Trend Micro’s CEO Eva Chen was here in Sydney yesterday. Her aim was to talk to partners about the directions Trend Micro is taking with their products, and the local partner program which has just be relaunched under the Affinity Partner Program title. I’ll leave the specifics of the partner program to another post.
What struck me when arriving at the event was Eva’s openness which to be honest is something that I’ve come to expect from Trend Micro staff here in Australia, but it was fantastic to see that it extended all the way to the top of the chain. I was expecting that in order to get a few minutes with Eva, that I’d have to break through layers of bodyguards and security people – I mean – she is the CEO of a $1 billion dollar company after all. However when I arrived, I found Eva chatting to another SMB IT reseller about the pains that he faced in dealing with customers. Not a bodyguard in sight! Eva was not only talking to him but listening intently to the issues that he faced on a daily basis. I was introduced to Eva by one of the local Trend Product Managers – Ben Guthrie and we proceeded to talk about the things that we face selling and supporting the Trend Micro products, and I wanted to both give and receive feedback on how we could work better with them.
We then moved into the formal presentations, and Eva gave the normal company pitch about sales figures, staff and the like, and to be honest, I think she was nervous. The room had about 60 or so Trend partners, and distributors – many of which were SMB IT Resellers. Once the facts and figures were out of the way, she opened up into what Trend saw as threats in the digital world of today, and how they planned to combat them. We learned that it was 17 years since Eva was last here in Australia and that when she was last here, she was a one person exhibition stand at a computer show trying to promote her new antivirus product at the time. She was very open and revealed to us some upcoming products that they are working on that will really kick but in terms of being able to diagnose and block suspicious traffic down to a port level on the switch – very cool indeed. Eva said that her team didn’t want her talking much about this, so I’ll not go into details – but what it does show me is that Trend Micro really are thinking a few generations beyond what other security vendors are doing. We learned during the presentation that Eva actually wrote the first versions of Trend Micro’s Interscan Viruswall products – cool – she’s a geek at heart I thought. This really became apparent later in the session when Eva opened up big time with a very passionate discussion about the things we face in the future, how far we’ve come and how far we’ve got to go in order to protect our friends, families and business’ in this digital age. Here I think we saw the real Eva – a lady so passionate about technology and the challenges ahead that she was nearly jumping out of her skin. I’ve seen many CEO’s present before in person, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone as passionate about their responsibilities as Eva was.
Meeting Eva reaffirms my strong belief that Trend Micro is a business partner I want on my side, with a CEO that is as focused, passionate and willing to listen to the community like Eva, it’s all good. Thank you Eva for the chance to meet you and thanks for the time you took to share with us where we are all heading.
Footnote: Eva will be making a special virtual appearance at the upcoming SMBFocus conference here in Sydney in November – www.smbfocus.com