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Thought Leaders in Financial Technology: Nelson Cicchitto, CEO of Avatier (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Aug 17th 2020

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself as well as the company Avatier.

Nelson Cicchitto: I’m the CEO of Avatier Corporation. We’re seamlessly redefining the identity in the access management space. 

Sramana Mitra: Let’s give our audience an overview of the ecosystem and the identity management space. We cover this space quite a bit. We cover companies like Okta and Ping identity for a long time and other companies in that ecosystem.

I’d love to start with an ecosystem map of how you view the ecosystem and where you position yourself within that space. 

Nelson Cicchitto: If we back up prior to Okta, Ping Identity and the other solutions out there, there are now limited legacy cloud applications. Let’s back up even further. Everybody used to deliver the software and they built their identity management platform.

The traditional vendors including Avatier would deliver a software package and people would install that on servers and build load balancers and try to make a secure on-premise solution.

In 2010, we saw the emergence of cloud-only vendors. Okta has the log-in capabilities and is hosting this technology in the cloud. In 2017, companies tried to come up with a hybrid type of solution where one of their products runs on premise and another on the cloud and you end up with a watered down version of the cloud solution.

An example outside of the industry would be QuickBooks. QuickBooks on premise or desktop version was very rich. Quickbooks on the cloud was lacking a lot of those features.

In our industry, you had companies like SalePoint that had a very good and strong solution on premise and one on the cloud that was not robust and lacked some of the features.

We looked at that trend and said that we needed to disrupt how access identity and governance is being delivered. How are single sign-ons being delivered? How do we deliver self-service password management better? When we look inward, we looked at who the leaders were in this industry – not identity and access management but in the cloud industry for providing services.

We looked at a few areas. One, Google search. We looked into what technology it was using to scale massively. We were very impressed by that. Second, we looked at Uber, the ride-share company. We looked at how it could scale so fast. When it rains, how does the company spin up more servers and be able to take more payments and send SMS texts to so many people so fast and never miss a beat? On the back-end of that, we looked at what Uber was doing, and they were implementing everything as a container. It’s dedicated and married to one particular cloud provider.

As we looked further, we looked at our third area, Netflix, which is like Uber where it is a containerized solution. It’s super hyper-scalable but its frontend can be delivered anywhere. It runs on Samsung TV and mobile devices with different operating systems. We were fascinated by its ability to run everywhere. 

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Financial Technology: Nelson Cicchitto, CEO of Avatier
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