Fueling Innovation Through Our Customers

9.2.2015 | Orion Hindawi

The origin story

David and I started Tanium in 2007 because of a problem that was simple in concept and gargantuan in reality: our customers were asking us to do things we didn’t know how to do.

IT was being eaten alive, and no one could create a platform to gather the data and make changes fast enough to have a prayer. BigFix was providing a necessary service to our customers, but it needed to be faster. Way faster.

So we set out to invent that very platform, and we invented something that refactored a problem plaguing IT and security leadership for nearly 40 years. Finally, institutions had a chance against the sophisticated threats they faced every second: they now had the unique power to secure, control and manage millions of endpoints across the enterprise within 15 seconds.

And the market responded. Today, we announced an additional $120 million in financing to support the overwhelming global demand for the Tanium Endpoint Platform. Tanium is one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in the world, and we’re only at the very beginning of what the platform can do to revolutionize IT management and security as we know it. Our customers’ individual successes and daily feedback make us optimistic about the future — bad actors aren’t going anywhere, but the good guys have new weapons.

What’s surprised me the most about bringing Tanium to market was the amount of education we’ve had to do for our customers: they were absolutely convinced that what we were showing them was impossible. They had been using days- and weeks-old data their entire careers — to have nearly real-time data felt unnatural. They had built their whole worldview around a broken system and had to rediscover their relationship to data. Essentially, they had been driving a car, and then we handed them a plane. Now, it’s our responsibility at Tanium to help them clear out all those extra cars in the garage — for the good of their business, and the good of the industry.

A call for consolidation

The overwhelming majority of our customers are deploying eight or nine capabilities on the Tanium platform as soon as they are up and running: incident response, forensics — historically they had to be different point solutions.

What I think is most heartening about Tanium — and the biggest value we can give our customers — is the potential to rid customers of eight or nine products in one fell swoop, bringing new efficiency, massive cost savings and invaluable clarity to endpoint management and security.

Last week, I spoke with Bloomberg West about my expectations for consolidation in the cybersecurity space around technologies that really work. As customers consolidate their point solutions into a single platform, niche vendors will disappear — and this is great news.

Our customers are sick and tired. They are budgeting and spending more every year, but they’re still on Tiger team calls on Saturdays at 3 AM asking themselves “why is this not getting better?” Our industry has failed its customers by telling them their problems will go away if they deploy lots of solutions and stitch them together themselves. Existing solutions are worthless, and anti-virus is a relic of a time long gone — attacks are coming 10x faster than anything AV solutions are creating. In fact, many of our clients have shared that they are getting rid of anti-virus in their new fiscal years. We applaud that decision. Consolidation is key to the future of IT management and security — at the company level and industry level.

Our Technical Account Managers are in the field with our customers every day, and we seek their input on what tasks we can add to the platform.

The two problems we seek to solve when we design new modules:

  • Is this a problem that customers have to buy a whole different infrastructure to solve?
  • Is this problem really hard to scale?

If the answer is yes to both, we act. In fact, we’re already working on 10 additional modules that answer ‘yes’ to this criteria, including software license management, asset inventory and unmanaged asset protection.

Ultimately, our customer is our only litmus test at Tanium. We’re committed to creating products, not marketing messages, and it’s on days like today that we feel it most important to promise that we’re going to stick to that model: great product, honest marketing, transparent sales experience. And we’re not the only company committed to these values — Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft EMET are amazing examples of vendors putting the customers first.

This latest funding round will be used to do just that: more of the same. Thanks for going on this journey with us. Here’s to the next chapter.

Orion Hindawi, Co-founder & CTO

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