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June 3, 2013 Issue

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Offering ‘Zero-Touch’ Enterprise Mobile Security Solutions that Completely Eliminate the Risk of Data Loss, Armor5 is Meeting the Challenges of the “Bring-your-own-Device” (BYOD) Trend and Empowering the Mobile Workforce

About Armor5

Armor5 is an innovator in Enterprise Mobile Security specializing in BYOD solutions that empower the mobile workforce. The company has developed an award-winning mobile virtualization service that gives mobile users instant access to their corporate apps, data and content while simultaneously protecting enterprises against data loss, information security breaches and compliance liabilities – regardless of device, network or application. The Armor5 ‘zero-touch’ approach requires zero install or configuration, operates with a zero performance deficit, and leaves zero data on mobile devices – completely eliminating the risk of data loss.

Suresh Balasubramanian

Suresh Balasubramanian is Chief Executive Officer of Armor5. Prior to joining Armor5, Suresh was the GM of worldwide anti-piracy efforts at Adobe. While at Adobe, he built a global organization from the ground up that spanned over 15 countries and brought in annual revenues in excess of $150M within four years. Prior to Adobe, Suresh worked at Everdream (acquired by Dell), Macrovision, Silicon Graphics, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC).


Suresh is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and panel discussions focused on issues in the software industry, emerging markets, security and compliance. Suresh served on the Board of Directors of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).


Suresh graduated with honors from the Wharton Business School with an MBA focused on finance and strategic management. He earned a BS in Computer Science from the National Institute of Technology, India and Masters in Computer Science from The Ohio State University.


Enterprise Mobile Security


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Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published –  June 3, 2013


CEOCFO: Mr. Balasubramanian, what is the concept at Armor5?

Mr. Balasubramanian: Armor5 is an enterprise security software company that was formed with the single purpose of helping enterprises address the challenges of supporting a mobile workforce that needs access to all their content and applications wherever they are - from any device. We started this company to address that need and make it easy for everyone to get their work done.


Companies everywhere are struggling with a new trend called ‘Bring-your-own-device’ or BYOD. The majority of businesses today have adopted BYOD policies which allow workers to use their personal devices for work – but this is causing a new wave of information security, compliance and privacy exposures and lawsuits. Armor5 is focused on solving these challenges– while providing the mobile workforce with simple secure access to their apps, data and content whether it is within the enterprise or in the cloud.


CEOCFO: What has Armor5 figured out that allows you to implement the changes and services needed?

Mr. Balasubramanian: We recognized that to solve the new challenges surrounding the BYOD trend, a completely different approach to securing mobile access was required. So, rather than using firewalls or locking down individual devices, Armor5 developed a 'zero-touch’ mobile virtualization solution which elegantly addresses these issues by:

1) Being device, network and app agnostic – empowering workers to use any personal device.

2) Never allowing data or content to reside on the device, which completely eliminates data loss/leakage issues.

3) Eliminating the need for remote wipes, which can lead to costly privacy lawsuits.

The way we solved the problem was by doing many things in the Cloud and using new technologies such as HTML5.  All of the security and compliance of enterprise content happens in the Cloud.  IT is happy because they have control and visibility and users are happy because they do not need to do anything more than open a browser and put in a URL. Most importantly, enterprises can mitigate data breaches, compliance and privacy exposures - while increasing the productivity of their workforce.


CEOCFO: What were the biggest challenges in putting the technology together?

Mr. Balasubramanian: The biggest challenge in putting the Armor5 technology together was to keep the end-user experience dead simple. It would have been very easy for us to develop an app that needed to be installed or insisted that enterprises install complex infrastructure within their environment - but we chose to hide the complexity in the cloud "behind the scenes." Delivering Armor5 as an instant service in a zero touch manner required extreme discipline and a design philosophy that held a hard line "thou shalt not install anything anywhere."


CEOCFO: Are there devices Armor5 is not able to connect today or planning to connect in the future?

Mr. Balasubramanian: The beauty of our solution is that it’s completely device agnostic – it works with any smartphone, tablet and PC. All users need is a web- enabled device that can access a URL.


CEOCFO: What is Armor5’s marketing and rollout plan?

Mr. Balasubramanian: We are doing that in an innovative way as well. When we talk about zero touch, we also walk the talk. Enterprise software is typically not sold or “available for trial” but we have created a completely self service portal, trial sign up on our website. We are able to do so because of the way we have built the product and service in the zero touch manner. We have taken many of the marketing techniques that are not normally found in enterprise software companies and marry that to our service to drive a large amount of traffic to our website. 


We are already drawing attention from the industry. The Software & Information Industry Association recently selected us the ‘NextGeneration Cloud Company’ and we won the 2013 SIIA CODiE Audience Choice Award.


CEOCFO: How far will the recent funding take you?

Mr. Balasubramanian: The funding we have raised is enough to last us for a while. Our goal is to use the funding to prove that this is a very viable business model and deliver customer traction. We would then use that proof point to raise Series A in the fall timeframe.


CEOCFO: What are some lessons from previous ventures that are most helpful for you at Armor5?

Mr. Balasubramanian: There are two that are actively played out every day.


The first thing I’ve learned is when you start a new venture or have a new business idea, it is important to test it out in the market and build the actual product with the right set of capabilities. When those initial tests start to bear fruit, then you can add layers and build it into a full-fledged product or service. Doing it organically and taking it in stages is helpful because you learn along the way.


The second thing I’ve learned is that it takes the right people. If you have the right people and can paint a clear picture of the important problems you are going to solve -- you will have a charged, motivated team who are ready to go the extra distance to provide a service that delights the customers.


CEOCFO: What is the customer service component at Armor5?

Mr. Balasubramanian: On our website we use a real-time chat pod that website visitors can use to get answers to questions or get help setting up our product or with configuration. We have 24/7 support through phone and chat.


CEOCFO: When people are looking at your offering, is there an “aha” moment when they realize it is different and that it works?

Mr. Balasubramanian: If I could sum it up in two words, it is ‘zero touch.’ The “aha” moment comes when people see that without installing anything on their mobile device or within the enterprise, in minutes we give them secure access to their content and apps that are sitting deep inside the enterprise network. They often say, “This is too good to be true; it’s like magic.”


CEOCFO: What makes Armor5 a special company to investors and people in the business community?

Mr. Balasubramanian: First of all, the market opportunity for Armor5 is immense. There are going to be about 700 million mobile devices within the next 12 months that will be used for business purposes - the need for a more scalable mobile security solution like Armor5 is immense.


Is there an explosive market opportunity? Yes. Is the company poised and able to execute that opportunity? The answer is absolutely yes. We have a top notch team with over 50 years of experience in security mobility and highly scalable systems. We have worked very hard at a product that is extremely simple to use but very powerful from a capability standpoint, which means we are able to move rapidly and capture a large part of that market opportunity. We have optimized our business model to be highly profitable in using Cloud computing technology, which gives us economies of scale. From an investment standpoint, you have these three ideal components that makes us very attractive.


CEOCFO: Final thoughts?

Mr. Balasubramanian: Armor5 is at the forefront of solving some real problems and at the end of the day, if we can empower an enterprise to get more work done because they were able to make their employees more productive, then we feel happy and that we have done our job.


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"The majority of businesses today have adopted BYOD policies which allow workers to use their personal devices for work – but this is causing a new wave of information security, compliance and privacy exposures and lawsuits."- Suresh Balasubramanian


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