A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to head to Nashville, to attend Palo Alto Networks' (PAN's) global sales kickoff for 2017. It was an amazing conference, not least because of its size: over three days, about 3,400 delegates got to mingle with PAN's finest, getting briefed on the year ahead through a series of presentations and networking events.
At the time, Ideal had just become the newest Palo Alto Networks Platinum Partner in the UK. It's a big deal for us and our clients, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that - even at such a large event - it was a big deal for PAN, too. In Nashville, our channel business manager Brian Slee was a brilliant host, and graciously introduced me to top company executives including CEO Mark McLaughlin, and VP of EMEA channels Mike Herman - we're seen here letting our hair down.
Chatting with PAN executives, there was a clear recognition of our investment in the company's technology. Aside from our Platinum partner status, we're the first UK partner to complete our certification in Traps: Palo Alto Networks' next-generation endpoint protection product. In meeting the requirements for both, we've shown our confidence in where a large part of the security market is heading, and it was great to see how much that's appreciated.
Traps, and a first among UK partners
Traps was a big theme at the conference. As the threat landscape evolves to leave conventional anti-virus solutions behind, Traps endpoint protection uses real-time analysis to protect subscribed endpoints - even from unpatched vulnerabilities, ransomware and emerging threats. You might already know that a demonstration of Traps' capabilities will be a big part of our event, Protect yourself from anti-virus, on 9 November. It's a technology we really believe in.
At the sales kick off, we got a lot of buy-in from senior PAN people into our idea to host a joint security event. We're the first UK partner to arrange an event like this. It's an innovative thing, and we hope it will become the blueprint for many more, but it was important for us to start with security: it's such a current and major issue.
Many of our clients face a struggle to keep up with the rate at which the security landscape is transforming, and the stakes are so high. The risks of getting caught out extend beyond simple inconvenience - they're reputational, and in a high-trust sector like healthcare or finance they could be existential.
By running an event specifically to explain how to stay safe in the current threat landscape we're hoping to add real value. At Ideal we've got architectural experts who put security at the heart of everything they do, and a CISSP-certified cybersecurity consultant entirely dedicated to the subject. If we can work with Palo Alto Networks to impart some of that knowledge through our event, we think that's something of real value for customers and non-customers alike.
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