Craig Aston | Celerity | IP Expo

Avatar Ben Fower | 07/11/2018

Craig Aston from Celerity joined us at IP Expo to talk about the mass amount of security options that are now available. Hosted by Allan Behrens and Matt Lovell


Matt: So, an overwhelming presence of security vendors here today.

Craig: There absolutely are it’s amazing how many vendors, how many security products how many people are in the security area. That’s the other interesting thing, it shows that’s where the interest is.

Matt: Is there anything that isn’t covered?

Craig: I don’t think there is, but I also stand and think if you’re an enterprise, how do you decide what’s good? What’s bad? What works? what doesn’t? What fits together? I think it’s massively complicated and really difficult for customers.

Allan: I suppose one of the things that’s really interesting is the fact that the shows are still reasonably vibrant. I mean, okay, it’s the second day, it’s always going to be quieter than the first but they’re quite a lot of people here and there are lots of stands which means people think it’s still valuable to come to the show.

Craig: Yeah, I’d agree with that. There are a lot of people here and the demographics of the people are interesting as well, particularly in the security area again, it’s a very young area of the business for three old men like us to sit and look at but it’s interesting to walk around and look and see actually from a show point of view there isn’t a lot new but, there’s a lot of different things going on. It’s hard to keep up. I think it’s very hard to keep up.

Allan: I mean have you been looking at the badges? have you looked at what types of companies are here?

Craig: I have absolutely there’s a lot of vendors so there’s a lot of providing IP in different areas and that obviously, in the security piece particularly, some various niche providers and other things that you sit you think about. I didn’t expect to see that one company that’s talking only about desktop security and you sit, and you go oh my goodness desktop security, still. You’re going to build a business based on desktop security? Okay, its niche but interesting. It’s just things like that. There are all the different sizes we’re looking at, we’re launching a security product, but very much Celerity’s heritage is to enterprise, trying to bring those enterprise skills down a level to be able to give higher-end SMEs enterprise security services. It’s a very, very very busy market. That’s the other thing that’s come over to me is how do you differentiate yourself?

Allan: So, when you say busy is that because there’s lots of players or there’s lots of activity and lots of demand?

Craig: Lots of players, I also think if you look at that part of the market, it’s everybody from the very large players walking over there Cisco has a huge Stand. From Cisco through to Solar Winds through to a number of the others like Juniper. A number of the other larger players then down to some of the mid-tier players and you also know there are probably thousands of organizations such as ourselves who are also trying to do this as well. Trying to make a noise in that part of the market, it’s going to be tough, but you’ve got to find something to sell.

Matt: The threats are constantly evolving, and I guess that’s a reflection of the fact that there are new entrants and they’re solving a specific problem.

Craig: Yeah, that’s true.

Matt: And they’re not necessarily, you know part of an integrated suite as some of the others might be.

Craig: I think we’re certainly going down the integrator suite route. So, trying to go all the way from punish firewall through to threat protection and remediation, through to endpoint on the basis of trying to sell to organisations that don’t have the IT security team, the IT, even the IT security expert or anything like that. So it’s very much that organisations probably have got an IT manager, they may have an IT department but it’s as you say moving so quickly. It’s another reason we’re actually basing a lot of our system around tier 1 technologies because then at least you know that will be continuing to stay up-to-date, the base is sat behind the service will continually update.

Allan: It’s interesting actually. I mean if you think about the skills of old in IT in general what’s transforming is that focusing on particular areas like security now. You know that the base technology underneath is a given. It’s now I wouldn’t say consumerised, but sort of consumerised.

Craig: It has been turned into a consumable to a great extent.

Allan: But security is so fast moving.

Craig: Security is so and it’s the high-value segment at the moment you can see that. You then question how does that become consumable? Because it’s the same as all the others we see isn’t it’s? like the cloud and the cloud is consumable. There’s a lot of cloud providers here still. There’s a lot of cloud discussions and another session I was walking past around GDPR, which I was interested in, just around GDPR on what’s next, that was quite interesting as well.

Allan: I saw one on what an IOT in GDPR is, in the building.

Craig: See there’s an interesting subject in itself. And it’s we all know down to data and data points. Where’s your data IOT? Massive subject but not something that we’ve looked at a lot but I know a lot of our partners we’re talking to are the committee and the whole partner ecosystem is interesting as well as you have a bunch of IOT Partners who really don’t understand the infrastructure in the background, they don’t understand the networking and actually what to do with the data.

Matt: It’s interesting to see how AI is really starting to become, you know, mainstream in a lot of these products as well and it’s a real challenge to actually see how you automate the response from the reaction and the detection.

Craig: And secure. How do you secure those?

Matt: And policy changes as well

Craig: It is policy changes. I was watching the news this morning and they were talking about the Russian cyber-attacks this morning, which was interesting. But they were trying then to bring it into realism for the audience. Don’t worry about Russia attacking you. They’re not going to but it’s about the services being provided that will be disrupted by these attacks. It’s a real moving feast.

Allan: I mean in fact quite opportune for them to promote security this morning for the shows.

Craig: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I think it’s interesting as well having all the different shows together so networking clouds security and if you do walk around, and you can kind of see the differences but they’re all overlapping as well, the whole thing is overlapping.

Allan: And there’s some interesting sort of new vendors. I was surprised, there’s ring as well.

Craig: Yeah RingCentral I saw them

Allan: I thought, interesting.

Craig: I saw them, and Club Wembley.

Allan: Yeah

Craig: See Club Wembley were here. So obviously there is still money in IT because they’re still trying to sell space. So yeah, also the difference between the older vendors and the newer vendors. You walk past the stands and it actually looks really quite cool. But then you walk past some of the other stands and you think, actually, you haven’t made a move in how you’re marketing yourself. We were talking this week around social selling and actually using more the social media versus telesales type question and the fact that most people now if somebody rings you up, you will not answer the phone.

Allan: Yes, true.

Craig: Just because you will wait and see if they’ll leave you a message and then you’ll go back so that makes telemarketing incredibly difficult. Whereas if you’ve already interacted socially, Twitter, LinkedIn whatever else with that individual, they are probably then much more likely to actually take a call from you.

Allan: Yes, I agree.

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