Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:04

Why Entrust Datacard is now just Entrust

Entrust South Pacific regional managing director and Asia Pacific vice president of bureau solutions Michael Robertson Entrust South Pacific regional managing director and Asia Pacific vice president of bureau solutions Michael Robertson

GUEST INTERVIEW: Entrust Datacard recently renamed and rebranded itself as Entrust, in part to emphasise that the company's product portfolio is much wider than credential issuance. iTWire explored the background to the change with Entrust's South Pacific regional managing director and Asia Pacific vice president of bureau solutions Michael Robertson.

The Entrust Datacard name was adopted when Datacard acquired Entrust in 2013. Since the Entrust name carries much broader connotations than Datacard, what stopped the company adopting that name at the time of the acquisition?

Since we were established in 1969, Entrust Datacard has contributed to an identity, payments and data protection ecosystem that enables seamless, secure interactions. Our world has changed dramatically since the acquisition. Today, we continue to help our customers and their clients confidently make payments, cross borders, log into networks, enter buildings, shop online and more.

Through the years, Entrust has expanded from its core physical credential issuance focus to a robust digital security solution portfolio and market presence through in-house R&D and acquisitions. The name 'Entrust' is apt for the times that we live in – and more accurately reflects the company’s current portfolio and its vision for the future. The name change effectively positions Entrust as the leader in identity, security, connectivity and trust – providing the core technologies needed to secure today’s data.

That said, the Datacard name has strong recognition and will continue to be featured prominently as the product line name for the company’s high-volume card issuance solutions – we are continuing to invest and innovate to lead in high-volume hardware, software, services and supplies.

Rebranding during a global pandemic seems risky. Yes, the changes in the tech environment means there are new demands on security (in the broad sense), so wouldn't it be better to focus your messages on what you can do for prospective customers rather than getting sidetracked with branding considerations?

The effects of the pandemic underscore the importance of our products for our core customers – digital enterprises, financial institutions, and government agencies – and further solidify the decision to transition to the Entrust name.

Today, the world is more digital, more connected, and more mobile than ever before – making the concepts of identity, trust and security even more foundational and critical than before the pandemic. The name Entrust establishes the company as an ally that organisations trust now and in the future.

Where do you see growth opportunities for Entrust in Australia over the next year or two?

We have made global acquisitions and local partnerships in recent times which put us in a very strong place for growth in Australia. We pride ourselves on having an expansive portfolio that offers the trusted identity and secure issuance technologies that our clients are familiar with. Our solutions range from the physical world of financial cards, passports and ID cards to the digital realm of authentication, certificates and secure communications.

While there is no doubt that some industries and organisations will be affected by the pandemic, many are still looking at ways to enhance their business, streamline processes and create business efficiencies. Digital trust is a big part of that process, especially as workforces become more mobile and flexible. This is where we see the rebranded Entrust coming in play – with our innovation-first mindset, alongside products and solutions to help secure an ever-changing world.

Which of those are existing opportunities (eg, companies finally realising they need what you offer, or perhaps realising you have certain advantages over the incumbent supplier), and which will be in emerging areas? For example, buy now, pay later has grown very rapidly - what's the next 'digital opportunity'?

In Australia, we have a steady growth in contactless payment technologies and device authentication services. Recent statistics show that Australians make more than 1.8 billion electronic POS transactions per year, which equates to nearly five million every day, according to Eftpos Australia. In view of the current global pandemic, we foresee a growing shift towards contactless payments.

As for the latter, secure device authentication currently stands among the top-tier investment priorities for key IoT markets. Coupled with work-from-home measures across the globe, we are seeing an increase in the need for stronger digital identity management and frictionless access to remote networks.

How do Entrust's more recent acquisitions fit into those opportunities?

Our acquisition of nCipher in 2019 allowed Entrust to further extend our ability to provide customers with solutions that meet their demand for data security stemming from regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the electronic identification, authentication and trust services (eIDAS) regulation.

The acquisition also strengthens the Entrust technology portfolio that secures data and identities across internal, cloud and hybrid networks, and from more frequent and sophisticated cyberattacks. It also provides a proven, trusted platform that enhances and extends the security of applications at the heart of the digital initiatives of today and tomorrow, including the Internet of Things, digital payments, card issuance and blockchain.

How much progress has been made in bringing those products and services into a coherent, integrated portfolio, and what remains to be done?

The brand refresh is a major part of the strategy, offering a more coherent platform to build the Entrust business around. Moving to a single master brand will make life easier for our customers – however, this transition will not happen overnight. To avoid confusion, we have developed a long term, comprehensive campaign to raise awareness and engagement with partners, customers and prospects in every vertical and geographic market we serve.

Ultimately, we aim to make 'Entrust' the foundation of our brand as it reflects how all of our technology and innovation create trust in our fast-changing world.

Most product lines have already been integrated into our portfolio and will transition to the Entrust brand – Datacard and nShield are the two exceptions, as they have strong equity and the product line names will live on under the Entrust master brand.

To what extent does Entrust rely on the channel as opposed to direct sales, and what changes (if any) do you plan for either side?

We have a strong channel presence, and rely on our trusted partners to represent our portfolio across Australia and New Zealand. This includes the range from central issuance, instant ID issuance, instant financial cards to identity access, certificates and hardware security module. Moving forward, we plan to strategically increase our channel presence as new markets and opportunities emerge.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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