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Five-minute interview: Ken Tripp, Netwrix

Ken Tripp, director of cyber security player Netwrix’s managed services programme, is the latest to share some personal details

Morning, Ken. Tell us what you do for a living.

I am director of the managed services programme at cyber security vendor Netwrix. The main goal of my role is understanding the cyber security market from the point of view of our MSP [managed services providers] partners to ensure Netwrix helps drive their growth. Learning the challenges our partners face, the client needs they need to address, and the trends they are seeing in certain regions or verticals ensures our close engagement with them, which is my chief aim as head of the Netwrix MSP programme.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I am a curious person and curiosity leads to remarkable things. The cyber security market is in constant motion, continuously changing. A single entity or person cannot have all the answers. Being able to ask why and opening your mind to thoughts and ideas from partners enables one to gain understanding and then apply strategy to an initiative. It is good to be curious!

What gets you up in the morning?

Unfortunately, an alarm and not the sun. Jokes aside, I have a great passion for what I do and it inspires me in the morning. I get the opportunity to create, strategise and think every day. Couple that with being in an industry that is growing exponentially, and every day presents a new challenge and a new opportunity for personal growth.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

Way too many to mention…My family, teammates, colleagues and bosses. Also, cheers to those who have doubted any of us!

What is the best or worst business advice you have received?

The best piece of advice came from my current boss: “We are in the revenue business!” Not only does that ring true for every company I have ever worked for, but it reminds me that our partners are in the revenue business, too. It completely changes the mindset when engaging with partners: no matter the features or functionality our technology can provide, the real question is what contribution we can make to their pipeline.

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

There are tremendous opportunities for career movement and growth, but those opportunities do not come without mastering your position first. Always look to learn beyond your job description, but make sure to ace the test in front of you.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

I anticipate a continued transformation from value-added reseller [VAR] to managed security service provider.

The demand for better IT security has quickly expanded from enterprises all the way to small businesses over the past four to five years, and there are just not enough security practitioners to fill the need, nor do all businesses have the budget to hire and retain these skilled employees.

Therefore, businesses will continue to outsource this crucial component to partners that prove to be trusted advisers. I see the channel addressing the needs of the growing market by offering more and more services at scale.

Have you learnt anything new – guitar, painting etc – during the pandemic?

I mastered my cooking abilities. I added a few new recipes to my arsenal over that time. Some have stayed on the home menu, but others have not...

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

Any goal is related to my golf game: when you reach a goal in golf, a new one is immediately set. It’s always good to have a goal in life.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

It’s called 30 Seconds or Less. This is a communications book centred around how long you have to keep someone’s attention and how to redirect the conversation to ensure the key points of your message come across. Great lesson for both business and personal life – “just get to the point!”

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