First of all, I'd like to congratulate the Venafi Ecosystem team -- Bridget Hildebrand, Paul Cleary and Kevin Bocek – for helping customers learn how the Venafi ecosystem is future-proofing customer success in Machine Identity Management. At the Summit, we had four times the number of technology partners and developers this year than we had last year. There were dozens of opportunities to learn directly in expert sessions and virtual discussions. The direct impact of machine identity management now being critical and required is the Venafi ecosystem investing more and in turn driving their business success. To learn more about why the Venafi ecosystem has become such a phenomenon, I recently spoke with the someone who has been deep in the ecosystem’s development, Kevin Bocek.
Why is the Venafi ecosystem so hot right now?
So, I think that the industry is seeing machine identity management as a strategic piece to their own success, and clearly identify Venafi as the leader in that space. Leaders like Gigamon, A10, Checkpoint, Citrix, and F5 recognize the importance of machine identity management and Venafi to our joint customers’ success.
What makes the Venafi ecosystem so valuable?
First and foremost, the ecosystem helps to future-proof customer success. But it also future-proofs the success of other participants in the ecosystem. More customers who require machine identity management just means that Venafi ecosystem becomes more important to the success of the ecosystem itself, and that includes customers and the participants. And that's why we call it an ecosystem: because it grows, and it creates benefit for all participants. Participants continue to grow and thrive as part of the whole, rather than just individually. That's why we call it ecosystem and not alliance, because the word alliance doesn't adequately reflect that symbiotic benefit.
How do you see ecosystem momentum continuing to build over the next year?
When we started in Venafi ecosystem, there was no ‘glue’ to bring together leading developers and innovators to build for machine identity management. Importantly, we had a vision story. The one thing that makes humans so different than other mammals is that we share stories and jointly develop a vision together. And that is how we learn and progress. And now that vision is attracting more and more customers, technology partners, and developers. Now that vision has evolved into a customer requirement (validated by Gartner and others). And that's going to just drive more and more growth. So, the Venafi ecosystem has entered an exponential growth phase. Or, as I like to say, it’s now a self-sustaining, diverse ecosystem.
You recently gave out Ecosystem awards. How did you choose the recipients?
I think they all have something unique in their story, and they're kind of all different. Here are the awards I gave out during my keynote address at the recent Machine Identity Management Global Summit.
- Citrix got the Automation Innovator Award for bringing new levels of automation for machine identities. They did a great job building integration with Venafi into the latest release of Citrix Application Delivery Management. This integration represents a new level of automation available to Venafi customers, not seen before. According to Asit Mohapatra, “Our vision is to provide flawless application experience and maintain a consistent security posture for all the applications across hybrid multi-cloud environment. With this integration with Venafi, we have been able to automate the complete certificate lifecycle management.”
- Difenda is now the top developer by revenue on the Venafi marketplace. They are building a multi-million-dollar recurring revenue business in the Venafi ecosystem. It proves the success of being part of the Machine Identity Management Development Fund. “We've identified the need for building this integration for ServiceNow for a while now,” notes Jeffry Jacob. "There's so much focus on so many other security mechanisms, but no one pays enough attention to machine identities. And everyone's aware of the risk that it creates, so just to help solve that problem.”
- DigiCert had the most downloads on the Venafi marketplace for the DigiCert CertCentral driver. The team did a great job of updating the driver to respond to customer needs. In accepting the award, Jeremy Rowley commented, “Well it's one thing that our customers really ask for a lot, and Venafi adds a bunch of features that enhance the CertCentral and DigiCert experience. So, we love having Venafi as a partner.”
- Greg Brownsteinwas the first Open Source developer in the Venafi ecosystem, and published his VenafiPS project on GitHub about 5 years ago. He is a real trailblazer. When asked why he loved building for machine identity management, Greg responded, “Well who doesn't want to make the world a safer place with machine identity management. The goal in an IT world is to automate and make it easier, but to make it safe all at the same time.” Greg has now developed his second open source project – a native Azure DevOps extension to automate machine identities – as part of the Indie Devs program.
- Siggi Skulason was the first recipient of an Indie Dev sponsorship within the Machine Identity Management Development Fund. Siggi is mainly concerned about machine identities for IoT and edge computing. “When you have devices that are just vastly growing in numbers, it becomes so important for these devices to be able to authenticate themselves and communicate and to prevent malicious agents from affecting these devices and the communications between them.”
If you are excited to explore all the benefits of the Venafi ecosystem, I really encourage you to head out to the Venafi marketplace to check out all the innovations that can help you go faster safer as you build out your business's machine identity management strategy and program.