When I started in the IT industry I loved it. I had a chance to follow two passions – technology and helping companies become more effective. Things that used to take hours manually now could be done in seconds. Most of the companies that existed had a true passion early to provide value to their clients.  After all this was a new field. We had to explain the difference between RAM and hard drives.   We spent time with our clients to determine their needs and the best way to solve business security challenges. Why now are there so many excess costs included in the activities in the cyber security industry?

  1. In the past five years, security has been on a growth rate that hasn’t been witnessed in the technology industry before. Companies are jumping in with free drinks.   RSA, which just occurred, is notorious for the extravagant methods Value Added Resellers (VAR’s) and vendors use to cater to their customers. Major manufacturers rent out entire bars or host exclusive dining events to attract their clients.  There are offers to fly out key executives for “free” and cater to them, their families, etc.,  at spa events, golf events, and sporting events.   All of the “free” entertainment, however, comes at an expense.  The companies that spend money on events are taking off their bottom line of profitability — money that could be spent on salary increases for staff, research, or saved earnings for the shareholders.
  2. Security is serious business and should be treated as such.  Too many manufacturers are creating white noise that is getting very difficult to decipher what’s real and what’s not.  That’s where the VAR should be coming in to help.  But instead, our industry is portraying the main objectives as the amount of  money they can earn. We witness this sometimes when a new manufacturer visits FocusPoint Technologies.  They start by telling us how much money we can make. We have to correct them by stating we first need to understand what the technology can do and where it fits in the security stack. More importantly, we explain how we help companies mature their program, and that may not include a technical solution at this time.
  3. Companies are paying for these “free events.” Instead of these monies being applied to the cost of the product, it is increasing the cost of the product. When your VAR takes you out for that $5,000 dinner, realize that you paid for that in your cost of the product.

I have always found it disturbing when the company that I worked for spent money on frivolous things. I might be in the minority but if you do business with me I want you to make money but not gouge me.   When I see pictures of your office with 5 luxury cars parked inside, I can’t help to think that maybe your clients overpaid for your products and services.  When I see picture after picture on your web site of your events at expensive restaurants, I can’t help think the clients are paying a premium.  When see pictures of your new office with a gourmet chef for the staff, how much of a premium does the client pay for this luxury?  I think the industry should reexamine how it attracts clients and why we are here.

At FocusPoint Technologies, we are about providing extraordinary value to our clients.  We don’t hold extravagant events, own a huge building, have a gourmet chef on staff, instead we pass the savings onto our clients.  We are an alternative to other VAR’s.

To my colleagues in the industry, next time you hold a $10,000 event to attract one client consider sending your money here instead:

Feed my Starving Children

$10,000 feeds a village