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Bootstrapping Using Services From Houston: Identity Automation CEO James Litton (Part 7)

Posted on Sunday, Mar 6th 2016

Sramana Mitra: So you’re trying to find a mid-market niche now where you would be able to compete with these very large players. That security and identity management space for both enterprise and mid-sized enterprises is a very crowded space. I’ll tell you what bothers me about your enterprise strategy.

James Litton: There’s a couple of things to look at there. On first blush, it does look like a crowded space, but the reality is that it’s not as crowded as you think. Whenever you go and start gathering data from Gartners of the world, you end up with these massive numbers of companies that, at first, look like they play in the IAM space.

The reality is many of these players only have very small pinpointed solutions. Take Ping Identity, for example, which is basically a single sign-on solution. You have lots of these players that have one small piece of functionality, but they’re not full-scale identity and access management players. They can’t offer full solutions around identity and access management whether that be for administration purposes or governance purposes.

These guys have extremely focused and narrow solutions. When it comes to broad capabilities, there’s a handful of players – Identity Automation, SailPoint. There’s not many others players that would be focused on that mid-market.

Sramana Mitra: Perhaps. I haven’t done the competitive analysis on this so it’s hard for me to make a full judgement. I have done so many identity management stories and talked to so many companies that are doing, in some way, share, or form, identity management. It just seems like an uphill battle.

Where are you scale wise? That’s another way you could compete. If you are at a certain scale, that does give you the opportunity to take on companies that are much smaller. Are you at a substantial scale now that you can compete on the basis of scale?

James Litton: We think we’re very well-positioned there. If you look at the scale capabilities on a couple of different levels, one is the number of customers. Identity Automation would be in the neighborhood of 300 plus. One of our customers, in particular, has over 450 customers. In terms of the users that we managed, Identity Automation has one of the largest identity and access management implementations according to Forester and Gartner. We have a system that’s implemented for the State of North Carolina that supports 2.5 million active users scaling up to 10 million users.

Sramana Mitra: What percentage of these customers are in that mid-sized enterprise category that you are interesting in penetrating at a larger scale?

James Litton: That’s the focus for us now. The answer today is that probably 20% of them are enterprise customers today.

Sramana Mitra: That’s not a bad start. I understand your strategy. You’re doing this from Houston, right?

James Litton: Headquarters is in Houston. This is another very important decision that we made early on. We wanted the best of the best. That means that we’ve made a huge commitment in terms of cost for employees. Also, that means hiring people where they are. Our developers are distributed. Everybody is in the United States.

Sramana Mitra: You have a virtual team.

James Litton: Yes, but all our core backend functions are in Houston. Marketing is in Houston. Most of the sales team is in Houston.

Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 7 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services From Houston: Identity Automation CEO James Litton
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