Airloom builds out Cloud-based security offering with Zscaler

Airloom builds out Cloud-based security offering with Zscaler

Founder challenges legacy on-premise approach to security taken by SIs

Sydney-based mobility and Cloud services provider, Airloom, has extended its security play with the addition of IT security vendor, Zscaler, to its product offering.

Airloom has been a mobility consulting practice for 10 years, focussed on the enterprise space. Its customers include Commonwealth Bank, The Australian Stock Exchange, Fairfax Media, News Limited and Boral.

CEO and founder, Chris Hagios, said business customers had been ill-served by traditional integrators, saying their approach to managing Cloud applications on-premise was irrelevant and that as a result, many of them were struggling to transition to Cloud.

He told ARN the company had identified the gap in the market when offering mobility solutions and, in the last few years, moved to address the market trend around Cloud and customers wanting to leverage services from Cloud providers.

“We have built out a solid Cloud practice which complements what we have been doing in the mobility space,” he said.

Hagios came from Optus where he was working in product management. He said he saw a gap in the market to address the needs of customers looking to adopt mobile technologies and started Airloom to address this need.

“We saw that, at that time, many of the systems integrators and technology practices had a legacy focus on traditional computing rather than mobile computing and we saw that as a great market opportunity to build a pure-play mobile consulting practice.

Hagios and his team saw that incumbent providers also had a legacy focus toward Cloud technologies, this time around appliances, and identified this as a gap in the market.

“A lot of customers were looking for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) capabilities to start with and we saw again an opportunity based on delivering a better end user experience.

Airloom was one of the first Australian partners of US-based Zscaler, which provides endpoint protection via a SaaS model. Hagios said the company had always played in the security space due to the importance of delivering mobile and Cloud services securely.

“We were doing a lot of perimeter design work around helping customers securely access these applications that sat in a corporate datacentre."

To facilitate this, the company partnered with networking vendor, F5, for delivery of mobile and later Cloud technologies.

Hagios said the transition to the mobile workforce, spurred by the emergence of Cloud, lead the company to seek out a Cloud-based security solution so its customers would not have to access business applications via a corporate datacentre which he said impacts on user experience.

Airloom's product offering through the Zscaler Cloud security platform
Airloom's product offering through the Zscaler Cloud security platform

Zscaler CISO, Michael Sutton, explained that the vendor invested in more than 100 datacentres before going to market to ensure its customers could have access to the service anywhere in the world without experiencing lag.

“Security in general was an appliance driven market,” he said.

“That worked when we had people working in an office and we gave them the corporate blessed computer on the corporate network, but started to fall apart as we had a more dynamic workforce."

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Tags zscalerChris HagosAirloomMichael Sutton

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