Discover more from What's Hot in Enterprise IT/VC
What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #333
Time for brass knuckle 👊🏼 sales tactics - lessons from Dscaler from Cloudflare
🙏🏼 for the Fed! To recap, here’s my thoughts from last Saturday.
The beauty of the echo chamber is that products like ChatGPT can be instant hits overnight, but at the same time, the mob can turn quickly and, in this case, create a bank run at the speed of which has never been seen before. I’m not here to opine on SVB management or if VCs caused this, but what I can say is that there are thousands of tech employees who are and will be severely impacted if deposits are not 100% honored. Let’s 🙏🏼 that the Fed does the right thing and steps up and guarantees deposits after all assets have been sold. If not, SVB, IMO, will lead to a massive ripple effect, a rapid flight to safety and quality, and potentially put other smaller, regional banks like First Republic, Signature…into similar paths of destruction. Best case scenario is a larger bank like a JPM Chase or Morgan Stanley takes over the SVB deposits and honors them fully on Monday morning similar to what happened to Washington Mutual during the mortgage crisis.
My only hope coming out of this is that all of us in the startup world approach the coming years with more humility. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve lived through the mini equivalent of the dot.com bust and 2008 financial crisis and it’s clear that the next few months will still be challenging. That being said, I’m proud of the resilience that many founders displayed last week and I strongly believe this generation of founders who once only saw 📈 will build some amazing, efficient businesses and bring a healthy skepticism to too much sizzle 🥓 and not enough steak 🥩. Let’s get back to building 🏗️ and investing!
Switching gears, we all know that in the IT space, growing net new logos is incredibly difficult, and if you’re going to land a new customer, it’s likely a replacement so the buyer can consolidate spend or do more with less 💰. To that end, I simply love this aggressive sales campaign from Cloudflare.
While most folks talk about Palo Alto Networks and Crowdstrike in the security space, Cloudflare is an absolute juggernaut as well with close to $1B revenue. Cloudflare recently unveiled a host of new products during its security week while also launching a campaign to go after market leader Zscaler in the SASE (secure access service edge) space.
If you’re a founder, I highly recommend reading and learning from this. This is old school, brass knuckle, kill your competition sales tactics.
It’s a textbook 101 campaign with simple messaging for “no risk” change from Zscaler starting with the name Dscaler 🤣. It covers messaging, technical one click migration, target customer size and persona, ROI calculators vs. Zscaler, user benefits, and financial flexibility.
Technical migration tools. In addition to providing people and processes focused on supporting your migration, Cloudflare can help you leverage a suite of technical tools and scripts that in just a few clicks, automatically export settings and configurations of already deployed Zscaler products to be migrated into Cloudflare One. This toolkit is positioned to save countless hours of unnecessary point-and-click time wasted.
The magic of this flow is in its simplicity. Following extract, transform, and load (ETL) best practices, using supported and documented API calls to your current account, the Descaler toolkit will export your current configuration and settings from ZIA or ZPA, transform them to be Cloudflare One-compatible before migrating into a new Cloudflare One account.
In addition, the key is being financially flexible as well on accounts. Perhaps you have 3 months left in an existing contract with a competitor. Well, we can give it to you for free for 3 months if you install now and the contract can start after that.
Escape hatch for your current contract. Don’t let your existing contract be a stopper to your long term security modernization. Cloudflare is committed to making the migration process as cost-effective as possible – which means tools and flexible financial options for customers to reach escape velocity from Zscaler and land safely with Cloudflare. You won’t regret this interaction come renewal time.
Kustomer, in its early days, was quite successful going after Zendesk with not only 1 click exports of data but also flexible pricing to land customers for free, months in advance to get them hooked on its product before kicking in the actual contract until the Zendesk contract expired.
If you’re still a small startup and don’t want to publicly go after the 🦍 in the space, that’s ok as well. Just make sure you have all of the product marketing messaging, collateral and ROI calculators to arm your sales team with as they slog it out on RFPs and POCs to take down the market leaders. Another great way to kickstart a mini, less visible attack on the incumbent is by targeting local events and customer conferences of the incumbent. We will clearly see more of these takeout campaigns as net new sales are harder to come by for the remainder of 2023.
As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues. May you also find time to rest as well as it was quite a week!
Tried and trueEnterprise founders, you know you have a mission critical product when your startup shows up in board slides and conversations. Also great way to generate visibility before you raise your next round. Seen so many successful preemptive fundraises by focusing on happy customers! https://t.co/kCxywVgn57
Zuck’s letter worth a read - what an amazing pivot from spending like a drunken sailor to being one of hardest core CEOs on productivity - yes, lean = go faster
Marc, one of cofounders of Netflix, keeps it simple
AI everywhere as Microsoft (see Bing sidebar), Google and other race to embed. Coming soon to Windows so even without deep integration into an application, you can still get instant access to AI models. Also Adept (founders worked at OpenAI) announced it’s $350M raise at $1B valuation and is building an overlay window on top of Chrome + Salesforce. Who’s going to win? AI in operating system, in browser, in applications directly, and as a download. Going to be fun to watch!
Practically speaking, Adept’s ACT-1 displays as an overlay window on top of existing software like Google Chrome or Salesforce. A prototype is ready for desktop, but Luan said it will also be available on mobile in the future. The company has “commitments and targets on the revenue side” from a handful of partners, he added, but would not say when the public would be able to play with the AI assistant. “The degree of interest from the [corporate investors] I think shows some sense of the maturity [of the product],” he offered.
I’ve been playing around with Microsoft Edge Browser along with GPT-4 integration and it’s pretty slick
And here’s Google - table stakes to summarize, draft, and suggest - but there’s more
Nice job by Francis and Rak on this breakdown of Palo Alto Networks + race to see who becomes first $100B cybersecurity company
Why datadog so great and so vulnerable
More on GPT-4
Security use cases for GPT-4