Technology market analyst company Canalys reports that the onset of the coronavirus pandemic was accompanied by an increase in cybersecurity threats, initially in the form of phishing attacks and the creation of malicious domains followed by hackers targeting employees working from home who have received little to no training in terms of securing their data. Canalys projects web and email security, vulnerability and analytics and endpoint security to experience market growth. On the whole, the global cybersecurity market is expected to achieve a growth rate of 5.6 percent by the end of the year despite the pandemic.
Competition continues in this sector, so maintaining an edge against other players remains a priority. The following are profiles of competitive intelligence professionals working for some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity industry.
James Cromer, CI Director at Symantec
James Cromer is the director of competitive intelligence at Symantec, a Broadcom company based in Mountain View, California, that specializes in encryption, antivirus and malware protection, identity protection and authentication.
Since taking on the role in June 2016, Cromer has assembled and led a CI team responsible for analyzing more than 25 cybersecurity markets, including web security, information protection, cloud and data center security and endpoint security. Cromer has also been providing strategic decision support for merger and acquisition activities and long-term strategic recommendations to capture opportunities in emerging markets like zero trust, DevSecOps and internet of things, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Cromer previously served as Symantec’s director of product portfolio strategy. In the said role, he was in charge of providing tracking metrics for the company and coming up with program recommendations and strategic proposals that would help steer the long-term direction of the enterprise security product portfolio.
In the 15 years he has been with the cybersecurity company, Cromer also held the roles of regional product manager, senior sales engineer and project coordinator.
Prior to joining Symantec, Cromer spent six-and-a-half years at computer software company Creo and over two years at Polygon Homes.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the University of British Columbia and a master of business administration degree from Northwest Christian College.
Alysse Nockels, CI Director at Tanium
Alysse Nockels is the competitive intelligence director at Tanium, an Emeryville, California-based information technology company that provides endpoint security and systems management services. She has held the role since January 2019.
For over one-and-a-half years, Nockels has been at the forefront of building the company’s CI function. A seasoned CI professional, Nockels has built CI programs for prominent companies in the technology sector and helped steer their product direction and company strategy while assisting sales teams with competitive positioning, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Before joining Tanium, Nockels spent a year and a half working for Sedulo Group, where she led the overall execution of the organization’s business services division. The role put her in charge of several business functions, including competitive intelligence collection and dissemination, professional development, cross-functional team management, business development, resource management and client engagement.
She also worked briefly for McAfee as a principal engineer and a CI director. During her tenure, Nockels led the company’s recruitment efforts to build a team of CI professionals and conducted forecasts on competitor software releases.
From 2012 to 2017, Nockels served as the CI director for Intel’s security business. Earlier in her career, she served as a senior market research planner and a senior systems security engineer at Lockheed Martin.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in telecommunication systems at the University of Wisconsin-Stout before completing her master’s degree in IT from Capella University.
Debbie Franklin, Senior Management of Competitive Intelligence Team at CrowdStrike
Debbie Franklin is a 30-year industry veteran who serves as senior manager of the competitive intelligence team at CrowdStrike, a Sunnyvale, California-based provider of endpoint security solutions.
Since taking on the role in January, Franklin has been leading her team, establishing clear CI practice, developing consistent deliverables templates, providing executive overview level content for sales and eStaff and identifying high value-add and proactive engagement opportunities.
Franklin is an expert in sales content and training development, team and project management, sales tactics and strategy expansion, product positioning, take-out program and marketing guidance, market landscape and pricing analysis.
She previously spent more than eight years at computer software provider Oracle as a director of competitive intelligence, serving as a subject matter expert in competition to Oracle engineered systems, servers and cloud solutions, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Prior to joining Oracle, Franklin briefly served as a senior manager at VMware where she was tasked with developing and implementing a new company-wide market intelligence program and synthesizing market data into summaries with actionable insight for key stakeholders and executives.
From 2000 to 2008, she worked for what was then the Hewlett-Packard Company as a senior marketing consultant. In this role, Franklin worked closely with product and marketing teams to deliver competitive analysis for outbound content and served as the primary analyst and lead author of IBM competitive marketing and positioning content and training within HP’s business critical systems group.
Franklin also worked as competitive intelligence marketing manager at Sun Microsystems, manager of solutions and cloud competitive intelligence at Pure Storage and software and business consultant at Kaiser Permanente.
Eric Rose, VP of Financial Strategies and Competitive Intelligence at ASRC Federal
Eric Rose joined ASRC Federal in April 2015 as the company’s vice president of financial strategies and competitive intelligence.
ASRC Federal is a defense and space company that specializes in engineering, technical services, information technology, professional services and infrastructure support.
With over 20 years of industry experience, Rose has gained knowledge on competitive analysis, pricing, government contracting, business process improvement, proposal writing, IT strategy, cloud computing, enterprise architecture, forecasting, revenue recognition and business transformation, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Some of his key skills include price optimization, profitability analysis, proposal management, pricing analysis and margin analysis.
Rose transitioned to ASRC Federal after serving key pricing analyst roles for civil engineering, IT and management consulting companies.
Most recently, he spent nearly two years at URS, where he served as the director of competitive analysis and price-to-win for the company’s federal services division. He was also a client solutions executive and a global public sector pricing analyst for IBM from March 2004 to July 2013. In the early 200s, he held the role of senior pricing analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton and CSC.
Rose completed his bachelor’s degree in accounting from George Mason University.
Matthew Sell, Chief Analyst of Competitive, Market Intelligence at SAP
Matthew Sell is a two-decade industry veteran who serves as chief analyst of competitive and market intelligence at cybersecurity solutions provider SAP.
Sell is an expert in competitive intelligence, competitive analysis, enterprise mobility, business analytics, business intelligence, product marketing and business analytics.
In his current role at SAP, Sell provides insight and guidance to help drive the competitive and market intelligence team toward its long-term goal of becoming a recognized intelligence team in the industry.
Sell has been with the software company for more than 20 years, holding various increasingly responsible competitive and market intelligence positions, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He initially joined SAP’s U.K. business division in February 1996 as a pre-sales consultant, responsible for supporting marketing programs and events and providing technical and competitive training to sales, pre-sales and marketing team members.
In July 2000, Sell moved to SAP’s office in San Jose, California, to serve as a competitive analyst, a role he held for more than eight years before becoming a market intelligence analyst at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters.
From April 2011 to January 2016, Sell served as lead analyst within the competitive and market intelligence team.
Prior to joining SAP, Sell spent more than three years at European Software Publishing as a professional services engineer.
Sell graduated from the University of Surrey with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science.
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