IT-SA Been Interesting…

By Dr. Guy Bunker @guybunker

it-sa logo

It’s been three weeks since it-sa in Germany finished – time definitely flies past. I hadn’t been to the it-sa conference before but had done numerous events in Germany, so I thought I knew what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.

Conferences and exhibitions these days seem to be more about networking rather than talking with customers. There are exceptions however, and it-sa is one of those. Furthermore, the customers (or potential customers as the case might be) were hungry for knowledge around security innovation and ‘the art of the possible’. This worked well for us as we had a great presentation on the vision we have around protecting critical information – but most importantly, we could show it in practice. Adaptive Redaction as the next generation data loss prevention solution really resonated.

We had two speaking slots at the conference, one technical (in German – suffice to say that wasn’t me) and one more strategic (in English... that was me). Both were well attended and well received, and we had lots of people come up afterwards to talk more about what had been presented. It can be difficult to gauge the reaction to what you are saying, when the audience is translating your words in their heads, so having people come and ask questions afterwards means the talk was at the right level.

We met with potential customers from all verticals and in all sizes of organization. From the very large government departments, to small business with concerns about protecting their Intellectual Property, to academic institutions who wanted to protect their students and their research. The final day saw the exhibition floor teeming with students and apprentices interested in the security space – not just for the freebies – but also to understand the challenges that businesses face and the technology that can help to address them. I’m sure it wasn’t just our excellent free sandwiches which brought them in, as some of them were hungry to see the product in action and wanted to know more about the company.

The it-sa exhibition hall featured a number of vendors I had not heard of before – all German, and proud of it. There were plenty of “Made in Germany” signs around... Many in English! The DACH market, especially when it comes to security, favors local organizations. Fortunately we are a European company which acquired a German company earlier this year – and one of our closest encryption partners is also German. We had lots to talk about with potential new customers!

As the rest of the world looks at what could and should be done to help protect information of all types and enhance privacy, you only need to look at Germany to see what can and is being done. The DACH market is key for us. We see a large number of Enhancement Requests, particularly around encryption, coming from there. This helps us stay ahead of the competition as well as create some innovative solutions.

I enjoyed my three days at it-sa, along with meeting lots of potential new customers (thank you to them for speaking English!). I also got to meet some cool small companies, several of our partners, I spent time with our great DACH team and, of course, a bit of networking with friends from old.

Wir sehen uns im nächsten Jahr!