When I travel for work, I usually crash on other people’s couches. Not literally — those days are behind me — but figuratively speaking. I travel to customer sites, to discuss their challenges, or I travel to industry shows to meet with lots of people and look for themes or trends that can help inform our product team. It’s through these customer meetings that I get new insights, new knowledge, and new inspiration to bring back to the team at headquarters.
Next week is a little different. Instead of going out to visit customers, we’re bringing customers together to visit with each other. That’s because next week is Centrify Connect: The Identity Security Conference.
I often learn so much from a single customer visit, and now we are going to have tons of customers gathered together “at our place” (okay, really at a swanky hotel next to Central Park in Manhattan). Not only am I in for a lot of great discussions and learning, but I am most excited to connect customers with each other as well.
Back when I was in IT, I learned WAY more from other IT people than I ever did from classes or tutorials. It’s one thing to read docs, or watch videos to see how to implement something. But it’s always way more powerful to talk to folks who have already implemented, configured and had some lessons learned along the way. That’s why I love user conferences so much — they’re a great way to get a ton of best practices from real users — real “practitioners” all in one concentrated event.
We’ve got General Michael Hayden — retired four-star General and the former director of the CIA and the NSA. For real. I can’t wait to hear General Hayden speak about his perspective on today’s cyber risks.
Want more? Well, we’ve also got cryptographer and general security luminary, Bruce Schneier. He’s written 13 books, hundreds of articles and will be weighing in on what it means to be a private person in today’s connected world.
I’m truly honored and excited to have been chosen as the MC for this event. Just a chance to be on stage with the experts and customers we’ve got, is a once-in-a-career experience. Plus, when I hear “New York,” and “MC” in the same sentence, I think Beastie Boys. I think Run DMC. I think Jay Z. And now, I will think Chris Webber as well. Pretty good company. [ed — Chris has confused the meaning of MC. He will not be rapping. He will be hosting. Unless he ignores my orders…]
I guess what I am trying to say here is: I can’t wait to “connect” with you at Connect! And if you aren’t able to make it, well, let me know if you have a couch I can crash on at your HQ, and I’ll try to bring a little Connect to you!