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Third Party Integrations Should Be An Integral Part of Product Plans

Companies that include 3rd-party integrations as part of their product plan ensure long-term value for their customers' success

Security requirements of enterprises are varied, and contrary to the one-stop-shop movement, enterprises still buy security products from multiple vendors. While some enterprises do it as a part of an IT plan, most companies end-up with disparate products due to niche needs, acquisitions, etc. In this environment of multiple security products, the customer is typically left holding the ‘integrator bag’. Most security products do not interoperate or integrate with others in the infrastructure, leading to operational nightmares, and may undermine the very problem they are trying to solve by creating security gaps.

All security companies, big and small, need to realize that they are neither the first, nor will they be the last security product in the customer environment, and make an earnest effort to use standards-based or published APIs to integrate and interoperate with other security and infrastructure solutions. (Also read recent blog “Security Teams Must Take Control of Virtual Networks.”)

Initially at Altor Networks our own product features dominated the product plan. As we spoke with customers, we realized that the integrations they requested to address current pain would add tremendous value to both our own and our partners’ products. The first integration we brought to market was the ability to extend the hardware IDP solution into the virtualized server environment. This benefited the customer in many ways – a) leverage customers’ current investment in IDS systems, b) avoid bogging-down the virtual server with a resource-intensive IDS operation that slows down virtualized applications, c) re-gain visibility into the virtual switching layer that they lost with virtualization, d) ensure there are no security gaps since all intrusion detection and subsequent action work-flow operated seamlessly, e) bring virtualized applications back into compliance.

Building upon the success of the IDS integration, we added further integration points such as Netflow (Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR), Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) , NetQoS, and Q1 Labs) and Syslog export to deliver a comprehensive, centralized, view of the data center (Juniper, ArcSight (NASDAQ: ARST), and Q1 Labs).

In today’s climate of aggressive product schedules and diminishing resources, companies that include 3rd Party Integrations as part of their product plan ensure long-term value for their customers' success by supporting a vision for cohesive security solutions.

More Stories By Catherine Edwards

Catherine Edwards is a marketing consultant.

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