Telstra Ventures has been partnering with Virtual Vendors since March 2020.
Virtual Vendors Managing Partner Gregory Ryan discusses how the working partnership with Telstra Ventures evolved and the strategic role this partnership can play in the Australian cyber security landscape.
MELBOURNE, Victoria. Virtual Vendors was founded in February 2020 with a vision to make a significant contribution for the Australian vendor and customer cyber security ecosystem. A critical juncture was forming a relationship with Telstra Ventures in March. Greg discusses why and how this relationship was formed and critically where the partnership is headed.
How did the relationship between Telstra Ventures (TV) and Virtual Vendors (VV) evolve?
“Back in February when Virtual Vendors was formed, we were reaching out into the security industry to find channels we could leverage. We wanted to explore all channels to marketing including non-traditional routes. My relationship with Gurpreet Ghuliani - Telstra Ventures Partner extends a long way back where we had worked together very successfully in the past. I saw a mutually beneficial commercial outcome that could drive growth for both organisations".
What was the catalyst for the relationship between TV & VV?
“Gup (Gurpreet) is the Partner responsible for supporting the go to market and ultimately driving revenue for Telstra Venture Portfolio. The investment they made specifically into the cyber security realm is very significant and the discussions quickly turned to some very innovative and exciting security technology such as CloudKnox as one example. Marcus Barturm (California based TV Partner) and Gup recognised that VV could help accelerate CloudKnox (a cloud-based permissions and entitlement solution) go to market into the region, with a target focus on the technology and to the right customers”.
What caught TVs attention with the VV value proposition?
“ROI is always top of mind for VC/PE companies and the model that VV operates with was a very strong fit. VV brings a unique team together with a wealth of experience across the cyber security industry whether that is from the perspective of the vendor, the partner or the customer point of view. Combined with this is a wealth of industry knowledge and access to ASX listed companies in the cyber security domain and of course with a proven track record of sustained success”.
Sneak peak of the VV vendor lifecycle approach:
What are the unique capabilities that VV brings to the table that finalised this partnership?
"The typical vendor model is that they are a hammer looking for a nail. My vision for VV was always to reverse engineer this process and bring the bag(s) of specific nails to customers in a more independent consultative way. We work with the industry leaders and visionaries to do this; however, the approach is underpinned with old school sales, solutioning and always where the lifecycle in the relationship continues well after any sale is inked".
What is your approach with regard to CloudKnox for TV?
"Consider the CloudKnox go-to-market example where the pace of change with Australian companies transitioning to a digital economy leveraging cloud/multi-cloud environments. Our meetings with thought leaders in the identity and permissions management space tells us that they have spent the better part of the last 10 years to get permissions under control on-prem and suddenly they are at substantial risk in cloud. Our customers are driving this conversation and we have 5 x Top 20 ASX companies pushing towards addressing this very real and high-risk business problem. We anticipate a successful process with one of these companies prior to the end of 2020 and will be catalyst to drive more opportunity and deliver the ROI that TV and of course CloudKnox are looking for".
What are some of the exciting areas that have come up in terms of permissions that customers are raising to VV?
"Building context of development environments within Cloudknox and the alignment of entitlements is an interesting customer viewpoint we have captured so far. Being able to map this out from early development stages to production (i.e. dev sandbox, staging, pre-prod, UAT, production). Another really interesting client perspective is that whilst CloudKnox is a great detective tool for cloud with API integrations the solution could make a tremendous contribution as a preventative tool. The great thing about CloudKnox is that they are agile and acknowledge the wonderful visionary potential of the Australian cyber security landscape. This is something that CloudKnox developers are acting on very quickly and is a perfect example of the way VV operates and creates value for customers, vendors and our valued partners like TV".
Greg Ryan is the Managing Partner of Virtual Vendors. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org