My exclusive 1:1 with Continuum CEO Michael George at Navigate 2019 started with George literally offering me the jacket off his back. Yes – there is a backstory to this. At the Navigate 2017 conference in Las Vegas, I noticed how well dressed the executives and attendees were, and being Seattle casual,
I didn’t have a sport coat, George loaned me his (read about it HERE). Sure enough I forgot my sport jacket again in 2019 and George again offered me his.
But let’s talk 2019. I double clicked down into George’s comments about his use of the word “pandemic” to describe the state of cyber attacks in the small and medium business (SMB) space impacting managed services providers (MSPs) during his keynote HERE. “Cyber security attacks have no geographic or category boundaries.” George stated after sharing that pandemic refers to something that is prevalent across the whole country or world. “All entities need cyber security.”
Figure 1: Hanging with sport coat wearing Michael George.
Discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI)
I’ve made no secret that I don’t like the buzz word “AI” having spent time in a Big Data predictive analytics startup LeadScorz that leaned heavily on machine learning. Isn’t AI just a HAL 9000-like concept from “2001 – A Space Odyssey.” I challenged George to paint the “AI” picture from Continuum’s perspective. “The traditional modality of the MSP is that of man fixing machines.” George said. “But in the spirit of efficacy and immediacy in resolving problems, a mere mortal MSP can’t keep up.” Continuum has acquired massive amounts of data via Intellimon where it collects information from 1.5m end points under management (that’s part of the Continuum secret sauce not matched by direct competitors). “That training data is used to build the AI corpus that can then be leveraged across all Continuum MSP partners to better solve customer problems.”
So why AI right here right now? “AI has changed a lot over the past three years. First, cost have declined in developing the processing power necessary to ‘do AI.’ For example, the multi-processor chip sets are cheaper. Second, the ability to access structured and unstructured data has improved. And third – the cloud platform is elastic to accommodate large project-specific workloads on the fly.” George concluded.
Bottom line – Look for Continuum to continue to invest forward in AI over the next year.
As an aside, it was two years ago this week at Navigate that George also appropriately addressed the Las Vegas mass shooting tragedy that had happened the day before about ten blocks away that I covered HERE.