November 26, 2012 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Inventor of the world’s first Patented Automated Identity and Access Risk Management IT Store that can be deployed in weeks, Avatier Corporation is providing Operational Efficiencies for Government Agency, Enterprise and Large Organization Customers
About Avatier Corporation:
Nelson Cicchitto is Chairman and CEO of Avatier Corporation, a company he founded in 1997. Today, Avatier is one of the leading IAM companies in the world. Prior to founding Avatier, Cicchitto founded Master Design & Development, Inc. and before that he held senior and lead architect positions at Chevron and Pacific Bell.
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine,
Published – November 26, 2012
Mr. Cicchitto: We make strategic business management software. In short, we increase IT productivity in corporate environments, large organizations, and government agencies. We do that by automating IT tasks involving user requests for services, system access, equipment and facilities. This includes off-boarding and on-boarding new employees; performing compliance audits; making sure individual access is certified; and that they have only the access they are authorized. Most important, we provide solutions that allow much of this to be performed by business users rather than the IT department. Password reset calls alone typically take thirty percent of all help-desk calls. We practically eliminate these.
CEOCFO: What have you figured out to make the process smoother?
Mr. Cicchitto: Three things really. First, our system can be deployed in weeks while competitors take months. That’s what we refer to as time-to-value. Second, our automated solutions do not involve the customer writing code, so the ongoing maintenance of the system is reduced dramatically, and we put as much of the process in the hands of business personnel as possible, so IT can use their time elsewhere. This represents clear operational efficiencies. This is what we have done in our Identity Enforcer product, which is annihilating the competition right now. We have taken the concept of an Amazon store or the Apple App store--and applied it to IT identity and access management. We are enabling employees to “shop” for the access to data, applications and even assets like laptops, phones, or even a key to a door. The system automatically determines, based on their responsibilities within the organization, whether they should be allowed to put those requests in their “shopping cart”. It is saving the IT department hours and hours they don’t have to spend.
CEOCFO: What is a concrete example of how your system works and what is different from the traditional methods?
Mr. Cicchitto: In the case of our customer, the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas they are constantly hiring new employees. When those employees are hired, we will provision the core access that they need to do their job. If they are a front desk person we would give them access to the front desk software, we would provision a badge so they have access to the building. We might provision the appropriate uniforms, email account, active directory exchange, as well as any other assets that they need to begin their day such as time reporting software, access to the HR software so that they can check benefits. After they have been employed, we allow the manager or even the employee to request an Apple iPhone or a laptop. They can go into our business service catalog and see the types of laptops that are available to them, and then go select it and add it to their “shopping cart”. What makes Avatier unique is that the approval process, or workflow, is built into the concept of the store so that there are no additional steps that have to be created for the person to be approved, to get the access and assets that they need. You can imagine the time that saves the IT department when dealing with hundreds of employees and thousands of requests.
CEOCFO: Are most of your customers using some form of software now?
Mr. Cicchitto: To some customers, this is a brand-new concept to bring self-service and a store into the IT department. Some people have tried to develop their own solutions--they have tried to use Microsoft’s solution or other products that write their own email templates or web forms to request the access that they need. Other customers have embarked on multimillion-dollar, multi-year implementations from Oracle or CA or IBM. They all find that their solution is costing more to build than it would be to automate, so there is no ROI in their automation system. Most of the IT people out there need to be educated in this new part of the market, they are not aware that you can have an automated solution deployed very rapidly.
CEOCFO: What would be some of the areas you are able to cover which may surprise your potential clients?
Mr. Cicchitto: I think that the biggest surprise comes in a two part solution. First, they are able to request not only access but to have that access automatically provisioned into SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft or Active Directory, so access can be granted for a personal asset management product like a laptop or a key. This means that fulfilling both hardware and software can be done easily—and perhaps more important from a security standpoint, they can be shut off and collected when an employee leaves the company. This is a completely new concept. There are plenty of mobile device management companies out there, and there are plenty of identity management or user provisioning companies out there. But there are very few companies that bring the two together into one nice package. That gives you a one-stop-shop for everything that an employee needs to request while they are working for a large organization.
CEOCFO: Do most customers take advantage of the full range of services you offer?
Mr. Cicchitto: We have a lot of offerings so most customers start with some of our product families and then buy additional products. We offer four product families in password management, user provisioning, access governance and risk intelligence. This covers the full range of the Identity Access Management market. People can buy into one of the product families or they can buy the whole suite. Of the product families, User Provisioning gives you the store capability with Identity Enforcer product. On the Password Management product family we have a product Password Station, which allows your employees to reset their password and unlock their account. In the Access Governance family, we have a very unique and revolutionary approach to assignment certification, or access certification and that is in a product called Compliance Auditor. We are introducing some new products around a balanced scorecard that would allow people to get the IT people resources as well as the money needed when there is an IT crisis in security in our Risk Intelligence family. It is a product designed for IT security departments to make sure they get the resources they need when they need it.
CEOCFO: How do you reach new customers?
Mr. Cicchitto: Customers come to us in several ways. Analysts recommend Avatier solutions to large organizations. This area coupled with traditional methods of awareness and lead generation through publicity, social media and a content rich website. The best customers are the ones that have gone out and spent millions of dollars on a failed large ERP incorporating a large identity and access management solution. After it fails, they know they need to do something but they do not believe anything exists out there that is fast and rapid to install. They find us by searching for organizations or talking to our customers and sales people around other regions of the world, to find a solution that can be deployed rapidly and managed easily with minimal operational cost.
CEOCFO: Are the geographic areas where you would like to be more involved?
Mr. Cicchitto: We have expanded the organization a ton in 2012. We have gone into Australia and the Far East and we have expanded into England, Germany, and other European nations. As we continue to evolve, we will expand even further into Asian countries like China and India.
Do you find that the current economic scenario has been helpful, harmful, or
not much difference?
CEOCFO: Why should investors and the business community pay attention to Avatier?
Avatier is seeing double-digit growth in all regions of the world. We are
seeing massive adoption of innovation and we have very innovative, patented,
software. Our patents are enforced, which is very important. We have been
able to offer an IT store and bring this to traditional enterprises as well
as to mobile and very diverse enterprises. Our audience now is large
enterprises and large government agencies, but the software is designed in
such a way that eventually it will take care of small to medium-sized
businesses as well. The potential for Avatier’s growth is unlimited. I think
the reasons why investors should pay attention to us is our strategy is
based on customer-driven innovation. One of the big things that we have done
to change the game is offer rapid deployment solutions. We pre-fabricated
these solutions. These are very industry specific solutions and services
that can be implemented very quickly. Our customers can get value fast. That
is a huge game-changer. I think customers have seen that when they introduce
strategic software into their environment, they are able to change the way
businesses run and change business processes. Finally, we are seeing a huge
move away from information technology to business technology. We are seeing
many organizations want to focus more on the business rather than
IT--figuring out how the technology can bring rapid changes into business,
and how we can provide large value. We see many companies moving away from
hardware and applications that do not add business value. They want to go
for more strategic software so they can change the business processes and
change the way the company runs. Avatier can do that.
“First, our system can be deployed in weeks while competitors take months. That’s what we refer to as time-to-value. Second, our automated solutions do not involve the customer writing code, so the ongoing maintenance of the system is reduced dramatically, and we put as much of the process in the hands of business personnel as possible, so IT can use their time elsewhere. This represents clear operational efficiencies.” - Nelson Cicchitto
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