High Tower Software

Enterprise Network Security: 
Security Event Management (SEM) Solutions

Interim VP Marketing 2003-2004



In 2002, the security event management (SEM) market was in its infancy. High Tower was virtually unknown and about to launch its first product into the crowed network security market. The Company leveraged technology developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab into a software solution for securing corporate networks in real time. By the end of 2002, the Company had developed their product offering, but they had no name recognition, credibility or track record in network security, 


High Tower contracted with Theresa to take on overall responsibility for marketing and became a key member of the CEO's executive team.

Phase One

  • MarketSavvy completed a competitive analysis in early 2003 that included in-depth research of the SEM products on the market. The data was gathered from competitors' web sites, online demos, collateral, screen shots and live discussions at trade shows. Summarizing how they differed from High Tower's offering led to strong, bold differentiation for the TowerView SEM product.
  • An early Spring 2003 launch was planned. MarketSavvy completely re-wrote the demo and scripted it for coherent delivery to the majority of audiences. MarketSavvy revamped the Company's web site, both in content and in look, to communicate those differentiators.
  • Due to issues with the company's investors and top management, the product launch was delayed about eight months.
  • During 2003, the SEM market matured and grew as a category. Differentiation became increasingly difficult as the top five (more established) players carelessly threw around buzzwords like "real time correlation", which we had coined. 
  • Between the planned launch in early 2003 and the actual launch, High Tower's competitors co-opted our messaging and differentiating claims. MarketSavvy went back to the drawing board in Q3, 2003.

Phase Two

  • With no time to lose, we announced our SEM solution (and technical approach) at the Computer Security Show in Nov. 2003, effectively priming the market to receive a new entry into the now-established SEM category.
  • Differentiation required support at a deeper technical level:  real time correlation just wasn't good enough anymore because it was the same claim that competitors were making, (regardless of their fundamental inability to deliver on that claim). Diving deeper, and working closely with the CTO and Engineering, MarketSavvy developed a comprehensive and more technical supporting argument for differentiation on two fronts: intelligent correlation and understandable presentation of the correlation results, both in real time.
    - Intelligent correlation was based on the fundamental uniqueness of our architecture, and we began to educate the market on how only this architectural approach could provide a real-time solution.
    - Understandable presentation of results was based on a 3D grid that presented the correlation results in a way that enabled the security analyst to spot anomalies in real time and understand their severity at a glance.
  • Prior to our announcement of General Availability at RSA (2/2004), we re-packaged the TowerView solution in a rack-based appliance, delivering another competitive advantage; ease of installation and maintenance.
  • Leading up to these announcements, MarketSavvy designed and executed an outbound communications program that included further re-vamping the web site and re-writing the collateral. New collateral consisted of data sheets, several press releases, and three new differentiating white papers, one of which was authored by MarketSavvy, to highlight our competitive advantages.
  • MarketSavvy launched TowerView security event management (SEM) appliance at RSA in Feb. 2004 with strong analyst support and exceptional press coverage.
Theresa overcame serious positioning challenges by delving deep into the technology and developing differentiators that were technically sound and competitively unique. Her leadership in analyst and media relations resulted in highly favorable responses.
— Gordon Smith, CEO High Tower Software