I was recently asked to answer the following question for a partner event:
How does your organization differentiate in such a crowded marketplace?
Always an interesting question, and something that our team thinks about every day. I thought the response was worth posting, so here it is...
Cloud Access Security Broker (CASBs) have quickly emerged as the de facto standard for enterprise cloud security, protecting a wide range of applications - from major SaaS applications like Office 365 to custom developed applications running on IaaS platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. With huge enterprise demand has come a number of would-be CASB competitors, both startups and large companies.
Feature-level differentiation, which I could go on about forever, changes over time as enterprise use cases evolve, and it is our job as a vendor to stay ahead of the competition in that regard. We do this by paying attention to our customers’ needs - not only through feature requests, but also via direct communication in executive quarterly business reviews, admin training at Bitglass HQ (which is instructed by people from all functional teams to maximize customer interactions and relationship building), and more.
Sustainable differentiation, however, comes via the strategic, architectural choices that a vendor like Bitglass makes, not only in the solution, but across the company as a whole. A couple of areas that I think best differentiate Bitglass' Next-Gen CASB include:
- Deployability - A CASB solution is useless if it never gets deployed. Most CASB vendors have chosen to take shortcuts in their architecture that cause significant deployment challenges. Specifically, because agentless proxies are “difficult” to make work, they have built agent-based architectures. Unfortunately, such architectures are difficult to make work on managed devices and a complete nonstarter for any unmanaged devices accessing cloud applications. The core of the Bitglass architecture are agentless proxies which allow transparent access from any device, anywhere, with no software or agent installation.
- Flexibility - Many organizations start their cloud journey with a small number of major SaaS applications, such as Office 365, Salesforce and Box. From there, cloud quickly takes root in the organization and expands - more SaaS, internal apps moving to IaaS, etc. Most CASBs have architectures that rely on hand-coded connectors for each new application, slowing down your move to the cloud. Only Bitglass’ architecture is built to automatically learn and adapt to any application, which means no holding back your business - simple configuration is all that is required for any application, even internally developed applications.
- Real-time Data Protection - many CASB vendors have made the easy choice of providing only out-of-band API-based integration with cloud apps, eschewing the much more difficult to build inline proxy architecture. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of losing real-time data & threat protection. Bitglass protects data in real-time and from end-to-end (cloud to device). Without such control, are you really solving anything?
- Support - Every Bitglass employee is part of our extended support team, and our industry-leading renewal and expansion rates prove that we take this seriously. We assign a deployment lead the day of contract signature, and people in every functional team continue to engage throughout the customer lifecycle. All of our customers deploy (inline) - sounds simple, but that isn’t the case with other CASBs.