Q&A with Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing at Everstring

MEDIA 7 | November 14, 2019

Q&A with Matt Amundson
Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing at EverString has over 10 years of sales and marketing experience. Matt has held roles in Demand Generation and Sales Development at TIBCO, Marketo, FGXI and Red Bull. His primary focus has been on creating processes that generate a consistent, pipeline.

MEDIA 7: Could you tell us about your mantra “Go for the run”?
MATT AMUNDSON:
On December 29th of 2017, I decided to change my lifestyle habits and decided that I’m going to run a minimum of one mile every single day. So, every day since that day I’ve got up and ran. It’s been a seminal moment where my approach on life and work has changed dramatically. And as a result of that, it’s become a personal mantra, which is to not be afraid of where you might be today. If you’ve got some lofty goals or if you want to try something new, just get out there and give it a try and see what the results of it could be. On a personal level, whether you’re physically tired or don’t feel like doing it, just give it a shot and go for it. On a professional level, if it’s something that can benefit you or your brand give it a try, go for it and see what happens.

M7: What is your favorite part about working at EverString?
MA:
I really love the people that I work with and I’ve been at the organization for about four and a half years. Some of the folks that I’ve worked with since the beginning are still here and it’s just been an awesome journey to be on with some incredible colleagues and that’s just on a personal level. On a professional level, I think we’re all solving a major problem that a lot of organizations are suffering from – which is related to data. As a marketer who has existed in the mar tech space for the broader part of my career, we often think of our process improvements and workflow improvements to gain more efficiency. Whether that’s marketing automation system or a cool new technology like conversational AI most people fall into two camps when it comes to data, either they’re just not conscious of data or they are. The data that they purchase or the data they acquire ultimately powers everything they do from a marketing perspective or they’re used to the status quo of current data providers that provide low quality of data and are sort of mired in the “well I guess that’s the way it is and that’s just the quality level that I have to deal with”. The fact that we’re changing that for some of the world’s biggest brands like Capital One, FedEx, Staples, Autodesk, Oracle as well as the smaller brands is really exciting to me.


"The world’s largest businesses do really large contracts with much bigger deals because they are so data focused and we can provide not only the data but also data science to go along with that."

M7: How does EverString’s data platform stand out from the rest in delivering high coverage as well as accuracy for data vendors?
MA:
The high-quality of our data lies in the way that we collect data versus the way that traditional data vendors collect. The traditional route for collecting data is by using a couple of different ways, but the most traditional would be to have a call from somewhere where people are just dialing into an organization and asking them for data about their companies. That’s problematic for a lot of reasons, one being – you’re essentially relying on people to give you accurate answers to the frequency at which you’re updating. This is fairly sparse because you’re not always going to get a hold of somebody as businesses are changing.

The way EverString does it is by taking a more digital approach to it – we use machine learning and artificial intelligence not only to go out and scrape and collect data and update that data on a monthly basis but we also use artificial intelligence to say, if these companies are similar, the likelihood that they have the same attributes or technology or number of sales employees or engineering employees is probably true as well. So, we’re able to predict that type of data and then feed it back through people to go in and verify. So essentially, we’re able to collect data on a much broader set of companies in a much faster fashion and we’re able to update that data much more frequently than any of our competitors. 

M7: What marketing channels do you use and which ones do you see as the most promising given your target customers?
MA:
We have a fairly small marketing department; we only have five people on the team. But I think the team that we have here is very efficient, and the channels that we generally lean into are the traditional channels of email, digital marketing through both PPC display advertising as well as using platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook which have actually been successful for us.

One of the things that we do is we’re very heavy direct mail marketers and we’ve found a lot of efficiency gain from that. We’re also very well–known for doing really great events, we did a party at Marketo summit in 2016 that had about 3000 people there and luckily, we had Will Smith as the keynote presenter from Marketo summit come and perform in the party. So, that was an amazing event that we’ve been very well known for.


"There’s just a lot of in accuracy and incompleteness in data so modelling that data to try to predict outcomes is problematic."

M7: Since you joined the company EverString in 2015, what paradigm shift do you see in the company today?
MA:
 In the early days of the business we really focused on being primarily a data science company where we wanted to roll out our customer’s data to essentially model and predict outcomes. And the problem with that was a lot of what I talked about at the top of our conversation. There’s just a lot of inaccuracy and incompleteness in data so modelling that data to try to predict outcomes was problematic. And what we realized three years ago was we couldn’t just be a data science company we also had to be a data company and so we set out on this journey to become the data company and realistically about 18 months ago we saw the fruit of that work. For about the last six quarters we’ve been able to go into some of the world’s largest businesses and do really large contracts with much bigger deals because they are so data focused and we can provide not only the data but also data science to go along with that. So, it’s not just that they consume raw data from us but also let us use our own internal data science capabilities to make sense of that data to help marketers do better segmentation, for sales people to have better insights into why they should be reaching out to an account when they should be reaching out to an operations teams to be able to provide their go-to-market teams with just a much higher quality of data.



"Everstring makes sense of data to help marketers do better segmentation and for sales people to have better insights into why they should be reaching out to an account or operations teams."

M7: How old were you when you had your first paying job?
MA:
 I think I was about 10 years old and I fall into like the fairly regular category of a lot of people that I know in the professional world who began their careers as adolescents with a paper route. So, I was like the neighborhood paperboy for a number of years and that was interesting because that taught me a lot of lessons and how to ask people for money which is fairly difficult. It also taught me discipline and building routines and processes around making sure you get up early making sure papers are delivered on time. So, it was a great learning lesson for me. I didn’t necessarily think about it in the time I just kind of thought about the 50 bucks a month that I was getting to go spend on candy and toys.

ABOUT EVERSTRING

EverString’s AI SaaS solution is designed for B2B sales and marketing professionals to drive pipeline growth, help close new customers, expand into new markets, prioritize accounts, and provide actionable insights – all without the need for an administrator.

EverString is backed by leading investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, IDG Ventures and Lakestar. For more information, visit www.everstring.com.

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The model is designed around factors such as a market's level of technical maturity, vertical focus, digitalization needs and business demands, with an aim to boost partners' income and strengthen their technical expertise. Alibaba Cloud ecosystem partners including resellers, technology partners (ISV, SaaS and SI), service and consulting partners can benefit from the program. "Partners have always been a key focus for Alibaba Cloud, and we are committed to providing them with strong support for our ongoing co-creation and value-add – both technologically and commercially to further empower our joined customers, Our revamped partner strategy prioritizes our partners' growth. By continuing to support our partners' business expansion, we can build an inclusive ecosystem benefiting partners and customers." Selina Yuan, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International President To address complications with partners' international business operations, Alibaba Cloud has also upgraded its collaboration model with its ISV partners, with a focus on enhancing industry collaboration, standardizing go-to-market process, and accelerating technical solution integration to increase efficiency. Looking ahead, Alibaba Cloud hopes to recruit more financial services, retail, internet and manufacturing ISVs to co-develop products and support customer innovation. Alibaba Cloud currently works with about 11,000 partners worldwide, including Salesforce, VMware, Fortinet, IBM and Neo4j. Empowering customers with comprehensive support In order to provide all-round cloud-based solutions and services to all customers, Alibaba Cloud also launched a "Global Delivery and Service Program" to enhance the cloud adoption process for customers. Under the program, it has unveiled three Customer Service Centers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Porto (Portugal), and Mexico City (Mexico), to support customers in their cloud adoption journey, providing timely and regionalized cloud migration and consulting services. In addition to the Customer Service Centers, Alibaba Cloud has set up three Service Delivery Centers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Hong Kong (Greater China), to provide extra technology support to its regional offices and customer project delivery in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Fueling new innovations with reliable infrastructure During the summit, Alibaba Cloud has inked nearly 30 agreements to help customers and partners accelerate their digital innovation capabilities with leading cloud computing technologies. In collaboration with JP Games, Japan's leading game development studio, Alibaba Cloud has unveiled a set of new services to create virtual spaces and realistic avatars for global customers venturing into the metaverse. Together with MetaverseXR, Thailand's leading metaverse company, Alibaba Cloud rolled out a comprehensive suite of metaverse solutions for the Thai market in order to fulfill growing local demand for embarking on a Web 3.0 journey. Alibaba Cloud also teamed up with UMG Group in Myanmar, to power the country's digital transformation – especially in traditional industries. With BeLive and VisionTech from Singapore, Alibaba Cloud is expanding its regional outreach in the media and Fintech verticals. Alibaba Cloud is collaborating with OnFinality, a leading New Zealand-based blockchain infrastructure provider, to offer robust cloud-computing capability and a strong global network for Web 3.0 developers looking to scale globally. More than 300 Alibaba Cloud customers and partners around the globe are attending the summit, including Accenture, Tiger Brokers, DANA, Thai Data, and Lala station. About Alibaba Cloud Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com) is the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. It offers a complete suite of cloud services to customers worldwide, including elastic computing, database, storage, network virtualization services, large-scale computing, security, management and application services, big data analytics, a machine learning platform and IoT services. Alibaba maintained its position as the third leading public cloud IaaS service provider globally since 2018, according to IDC. Alibaba is the world's third leading and Asia Pacific's leading IaaS provider by revenue in U.S. dollars since 2018, according to Gartner.

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CLOUD SECURITY

New Spectro Cloud Palette Edge Platform Brings World-Class Security and Operational Efficiencies to Kubernetes at the Edge

Spectro Cloud | September 30, 2022

Spectro Cloud, a leader in modern Kubernetes (K8s) management software, today announced a major new release of its Palette Edge platform. Kubernetes at the edge has spurred the interest of businesses around the world as they seek to enhance competitiveness and agility. To date, however, K8s at the edge has failed to realize its true potential. Why? A study by Dimensional Research found 72% of Kubernetes users effectively said: “It’s too challenging to deploy and manage Kubernetes on edge devices.” The Palette Edge platform, first launched in March 2022, earned Spectro Cloud recognition as a 2022 Gartner Cool Vendor in Edge Computing solves this problem, enabling organizations to re-define how cost-efficiently they can deploy and manage edge K8s clusters at scale, including at locations with small form factor devices, no on-site IT skills and marginal connectivity. Palette Edge delivers remote troubleshooting, zero-downtime rolling upgrades and patch management, even in single-server edge deployments, due to its unique A/B OS partition, multi-node failsafe design and support for both ARM and x86 architectures, including Intel’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Palette Edge derives its functionality from Spectro Cloud’s core Palette platform, which enables organizations to consistently manage K8s clusters across their full lifecycle, across public clouds, virtualized or bare metal data centers, as well as edge locations. Through a unique extension of Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF’s) Cluster API, Palette enables IT teams to model their full Kubernetes stacks from the OS to the application in a true declarative model, creating project-curated, reusable Cluster Profiles while providing a choice of operating systems, K8s distributions and tools from the broad K8s ecosystem. Palette is architected to scale, delivering centralized and automated management combined with decentralized orchestration and policy enforcement — together enabling a virtually infinite scale from few to tens of thousands of clusters. Extending this core Palette foundation, Palette Edge today adds unique security, visibility and usability capabilities, setting a new industry standard for deploying and centrally managing edge K8s at scale, dramatically lowering total cost of ownership and risk for organizations of any size expanding to the edge. Palette Edge is purpose-built to support key industry use cases including Internet of Things device management and orchestration, data ingestion, streaming, analytics and AI inference. “For us, edge is an enabler to help clinicians deliver better patient outcomes by deploying technology closer to the user,” said Vignesh Shetty, SVP & GM Edison AI and Platform at GE Healthcare Digital. “The need for a secure, cost-effective approach to manage Kubernetes at the edge at scale is more relevant than ever before.” The new Palette Edge delivers on the key priorities for edge K8s users with: Tamperproof security for Kubernetes at the edge: Spectro Cloud research found that security is the #1 concern when adopting edge Kubernetes. Edge Kubernetes devices deployed in remote, unmonitored locations are particularly vulnerable to deliberate tampering and unintentional configuration drift, where their operating system, distribution and other software elements move out of compliance through ad hoc configuration changes. Palette Edge now enables operations teams to build highly secure configurations for edge devices, including their preferred Kubernetes distribution and the underlying OS, which once deployed become immutable, read-only and unmodifiable by the application user, just like the firmware on a smartphone. The now-immutable stack also enables zero-downtime rolling upgrades, due to a failsafe deployment design. Palette eXtended Kubernetes Edge (PXK-E): This new edge-optimized Kubernetes distribution version of Spectro Cloud’s CNCF-upstream Kubernetes distribution is available now to all Palette customers. PXK-E incorporates Palette’s new immutability capability, along with NIST-800 security hardening. It is certified for more than 50 open source and commercial cloud native integrations and provides high availability and zero-downtime rolling upgrades even in single-server configurations. With Palette Edge, businesses can choose the PXK-E distribution or Palette-optimized versions of any other K8s distribution, verified and supported by Spectro Cloud. A powerful NOC-like dashboard: Now organizations scaling to thousands or tens of thousands of edge devices have the power to manage their fleet more easily and with greater control than ever before. Palette Edge’s Network Operations Center-like (NOC) dashboard provides a highly intuitive user experience with live status for key events, plus advanced capabilities to filter, tag and drill down to clusters by location, status or other attribute. Importantly, operators can define powerful workflows for managing clusters, with almost infinite possibilities: for example, they can phase deployments of cluster updates by location for canary testing, or schedule patching to follow the sun. Ultra-simple edge device onboarding: In edge Kubernetes projects, organizations can find the act of deploying new devices in remote locations incredibly problematic; often, costly field engineering truck rolls are needed. Palette Edge makes it easy for non-specialist staff to quickly power up and onboard a new device into a managed cluster, using a variety of methods, such as through Palette Edge’s user interface, leveraging its open API, the Spectro Cloud Terraform provider, or by simply scanning a QR code on the edge device itself. The features delivered in this new Palette Edge release reflect real customer requirements of K8s at the edge. To address them and also contribute to the broader cloud native community, Spectro Cloud is now leading a unique open source project which delivers failsafe immutability at the edge: Kairos. Version 1.0 of Kairos is now generally available with extended community support, and is free to download and use. For more information, visit www.kairos.io. This is another example demonstrating Spectro Cloud’s continued commitment to foster innovation as a member of the CNCF and Linux Foundation, contributing to major Kubernetes ecosystem projects such as Cluster API and the Cluster API Provider for Canonical MAAS. These major new features are available today in Spectro Cloud’s Palette Edge edition and further position Palette as the first choice for organizations running Kubernetes at the edge at scale, enabling them to bring modern applications and data close to their end-users. Customers of Palette Edge are already realizing significant benefits by avoiding otherwise necessary field engineering visits at edge locations, which can result to up to 90% reduction in operational costs. “A key use case for 5G Edge compute is mission critical, ultra-low latency, workloads. That means cyber-security is a foundational principle for Edge and not an afterthought. Spectro Cloud is delivering a customer solution for deploying modern apps to the Edge that can integrate readily into end-to-end Zero Trust architectures,” said Dr. Ken Urquhart, Global Vice-President, 5G at Zscaler. “This brand new set of capabilities is making edge K8s locations as easy as a cloud for our customers, With a platform that can scale to tens of thousands of edge locations, requirements like security, resiliency and ease-of-use can be game changers, and this has been our focus in the latest release. At Spectro Cloud we are committed champions of the innovation coming out of the open source community, and we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with some of the most interesting projects to deliver some of those new capabilities.” Spectro Cloud co-founder and CEO Tenry Fu About Spectro Cloud Spectro Cloud uniquely enables organizations to deploy and manage Kubernetes in production, at scale. Its Palette enterprise Kubernetes management platform gives IT Operations and DevOps engineering teams effortless control of the full Kubernetes lifecycle even across multiple clouds, data centers, bare metal and edge environments. Ops teams are empowered to support their developers with curated Kubernetes stacks and tools based on their specific needs, with granular governance and enterprise-grade security.

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CLOUD DEPLOYMENT MODELS

CoreStack Accelerates Vision and Growth with Acquisition of Optio3

CoreStack | September 27, 2022

CoreStack, a global multi-cloud governance provider, today announced the company’s acquisition of Optio3, an AI-powered operations management company based in Seattle, WA. As a result, CoreStack will acquire 100 percent of Optio3’s technology and IP and will integrate Optio3 team into the CoreStack team. Optio3 Co-founder and CEO Sridhar (Sri) Chandrashekar will be joining the CoreStack leadership team as Chief Digital Officer (CDO). “We’ve been leveraging Optio3’s technology in our platform for 9 months and have had tremendous success with it,” said Ezhilarasan (Ez) Natarajan, CoreStack Founder and CEO. “We now have the opportunity to bring the Optio3 team’s expertise in-house and can further tailor the technology to support our enterprise customers’ needs.” CoreStack helps enterprises unleash the power of cloud on their terms by providing a NextGen multi-cloud governance platform that is Continuous, Holistic, Autonomous, Integrated, and Nimble (CHAIN). This NextGen governance solution enables proactive multi-cloud governance and 360-degree visibility across financial management (FinOps), security operations (SecOps), and cloud operations (CloudOps) in a unified dashboard. The Optio3 acquisition will further facilitate CoreStack’s delivery of these NextGen multi-cloud governance capabilities, bringing their deep industry experience in building scalable SaaS products as well as a proven technology framework that strengthens the platform, automates the cloud infrastructure, and increases the speed of innovation and delivery. “CoreStack is at an inflection point in its growth curve with a phenomenal pipeline of Fortune 5000 customers,” said Sri Chandrashekar, CoreStack’s new CDO. “The Optio3 team is highly specialized in delivering high-scale platforms and SaaS solutions to those enterprise customers. I’m excited that we’re working together to achieve CoreStack’s ambitious vision and product roadmap for NextGen Cloud Governance.” Founded in 2016, CoreStack is a multi-national corporation with headquarters in Bellevue, WA, an engineering Center of Excellence is in Chennai, India, and sales and support personnel located across the globe to ensure seamless support. Since January 2022, CoreStack has hired more than 150 people, won significant deals, and added numerous marquee partners. Booked annual revenues have grown by more than 100%, and customer renewal rates remain at 100%. Annual cloud spend across all customers and partners governed by CoreStack is crossing $2B, and the company has doubled down on partnership engagements with AWS, Azure, Google, and Oracle. “We are thrilled to be bringing Optio3’s technology and team into our family,” said Ez Natarajan. “CoreStack was born with the mission of establishing a robust, NextGen governance layer on top of even the most complex multi-cloud ecosystems. We are now perfectly positioned to offer our customers a highly scalable, manageable, and reliable solution – one that drives digital transformation and delivers next-level performance.” “We are delighted to bring in Optio3’s technology, CoreStack was born with the mission of establishing a robust, NextGen governance layer on top of even the most complex multi-cloud ecosystems. We are now perfectly positioned to offer our customers a highly scalable, manageable, and reliable solution one that drives digital transformation and delivers next-level performance.” Sabapathy Arumugam, CoreStack Co-Founder and CTO About CoreStack CoreStack provides a NextGen Cloud Governance platform that empowers enterprises to predictably increase top-line revenues, improve bottom-line efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge through AI-powered real-time cloud governance on autopilot. CoreStack's FinOps, SecOps, and CloudOps solutions embrace, enhance, and extend native-cloud capabilities, enabling reporting, recommendation, and remediation and providing single pane-of-glass governance across multi-cloud. Through executive dashboards for comprehensive real-time insights, CoreStack delivers transformative value such as 40% increase in operational efficiencies, 50% decrease in cloud costs, and 100% security assurance and compliance. CoreStack helps 500+ global enterprises govern $2+ billion in annual cloud consumption. Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, Forrester, S&P Global and IDC have recognized CoreStack as an innovator and leader in cloud management solutions. CoreStack is backed by strategic advisors, including the ex-CEO of Wipro and ex-CIO of Microsoft. The company is a Microsoft Azure Gold Partner, Amazon AWS Advanced Technology Competency Partner, Oracle Cloud Build Partner, and Google Cloud Build Partner.

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Everstring

EverString’s AI SaaS solution is designed for B2B sales and marketing professionals to drive pipeline growth, help close new customers, expand into new markets, prioritize accounts, and provide actionable insights – all without the need for an administrator. EverString is backed by leading investors...

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