CORK at Pax8 Beyond 2024!

Geek Speak

We caught up with Carlson Choi - the charasmatic CEO of up-and-coming Cork at the Pax8 Beyond 2024 event in Denver during June 2024, Cork is in the small and medium business (SMB) space. This is a solution for Managed Services Providers (MSP) to add to their portfolios. 

Furthermore - we discussed Cork's innovative solutions to enhance MSPs' revenue streams and margins. They highlighted the cyber warranty and security platform, endpoint-based pricing, and partnerships with digital cyber insurance brokers. Emphasis was placed on community feedback in shaping Cork's strategic initiatives, with potential savings on cyber insurance policies through continuous monitoring and warranty work as a gap coverage.


Listen to the podcast HERE!  


Harry Brelsford  00:01

Hey, nation, nation. It is the last day of the Pax8 Beyond 2024 conference in Denver, Colorado, out at the Gaylord. It's fantastic. I'd encourage you to come next year. I've been to everyone, and I'm with the CEO of cork, Carlson. Choi. Carlson, so nice to meet you.

Calrson Choi  00:21

Well, nice to meet you, Harry. Thank you for taking the time. Yeah, absolutely.

Harry Brelsford  00:24

So I hear good things about cork. You know, I'm an analyst, a podcaster, maybe a BS or but I do hear a lot in the industry, yeah, and so I kind of need to know that well, first of all, tell me quickly, what was, what's your background? How did you end up being the CEO? Well, interesting

Calrson Choi  00:43

My career, I've probably spent majority of not an entire career working on technology across multiple industry. Early days, a startup got in the enterprise software, and then I got a 10 year mark. I know for 10 years I got in video game industries, respectable part of my career. Yeah. Then I got in the restaurant toys, but all around, all that has always been around, how do we use technology efficiently, specifically to help all? Franchisee was typically a small, medium business. In the last five years, I was in the business with a company called Datto. Oh yeah, back up.

I really got just in love with the MSP community. So after the data acquisition, the founder, Austin McCourt, said, Hey, there's more to do. The kid, what can we do with the MSP community? He myself, and Jim and John McNeil, who's also the proud president, CEO of Tesla, said, there's an opportunity for us to create a new solution for the MSP community, for them to generate new Mr in the business. That's one cork.

Harry Brelsford  01:47

Okay, what do you do? What's your product stack? What's the secret sauce?

Calrson Choi  01:51

Super simple. You think about cork. There's two critical elements. One, we have created a cyber warranty that MSP can actually resell to end client. And then second, we also include a security platform that really plugs into the MSP existing security stack. No switch. I'll need. It takes five minutes for them to underwrite all of the client policy, extremely simple. Then that new MRR, we're finding a lot of our MSP today are making anywhere between 50 to 100% margin.

Harry Brelsford  02:21

Yeah, yeah. Cool. Tell me about one or two of your strategic initiatives?

Calrson Choi  02:26

A couple of interesting things. A lot of strategic initiative is actually driven by the community. We talked to the MSP partner. They tell us what we need. Those two major things would be really finding us or spending a lot of time in one an area where it can kind of continue to evolve our price point. MSP, we all know you guys sell by end user, endpoint. Well, we're now moving into that model. We have additional option beyond a single tenant pricing in the endpoint based pricing. So that's a big aha moment for the MSP, but then one exciting thing that we actually announced this week at the Pax8 event is a partnership with data stream, which is an online digital cyber insurance broker, yep. Important aspect here is that right cork now have enabled you to sell warranty and put cyber warranty for your services, just like a car. You buy a car, you get a warranty, that cyber warranty won your services and work then now we can also, in addition to that, partner with data should using all the data we have help you to get the best cyber insurance policy for your end client. Now we're already seeing in our testing period, looking anybody 20 to 50% saving for the same policy you can get on the open market. Why? Because they got the cork protection platform continuous monitoring and to be able to have the warranty work as a gap coverage. So that's really a win win for the SMB, and for us and the MSP,

Harry Brelsford  03:46

I'm glad you said insurance. I'm going to ask a question, and I think I already know the answer is no, but I served a client back in Austin, Texas that was in a slightly different take, because he mentioned cars and they did third party maintenance. So when hardware would start to expire, right, they would underwrite an insurance policy to extend the life of it, the SLA, and they hit pretty good in the pandemic, because you couldn't buy laptops, right? I believe the answer is no, but you don't, you don't cross over into third party maintenance.

Calrson Choi  04:21

Do you know on the warranty part, are we primarily, really focusing on the protecting any type of financial damages, and even an insurance side, right? Any damage against ransomware, okay, business email compromise, even like spear phishing, the typical thing you get on texting, right? Somebody get a text, hey, I'm your boss. New CEO. I'm serious, Jim, send me a 500 gift card. Those are the thing we protect. Against attack.

Harry Brelsford  04:45

Yeah, and we have just a little bit of time left. But do you do have you done strategic acquisitions? Are you going to do that in 25 Have you grown by acquisition? No.

Calrson Choi  04:57

I mean our growth right now. We know we've been. Maybe right? We incubated the company for what good full year. Wanted to make sure we get the best product possible. We built a strong MSP community to guide us with the roadmap. We came out of stealth finally a year ago, so we've been in market actively for the last year, but our network grew from zero to 400 overnights, and then for us, it's been great, and we continue on to serve and love this MSP community.

Harry Brelsford  05:20

Yeah, yeah, cool. You're on the floor with the presence here at it the Pax eight. It's been a long couple days. Pax eight, well,

Calrson Choi  05:31

my feet is killing you, yeah.

Harry Brelsford  05:33

How's the show? How you doing? You like the traffic,

Calrson Choi  05:37

the people so busy up with I think it's unique, because I think we have found a open greenfield, right? Every place the market got, you know, I think the market has gotten better. We're getting much more security focused, yeah, while for us, you know, we're continuing adding new value specific area the MSP typically can offer with the tools we're giving them, the a bit the additional assurance that they can provide to the incline, but the fourth been great. You know, if anyone is local, you know, look us up, take a picture.

Harry Brelsford  06:05

Yeah, yeah, great. Well, and let's end on that. I know, before we started, you told me, where's your HQ, where are you located? I understand you have some field offices. Yeah,

Calrson Choi  06:15

we pretty much, you know, we decided to be a virtual organization. Okay, I think we really lived in a world now, okay, we have a registered address in Delaware headquarters. But the reality is, you know, we're a widespread virtual organization. I got development team in Connecticut, resources in Boston, Jersey, Florida, Arizona and California. I actually believe in this world now, in this century, really be able to hide the best talent, let them live where they live. Yeah, it's my job as a leader to figure out how to make them work together. Yeah,

Harry Brelsford  06:48

yeah, any future shows coming up that I might see at, are you on the docket for, I don't know, it nation or we, and all

Calrson Choi  06:56

the shows you know, every single show that MSP, where the communities are? We gonna be there starting this year, we spent a year really building up the initial ecosystem. Now, in this show, a lot of our existing partner, MSP, we call them right the existing partner are bringing their peer group over. So we want to be there for them, take pictures, sharing the experience together. Well, great. We're

Harry Brelsford  07:17

We're going to talk in six months. I want to hear more about your strategic initiative. So Safe travels. Thank you absolutely.


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