James Winebrenner: The second thing is not going at it alone. All of these companies that we want to do business with can’t evaluate tens of thousands of vendors. The space changes rapidly. Much more so in security. Some of these segments are so small when they start.>>>
Sramana Mitra: Healthcare and manufacturing are two big segments where you are doing a lot of work.
James Winebrenner: Yes, we are starting to see acknowledgment of this need in traditional enterprise space. I met with a large investment bank in New York last week that has done micro-segmentation initiatives in their data centers, but they’re now moving back out into their campuses and looking at user segmentation and device segmentation in those environments. These are networks where we think about iPads and laptops, but we see everything from Peloton to process controllers. It’s becoming more of a challenge.>>>
Sramana Mitra: Your primary insight is that you had the technical background, but you spent time building up sales and business model experience before you took the leap into entrepreneurship.
James Winebrenner: Yes.>>>
James Winebrenner: The second principle was the ability to do segmentation across the network instead of sharing one network. There was a significant amount of interest in segmenting traffic by use case. In retail, we saw a lot of need for POS traffic to be segmented from real-time communications type traffic.
We saw the advent of a lot of third-party connectivity whether that was marketing organizations doing digital signage or contractors doing video surveillance. We didn’t start out focusing on those security use cases, but we saw them become a significant byproduct of the VSTN technology.
Sramana Mitra: Was that a consulting services company?>>>
Often niche ideas are great to build capital-efficient, profitable startups on.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Joris Kroese: I was born in a small village close to Amsterdam. I was born in 1977. I studied Information Engineering. After my studies, I started my first venture which was an e-commerce venture selling, mainly, consumer electronics in Benelux and Spain. I did that for about 10 years.>>>
One of the most exciting trends in the tech industry currently is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Developer Ecosystems. Entrepreneurs looking for a capital-efficient strategy should seriously consider bootstrapping by piggybacking on these PaaS players.>>>
Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down into your own space. Talk to me about what are the key drivers and key customer pain points that you’re addressing. What are the trends within your space? Tell me about some of the white spaces within your segment where there is opportunity for innovation and where new entrepreneurs can plug some of those gaps that you are not working on.
Amit Saha: The biggest trend right now in the identity and security business is around zero trust. If you look at the Biden administration, they launched an initiative with different vendors to look at zero trust. It means different things to different people. Zero trust is an approach and mindset. Based on a context, you make decisions on the fly on how much you want to trust and how much access do you want the user to have.>>>
Sramana Mitra: The other driver, I imagine, is the selection of different products. There is so much innovation happening in the cybersecurity space. It has become very difficult for small companies innovating on specific point products to get into the Global 2000. The Global 2000 CIO’s are really swamped with new products to absorb and evaluate. A specialized managed service provider who does all that product and technology selection would be very attractive.
Amit Saha: Managing and abstracting the customer from the complexity of the tools and integrated them is critical. Another aspect is, identity is moving closer to the business workflow. We have a product called third-party access governance. That access governance in Global 2000 customers varies from industry to industry.>>>