Automox’s senior technical support engineer, Adam Whitman is in charge of managing the company’s customer support organization and overseeing a lot of customer success initiatives. In his role, Adam sees himself as an advocate for customers as he negotiates new features and fixes with the engineering team.
“I often go to engineering and advocate for customers. Sometimes they’ll come back and say ‘we have X features that we can’t take off the roadmap right now,’ and I’ll have to justify why I think a particular feature should be prioritized. It’s a lot of back and forth with the engineering team and negotiations on behalf of the customer.”
In this week’s Get to Know the Automox Team blog post, Adam discusses his role as Senior Technical Support Engineer, what he thinks about cybersecurity and why Automox’s customer-first methodology is the secret to our success.
Because it’s one of the fastest-growing IT industries where total market spend is in the billions, Adam believes that cybersecurity is an exciting and fascinating industry to be a part of and something that should stay top of mind for any IT administrator.
Cybersecurity continues to be a high priority for a lot of companies, so the opportunity to grow and innovate in the space is endless. And to be a part of the solution is a rewarding experience, according to Adam.
“It’s exciting to see what customers’ use cases are, how they’re adopting the platform and how we’re making a difference in the cybersecurity industry.”
Software poses a lot of different vulnerabilities today, and with shadow IT, a lot of IT admins have no control as to what types of software is being installed on devices. Consequently, endpoint security is very important as vendors are rolling out patches to protect vulnerabilities that they’re finding internally before they’re actually found by hackers.
But in spite of how rewarding it is to make a difference in an ever-evolving industry, IT infrastructure is never fully protected from cyber attacks. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to break through new firewalls and ACLs (access control lists) in order to access sensitive customer and corporate data. And once these bad actors find a vulnerability, a costly data breach is not far behind.
According to data from Juniper Research, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020, and by 2019, cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion — a four-fold increase from 2015.
Cybersecurity in the Next Five Years
In the next five years, Adam imagines the cybersecurity industry will only continue to evolve in complexity and density. But he also feels that the outlook isn’t completely dire. As cybercriminals continue coming up with new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in both hardware and software, companies like Automox will continue to innovate new ways to ensure IT managers have an easy way to keep all of their IT devices secure across the entire organization.
“As we gather more data and learn more patterns and cyberattacks, we will develop better strategies to combat these attacks.”
But how does Automox continue innovating its cloud-based, automated patch management platform in order to protect our digital future? By focusing on our customers and what they need first.
Automox’s Customer-First Approach
As previously mentioned, Adam believes the secret to our success is the customer-first methodology we follow within the support and engineering organizations.
“The passion we have to ensure customers are one of the highest priorities resonates throughout the organization, and naturally, it paves the way for things like low response times and good customer satisfaction ratings.”
Within any customer support organization, response time is one of the key metrics measured because the faster the response time is, the more confident a customer feels when they hit roadblock issues using the product. At Automox, the average initial support response times (5 hours) are much shorter than the web application industry average (16 hours) because Adam and the rest of the support and engineering teams emphasize our customers and their needs above almost everything else.
Additionally, customer success is the key to good customer retention and reducing churn, especially within a SaaS organization. The traditional IT sales model has less need for customer success because after the initial sale is made, there’s no incentive for the vendor to keep customers happy as the customer is already locked into using the product or service for a certain period of time. But with SaaS companies, customers pay to use a service, and at any time, they could go with a different vendor, which is why customer success has been recognized as a very critical component.
When it comes to retention, Adam says that the product needs to be intuitive and do everything the customer expects it to do. Additionally, support for the product needs to be responsive and resolve issues quickly so customers will continue to expand their use of the product.
“Your customer experience has to be positive from the beginning and continue into the life of the product. If it’s not, customers will likely not expand in terms of product use, or worse, churn.”
In cybersecurity, your relationship with customers has to be even tighter because customers are trusting you to protect their sensitive data, and trust requires a more intimate relationship. As a result, Adam and the rest of the support team ensure user experience (UX) remains top of mind and that they are constantly testing the products and processes that touch our customer base to guarantee that they are successful.
“The key to implementing even the most basic customer success strategy is to put yourself in their shoes. When using a cybersecurity product or service, customers want to feel comfortable and be able to sleep at night knowing their data is protected. That’s why when I work with the engineering and product teams, I give them feedback on what customers want and what issues they are running into.”
With that feedback, the product and engineering teams are able to develop a better product with better features. Customer success is also a very important part of sales and marketing processes because it helps to identify and leverage key features, as well as pain points.
For Adam, learning how Automox’s customers react to changes made within our product and within the organization has been a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.
“As we learn more about customer behavior and specific use cases, we’re able to continually evolve and improve our customer success strategy.”
Automox is a cloud-based patch management and endpoint protection platform that provides the foundation for a strong security framework by automating the fundamentals of security hygiene to reduce a company’s attack surface by over 80 percent. A powerful set of user-defined controls enables IT managers to filter and report on the vulnerability status of their infrastructure and intuitively manage cross-platform OS patching, third party patching, software deployment, and configuration management. To sign up for a free, 15-day trial of Automox’s cloud-based, automated patch management solution, visit www.automox.com/signup.