First, make it succesful, then you can scale it out.Tony Ball, SVP & GM of Identity and Access Management at Entrust Datacard on the #EmergeM1 Podcast
Tony Ball is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Identity and Access Management (IAM) Business Unit at Entrust Datacard. He joined the company in 2016 to provide leadership, global strategy and innovation for the access control and authentication solution segments. Ball has deep industry knowledge and previously served as president of IAM for HID Global. He has held executive roles at HID, Gemalto and Schlumberger Technologies where he began his career with over 20 years in multiple leadership roles across the globe. Ball studied finance and business at Bournemouth University and completed the International Institute for Management Development executive leadership program.
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Key Insights from our Conversation
- Tony is most passionate about the time he gets to spend with really smart people who are working on really cool things. They are going down the path into making identity matter for customers and have assembled a great team of people who are passionate in going that pathway with them.
- Tony grew up with a lot of love and support in a small town in South England. Strong values were instilled in him to know what really the most important things in life are. He isn’t afraid to roll his sleeves up and enjoys time spending time and connecting with people.
- Tony left school as soon as he could as he felt school is not going to cut it for him but when he worked in Schlumberger, they urged him to go back to school and paid for his education to be able to go on the journey with them.
- Entrust Datacard has been in business for 50 years now and has an environment where they are looking at bringing in top talents who wants to join the journey of making the lives of their customers easier in the context surrounding identity. They are now looking at providing solutions for the government citizen sector for a country which is among the Top 10 economies.
- Tony shared important steps and framework when dealing business with the government sector and this includes: Focus on areas where you make the biggest impact. Evaluate how easy it is to strike partnerships and what partnerships are readily available to tap into. Establish an alliance in the community for help and support to push things forward and can be reliant with each other to fill the missing pieces. On top of this, you have to tie the pieces together relative to the people who write the white papers to get the level of endorsement and who are the consultants that have the feet on the ground that connect key players. Irrespective of how good your solution is or the alliances are, if you haven’t thought about how the decision cycle takes place, it can elongate the process by two to three years just because of the administration check.
- In working on initiatives, Tony also advises that you visualize where you want to get to, be realistic in terms of getting a pilot, be realistic in setting expectations on where you will come when you align your finance team and operational team behind it and make sure that you execute on it to get validation. You also need to set expectations appropriately and bring people with you to get an even chance of making something happen.
- Tony also takes incremental steps in different directions to try and validate things. For example, mobile means different things to different people. With this, you have to be precise and articulate when you talk about mobile. It is such an important part of the conversation.
- The biggest mistake that they have made is coming out from something which they thought was really cool but it did not resonate with anybody because it was too expensive. When people came to experience it, the product ended up falling short. They had the core technology but it went nowhere because they didn’t think it through how that technology gets pulled through meaningfully with the right partners to make it an experience. They should have done things differently.
- Tony is currently working on a project called Intellitrust which takes the F out of Authentication. A good twist as people might think that there are no Fs in the word but it means Friction, Factors and Frustration.