You have to take the punt when you can prove your Kiwi technology will sell globally.Andy Prow, RedShield Security \u201cThe Kiwi\ntwo-degrees of separation is utterly gold dust,\u201d says Andy Prow, CEO and\nco-founder of RedShield Security.RedShield\nprovides \u2018security as a service\u2019 and Prow is currently focusing on taking on\ncustomers across the globe.\u201cWe are\nliterally entering the next phase of RedShield,\u201d says Prow, whose company won\nthe innovation category at the inaugural CIO100 awards in New Zealand. \u201cWe have\nproved the technology in New Zealand. We now have a first set of large\ninternational customers. It is now time to replicate and expand.\u201dHe is working\nwith the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Beachheads\u2019 programme, which helps\nKiwi enterprises enter overseas markets, and also engages with KEA, the global\nonline expat community of Kiwis.\u201cWe can arrive in London, and we will know someone who knows\nsomeone,\u201d he says on the vital connections these networks can bring.He does not\nname the customers due to commercial confidentiality, but states these are in\nthe UK and the United States, where they are also setting up subsidiaries.To scale to\nthat level, the company has found strategic partners for both locations.\u201cWhile finding\nthe perfect customers, we have to find the perfect delivery partners at the\nsame time,\u201d says Prow.\nNo captionHelp your customers understand their ROI with you every day. This is critical for a SaaS offering, where most customers can turn you off in 30 days.Andy Prow, RedShield SecurityOverseas, he\ndescribes RedShield as a New Zealand company. \u201cWe are still a Kiwi business and\nI use the trusted brand of entrepreneurial Kiwis.\u201dBut before\ntaking the product global, \u201cWe utterly made sure the New Zealand operations\nwere running beautifully. I have to be confident with the team here in New\nZealand that we can start our global business, without disrupting what we\nalready have.\u201dProw\nunderscores the importance of moving fast, and to do this the company had to\nback its own initial trips overseas. They met with prospective\ncustomers - who also became their first international customers - during these\ntrips, and continued the conversations remotely. \u201cToo often we\nhave the strategy nailed down perfectly before we leave. For me, that was too\nslow,\u201d he states. \u201cSometimes you\nneed to back what you are doing, make the jump and see where it goes. You have\nto take the punt when you can prove your Kiwi technology will sell globally.\u201dSpotting a global opportunityHe says\nRedShield works to shield high-value, vulnerable web-apps and websites from\nattack.\u201cIt is a\nworld-first service to be targeting 100 per cent vulnerability mitigation,\nusing its unique ability to be able to create individual shields for every\nsecurity flaw that exists in our customer\u2019s apps,\u201d Prow claims.As a concept,\nRedShield was an innovation born in 2012, on the back of the RedEye business he\nand his partners founded in 2009.RedEye as a\nsystem, scanned websites and web-apps looking for security flaws. \u201cHowever, many\nof our customers were unable to fix these flaws rapidly, if at all,\u201d he\nexplains.Some of the\nreasons for not fixing their flaws included lack of knowledge, no access to the\nsource code or, most commonly, issues found in older systems that no longer had\na budget to enable a fix. Timing was an\nissue even for customers with the skills and budgets, he points out. \u201cOften, it\ntakes weeks or months to fix security flaws - whereas hackers can create\nexploits in days.\u201d\u201cWhat the\nmarket really needed was an effective, immediate defence option,\u201d he says.\u201cThis was not a NZ only problem, but a global opportunity.\u201dChoose the road to successThe first\nphase of success or failure was to create RedShield v1.0 as a hardware and\nsoftware platform locally, says Prow.In 2013, two\npilot customers came on board. Both of them had more than 100 public-facing\nvulnerabilities, some of which were critical. \u201cWithin days\nof shielding, both customers were brought down to zero issues,\u201d he says.\u201cThe key\nbenefits we achieve for our customers are an immediate defence layer on their\nhighest value online assets,\u201d he states. \u201cWe also give them full visibility of\nattacks that they come under, with correlation on the likely success and impact\nof the attacks if RedShield was not in place.''In November 2015, RedShield was also awarded a position on\nthe New Zealand Government\u2019s Telecommunications-as-a-Service\n(TaaS) panel. Via TaaS, RedShield will become a\nkey provider to Government for secure application publishing services,\nprotecting its websites and applications from attacks and privacy breaches,\nacross both internal networks and those publicly available. Object lessons fortech entrepreneursFor CIOs\ntaking on a major project that could provide new services or revenue streams, Prow\nadvises to start with this concept: \u201cUnderstand your customer's problem deeply.\u201d\u201cWith every\nrelease of your system, ask, \u2018Does this actually provide what they need'?\u201d It is also\nimportant to have a mechanism to constantly measure and report on your success\nand value to your customers, he states.\u201cHelp them\nunderstand their ROI with you every day. This is critical for a SaaS offering,\nwhere most customers can turn you off in 30 days,\u201d says Prow.\u201cIf you and\nyour customers can not easily define and see your ROI, then you have a\nlong-term problem.\u201dSend news tips and comments to email@example.comFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nzSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.Join us on Facebook.