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Good Technology CEO: 'We focus on the data, not the device'

John Gallant | Aug. 14, 2013
The latest installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series.

JG: Knowing all that, what are, say, the top two or three things that you think Good needs to do?

Number one was user experience. Citi tried to give me a device that was a non-Good-enabled device; it was completely managed with traditional enterprise mobility stuff. If I didn't want to use that that, they would make Good available to me. I think my conclusion after that was, by giving a user a user experience that they couldn't embrace, I was actually creating the security and the data leakage that I was trying so hard to prevent. If there was an attachment on something, or if I needed to send a text message to someone, and the solution they gave me prevented me from doing that, I would grab my second device, which was in my bag, and just do it from there. The user became kind of the liability if I didn't give the user a way to do their job in a very comfortable and intuitive way. I think that was the first one.

I think the second one was just the liability. Prior to coming into the organization I had a very different view of the framework for security investments, and what impact security investments had on a business. I think the realization, for me, was that the bank was essentially a very large technology organization whose product happened to be money. And it wasn't completely different than being a large telecommunications or consumer electronics provider whose product happened to be computers or cell phones. So IT was what was driving that company. It was how they were doing what they were doing. It was how they managed risk. So the value in the organization is the data. And the data became everything. So how IT organizations are making decisions around how to value that data and protect that data is very different than most. I think, enterprise companies think about how CIOs look at ROI conversations.

MR: Good plays in a competitive and crowded market with a lot of other companies specifically focused on MDM, and then security and other companies addressing similar problems. To some degree mobile device management is becoming a commodity offering. So how do you deal with that, and how does Good stand apart from the competition?

The first thing I'm going to say is we're not really a device management company. When I was at Motorola I acquired a device-management company that was created by a group of guys that had jumped out of the Android team from Google. If you would have asked me, I would have said that was absolutely the right answer. What you need to do is lock down the hardware and plug all the holes, because that's exactly how BlackBerry did it, and if I could do those same things on an Android device or an iOS device, then I could provide the same level of assurance to the CIO who is looking at using mobile products.


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