Derek Collison's Apcera Aims To Get Cloud And Legacy Platforms Talking Securely


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Series of Forbes Insights Profiles of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape: Derek Collison, Founder and CEO, Apcera

As computing gets ever more complex—and evermore intertwined in our daily lives—so, too, does the issue of “trust.” How can you trust modern systems that are hyper-connected to a multitude of cloud services and handle important and sometimes personal information? How do we trust the information that is presented to us on our phones and in our cars and homes?

This is the question that entrepreneur Derek Collison has set out to tackle with his San Francisco-based firm, Apcera. Apcera provides a trusted platform technology to enterprise-grade container management systems that, simply put, provides checks and balances across a number of interconnecting platforms, ensuring that information remains secure and protected as it passes from one program to another. Apcera’s system “speaks” multiple computing languages, allowing it to connect disparate programs across a range of systems, cloud-based applications to so-called legacy ones. It integrates a company’s preferred services, and provides a range of necessary capabilities, from orchestration to scheduling to auditing and more.

Collison says that, in addition to the “buzzwords”—“to automate more, go faster, do more, be more agile, be more innovative”—there is an underlying need to be able to simply have faith in the security of the programs running behind the tech world’s rapid development. “The underpinning of success of all those endeavors, in my opinion, is enabling technologies that can drive trust,” Collison says. “And that’s what Apcera specializes in.”

“We understand the complexity. We understand that things are going to increasingly become more complex,” he says.

In the nearly five years since Apcera was founded, it has grown to include some 120 employees; includes Michael Dell of Dell Computers among its first investors; and their website boasts a number of large enterprise customers. Collison says the Silicon Valley firm has become one of the leading players in the so-called container management market. He believes that Apcera’s performance in the next few months will exceed expectations, in part, due to the rapid adoption of container technology in large enterprises, which Apcera’s platform is especially designed to enable, at large scale. In addition, in 2014, Ericsson, the big Swedish telecom company, made a sizeable investment in Apcera to securely control its push into cloud systems.

Collison, a Maryland native, cut his programming teeth back in the 1980s while earning a degree in computer science from the University of Maryland, when he was tasked with turning a group of computers into a single “supercomputer” at the Applied Physics Lab of Johns Hopkins. Back then, this was considered pretty high-tech. The basic idea, he says, was “you deploy something and it runs very fast for one user, but how does it perform for many users. So it’s that scale-out versus scale-up mentality which was novel in the late 80s, but quite commonplace with the likes of Google and Facebook. And I was immediately thrown into the deep end of the pool, so to speak, without my floaties on.” Read Full Article (forbes.com)


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