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When you've talked with enterprise customers and security procurers, what are their priorities heading into the new year? There seems to be a lot of concern about the evolving nature of threats but there aren't bags of money falling from the sky to allow them to spend a lot more, no?
What we've started to see from an industry perspective is not so much new spends, but shifting spends. I've had the opportunity, not only at Palo Alto but as CEO of VeriSign, to talk with lots of large companies and lots of customers and have meetings at very high levels with very large companies. When you're talking to the CEOs of major banks, they're not thinking about the technology, they're thinking about the business output. Topics like compliance and business management are for sure the topics in the boardrooms. It's really about the business solution: the outcome of what the technology enables as you go into the C-suite. So what they're demanding of their security professionals -- and this is a sea change -- is "Just take care of it." Those folks in turn are looking for technologies that are not in the same old, same old, and that's why we're rising to the top of the list.
That's interesting because it seems like it's changing the way channel partners sell to these companies. They're not just selling firewalls to IT managers, they're having business conversations with C-suite executives.
I think so. You know, there has not been a tremendous amount of innovation in this space in the last 20 years, so the security professionals have been selling the best that they have. This is an entirely different way to think about things and attack the problem, and it's the first time I've actually seen folks in this industry get really excited about something. That doesn't happen a lot. They're really jazzed about it because it's really different -- it's very relevant, and it's high visibility.
So no question these investments are a priority for these enterprise organizations?
Oh, I think so. You just have to pick up the newspaper and read about something terrible happening. I don't think you'll see a massive amount of more money spent, but I think you'll see a shifting of spend into things that are visibility-related.