Mocana 360 Recap (October 2015)
Last week we hosted the third installment of our bi-annual Mocana 360 event. Once again, we assembled a distinguished collection of our customers and prospects, partners, industry analysts, and other influencers regarding Mobile and IoT Security. As always, it was preceded the previous day by an in-person meeting of our Customer Advisory Board (CAB) where customers of our Mocana Atlas platform had a chance to spend the day with our Product and Engineering (P+E) teams for in-depth discussions regarding their feedback on our platforms and collaborative thinking on our go-forward strategy and product roadmap.
M360 itself was eagerly anticipated by our customers and partners, and certainly not least of all, ourselves. We nearly doubled our attendance from six months ago, with over 100 attendees from around the globe. For the first time, we had strong participation across our customers and partners in Europe, as well as representation from Asia, all of which we expect to see increase in future iterations of M360.
Overall, we had participation from over 60 organizations spanning Fortune 500 / Global 2000 companies from every major industry, government agencies, and some of the most cutting-edge technology firms in the world.
New Infrastructure for the New World
Our theme this time was New Infrastructure for the New World (due credit to Maribel Lopez for helping coin the phrase). The central thesis of the day was that the confluence of several factors was upon us, and was impelling us to a new way of thinking about secure access, those factors being:
- New Technologies – Mobility and Cloud certainly, but also Wearables, IoT, and the unknowns that lie just around the corner.
- New User Types – Particularly the Extended Enterprise comprised of not just an organization’s own contractors and other non-badged users, but employees and non-employees of each organization’s supply, distribution, and influence networks for whom there is no scope of controlling or otherwise managing the end user device.
- Extreme Intolerance for Poor UX – While discussion around the impact of the millennial population entering the workforce has bubbled this issue to the top, the ubiquity and ease-of-use of mobile apps for so many aspects of our personal lives has now spilled over to work, and the modern organization needs to deliver work apps that match this level of usability and functional diversity.
The new infrastructure that is necessary to not only survive, but thrive in the new world needs to be able to handle all new manner of endpoints (legacy, mobile, IoT, and beyond) while providing iron-clad security, unprecedented scale, and the type of UX to-date only found in consumer technologies.
Changing the World Through the Workplace
Andrew Toy, head of Google’s Android for Work product area opened with a Keynote entitled Changing the World Through the Workplace. Entertaining and thought-provoking as always, Andrew’s key point (and one that was reinforced throughout the day) was that we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of what mobility can provide, as evidenced by the fact that most organizations today still talk about their “mobile strategy” and about assembling “mobile centers of excellence”. He challenged us to consider how silly it would be if an organization today spoke about its “Internet strategy” as a new and compelling way to distinguish itself. He further pushed us to consider what we could each do in our organizations to create and drive mobile initiatives that would be compelling enough for our respective CFOs to speak about on financial earnings calls because they were truly moving the needle of organizational performance.
Security Implications of IoT in the New World
IoT was also a key point of discussion over the course of the day, both as its own secular trend as well as its convergence with the challenges and opportunities we see with enterprise mobility. Mocana’s own technical founder and CTO, James Blaisdell, gave a thought-provoking presentation on the Security Implications of IoT in the New World. Among many things, he cautioned against the use of open source software for security, comparing it to being as “free” as a free kitten. As with many conversations with James, it left many of us squirming about the size of the attack surface that we have to contend with as IoT becomes a real and increasing part of our security reality.
Fortunately, his presentation was followed up later in the day by Peter Graham, Mocana’s GM for our Security of Things platform where he discussed the fact that many of the largest industrial manufacturers in the world are already taking strong and proactive steps to manage those very same risks. Peter downgraded what would have otherwise been a worry-filled and absolutely sleepless night following James’ presentation, to only a still-worry-filled night but at least with some fitful sleep.
A number of customers took the stage, some individually and others as part of a customer panel. Matt Recupito, Head of Security Architecture and Strategy at Zurich Financial Services described how Mocana and our partners, specifically Apperian and Capriza, are helping them mobilize value-additive apps for their end-users. Everyone was particularly excited to hear about their plans for getting beyond employee use cases and into Extended Enterprise scenarios where, for example, an insurance adjuster could document the scene of an accident, including any requisite notes and photographs, and begin the claim filing and processing workflow while still in situ rather than hours, or even days later. It was an awesome example of the types of “move the needle” initiatives that Andrew Toy spoke about in his keynote.
Our customer panel, comprised of representatives from Molex and American Water, was illuminating in a number of ways. They were frank about the successes and challenges that they’ve had with their mobile deployments (both related and unrelated to Mocana). A particularly interesting revelation came in response to an audience question asking what was the “Return on Emotion” they were experiencing from their end-users regarding the mobile apps that they had already deployed. What we learned was that while users were happy that more and more business functions were being mobilized, they were expressing their “happiness” not (just) in terms of kudos and accolades, but also in requests for “where the heck is everything else”. It was an eye-opening lesson of being prepared to not be victimized by our own success.
NextGen Priorities for 2016
In order to both broaden our aperture to a market-wide view as well as bring some hard data to our qualitative discussions, Chris Marsh of 451 Research shared the findings from their latest surveys regarding the state of enterprise mobility and how they ought to shape our NextGen Priorities for 2016. It certainly underscored what Andrew had highlighted in his keynote and what we heard throughout the day – that for all the talk around enterprise mobility out there in the market today, as an aggregate we are still at the very onset of a journey to discoveing "the art of the possible", and that most of the largest organizations in the world are still grappling with first principles.
Finally, we also heard from many of our partners including Appthority, AetherPal, and SAP, in addition to the ones mentioned earlier. The recurring theme through these discussions related to the importance of getting “beyond email” and into mobilizing apps that are truly delivering organizational value by tapping into back-end data and workflows and making them available not only to employees, but also to the Extended Enterprises. Though completely un-choreographed, the customer and partner presentations were mutually reinforcing regarding the common theme of the value of mobility lying in high-value apps.
As has now become the norm with M360, networking and socializing continued through cocktails to dinner and beyond. Admittedly, the conversations moved further from today’s practical realities and towards high-concept visionary thinking the deeper we got into the evening. But as they say… “Always aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
On behalf of the entire Mocana team, we are thrilled with the growth of the event in terms of attendance, scope of attendees, and depth of discussion. And as always, we are humbled with the engagement and candor of all our attendees.
This one’s in the books and Team Mocana is now scouting dates and locations for the next chapter in the M360 story. Stay tuned.