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August 7, 2013

New Technology is Good but People Make it Great


7224444_sSeems like the hallmark of new technology is always based on a question of how we can automate tasks to do them faster and less expensively. Efficiency is an asset for any growing business and in the hyper-competitive world of modern tech it’s a requirement. Automation is great; it was the spark behind the industrial revolution and has allowed industries to reach a level of unprecedented production.

However if I ask you to name some of your favorite companies, which come to mind? With all the benefits of automation it’s often a human element that causes us to fall in love with a brand. For instance Zappos is a good e-tailer with a decent selection and solid rates, but their customer service is what makes them truly memorable and keeps people coming back. Southwest Airlines is typically chosen for their low prices or no change fees, but it's their quirky and entertaining staff that keeps people stepping off planes with a smile and coming back.

It’s for this reason we're thrilled to have received such great reviews in the recent Gartner report where customer service was seen as a huge differentiator between us and our competitors.

Business is continuing to evolve in application security and it’s still a new frontier, particularly when it comes to scaling in any meaningful way. We believe that no technology is ever perfect; tech should be just as fluid and evolving as any organism out to survive, and this is especially true in a still maturing field. We also believe that the ability to scale and drive adoption is critical to reduce risk, and humans are a huge part of that. Before you invest in any new technology you should carefully consider the support and services you’ll be given.

Here are a few questions to ask when evaluating a services team:

  • What level of service will you receive? Is there a dedicated person/team you can reach out to? How quickly will they get back to you?
  • How will the service actually help your team? Education? Advice? Creating roadmaps to drive adoption?
  • What will that service cover? Will you get answers to deep questions, or just a thanks and "we'll get back to you."
  • What alternatives are available, and how will that impact the bottom line - risk reduction?

We strongly believe in our offerings, and have found that the (low cost, highly effective) human touch included with them is a critical factor in driving adoption. If we were to take the traditional on-site deployment approach with expensive consultants, our customers would quickly limit the scope of our contracts resulting in only small scale success. One of the many benefits of a SaaS model is the ability to offer a large team of services folks to a wide array of customers at a low cost and quick response time. Overall, new technology can significantly help companies, but in many cases losing the human element can limit the amount of success of an effort.

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