to go in the future and customer expectations is a result of the transparency we foster with customers. We want to know what keeps them up at night, so we can use that in how we evolve our MDR offerings.

The Forrester report goes on to say:

“Expel brings a customer-obsessed service to market that delights practitioners. Customers can deploy within hours via its simple onboarding process and then find themselves in a platform that works for them regardless of their skill levels.”

Along with my co-founders, Yanek Korff and Justin Bajko, we first got the idea for Expel in late 2015 when we saw a tweet from a cybersecurity industry vet which said that MSSP customers had endured “the customer service equiv. of taxi drivers.” That criticism of the industry stuck with us, and we’ve been focused on delivering top-notch service to our customers ever since.

A big part of creating a delightful experience has always been making it easy for customers to fold Expel into their existing security environments. Our extensive 100+ tech integrations within Expel Workbench™ do a lot of that heavy lifting, and make it a whole lot easier to manage their security operations.

Opportunities for improvement

In typical Expel fashion, we love to see the positives, but we tend to focus on opportunities for improvement. For example, the Forrester report says:

“Competitors embraced the channel ecosystem long before Expel, and the provider faces immense competition as it tries to catch up. In addition, Expel’s competitors go to market with bigger budgets and more reach, which will add pressure as the company tries to maintain its rapid growth.”

It’s true: we’re working on building out our channel program and finding partners who share our focus on making security easy to understand, use, and improve. We’ve made a lot of progress with our channel program and our go-to-market strategy, and there’s room to grow. Stay tuned—there’s more to come on this front soon. (If you’re interested in becoming a partner, click to learn more about our partner program.)

The Forrester report continues:

“Of course all of that comes with a price, and Expel is one of the more expensive providers.”

While Expel MDR might be more expensive than other providers, we think that our higher cost comes with higher value. More importantly, Forrester thinks so, too. Expel recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study of Expel to analyze the value that Expel delivers. The study found Expel provided a 610% ROI (return on investment) over three years for a composite organization. Other key findings include:

  • 95% reduction in likelihood of security breach: Expel’s efficacy and speed to detect, investigate, respond, and remediate across the entire attack surface dramatically reduces the likelihood of breaches.
  • 96% decrease in time spent responding to security threats: The mean time to respond to threats decreased from 530 minutes to 23 minutes after implementing Expel.
  • Improved employee experience: Expel improved employees’ work efficacy and quality of life through data transparency, remediation speed improvement, faster time-to-value, improved resilience to threats, and coverage of security threats.

We also offer an ROI calculator that uses a Forrester-built model that customers and prospects can use to see the value they get with Expel.

We’re extremely proud of our position in this Forrester Wave report, but we’re not sitting back and resting on these results. We’ll never be done, and in fact, we’re just getting started.