Brian Barnes, CTO, Coretek, believes leadership takes on many forms for a cloud-focused Managed Service Provider. Vetting innovative technologies and building packaged solutions takes a team approach. With any team, the coordination of solution development takes many unique skill sets. One of the most important is how a very technical and complicated solution offering is packaged and then translated to Business Value. Decisions are made mostly at the executive level, and because of that, the details of how a specific technology works are often not what is needed to win the deal . Translating the strength of a solution to how it addresses a specific industry challenge is where the magic resides. Telling that story is where a CTO’s value is. That bridge between Technology and Business processes.
According to Brian, data protection, zero-trust, and perimeter security keep C-Level IT leaders up at night. Data breaches, Ransomware attacks, social engineering, and phishing continue to be attack vectors pursued by identity thieves and state sponsored cyber criminals. Things have changed even more due to the pandemic, and devices are now accessing company networks through VPN, App Gateways like mail clients and Virtual Desktop Access more than ever. If not protected, that data can be accessed from devices within your four walls one day and accessing via public networks the next, waiting for unsuspecting and unprotected devices in the wild to be attacked. This new way of work has produced new ways of thinking about security.
Coretek’s partnership with Microsoft has shaped their understanding of customers' challenges and how they build products to overcome those complexities. Cloud-based SIEM Solutions in Azure and Microsoft Products that, if owned at the right levels, enable increased security protection. Coretek has built its Security Operations Center (SOC) on native Microsoft tools that customers may in part, already own. Coretek is bringing new managed service offerings to customers that rely on the strength of Microsoft Modern Management and Secure Cloud-Based SIEM and SOAR solutions to overcome the challenges here today.
Coretek is constantly vetting new solutions to onboard and partner with. Over the last 5 years, there has been explosive growth in tech startups and solutions that address cloud migration, cloud analysis, costing, automation, and cloud security. Coretek is focused on helping customers adopt the Microsoft products they currently own or procure and manage those Microsoft solutions and assets through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.
However, building a partner ecosystem and developing solution offerings is a key responsibility of any CTO. Architecting different solutions together while telling the story of how it addresses significant business challenges is what Brian does. “With that, our partnerships stretch around a customer’s unique cloud journey. For adopting, building and standardizing cloud native applications, Coretek has partnered with HashiCorp,” he says. “Our Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) projects leverage Terraform which enables infrastructure automation for provisioning, compliance, and management of any cloud, datacenter, and service.” Coretek has also been a long-time partner of Imprivata. “One of the newest Imprivata solutions I am excited about is Imprivata’s Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution. This product offering allows Coretek to minimize the risk of data breaches associated with compromised privileged credentials and meet wide-ranging regulatory compliance requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, HITRUST and NIST to name a few.”
Coretek’s Intellectual Property (IP) and product offerings allow their customers to engage with their own unique cloud journey. Coretek has developed a solution called “Insights,” that helps their customers manage and track their cloud spending, automate cloud tasks, and govern your Microsoft M365 and Azure environments. Brian states, “This differentiates us from other competitors in providing true value at no attached costs.”
For instance, Learning Care Group (LCG), the second-largest for-profit childcare provider in the United States, operating across ten brands with approximately 1000 learning centers and serving up to 150,000 children each day, engaged with Coretek to embark on a cloud transformation journey initiated by their need to exit a co-located data center, where their contract would expire at the end of October 2020. LCG had a great interest in Azure but was uncertain of the investment required to migrate and how they would apply governance to this new cloud environment. So naturally, since Coretek is a nationally recognized Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, the decision to partner with Coretek made complete sense. Coretek's Smart Managed Services, coupled with the stability and reliability of Azure, enables Learning Care Group to focus on growing their business, not managing IT infrastructure. Instead of viewing IT as a budget item, they now leverage IT to help evolve their business, improve their customer's engagement and experience with their learning centers and, in turn, continue to grow and lead innovation in their industry.