A few weeks ago, I attended the Kaspersky partner event in Sochi, Russia. While Kaspersky and Russia have been in the American news recently, my experience was diametrically opposite to the geopolitical storm that has been raging this decade. The Kaspersky organization and team showed me why they deserve to be highly ranked within the security industry.
First of all, the selection of Sochi, Russia was a real once-in-a-lifetime experience to see someplace that I probably would not have visited even though Sochi was a star of the 2014 Winter Olympic games. Sochi itself is a booming region sitting in a sub-tropical area along the coast of the Black Sea. I wasn’t aware that there were sub-tropical parts of Russia. The Sochi Olympic park was quite a construction investment and has an F1 track weaved within the park to increase the post-Olympic usefulness of the area.
The event itself is a showcase of Kaspersky’s yearly progress for the benefit of their partner community, which contains resellers, distributors, and commerce partners. Most of the content is geared towards sharing updates about Kaspersky’s corporate strategy, product progress and partner programs. The big reveal this year is that Kaspersky released their first brand update in some time. The three key updates were:
- Dropping “Lab” from their official name — Now more Kaspersky in every update!
2. New Logo featuring a custom font — First brand update since 1997 and the “e” will be individually recognizable.
3. Updated company mission statement: Building a safer world — Moving from cyber security to cyber immunity.
What was especially impressive, fun and aligned with the cleverbridge style, was the truly international nature of the Kaspersky team and the partners. This truly was a global event with partners from all continents represented, especially memorable is the LATAM MD who’s luggage was lost in transit, but kept a smile on his face while wearing 2014 Olympic SWAG. I also enjoyed the energy of the African resellers, who were also energetic and enthusiastic about being Kaspersky partners.
I also want to specifically mention the main hosts of the event for us:
1. Eugene Kaspersky — The eponymous founder and clearly life lover who has an infectious personality and style that brought out quite a few laughs and made people feel at ease.
2. Alex Moiseev — Kaspersky’s Chief Business Officer spent a lot of time being the face of the company during presentations and was a great foil during the between session banter with Alina.
3. Irina Bock — Our Kaspersky point of contact is newly wed to a German (kind of like I am) and she was a great host ensuring that we felt valued. Very appreciative of her kind words throughout the event.
Lastly, the Kaspersky team organized some Sochi sightseeing, including pushing us to try the Fly Park, an Indiana Jones style experience across a ravine with a sky swing, zip lines and two bungee jumping stations. I was impressed with all the partners who willingly “jumped” in to try the different experiences during our visit.
Perhaps next year’s event will be held at Vladivostok to really challenge our commitment to Kaspersky!