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Q&A: Palo Alto Networks CEO On High Growth, Partner Investment And Edging Out The Competition

Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin sat down with CRN to discuss his company's investments with partners and how he's trying to keep a leg up on the competition.

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Who is your tough competition then? Is it An up-and-coming startup?

Anything is possible. When I joined Palo Alto Networks four years ago, I thought about the same thing ... I looked around four years ago, and there's tons of security companies getting funded, but not to be the platform play that Palo Alto Networks is. The ones that I've seen are more likely than not to end up being features of platforms over time, but not the platform itself ... If you went to [venture capital] with Nir Zuk's business plan from nine years ago -- his business plan said give me $100 million to build hardware to take on big legacy providers like Cisco in a market that they have commoditized. Fortunately, that got funded and you now have Palo Alto Networks ... That's a very difficult business plan to sell into the venture community, and that's why they're not there.

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