Sramana Mitra: You quit this job in 1990 and did something else?
James Litton: I then went to work for Continental Airlines where I moved into a Systems Analyst role. This gave me experience with a very large enterprise organisation. I was in their credit management group and helped them manage their IT infrastructure. I did that until 1991. I then went and worked for Bisys Loans and Services, which is another company in the mortgage industry.
There, I took on a full IT leadership role. I became the IT Manager and the Principal Systems Engineer. I was wearing multiple hats. I ran most of the infrastructure. These early years were incidentally quite critical because, from my perspective, having a hands-on role and really understanding the technology is important. At Bisys, it involved starting these IT organisations from scratch. I was at Bisys until 1993.
Then I went on to work for a company called Paranet, which was a consulting services company. Parenet eventually became Sprint Paranet. I think they’re still around today. I was a Project Manager and a Systems Engineer for Paranet through 1997. Paranet gave me some excellent exposure to all types of technologies. We started to get pretty heavy into the Internet at this point. This was the very beginning of the Internet.
I was placed at a company called J.M. Huber, which was an oil and gas company. I was instrumental in the adoption of Internet services there and helping the company to move over to a TCP/IP based network. That further solidified my experience with technologies.
Sramana Mitra: Bring us up to where the entrepreneurial story starts.
James Litton: In 1997, I went to work for Coca Cola. I was with Coca Cola till 2000. That experience was absolutely vital to the starting of Identity Automation. That gave me big company experience and how to be very methodical about the way you run things. From Coca Cola, I went to work for Veritas, which became Symantec. This was my first real entrepreneurial experience.
Within Veritas, I was hired to go to Asia Pacific. Veritas had just bought Network Storage Management Group. They had all of these sales offices across Asia Pacific. My role was to go in and wrap the corporate wrapper around all of those offices. I had responsibility for information technology and facilities all across that region. I really had to go in and build partnerships with all of these offices and bring them in under the corporate wing. I was with them until 2006.
Then I went to work for Cray. Right after Cray, I started Identity Automation. This was late 2006. Just to be clear, the company started in 2004 with my business partner. He had worked for me way back in the day. We had been in touch for years. In 2006, I moved back to Houston and joined the company. That was when Identity Automation started in earnest. We started, in 2006, as a consulting services company. Our focus was on implementing identity and access management solutions for big box vendors. We mostly did Sun and Novell implementations but we were technology agnostic.