With all the news, warnings, and statistics flying around out there during these unprecedented times, we were curious how the leaders of our portfolio companies were coping. In this three-part multimedia series, we sat down with each CEO to get their thoughts on COVID-19 and its impacts on their companies and the business world as a whole.
Next up, Dave Coxe, CEO of ID DataWeb (IDW).
IDW is an Attribute Exchange Network platform (AXN) that delivers real-time human identity verification, adaptive authentication, & federated single sign-on solutions. With an interface that is both developer and IT professional friendly, the IDW software allows for a quick and easy integration.
Here are Dave's thoughts on the current events:
Strategic Cyber Ventures: Week 2 of official quarantine… how's it treating you?
Dave Coxe: The IDW team is well prepared for telecommuting, and for interactions/communications with our customers. All of our infrastructure for email, communications, and accounting is cloud-based, so nothing has changed for us. Our employees have historically worked from home periodically, so this is business as usual for us.
Our employees and customers greatly appreciate how this event has not had any impact on our communication and support. We are well positioned to operate and continue to grow, so this challenge has proven the effectiveness and resiliency of our operating strategy.
SCV: Do you have any advice for companies that may not be adapting as easily?
DC: My only advice is that companies should consider virtualizing most if not all of their operations. It will save them money, enable resilient responses to disaster-like situations, and empower their staff to work remotely, as appropriate, yet enable management to tightly monitor/manage operations.
SCV: How do you expect early stage startups will be impacted?
DC: Most start-ups need active team communications and direct interface with customers. To the extent they have implemented their infrastructure and communications using online tools, cloud services and communications, they should be in good shape. If they are highly dependent on face to face interactions, the impact could be severe on sales, deliverables, and requirements for funding.
SCV: Have there been any unexpected positives about being home all the time?
DC: Yes. Our customers are dealing with lots of challenges associated with securing access and digital trust as their employees, customers, and value chain has rapidly and aggressively shifted to remote interactions. We are perfectly positioned to support these use cases, but are also careful to not sell our solution into a chaotic situation. Rather, we are:
a) Asking customers how they are coping with their new challenges with employees, customers and value chain partners;
b) Describing how we are positioned to support their needs regardless of the current operating environment;
c) Providing examples of how other customers are considering short-term solutions and long-term strategic solutions for managing similar situations in the future.
Each customer is different, and we want to serve as a value-add partner/advisor rather than a purveyor of short-term solutions — that might come across as "cheesy" or a provider just taking advantage of a challenging situation.
SCV: What's the best movie/book/tv show you've watched/read so far?
DC: I read two books per week, and generally keep tabs with daily events online and via traditional news. We've been very busy with new customers and implementing our "self-service" strategy that this week has been business and entertainment as usual for me.
To learn more about IDW, visit their website: www.iddataweb.com
ABOUT STRATEGIC CYBER VENTURES
Cybersecurity is national security, and we're a D.C.-based venture capital firm on a mission to find cutting-edge startups that help us make an impact. We go beyond the check to help our founders win by leveraging our industry connections and experience as cybersecurity veterans to fuel their companies from inception to exit.