Features, Interviews, Security, Technology

Interview: Richard Piasentin, Chief Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer, Accedian

Richard Piasentin, Chief Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer at Accedian, tells Anita Joseph how the company is on a mission to make technologies that connect people and systems as transparent and effective as possible. 

Tell us about the corporate strategy adopted by Accedian for its growth and expansion in emerging markets.  

We prefer to refer to emerging markets as dynamic markets; the main focus of our corporate strategy here is to enable our customers to move as rapidly as needed towards the adoption of new technologies, which, in the end, is not for technology’s sake, but to enable innovation.  

A major focus for Accedian is the convergence of performance and security – essentially a united platform for both performance management and cybersecurity threat detection. With this in mind, we launched Skylight Interceptor earlier this year, which is a highly innovative network detection and response solution. It helps customers protect their networks by delivering prioritised, context-rich incidents that speed detection and response to security threats. Skylight Interceptor also allows organisations to identify complex and sophisticated Zero-Day threats that are often missed by traditional perimeter security solutions. You’ve already got performance covered from Accedian Skylight, we’re now combining performance and security into a single solution. This of course brings about a variety of savings – time to issue resolution, resources, costs, I could go on.  

Also, specific to the region, we have launched partnerships with some very specialised Value-Added distributors, VADs and VARs, who provide IT services across the market. One of the unique features of our solution is that we are a cloud-based SaaS offering, and we can be implemented inside of a customer cloud as well. Combining that with our ability to offer both performance and cybersecurity threat detection on that same platform, for the VAD and VAR industries it creates a huge opportunity for rapid service adoption and service expansion capabilities.  

Digital transformation is accelerating at breakneck speed now, particularly post the pandemic, in the region. What, in your opinion, are some of the challenges faced in this journey?  

The end goal for enterprises undergoing digital transformation is to essentially achieve a state where network infrastructure just disappears, and digital tools and support structure just works, seamlessly and with consistent reliability.  

To achieve this, a lot of really smart people usually have to assemble a new and specific set of technologies and implement new business practices or workflows for any number of business processes or tools. But, most importantly, this team would have to make sure that all of this performs consistently the way it’s supposed to. It’s easy to put all the blocks together, but if one block doesn’t work, the entire process falls apart. Therefore, the implementation and performance aspects in this architecture are absolutely critical.  

From an organisational perspective, it’s important to understand that during digital transformation, IT teams cannot afford to think about performance AFTER they deploy a solution, they have to think about it as they’re developing or creating their new stack and processes. Even before the deployment of their transformation begins.  

In addition, it’s not sufficient in our modern business world to implement a set of technologies without implementing a security strategy simultaneously. In fact, we believe that in the next ten years, no IT product will be released without rock solid hooks into the security paradigm. Any provider that hasn’t adopted security as part of their technology portfolio will not survive.  

Innovation is at the core of business continuity and growth. How is Accedian helping businesses with this? 

Accedian has a solid reputation for innovation, and we are absolutely focused on performance quality and network security capabilities. For 17 years now we have single-mindedly pursued our goal to provide our customers with a real-time view into everything happening on their network – from a microsecond granularity to a macro, or holistic, view of their network and service performance. We know that we have our customers’ trust that we are the best at what we do here. And because of that heritage, providing insight into cyber threats and breaches was a natural next step.   

Our purpose as a company is to provide the best possible performance and security solutions with the best possible people backing them, so that we can effectively make the technologies that connect people and systems as transparent and effective as possible.  

We don’t consider it our job to help our customers innovate, we know that they have the edge and expertise to innovate in their respective fields – but we do believe that it’s our job to make sure nothing STOPS them from innovating. That’s the role we play.  

The need for an effective cyber resilience strategy is more important than ever. How does Accedian help? 

One of the challenges of the security industry is that the market is very crowded. There’s a lot of noise, a lot of overlapping solutions. Therefore, IT professionals are faced with hundreds of choices that make it difficult to select exactly what she or he needs. They are also faced with constant threats, increasingly sophistication of those threats, and usually, the ask to do more with less resources and potentially less know-how on their teams.  

Organisations today are also faced with another reality – it’s not a matter of if, but when, they will be breached. In fact, according to the IBM 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, 83% of business surveyed at least one data breach. That’s a staggering number.  

Cyber resilience is about managing that reality. How quickly can an organization detect, respond to, and recover from a breach. We can see everything on the wire, at the highest level of resolution and in real-time, with prioritised alerts, context and incident correlation. No more long periods of dwell time driving up compliance costs, ransom, and additional havoc wrecked by cyber attackers.  

And adding to that, with our unified platform for performance and security, adding in performance monitoring capabilities to network detection and response (NDR) is literally like flipping a switch. We aim for our real-time, highest granularity data insight to unite teams to optimise user experience and strengthen cyber resilience in their organisations, so they can focus on innovation and driving business success. 

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