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Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Jon Freeman, CIO of MyCroft, Inc. (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Oct 7th 2011

The convenience of computers is undeniable, but the security issues that go along with using them can be mind boggling. That’s where companies like MyCroft, Inc. come in. MyCroft serves government, healthcare, insurance, finance, enterprise, and higher education industries. The company’s list of services include identity and access management, data protection, and managed security services, and offers compliance solutions in areas such as HIPAA and SOX. A global company that has been around for more than three decades, MyCroft has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India.

Sramana Mitra: Jon, let’s start with some context and background about MyCroft and yourself so that our readers have the basics of what kind of an organization we are working with in this particular interview.

Jon Freeman: Great. Well, MyCroft is an organization that was founded back in 1988 as a professional services firm that specialized in identity and access management. We primarily worked on establishing ourselves in assisting software manufacturers in providing additional development resources in augmenting their software so that they can bring to market their products, quicker. Later on, we were, essentially, called upon to be the primary implementation team for those software products. We have a long pedigree of development and implementation expertise associated with the areas of identity, access management, governance, risk and compliance.

About three years ago, we undertook a program that allowed us to bring those same types of services that we were developing and implementing for our customers on site. We developed a set of services that have all of the characteristics of what customers look for in a cloud-based solution: elasticity, quick time to market, high availability and low initial capex, if any capex investment. The past two to three years, we’ve been focused primarily on building our offerings to bring these security as a service offerings to a wider population of customers.

SM: I have two follow-up questions. One is, What is the size of the company from a revenue point of view, from an employee count point of view, and what is the structure of the company. The second is what is the profile of the customer base, how many customers do you serve, what size are they and just some color on those topics.

JF: Sure. First, we’re a privately held company. Our numbers are north of $30 million a year in professional services. Our employee base, across our six offices, is approximately 220 individuals. The customers we focus on primarily, if you look at our existing customer base, is the Dow 30 or the Fortune 500. We have a large catalog of customers. At any given time, I’d say that we have what I would consider about 85 active organizations that we’re working with per year.

SM: You introduced [MyCroft] as a security as a service company, particularly focused on identity and authentication, can you give me an overview of the space you are in? It is a crowded space. There are lots of other players in that space; we have covered some of them. So, who do you consider competitors? Who do you consider partners or complementary solutions? Help us to position the company.

JF: It’s a good question, and it’s an interesting question. Depending on the engagement, the group that we considered competitors previously, may be our partners and vice versa. Typically, we play in a space that is actively worked upon by firms like Deloitte, CSC and HP EDS. We also find those companies at an given point, also organizations that would call upon us to be able to partner with them on engagements. We also, traditionally, work with and, at times, compete with some of the software vendors who have professional services organizations. At any given point, you can be working competing with anybody in that space. The interesting thing – and I think the thing that’s been our success – is first, we’re not limited to a single vendor’s offering. If you look at our implementation capabilities, we implement technologies from a variety of vendors. Second, we are very careful about honoring our alignments with vendors when we do choose to partner. So, there’s no changing of horses in mid-stream. Our vendors and our partners know that. We’ve built our reputation on bringing solutions and staying with a vendor or a partner regardless of how one sided a particular engagement would be.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Jon Freeman, CIO of MyCroft, Inc.
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