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Zenith Live 2020 APJ First Day Signals a “New Era” of Secure Digital Transformation

December 15, 2020 - 4 min read

This post also appeared in LinkedIn.

We’ve just completed day one of Zenith Live 2020 for the Asia-Pacific region. It was a day of inspiring presentations, innovative product demos, and even an astronaut! Zenith Live looks different this year: It has “gone virtual,” with all sessions available online (and free of charge). Though they weren’t speaking on an actual stage, speakers were engrossing, inspiring, and enthusiastic during the first sessions of this year’s premier global cloud summit.

Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry started the day with his keynote address, in which he made the point that the enterprise digital transformation requires a zero trust architecture. He noted this “new era” we have entered, where users work from everywhere, data traffic grows exponentially, the cloud is the new data center, and the internet is the new corporate network. Jay also offered an overview of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange platform, and emphasized its four key pillars to drive secure digital transformation: Secure internet and SaaS access, secure private app access, digital experience, and protected apps and workloads.

In the next session, Zscaler President and CTO Amit Sinha and CIO Patrick Foxhoven shared some of the exciting new Zscaler product and service innovations. Amit shared the Zscaler “Blueprint for secure digital transformation,” with the key message: It’s time to prioritize platform over point products. He provided technical details of Zscaler integration with partner identity management, endpoint protection, cloud provider, SD-WAN, and security operations solutions.

In that same session, we heard from Steve Day, EGM for Infrastructure with National Australia Bank (NAB). Steve told of NAB’s secure digital transformation journey from legacy hardware to the cloud. “Zscaler, and ZPA in particular turned out to be a really good fit for us,” said Steve. “We're now no longer trying to secure networks across 800 locations across Australia. We're just defending individual applications now at the gateway to those applications, which is really the promise of zero trust.”

CEO Jay Chaudhry next led a “Voice-of-the-Customer” session with several IT leaders from Siemens, including CIO Hanna Hennig, Head of IT Infrastructure Markus Holzheimer, VP of IT Strategy & Governance Frederik Janssen, and Head of DEC Anthony Atherton. They talked about fostering agility and resilience, two things that can be challenging to achieve in a time of crisis. Yet—in response to the recent pandemic—Siemens was able to pivot quickly to remote work. Hanna, Markus, Frederik, and Anthony led that charge, enabling more than 300,000 employees to work securely from anywhere, with a little help from Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) of course.

Zscaler EVP of Customer Experience and Transformation Kavitha Mariappan interviewed Captain Scott Kelly, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and astronaut, noted for holding the record for time spent in outer space. Captain Kelly talked about how he pushed himself beyond limits to achieve his (lofty) goals. He also described in detail what it was like to pilot a spacecraft outside of earth’s atmosphere.

Zenith Live is known for its breadth of breakout sessions, and this year featured some engrossing customer presentations, partner sessions, and hands-on training. Some popular session topics included a Zscaler Cloud Firewall demo, technical deep-dive into the Zscaler Client Connector, and best practices for network transformation. One session was particularly well-attended: Zscaler Solution Architect Takayoshi Takaoka offered an interactive architectural whiteboard workshop on “Application Transformation for Zero Trust.”

Zscaler Director of Transformation Strategy Lisa Lorenzin moderated a panel composed of Asia-Pacific-region IT leaders for the session “Women in IT: Confidence and Collaboration Bring IT Career Success." Lisa was joined by Firuza Karimova, Head of Malware Protection & Network Security for Standard Chartered Bank; Indrani Chandrasegaran, Managing Director of Accenture Security with Accenture; and Jody Davids, former CIO at PepsiCo. They talked about their experience navigating the enterprise IT world, and shared advice for skills development, career advancement, and building support networks. 

Zenith Live 2020 continues tomorrow at 8:00 AM SGT. (There’s still time to register, by the way!) We’ll hear from Andy Greenberg, the author of Sandworm, who will share his experience tracking the NotPetya malware outbreak. There will also be product innovation news, and customer journey stories from innovative organizations like Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Sanofi, Unilever, and many more. I hope you can join me for day two!

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