Q&A with Div Manickam, Director of WW Services Marketing and Portfolio Management (Data Center Group) at Lenovo

Media 7 | March 24, 2021

Div Manickam, Director of WW Services Marketing and Portfolio Management (Data Center Group) at Lenovo, has led B2B SaaS initiatives in startups and Fortune 500 technology companies for 10+ years. With disciplined product marketing across the buyer journey and cross-functional relationships, she empowers mindful teams and fosters a vulnerable culture where everyone's voice is heard. 

She enjoys sharing her experiences on authentic leadership and evolution of product marketing in Forbes Communications Council and Product Marketing Alliance. Just as committed and passionate, she enjoys traveling, is a foodie at heart, and a proud Google Local Guide exploring the world. And one day, she aspires to share her passion and story on TEDx.

Winning together starts with the perfect pitch from a product, its sales, and marketing. When done right, we can see the synergy flow in the right direction.



MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What led you to your position as the Director of Service Marketing and Portfolio Management at Lenovo?
DIV MANICKAM:
Here is a picture-perfect introduction.



I am extremely passionate to empower a mindful team and foster a vulnerable culture where everyone feels their voice is heard and can truly be themselves in a safe environment. I have led product marketing efforts in startups and Fortune 500 technology companies. I hold a Masters in Cyber Security, Bachelors in Information Technology from India, and an MBA in Marketing from California State University East Bay.

I have been recognized as a 2019 40 under 40 CSUEB recipient for contributions toward her workplace and community, as well as one of the top 50 Product Marketing Influencers in 2019 by Product Marketing Alliance for redefining standards, helping shape the evolution of PMM, and elevating awareness among the C-suite.


Collaborating with sales leaders and champions is the key to make sure they are part of the narrative. The perfect pitch needs to bring the right feedback to make sure the narrative resonates with customers and partners. 



M7: How do you ensure that your sales team delivers a perfect pitch for the services offered by Lenovo?
DM:
Collaborating with sales leaders and champions is the key to make sure they are part of the narrative. Winning together starts with the perfect pitch from a product, its sales, and marketing. When done right, we can see the synergy flow in the right direction. And the perfect pitch also needs to bring the right feedback to make sure the narrative resonates with customers and partners.

M7: How do you identify investment risks for effective portfolio management? How do these risks affect your investing strategy?
DM:
Portfolio Management is an art and science. Not every feature and product are important for every customer. So, it’s important to prioritize and focus on the right investments. With the right investment risks, we balance the portfolio management of service offerings to meet the maximum customers’ needs and build a competitive edge. We have the offering launch process to make sure the right stakeholders are involved and approved.

M7: What do you think is essential to stay competitive in a market that is going through constant digitalization?
DM:
We try to not think about competition, but look at what the market needs and how we can serve the market better and move it forward to the next transformation. This is key to bring the balance as we can be quickly focused on competition but it’s important to look ahead and not just try to catch up to the competition.
Digitalization is a start for every transformation and only brings the world together in ways we cannot imagine. We should foster growth and innovation through the right mindset and business models for the future. What worked in the past is not going to take us to the future.


Prioritizing investment and budget has always been a challenge and even more so right now when all budgets are cut to zero. We need the resources to focus on the initiatives that will bring confidence to the teams that we are supporting them in times of need.



M7: What do you believe are the top three product marketing challenges in the post COVID-19 era?
DM:
Prioritizing investment and budget has always been a challenge and even more so right now when all budgets are cut to zero. We need the resources to focus on the initiatives that will bring confidence to the teams that we are supporting them in times of need. So, building the momentum and not trying to do more with less. This has to stop and as leaders, we have to be the voice to help our teams.

M7: You are extremely active on social media and frequently write articles for Forbes. What is your secret to maintaining a healthy balance between your work and such productive commitments?
DM:
I recently stopped posting on social media (Jan 2021) as it was taxing and counterproductive – I felt like I was contributing to the noise. So, I streamlined my efforts and I will continue to write my experiences on Medium – divmanickam.medium.com as it helps to share my learnings with the world. Finding the balance was critical for my personal wellbeing and reading has been the bibliotherapy this year that helped me with stress and anxiety.

M7: What is your advice to young women considering a career in marketing and technology?
DM:
I was fortunate to find the mix of technology and marketing to flex both my technical and creative skills. I encourage everyone passionate about portfolio marketing to reach out and find their dream job. I have been lucky to mentor some amazing women who are teaching me every day something new as part of the Career GROW and personal OKRs career conversation.

ABOUT LENOVO

Lenovo is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, we are also leading an Intelligent Transformation – to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world.

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Rapidly Evolving Hybrid Cloud Security Requirements are Driving the Need for Deep Observability

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Wolters Kluwer cloud-based global expert solution named a global leader in cloud computing

Wolters Kluwer | September 30, 2022

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Prisma Cloud Delivers Context-Aware Software Composition Analysis to Secure Deployment of Open Source Software

Palo Alto Network | September 23, 2022

Open source software is a critical component of cloud-native applications, allowing developers greater speed and modularity without having to reinvent the wheel each time they code. However, as the Unit 42 Cloud Threat Report, 2H 2021 found, open source software can often contain known vulnerabilities, which can open organizations up to significant risk. Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW), the global cybersecurity leader, today introduced the industry's first context-aware software composition analysis (SCA) solution to help developers safely use open source software components. The integration of SCA into Prisma® Cloud further demonstrates why Palo Alto Networks is the leading provider of cloud-native security. Traditional SCA solutions are standalone products that can produce a large number of alerts but lack the runtime context to help fix vulnerabilities. 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Gigamon | September 28, 2022

Gigamon, the leading deep observability company, is guiding the industry forward today, bringing application and network-level intelligence together for the first time to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots and deliver defense in depth across their highly distributed hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure. Leading market intelligence firm, the 650 Group, forecasts the deep observability market’s CAGR to grow over 60 percent to reach $2 billion by 2026. They predict Gigamon will take a commanding lead with 68 percent market share in the first half of 2022. Together with an expanding ecosystem of technology alliance partners, Gigamon harnesses actionable network-level intelligence that amplifies the power of cloud, security, and observability tools, ultimately empowering large organizations to achieve the transformational promise of the cloud. A recent IDC global survey of 900 large organization IT executives and managers* revealed that 'strengthened cybersecurity posture and practices' is the number one benefit of deep observability intelligence and insights. And to overcome their concerns for security vulnerabilities, 79 percent of respondents indicate they have made good-to-excellent progress in leveraging network intelligence and performance metrics for security insights. When asked specifically where the alignment of NetOps and SecOps efforts and tools have improved security management, a strong majority of respondents cited the following: provide complete visibility into on-premises systems and cloud services, reduce false positives, improve speed and accuracy of triage, and validate remediation. To further underscore the urgency for organizations to address security blind spots, a recent Vitreous World State of Ransomware for 2022 and Beyond survey revealed more than 95 percent of the more than one thousand global respondents, consisting of large organization IT and security executives, had experienced ransomware attacks in the past year. The research also revealed that 89 percent of global security leaders surveyed agree deep observability is an important element of cloud security with 50 percent of global CISOs/CIOs strongly agreeing with this statement. “As a cloud-first dental support organization, we are continuously seeking new ways to fortify our security posture and equip our supported owner doctors with the latest, proven technology and highly skilled support staff, so they can focus on providing the perfect patient experience to patients with an extraordinary, differentiated care experience,” said Nemi George, vice president of IT and information security officer and IT service operations at Pacific Dental Services. “With the deep observability we gain from Gigamon, we can eliminate security blind spots at the network layer of our hybrid cloud infrastructure, deliver defense in depth, and confidently scale our operations.” A New Frontier: Deep Observability The Gigamon Hawk Deep Observability Pipeline harnesses actionable network-level intelligence to amplify the power of cloud, security, and observability tools, enabling IT organizations to assure security and compliance governance, speed root-cause analysis of performance bottlenecks and lower the operational overhead associated with managing today’s highly distributed hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure. Gigamon extends the value of these tools with real-time network intelligence derived from packets, flows and application metadata to deliver defense in depth and performance management. Gigamon has an extensive ecosystem of technology alliance partners that includes leading observability vendors Dynatrace, New Relic and Sumo Logic. “We are proud to partner with Gigamon and integrate their network-level intelligence with the Dynatrace platform’s full-stack observability, application security, and AIOps capabilities to enable our joint customers to innovate faster and more securely,” said Bob Wambach, vice president of product marketing at Dynatrace. “Large organizations continue to embrace hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud, and cloud-native technologies as the foundation for their digital services and innovation. As a result, applications have become increasingly complex and distributed. The combination of Dynatrace and Gigamon gives customers unprecedented abilities to simplify cloud complexity. The actionable, network-level intelligence of the Gigamon deep observability pipeline provides additional network-security context to the precise answers and intelligent automation delivered by Dynatrace.” “At Trace3 we help our customers design, move and re-architect workloads to the Cloud. One of the challenges we face is maintaining visibility into key applications regardless of cloud architecture pattern, in alignment with guidance from well-architected frameworks,” said Chris Nicholas, vice president cloud and cloud solutions group at Trace3. “Gigamon Hawk helps us deliver actionable network-level intelligence against many advanced security and observability use-cases. 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Wolters Kluwer cloud-based global expert solution named a global leader in cloud computing

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Prisma Cloud Delivers Context-Aware Software Composition Analysis to Secure Deployment of Open Source Software

Palo Alto Network | September 23, 2022

Open source software is a critical component of cloud-native applications, allowing developers greater speed and modularity without having to reinvent the wheel each time they code. However, as the Unit 42 Cloud Threat Report, 2H 2021 found, open source software can often contain known vulnerabilities, which can open organizations up to significant risk. Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW), the global cybersecurity leader, today introduced the industry's first context-aware software composition analysis (SCA) solution to help developers safely use open source software components. The integration of SCA into Prisma® Cloud further demonstrates why Palo Alto Networks is the leading provider of cloud-native security. Traditional SCA solutions are standalone products that can produce a large number of alerts but lack the runtime context to help fix vulnerabilities. With the addition of SCA to the Prisma Cloud platform, developers and security teams can proactively surface and prioritize known vulnerabilities that impact the application lifecycle (i.e., code, build, deploy and run). Prisma Cloud SCA delivers deep dependency detection and remediation of vulnerabilities in open source software before applications reach production. It can also help developers prioritize remediation based on software components that are already in use. These capabilities are not possible when SCA solutions are deployed as single point products. "Developers leveraging open source software should be able to build applications with the confidence they aren't opening the organization up to risk, With the average application consisting of 75% open source components, SCA on Prisma Cloud is key to protecting the organization from code to cloud and empowering developers to build with speed." Ankur Shah, senior vice president, Prisma Cloud, Palo Alto Networks As a complete cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP), Prisma Cloud is context-aware at every stage of the application lifecycle to provide a unified view of risk across organizations' cloud environments. Where current approaches to cloud security rely on siloed products that provide intermittent visibility without remediation, Prisma Cloud approaches cloud security with a comprehensive, prevention-first framework. With 188% increase in cloud incident response cases over the past three years, this shift in approach has become mandatory. A complete code-to cloud CNAPP needs to incorporate the following five key principles in order to keep organizations safe: Security from code to cloud — protects applications at every stage of the development lifecycle — from code, build, deploy and run. Continuous, real time visibility — uses real-time and contextual security analysis of cloud environments to help prevent misconfigurations, vulnerabilities and threats. Prevention-first protection — stopping attacks and defending against zero-day vulnerabilities to drive down mean time to remediation. Choice for every cloud journey — aligning security needs with current and future cloud priorities by supporting a breadth of cloud service providers, workload architectures, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, integrated development environments (IDEs), and repositories with a unified platform Cloud scale security — consistently secures applications as cloud environments scale. In addition to SCA and to further increase the safety of cloud-native applications, Prisma Cloud introduced a software bill of materials (SBOM) among other capabilities for developers to easily maintain and reference a complete codebase inventory of every application component used across cloud environments. Implementing SCA and SBOM ensures Prisma Cloud aligns with these principles. "Buyers looking for cloud-native security solutions need to keep the requirements of microservices security protection in mind. The 'bolted-on' and 'whack-a-mole' approaches are a thing of the past," said Frank Dickson, program vice president, Security and Trust at IDC. "Security should be embedded throughout the application development life cycle. This means that buyers need to fundamentally change their approach to security, although they need to continue to protect their run-time environments, they must also embrace solutions that embed security in the application development process, an approach referred to as 'shift left.' Shift left requires one to think less about security products and more about continuous security processes." About Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks is the world's cybersecurity leader. We innovate to outpace cyberthreats, so organizations can embrace technology with confidence. We provide next-gen cybersecurity to thousands of customers globally, across all sectors. Our best-in-class cybersecurity platforms and services are backed by industry-leading threat intelligence and strengthened by state-of-the-art automation. Whether deploying our products to enable the Zero Trust Enterprise, responding to a security incident, or partnering to deliver better security outcomes through a world-class partner ecosystem, we're committed to helping ensure each day is safer than the one before. It's what makes us the cybersecurity partner of choice.

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