The IT colossus chose Swascan (cybersecurity cloud platform) for the 2016 edition of the most important italian technologic competition. All of this started a process that lead the company to change its business approach, foresee go-to-market and build relationships with national and international companies.
Working side by side with a corporation can help a startup sharpen and change its business approach and get to the market way sooner than expected. Basically that’s what happened to Swascan founders, cybersecurity ( Cybersecurity guide ) startup, which started a partnership with Cisco after winning Premio Cisco-Marzotto 2016 last December in the IT corporation dedicated section. Less than 6 months after the prizegiving the result of this partnership is very positive: “This situation guaranteed us a one-two year anticipation on our go-to-market. In addition the chance of concluding agreements with national and international suppliers.” says Pierguido Iezzi, Swascan co-founder.
What’s the premio Cisco-Marzotto about?
Premio Cisco-Marzotto is a sort of benchmark as far as SMEs and fresh startups innovation system is concerned. Each year the organization offers a rich prize to several bright enterprises. This edition total award will be over 2.500.000 euros between direct and indirect contributions. This is possible because of its wider and wider partners network. From last year Cisco came into play: Cisco special prize (a 50.000 euros worth tutoring process) dedicated to a startup that’s able to offer solutions and original products related to ICT/IOT tech for Industry 4.0 transformation. This kind of prize helped the little enterprise grow thanks to Cisco’s resources and contacts.
This is even more surprising considering that the two paths crossed when the startup was only a few months old.
►Premio Marzotto 2017: 2,5 millions to ascending SMEs and innovative startups.
Swascan’s “father” is a well-known name in this business, Raoul Chiesa. He is one of the main international security gurus and introduced this solution to the market in February 2016. It is a digital services suite which examines several aspects such as: web sites and web applications reliability, network solidity and source code quality. Swascan’s goal is to provide a tool that allows all kind of ICT security operators (corporations, SMEs and freelance workers) to be competitive and efficient.
Where is the difference?
Pierguido Iezzi says: “It has been a total game changer for us and the main difference we noticed was in terms of mentality. Cisco helped us all the way through. As a result we closed several deals in a short period of time: we will be in Fastwebs’s listing with our platform (we already tutored the first sales team). Moreover Amazon chose us as security product. Basically, because of Premio Marzotto, Swascan got ‘Cisco certification’ and this boosted its growth.”
Enrico Mercadante – architectures, innovation and digital transformation manager for Cisco Italia – explains the reasons of the choice: “We took part in Premio Cisco-Marzotto for the first time in 2016 and we have been very happy with the quality of the solutions. Particularly the ones concerning cybersecurity, agro-food, industry 4.0, digital transformation, subjects we do focus on. We chose Swascan for two different reasons. First of all, cybersecurity is a cross-referring topic and related to digital transformation. There are a lot of cybersecurity experts in Italy but not a lot of startups that are dealing with it. We wanted to send a message saying that’s possible to take these skills and convert them into a business.
On the other hand we have the team. We have a very strong team here. Pierguido Iezzi is a great enterpreneur, he knows his job and he is a cybersecurity expert. To start a new business you have to be an enterpreneur because it’s a high risk job. It’s not a case that venture capital funds, in Silicon Valley, usually support who has a startup track record. Americans know the importance of failure.”
Iezzi continues saying: “Cisco helped us define our business model and provide a lot of resources. They let us partecipate in Cisco Partner Club in Riccione. It is a technology trade show where they introduce products, partners, achievements and projects. It meant a lot to us in terms of experience and exposure.”
An informal partnership
Mercadante supports an informal partnership with Swascan. “We don’t need anything formal, unless this kind of relationship adds value. We consider Swascan as a complementary element to our cybersecurity solutions and as a technologic partner. They help us offer complete solutions on the market. This is actually a combined go-to-market.” Iezzi shares the same point of view: “We often waste a lot of time on useless formal agreements that don’t add any value. Our partnership is more important: we do things, and doing things is what really matters.”
Would something be different if you never met each other? “We used to have a different go-to-market approach, more direct” Iezzi says. “We started several startups in recent years and we sold them all, but always through direct channels, using a B2B approach, straight to the final customer. Now it’s different: our partners integrate the solution we provide on their platforms and sell our products. This allows us to focus on the platform and its peculiarities.”
In conclusion Mercadante says: “we helped them make their brand known in order to be appealing to venture capitalists. This would be the icing on the cake of a great journey together. I, personally, would like to have this experience again with another startup. Probably with the next year winner of Premio Cisco-Marzotto. We are always looking for new startups that can integrate with our platforms.”
A tool for protection
In order to assure to your business the best tool available, Swascan developed a special cybersecurity platform. It is completely in Cloud, Pay per Use and SaaS. You can see for yourself in our brochure: Cybersecurity platform and have an in-depth look at our services. Our three services cover all the governance needs in terms of risk management and periodic assessment. Basically, if you need to understand the areas in which your efforts must focus, Vulnerability Assessment, Network Scan and Code Review are the right tools for you. Last but not least, don’t forget GDPR: our platform is 100% GDPR compliant ( GDPR infographic ).