What a morning! I stepped on stage at 8:00 a.m. to welcome over 700 people to this year’s Zscaler Cloud Summit, Zenith Live 2019. We’ve been planning for this event for the better part of a year and it’s been incredible to see the efforts of so many people across the company culminate in this exciting moment as we opened the conference.
We decided early on that the theme of this year’s conference would be EMPOWER. Security, once thought to be a barrier to enterprise speed and agility has become the de facto enabler of the digital business. Today’s IT leaders are empowering change within their organizations—a change in mindset, change in culture. They’re empowering their organizations to transform to the cloud, introducing new capabilities, greater intelligence, and opening new, more dynamic lines of communication between employees, partners, and customers—ultimately, delivering greater value to their customers’ lives and businesses.
Jay Chaudhry, our founder and CEO, delivered the opening keynote in which he talked further about empowerment. In particular, he touched on the idea that we’re all forging this path to the cloud together, and though each company’s journey is unique, we have the opportunity to learn from each other. He was joined on stage by three remarkable Zscaler customers.
Rob Franch, the CTO of Cushman & Wakefield, discussed the importance of scalability in the commercial real estate industry, which has been experiencing significant consolidation through mergers and acquisitions. Ben Vaughn, the CISO of Hyatt, advised all attendees to avoid half-measures in their strategy. He said, “Every single time we took a shortcut, the bad guys took advantage of it. Don't buy the product that is half the price and has 80% capability. Push all the buttons.” Randy Herold, the CISO of Manpower Group, talked about the culture of change. He expressed the need to shift the culture to align with where the world is going, adding, “Because you need everyone to protect your company, not just the people in security.”
Innovation was a key theme throughout the event and several Zscaler leaders took the stage to present new services and enhancements. Amit Sinha, Zscaler CTO and President of R&D, Operations, and Customer Service offered a sneak peek at new technologies that his team has been working on; Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX) was one of them. Zscaler, because it sits in the data path, has extraordinary visibility into exactly what is going on at every point between a user’s device and an application’s front door, and ZDX can quickly pinpoint the source of any issues causing performance problems. Amit also demonstrated how the team is applying machine learning to Zscaler Cloud Sandbox to speed verdicts and reduce false positives, thereby improving the user experience.
Patrick Foxhoven, the Zscaler CIO and VP of Emerging Technologies, and Lisa Lorenzin, Director of Transformation Strategy at Zscaler, presented Zscaler B2B, a game-changer that enables enterprise customers and partners to have seamless access to B2B portals without exposing applications or increasing the attack surface. Zscaler B2B includes innovations like browser isolation, which streams pixels instead of a page for very sensitive data. And browser access allows partner devices to access those apps without requiring an agent or client on the partner’s device. Zscaler B2B solves a key problem most organizations are facing with their partner ecosystems.
With each presenter, I was wholly inspired, whether it was our customers sharing their remarkable success stories or my Zscaler colleagues who revealed their unmistakable commitment to our customers and mission. I’ve known that Zscaler’s customer obsession is driven from the top, but it’s incredibly gratifying to see that it is alive and well in teams across engineering, product management, marketing, customer support…across the company.
In my opening remarks, I said that this event was all about the attendees—every one of those who are here with us in Vegas and who are driving their organizations toward a better, more secure digital future. I hope they feel as empowered today as I do.
Many of the keynotes were live-streamed and can be viewed on the Zscaler site: https://www.zscaler.com/zenithlive-2019-live-stream.
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Micheline Nijmeh is the Zscaler Chief Marketing Officer