Life post-acquisition: A people-centric plan to get you total data security a lot faster

Getting acquired can be an emotional rodeo. Some days are crazy excitement and others are heartache over the unknowns ahead. It’s natural – we’re human. I remember years ago sitting in a doctor’s office staring at a poster about the “10 most stressful life events” and “starting a new job” was #4.

But truthfully, I’m still waiting for the heartache. Since being acquired a few short weeks ago it’s only been great. This is not my first rodeo either. jSonar’s acquisition marks the fifth time I’ve gone through an acquisition, third time being acquired.

I’ve never experienced such a desire to learn and collaborate from both sides. I’ve been observing something unique – everyone on the jSonar side says “wow – we really need to learn how Imperva does things” and at the same time the Imperva folks are saying “wow – we really need to learn how jSonar does things”. This is the best thing on earth! No one is perfect and we all can do things better. It’s when we think we’re perfect that we start to stagnate.

We should always push to get better and for that to happen we can never be satisfied (like the words in one of the Hamilton songs “I’m never satisfied”). Not in a negative way, and not in a way that paralyzes – but in a way that makes us “hungry” – that is the essence of innovation and drive. That’s the feeling I am getting in spades – both from the Imperva team and the jSonar team – a strong growth mindset and understanding that people matter most. At the end of the day great products are built and supported by people – if this is how our people feel and behave, we are going to continue building incredible technology!

What our customers are saying

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked to 3-4 jSonar customers every day – explaining what the acquisition is about, explaining how we can now accelerate our roadmap, explaining that this is not about Guardium vs. Imperva but about the value, TCO and experience. Sure – at first there was apprehension – customers are people too and they don’t like unknowns either. But when they hear what a large team this acquisition creates and understand the experience and knowledge we have dedicated to their success (we are now the single organization with the most experience in the world implementing and running DAM and data security) there is a lot of excitement around how we can make their life easier.

Most important, I think they can feel our enthusiasm and energy levels and know this translates to things they will benefit directly from – and quickly. Our two-year roadmap has shrunk to less than one year and Imperva’s roadmap accelerated by three years. So, I have been encouraging the customers to pile on. What else do you need? How can we make things even better? Tell us! We have always listened to you and will continue to do so.

And, because we’ve been working in partnership for the past year to provide an integrated solution, we’re able to deliver immediate value as our platform is already fully integrated. My previous time being acquired it took 8 months to provide an integrated solution! So, I’ve also been talking to Imperva data security customers. Even more excitement. It’s opened up the opportunity for them to extend to the cloud, cover more platforms, faster, and reduce TCO even further. The portfolios are so complementary. One is agent-based, and one is agent-less. One focuses on real-time monitoring and the other on long-term retention, analytics, incredibly fast reporting and automation/orchestration. And the beauty is that it’s not one or the other – it’s both – every company benefits from the combination. It makes a big difference since this area is still one of the most difficult in information security.

What you can expect to see in the immediate future

The joining of jSonar and Imperva has created by far the most skilled and capable team in the world dedicated to data security. As a global organization we have built the pillars of our team to reflect what matter most to our customers:

  • Simplification and cost reduction
  • Support and coverage for everywhere data lives
  • Preventive controls and response that goes well beyond compliance
  • Privacy applications that are that much better and easier to deploy because they make use of what’s already in place for compliance
  • And much, much more…

Furthermore, we are making it easy to consume these solutions from a business standpoint packaging it in a simple way that will not require a PhD to understand. Easy to buy and transparent in terms of what will happen when you grow. We’re not going to make you tell us upfront whether you want agents or agent-less. We’re not going to make you pay twice because you’re migrating workloads from on-prem to cloud. We’ll just ask you how many data assets you need to secure and what kind of audit retention you need, it can be that simple. If you have 100 servers on-prem today and a year from now they are all in the cloud, it’s the same 100. And if you want to reduce your Splunk license bill by a factor of 10 that’s the easiest thing to do by just adding unlimited retention.

This is all coming together right now – precisely because people matter most. Malcolm Gladwell’s book ״Outliers״ popularized the 10,000 rule which says that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are needed to become world-class in any field. At a conceptual level I believe in it and I use it when I try to get my kids to work hard at what they’re passionate about. Whether it is a basketball player, a musician, or … a data security expert – it takes time and focused effort to become really good at something. In our new combined org chart we have well over 150 people that are at this “world-class level” when it comes to data security; and that’s what counts the most.

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