One Rocketship to Another

April 21, 2021  •  Erik Kristiansen

One Rocketship to Another

One Rocketship to Another

This week I start a new adventure. After 5+ years at Tanium, I’ve joined Valtix as VP of Marketing. Most of you probably haven’t heard of Valtix yet. I certainly hadn’t. But what Valtix has built, I believe, has the opportunity to transform the Network Security market. And with outstanding Series A backing from Cisco, Trinity, Vertex, and Wing, they are already playing in the big leagues. 

What is Valtix? Valtix is the first cloud-native network security platform. The most straightforward analogy for Valtix is that it can be what Salesforce (CRM), Crowdstrike (Endpoint Protection), or Snowflake (Data) are to their respective markets to the Network Security market. Using Valtix, organizations can secure multi-cloud workloads (think IaaS, PaaS) using the network (no endpoint agent!). I’ll talk a lot more about “why” Valtix below.

Making the Move

Tanium was good to me over the years. I can’t thank the team enough, and it was tough to leave. Tanium has differentiated technology and a substantial addressable market. But what made Tanium stand out was the quality of its people. I worked with so many super-intelligent people and had the privilege of learning from some fantastic marketing leaders over the years. That experience has forever shaped me.

Tanium also set a high bar in terms of what I wanted to do next. Through a defined set of career goals and criteria, I narrowed down opportunities and eventually found the Valtix team. 

Team + Technology + Market

With that background, let’s talk about the Valtix team. It’s one thing to have a team that has a great idea, intelligence, and drive. It’s entirely another thing to find a team that has those things plus substantial experience, humility, and deep domain expertise. The founders - Vishal, Praveen, and Vijay - each have 20+ years of experience related to network, network security, and cloud. They’ve worked together before at Andiamo and Cisco, where they’ve built great technology that has ended up as billion-dollar product lines. It’s a rare combination to find three founders with such complementary technical skills and domain expertise. 

In addition, Doug Murray, the new CEO of Valtix, had a huge role in recruiting me. Doug previously was CEO of Big Switch Networks. We’ve only started working together, but Doug exudes the qualities that I look for in a leader. He’s strategic, hard-working, personable, and seeks to bring out the best in his people. Having that sort of leadership is critical to me and bodes well for the company’s potential. 

The other aspect of what attracted me to Valtix is the technology. Several things captured my attention during discussions with the company. The first was that the architecture was truly differentiated. The team leverages cloud architecture, deep network security expertise, and an as-a-service delivery to create a more adaptable and cost-effective approach to securing applications and services. 

The founders also built Valtix as a platform that supports many use cases. They already have applications for Next-Generation Firewall, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Intrusion Prevention (IPS), and Web Application Firewall (WAF), but who knows what the future might hold. Based on my experience at Tanium, platforms ultimately win against point solutions. Platforms are more efficient – through one tool, you can remove the need for many. Over time, platforms are easier to use because IT teams can reduce the number of solutions they must learn. And once they fully evolve, platforms can do things that point solutions can’t because platforms create one data model that can be shared across teams and open new use cases.

Finally, the potential market opportunity with Valtix is unbelievable. Certain patterns emerge in technology and get repeated across different domains. One of the most prominent patterns to emerge in the last 10 years is the trend towards cloud-native. See if you can name categories of software that haven’t shifted to a cloud-native model? There aren’t many. 

Valtix stood out for me because Network Security is a category that hasn’t shifted yet. And if you look at the existing Network Security vendors, they each have tried to adapt by bringing their on-premises model forward as cloud appliances. It doesn’t often happen that a 20+-year-old on-premises architecture can seamlessly make the shift to Cloud, and a considerable gap has existed in the market.

Even after the COVID era ends, the distributed era will remain. According to IDC, public cloud spending accelerated by 34%, and non-cloud IT infrastructure declined by almost 9% in 2020. Additionally, 93% of organizations already have a multi-cloud strategy. Valtix focuses on this sweet spot of multi-cloud workload security, which puts us in a position to disrupt incumbents and ultimately take share. Given this positioning, joining the team just seemed obvious.

I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity. I have many to thank for everything I learned at Tanium. I’m ready to take those lessons learned and put them into practice.

To learn more about Valtix, I encourage you to watch this video and then visit valtix.com.

 

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