You can’t spell “Braithwaite” without IT. And you can’t get any more “product expert” than Alan Braithwaite, director of product management. Enjoy his insights in this quick-read Q & A.
As a product expert with Ivanti, your travels frequently take you to conferences and expos, meetings / presentations with customers and prospects, product advisory councils, meetings with industry analysts and the media, etc. What did you experience recently and / or what’s on the horizon for you over the next six to eight weeks?
At the beginning of this year, LANDESK and HEAT merged to become Ivanti. One of the results of this merger is the expanded portfolio of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) products. We have great products and a customer base who are passionate about how they employ them.
We have been working hard on identifying the future of our UEM offerings and how we can leverage the best elements of our portfolio to provide a great endpoint management experience for all of our customers. We’ve had lots of phone calls with customers and analysts where we have described our ideas and we’ve also asked for suggestions.
The recent Interchange events in the US and Europe, as well as our US Product Advisory Council (PAC) meeting in Las Vegas, were great opportunities for us to talk about where we’ve been and where we are going with UEM and get additional customer feedback. Our customers overwhelmingly love our products and what we are doing, and agree that we are moving in the right direction. We have also had several opportunities to meet with analysts to provide our UEM story. Each time we meet with them, they are amazed by how much our UEM solutions can do to discover, manage, and secure PCs, mobile devices, and servers.
Over the next few months we will be working with our sales team and partners to help them better understand our product offerings, and we will have PAC meetings for our European customers.
Narrowing down to just one of the items in your answer to question #1, what was / will be your purpose for being there and what did / do you hope to accomplish?
Our company has doubled in size over the past year. Not only do we need to help analysts know our product vision, but there is a great need for internal training on all of our solutions and how they work together. It has been, and will continue to be an exhausting experience, but it is exciting and is well worth it.
Which way are the industry winds blowing?
Unified endpoint management, the ability to manage PCs, mobile devices, and IoT devices are becoming a real need. Fortunately, we have a strong foundation in client management that makes it easier to expand into these other areas. The need for endpoint management will not go away. The endpoint is changing and the number and types of endpoints are expanding, but the same needs are there, namely:
1. Let me know what I have in my enterprise;
2. Help me bring my devices into compliance with corporate standards;
3. Help me resolve end-user issues quickly; and
4. Help me ensure that my endpoints are secure.
What are your three key takeaways / insights / epiphanies surrounding the future of Ivanti in the market space you’re primarily involved with? Where do you foresee both the challenges and opportunities for the company?
1. Endpoint devices, software, and user expectations are changing. We have the history and foundation in place to continue to be strong in UEM. We can and will evolve with the changing landscape.
2. Our broader portfolio story of an integrated solution for discovering, managing, and securing assets is unmatched in the industry.
3. The cloud is providing new opportunities and new challenges for IT. We will be an important tool to manage cloud and non-cloud assets.
If our future is similar to our recent past, we will continue bringing great new technologies into our portfolio. One of our strengths has been our integration across products. Our challenge will be to maintain this key aspect of our portfolio.
One large opportunity that we have is to be the recognized leader in complete endpoint management, from discovery to asset management to issue remediation to security compliance.
What was your professional journey like to get you where you are today? What were some of the unexpected hurdles and some of the unexpected benefits?
I have always liked to solve problems and use current technologies to do so. I received a degree in Electrical Engineering and figured I would work at Intel or other high-tech company. As it turns out, I did get a job at Intel but ended up working in software instead of microprocessors.
Much of my career has been on the engineering side of the business which I loved. I found that I really enjoyed engaging with customers and working with them to solve problems. This gave me a greater desire to be involved in steering the direction of products, which led me to product management. The progression of my career has been perfect for me. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What are your top five favorite films?
I don’t have a “favorite”, but here are some that I enjoy watching:
The Man from Snowy River (and the sequel Return to Snowy River)
It’s a Wonderful Life
Emperor’s New Groove