Digital Transformers
Episode 34

Zero trust is not a product. It's not a product offer. You can't go to your favorite vendor and say, 'I want to buy a zero trust.' It's a philosophy. It's a mindset.

-Theresa Lanowitz

Episode Summary

Who’s leading the way on edge computing? The answer might surprise you (it’s manufacturing). In this episode, AT&T Head of Evangelism Theresa Lanowitz joins Kevin L. Jackson to discuss how the manufacturing industry is embracing edge computing, and what that means for both their operational models and cybersecurity practices moving forward. Tune in to hear Theresa’s thoughts on the traditional friction between IT and OT (and why it has to end), the rise of zero trust and SASE, and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to Digital Transformers, the show that connects you with what you need to build, manage, and operate your digital supply chain. Join your host in a timely discussion on new and future business models with industry leading executives. The show will reveal global customer expectations, real-world deployment challenges, and the value of advanced business technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process engineering. And now, we bring you Digital Transformers.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:35):

Hello, everyone. This is Kevin L. Jackson and welcome to Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now. I tell you, we are excited. Why I am excited, because I actually have a repeat guest here on Digital Transformers. Theresa Lanowitz from AT&T Cybersecurity, Head of Evangelism. Welcome back to the show, Theresa.

Theresa Lanowitz (01:04):

Thank you so much, Kevin. I had such a good time talking to you last time that I wanted to come back and talk a little bit more about some of the other information that we have from the AT&T Cybersecurity Insights Report and the Manufacturing Report we created from it. So, it was a great podcast with you last time, so thank you for inviting me back.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:23):

No, no, thank you. I tell you, we had, I think, about 6,000 downloads of your show, so I’m happy to have you back. So, what have you been doing since we last talked?

Theresa Lanowitz (01:39):

So, since the last time we talked, I think we met each other actually in person, which was really a treat. We met each other in person at the RSA conference in June. And RSA was a big, big event. Like we got together in person with 20,000 of our closest friends, and I think everybody was just really happy to be back in person at RSA, and I think that conference was really, really great. Learned a lot, met a lot of really great people. And it’s interesting over the past 18 months, we’ve been working via video, and virtual calls, and such, and it was just great to meet so many people who I’ve been working with very closely for the past 18 months or so, meeting them in person. So, it was a really great show and I’ve been out doing a lot of work with AT&T Cybersecurity on talking about what we discovered in our AT&T Cybersecurity Insights Report, securing the edge, doing a lot of webcasts, still continuing all that virtual work, so I’ve been really, really busy.

Kevin L. Jackson (02:34):

Now, I tell you, that was a well-honed show. I was kind of apprehensive, I guess, is the word, going back to 20,000 people “post-COVID”, although we still have to deal with it, but it was very smooth. And I tell you, it was a real joy to see you IRL there.

Theresa Lanowitz (02:58):

Yeah, IRL, it was a real pleasure to meet you IRL. And it was interesting, because you said 20,000 of our closest friends, a little apprehensive, and I think everybody mentioned, we were all happy to be back in person. But when I was checking out of my hotel on the last day of the conference, the hotel even said, we’re so happy that this conference is back. We’re so happy that you’re back. So, I think everybody was just happy to be back in person, and it was, as you said, just a really great show.

Kevin L. Jackson (03:27):

So, you said that you have been doing a lot of work on the similar cybersecurity reports on other industry verticals. So, a question, how is it different? I mean, are you learning new and different things when you are studying all these different industries? I mean, how is cybersecurity different between these different industry verticals?

Theresa Lanowitz (03:55):

Yeah. So, the work that we’re doing with these industry vertical reports really comes as work that we did on our core AT&T Cybersecurity Insights Report, and that was published in January of 2022. And our focus for that report was securing the edge. So, what we wanted to take a look at is what types of use cases were people really thinking about across different vertical industries, and how mature were they in those use cases in terms of implementing them, or were they just kind of thinking about things? So, a lot of this work in these industry verticals comes from that work that we did, that data that we collected for our core report. And I’ll tell you, the interesting thing is for that core report, we looked at the data in the aggregate. So, saying, of all the people we surveyed, and we’ve surveyed for that report 1,520 people from around the world, of those 1,520, here’s the data on this.

Theresa Lanowitz (04:52):

And it’s been really, really interesting delving into these industry vertical reports so far. Now, we have three. We’ve done one on healthcare. We’ve done one on a US public sector, which is SLED, the state local education in the US public sector, and it’s a state local governments and higher education. And now, we have one on manufacturing. So, it’s just been really interesting seeing how these different vertical markets are really responding to moving to the edge and also how their opinions of cybersecurity differ, where their maturity is in cybersecurity. And to me, it’s been really interesting just seeing that these different vertical markets, some of the vertical markets that you may not really think about are really emerging as leaders with edge computing. Manufacturing certainly is one of them. I mentioned healthcare, the US public sector, retail. So, there are new industry verticals that are really leading the way in edge, and some of them were brought about healthcare. For example, was brought about just by the pandemic, the pandemic caused so many organizations to have to pivot and rethink their business model much more clearly and a little bit differently.

Kevin L. Jackson (06:05):

Well, you’re right about not thinking about manufacturing when you’re talking about these leading edge technologies. I mean, to be fair, edge computing is kind of out there, right? Like retail would jump on edge, because you have to be where your customers are. They’re on their smartphones, so you got to support them on the smartphone. But manufacturing, I mean, they’re often cited as being slow to adopt new technology. The report says that 78% of manufacturing respondents are really planning partially implemented or have fully implemented in edge use case. So, adoption trends, like changing for manufacturing, what’s with this?

Theresa Lanowitz (06:58):

Yeah. I think manufacturing has had its reputation in the past of being this very stayed type of industry. And if you look at the things that have happened over the past decade or so, it really has changed manufacturing. And what we found out in our research is that manufacturing, as you said, 78% of the survey respondents who identified as manufacturing organizations were really in that mature phase or sort of in that partial implementation of an edge use case. And the way we defined these different stages, we said—kind of, we identified them in, I think, about four or five different stages. We said, are you in that ideation phase, where you’re just thinking about moving to the edge? You’re out there, you’re doing some research, maybe you’re reading some white papers, maybe you’re engaging with some service providers consultancies to understand what’s going on.

Theresa Lanowitz (07:49):

And then, we said sort of that mid-range, sort of that second phase after that ideation is really proof of concept. So, alright, we have an idea, we have a business idea that we want to implement on the edge, and then we have this proof of concept. Let’s just see if it will work. Is it something that will bring us business benefit? Are we going to get a good business outcome from it? And then, that mature stage really goes into, we are able to implement at scale either fully or partially. And so, it’s really impressive that manufacturing organizations are that mature and they’re able to implement at scale, fully or partially, these edge use cases. And the other interesting thing is that if we take a look in totality of the research that we’ve discovered in our report, manufacturing was one of the two leading adoption types of use cases along with the retail segment.

Theresa Lanowitz (08:46):

And retail said, we’re looking at edge for loss prevention, and manufacturing said, we’re looking at edge for visual quality inspection on our assembly lines. So, to me, it is just really encouraging to see manufacturing really advance in the transformation and just be far more sophisticated in how things are being built. And all you have to do is take a look around some of the leading manufacturers and you see how those shop floors have changed. It’s no longer this sort of just rolling things off the assembly line in a very manual way. They’re very, very automated. They’re very sophisticated. So, it’s just really encouraging to see that.

Kevin L. Jackson (09:25):

Well, I want to pull on that video-based quality inspection use case a little bit, because when you think about manufacturing, you kind of visualize all of these robots on the assembly line, putting pieces and parts, and then you think about all the people that were replaced by these robots and the jobs that were lost. But the last bastion was having that human at the end, that check on what the robots put together doing that visual quality inspection. But now, it says 59% of respondents say that that’s the most mature use case for manufacturing organizations. So, why is that the case? What’s happening to people?

Theresa Lanowitz (10:21):

Yeah. In manufacturing, much like many of these other verticals that we surveyed, so we surveyed six verticals for this particular core report, the manufacturing was one of them, retail, healthcare, energy and utilities, US public sector, and financial services. So, manufacturing much like these other industry segments really is looking at how can we deliver better business outcomes? How can we better serve our customers? And if you look at something like those visual quality inspections on the assembly line, what that’s doing is it’s really helping to pinpoint that root cause of a defect. So, if you have an assembly line moving around, you have those cameras, you have those sensors, and all of a sudden, something is off, maybe a measurement is off, maybe you have a flawed part that’s going through, those, in real time, and this is the key, it’s in near real time, they can pinpoint those defects and go backwards in that assembly line to really identify that root cause of what that defect is.

Theresa Lanowitz (11:25):

And now, if you take that, and so that’s a very sort of tactical, here’s what we’re doing on the assembly line, but if you look at that and you transfer that then into the business outcome that you’re getting from that is, for a business, that really reduces the potential for recalls. So, if you have some type of defect that is being entered into whatever it is you’re producing, and you don’t know that until maybe a customer gets it, and says, hey, the variance of this measurement might be off a little bit, or this doesn’t work exactly as it was, suddenly, they have to go back and do a recall in many cases, and then they have to figure out how many were impacted by that.

Theresa Lanowitz (12:06):

We see these recalls all the time. And so, by using that visual quality inspection on that assembly line, using those cameras, using those sensors to really say, here’s where the defect has been inserted, you can then stop the assembly line, and say, from this point forward, we have to test, you bring them back, and to me, that is just such an incredible use case for manufacturers. And it really helps them on this path of that true digital transformation, transforming the manufacturing process and delivering better business outcomes. And that’s really what every business wants to do is to deliver better outcomes, to deliver a better experience for your customers.

Kevin L. Jackson (12:46):

Yeah. And you know what I really like about that is that you’re using humans for what humans are good at, right? You don’t use the humans for those repetitive sort of low-value activities of looking at a part of something. The humans are reserved for the important aspects of determining the reasons for mistakes or failures, and coming up with new solutions, and maybe even improving the whole business process. So, you’re sort of upgrading the humans across the entire process.

Theresa Lanowitz (13:26):

Yeah, exactly. And I think if anybody were to tour manufacturing floors and see some of the visual quality inspection practices in person, everybody would be amazed. It is so advanced and it just delivers such a better product to the end customer and just really helps deliver those better business outcomes. So, the manufacturing floor has changed significantly.

Kevin L. Jackson (13:51):

So, within the manufacturing industry vertical, there’s always a lot of talk about IT and OT, or information technology, sometimes, versus operational technology, and there seems to be sort of friction between those two. Could you maybe explain the difference between IT and OT?

Theresa Lanowitz (14:20):

Yeah. And I think you’re right, that friction is there and the friction is really not necessary. It’s something, I think, that maybe it is sort of becoming more of an urban myth now that that friction is there, because there’s a whole lot of convergence that has happened. And again, a pandemic as a macro event really caused things to change. So, if we take a look at the difference between IT and OT, so IT, information technology, is really business-oriented, and OT, operational technology, is really industrial-oriented. And if you think about the way these systems and the way these people who are working on each side interact, so IT is interacting with information. We all use IT systems. IT worries about infrastructure. It worries about operations, governance. And the OT, the operational technology teams, they’re interacting within a network of machines.

Theresa Lanowitz (15:16):

And so, if you work in OT, you more than likely have to use IT for some things. So, IT is all those business things that we have to worry about. So, if you’re working in operational technology, you still have to use IT applications for maybe human resources, maybe entering time cards, doing things in your human resources portals, such as submitting for vacation days, all the different things that you do through human resources. So, submitting for vacation days, updating your 401(k), those sorts of things. So, regardless of where you work, either in IT or OT, you know, everybody’s using IT. And I think what we’ve seen over the past years is that this idea of friction between the IT teams and the OT teams was certainly there, but I think that what we’ve seen is that the IT teams are learning from the OT teams, and the OT teams are learning from the IT teams.

Theresa Lanowitz (16:14):

And I can remember when I was an analyst, probably back in 2004, 2005, I was doing some work as an analyst, some consulting work as an analyst with a firm that was really OT-based. And there were a lot of people at the firm at the time who had come from the IT side of things, and the OT people were very, very resistant to talking to the IT people. They said, well, hey, IT is IT, what do you know about what we’re doing on this operational technology front? And I think fast forward now 15 years or so and we’ve certainly changed. And if you think about it, the OT, the operational technology, their environments, they don’t change as quickly, because the requirements for what they’re doing are not changing as quickly. And on the IT side, the environments change very, very quickly.

Theresa Lanowitz (17:05):

And on the OT side, you want to work with that near real time experience. And so, we were just talking about visual quality inspection on the assembly line, that’s a near real time experience. And if you think about IT, what IT teams really focus on, the network is really—it’s transactional, so it’s really about the processing of data. And if you look at OT, it’s about that collection of data, and what they’re going to do with all of that data, the supervisory control and data acquisition, the acronym SCADA. So, the operational team, able to gather all of that data and perform analysis on it in a near real time fashion. And the other big thing, I think, that is a big, big difference between IT and OT, and this is one of the things that probably causes a lot of friction or has caused friction in the past is that access to those OT, those operational technology devices, they’re usually restricted to pretty small groups within that organization, and they’re highly specialized, and these operational technology teams and those OT devices, they’re usually using some type of custom software.

Theresa Lanowitz (18:23):

And so, they’re not using a standard operating system. So, they may have five or six different devices, and each of those five or six different devices, maybe using their own different type of operating system. So, you don’t have that consistency of the operating system. But I think that we talk so much about the friction between IT and OT, and I think that what we’ve seen with the pandemic really acting is that macro-factor really has said, hey, more collaboration is better, taking best practices from the different parts of the business uses and learning from the different parts of the business is really, really a powerful thing. And especially as we start to move to the edge, so understanding what maybe the IT team is doing in terms of some of the security controls that possibly the OT team can use. So, really understanding kind of best practices coming from each of those. I hope, I say this with a lot of confidence, I hope that the friction, that the mythical friction is gone and really is kind of an urban myth at this point, so that would be my hope.

Kevin L. Jackson (19:34):

So, the merging of these disciplines, although you are still talking about information technology, it seems to really, uh, affect the approach when it comes to security. I mean, the securing general purpose computers and applications, as opposed to securing specific, or specialty, or even homegrown operating systems and applications, just a completely different viewpoint. So, how does it affect the overall security of an organization?

Theresa Lanowitz (20:15):

Yeah. So, looking at the overall security of an organization, as you mentioned, it’s the idea of securing these devices, these IoT devices in many cases. And we know that with the advent of new networks, with more democratization of computing, we’re seeing more and more IoT devices out there in the market. And so, if you think about those IoT devices, that’s where this idea of controls in the edge versus controls on the edge. So, controls on the edge are really more for this idea of the ingress and egress points, so your typical sort of IT functions that you might have. So, things like intrusion detection systems, special purpose controls that you have inside of your IT organizations, firewalls, that sort of thing. And then, you go to controls in the edge, and suddenly, you’re in the edge, and you have to focus on those controls that are inside of those individual devices.

Theresa Lanowitz (21:15):

And that’s where this idea of zero trust really comes into play. So, that idea of zero trust saying, hey, we’re not going to trust anybody, even though they may be coming from a recognized domain name, we have to really verify that somebody is who they say they are. And now, we get to this idea of these devices, because we are seeing this proliferation of IoT devices that will be joining our network over the coming years, may already have joined our networks, so those devices, those IoT devices do not have a person attention. They’re not running traditional, gooey types of applications. They’re running these headless types of applications. They’re collecting data. They’re all about a lot of that scattered data and so on. So, those, you have to worry about the controls in the edge, and those devices really working with that zero trust mindset, and that zero trust philosophy, strategy, and architecture.

Kevin L. Jackson (22:10):

So, that was a very critical differentiation with respect to the edge controls, either in the edge or on the edge. And you mentioned this zero trust strategy, so how does like pursuit of a zero trust strategy help prioritize investment between these two options of on the edge versus in the edge?

Theresa Lanowitz (22:41):

Yeah. And zero trust is a big talking point. Everybody’s talking a lot about zero trust now. And one of the things that we learned in our research in 2021, when we did our Cybersecurity Insights Report in 2021, is we learned that 94% of our survey participants said they are embarking on a zero-trust journey, figuring out how to really implement zero trust. They have accepted solutions, processes, procedures to enable zero trust. And so, the thing with zero trust is it doesn’t matter where you are, whether you are focused on those controls on the edge or maybe for traditional IT functions, or you’re focused on controls in the edge for more traditional OT types of functions, zero trust is really important and will help you on that journey. So, zero trust is one of those things, and it’s important to say that zero trust is not a product. It’s not a product offer. You can’t go to your favorite vendor, and say, I want to buy a zero trust.

Kevin L. Jackson (23:44):

I want not one of those, right?

Theresa Lanowitz (23:45):

Yeah, exactly. So, it’s a philosophy, it’s a mindset. And the big thing with zero trust is it brings together the classic, and this might be cliche, but it brings together that classic people process and technology. And zero trust is not something that you can say, okay, we’re going to implement zero trust over here, but we’re not going to focus on over here. It brings together the whole organization. And that’s one of the things, I think, that is so exciting about moving to the edge. We have compute becoming more and more democratized. We’re moving to the edge. We’re using networks, lower latency, higher bandwidth, more secure networks than ever before with IG, for example, but zero trust is very important, because we’re saying, we’re going to identify what we want to certainly what we think is going to be attacked, but we also want to identify what we’re going to protect and how we’re going to protect it, how we’re going to protect those applications, those end points, that data. And that data certainly has to be protected, that data has to be trusted, and that data has to be usable, that’s coming from that. So, zero trust is very important as we move to the edge. And we wrote a lot about zero trust in the 2022 report, as well as in the 2021 report, and I know that on our AT&T website, our AT&T cybersecurity website, we have white papers that focus on talking about a zero trust transformation.

Kevin L. Jackson (25:13):

So, this is yet another area where IT and OT are sort of merging and need to work together, but doesn’t that sort of bring up the budget battle also, because resources are driven by the purse string, right? So, as you’re planning your budget for edge computing in manufacturing, how does all this sort of work together?

Theresa Lanowitz (25:43):

Yeah. So, one of the things that we discovered from this research, and this is in the aggregate, is the sweet spot of where across the board, all the people who took the survey, where they’re spending money for security, for their edge projects, the sweet spot is somewhere between 11 and 21%. So, now, we take this to manufacturing, and 50% of manufacturing respondents, and the number of manufacturing respondents we had was right 258. So, the end for manufacturing is 258. So, 50% of those manufacturing respondents said we’re spending somewhere between 11 and 21% of our overall edge budget on security. So, if you take a look at this, this is really, I think, very encouraging, because what it starts to show is that these silos that have been inside of organizations for decades in many cases are now starting to be eradicated on the IT side.

Theresa Lanowitz (26:41):

And we talked about that potential friction between IT and OT, so those silos between IT and OT are being eradicated, because what people are saying is we understand that security is important. We’re not going to wait for some event, some security event to happen to start spending money on it. We’re going to be proactive with it right up front. And this is an interesting point that we found as well. In our 2021 research, we found that the line of business said, we are moving to the edge, we’re moving to adopt 5G networks, because of the business differentiation that they can deliver to us. So, again, there are business outcomes, the better experience for customers, and so on. So, the line of business is largely driving that, but what we also found out, and to me, this was really encouraging, the line of business said, yeah, we’re moving because it’s a business differentiation, but we are only moving if we’re in lockstep with the security team.

Theresa Lanowitz (27:45):

So, suddenly, the line of business and the security team are talking, they’re communicating, they’re collaborating, they’re working together, which is just wonderful. And as we move to more democratized compute, like we are at the edge, my prediction is we’re going to see more and more of those silos eradicate. So, we’ll see the IT team talking to the OT team, talking to the line of business, talking to the development team, and as you move to the edge, everything changes, the type of network that we’re going to use changes. The use case changes, the way we interact with data changes, and the applications change as well. So, that whole life cycle, that whole ecosystem is changing. So, it’s a pretty exciting time.

Kevin L. Jackson (28:28):

Yeah, it sounds like. And I mean, since the security and the business leaders are really aligning, that’s probably what’s driving this increase in budget for security. But with that said, looking at your data here, like only 29% of manufacturers really look at patching their applications as an important control. Why is software security not really appreciated? Is that the word?

Theresa Lanowitz (29:09):

I wouldn’t say that manufacturers are saying security is not appreciated, because manufacturers, the manufacturing organizations are certainly saying security is appreciated. And what they also told us is they said, you know what, we realize that as we move to the edge, this is something new, we realize that there is a perceived risk. So, we think that yes, an attack is likely, and we know it’s going to impact our business, and we’re doing everything we can back to that idea of they’re spending somewhere between 11 and 21% upfront on security of their overall edge budget. But if you think about this idea of patching, security’s so much more than patching. And I have to say, I was really surprised when we got these numbers back regarding patching and the effectiveness of patching as we moved to the edge, I was surprised that people were so honest about patching.

Theresa Lanowitz (29:59):

I think that patching certainly has a place, certainly is something you should have in your repertoire of what you’re doing. But if you think about moving to the edge, this goes back to one of the key points of OTs, operational technology, it’s really industrial-focused. It interacts with a network of machines, and that network of machines may not be easily patched and they change infrequently. So, you may have a camera somewhere that maybe it’s out of date, maybe it’s no longer produced, so the company is no longer going to be updating that firmware or updating anything about it, but you’re still using it. So, this idea of patching, and in general, patching is it’s very manual, so we want to move to things that are more automated in fashion, and we want to move to things that are more proactive in fashion versus reactive.

Theresa Lanowitz (30:55):

And we want to move beyond just that manual activity. So, I think that manufacturers moving to the edge, they have been so—they were so clear in the fact that here are our top use cases. One of the top use cases in all the studies is saying, you know what, here’s what we’re doing, our top use cases, visual quality inspection, we’re also doing things like smart warehouses, all these other types of interesting things that manufacturers are doing, and they’re saying, you know what, we understand the impact to our business would be so severe if there was some type of cyber event, so we’re going to do everything we can to be as up to date as possible, as smart as possible about how we’re implementing security. So, I think those manufacturing organizations are really taking a look at security, and saying, yeah, it’s something that’s really, really important for us, which is, again, just so encouraging across the board.

Kevin L. Jackson (31:56):

Well, the focus on security is very encouraging, but it also sounds like it’s in house, right? It’s that, I mean, where these applications, these systems, these networks that we’re building are bespoke, where they’re this way, because it is what gives us our competitive edge in the industry. So, the security is all in house, so does that mean that managed security services that are provided, by definition, by organizations outside are not suitable for manufacturing?

Theresa Lanowitz (32:41):

Yeah, you bring up a really good point, and I would say that manufacturing organizations are not saying, hey, we’re going to do this all on our own. One of the things we know, compute is becoming more democratized, it’s becoming more complex. So, manufacturing organizations, just like any other organization is saying, you know what, we want to innovate, we want to be able to deliver those better business outcomes, so we’re going to ask for help. One of the things we found in our 2021 research is that 95% of the organizations we surveyed said, as we start to move to the edge, we are going to seek the help of a telco of a consultancy, of a global systems integrator, of a vendor, they’re going to seek help. And what we found out this year in our 2022 research is that 65% of our respondents across the board said, we are working with a third-party to help us implement these edge use cases and these new edge networks.

Theresa Lanowitz (33:38):

So, organizations are asking for help and I think that’s really smart. And what we’re also seeing is this movement of SASE, the secure access service edge, right? And again, the pandemic really accelerated this idea of SASE with the biggest use case of work from home. We’re not all sitting in the office, so we’re all sitting at home on our laptops and all that data was being back-hauled into the data center. And so, SASE, secure access service edge said, you know what, let’s focus on doing this in the cloud. And manufacturers as well, 50% of manufacturing organizations say that, yes, we are combining our network functions and our cyber security controls in the cloud. So, that makes it pretty easy for managed security services. So, managed security services for manufacturing, that’s definitely something that manufacturers are taking advantage of and will continue to take advantage of. That’s a big, big opportunity out there for organizations to ask for help, to be able to say, you know what, I need to safeguard my digital assets, my beta, my application, my endpoint.

Theresa Lanowitz (34:45):

I need to make sure that in the event that there is some sort of cyberattack, that I am experiencing some sort of cyber risk that I can act with confidence, work with my managed security services vendor that I’m working with. And also, the other thing that people really want to do is they want to be able to drive that operational efficiency into the cybersecurity budget that they have. So, they’re spending more, they’re investing more in cybersecurity right upfront, and that’s a really positive thing. And then, being able to drive that operational efficiency into that budget is really critical as well. And that’s what managed security services can only do.

Kevin L. Jackson (35:23):

So, managed security services are live and well when it comes to edge computing. I tell you, Theresa, I could talk with you forever with all of this. You are such a wealth of knowledge. So, thank you for your time, and your perspective, and insights today. But unfortunately, we sort of come to the end about time. So, how can the audience get a copy of this most recent at the edge report or manufacturing, or even reach out directly to you for questions?

Theresa Lanowitz (36:01):

Yeah. So, getting a copy of the report, go to att.com/business, click on the Cybersecurity link, and the report is right there at the bottom of the page. And on the manufacturing report, the healthcare report, and the SLED report, those reports are not dated. To get the overall, the larger AT&T cybersecurity Insights Report, again, visit att.com/business, click on Cybersecurity, and you’ll see the download page for the larger core report. So, thank you so much. And what I want to—I’d like to wrap up and say that we are in such a transformative time and such an interesting time for compute, and that what manufacturing organizations specifically can do is really continue to focus on that collaboration. Don’t let that urban legend of that friction between IT and OT kind of ruin your collaboration that you are doing, so collaborate.

Kevin L. Jackson (37:00):

Ruin your plans, right.

Theresa Lanowitz (37:02):

Yeah. Know your data, because the edge is all about the data, know what’s going on with your data, understand your supply chain, and we didn’t even get a chance to talk about supply chain, and I know that’s one of your really big topics you like to focus on, but really understanding that supply chain, having confidence in your supply chain, understanding what each of your suppliers are doing for security, and so on. And then, this idea of shared responsibility, and we talked a little bit about that. So, understanding where your responsibility of connecting your data, your applications, your endpoint, connecting that to the network, connecting those to your favorite public cloud provider, understanding where your responsibility starts, and either the network provider or the public cloud provider, where their responsibility ends. And then, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is new. This is evolving. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think those are some of the best sort of key takeaways and advice that I could offer up.

Kevin L. Jackson (37:56):

I tell you, you did—I’m going to go for one more, because you mentioned supply chain, and there’s this big push to have more visibility in supply chain, both from partners and from customers. How does that translate into manufacturing edge security?

Theresa Lanowitz (38:24):

Yeah. And supply chain is such an interesting thing. It’s now in our everyday lexicon, and part of the zeitgeist, the moment that we’re living in, and we know that the supply chain is only as strong as its weakest supplier. And when I’ve been talking with manufacturing organizations, what they’re saying is they’re going to set up sort of a catalog of suppliers to really look at what that supplier can provide to them in terms of what they need for fulfilling that supply chain in terms of products, and so on. But what they’re also looking at is the confidence level that they have in the security of that provider. So, what is that provider doing to make sure that they’re handling cybersecurity controls correctly in their environment, that they’re handling cybersecurity controls effectively as they send that piece through that supply chain. So, that idea of ranking or putting together a catalog of confidence for supply chain providers, supply chain vendors is something that I think we’re going to see a lot of in the coming year or so.

Kevin L. Jackson (39:31):

So, it sounds like zero trust and visibility across the network really are synergistic, they’re supporting each and they both need to be part of your forward strategy. So, thank you very much, Theresa. In closing, I would like to invite everyone to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supplychaindown.com. All those links that Theresa had mentioned are available in the show notes for this program. And you can find Digital Transformers and Supply Chain Now wherever you get your podcast, so be sure to subscribe. So, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now, this is Kevin L. Jackson wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers.

Intro/Outro (40:36):

Thank you for supporting Digital Transformers and for being a part of our global Supply Chain Now community. Please check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com. Make sure you subscribe to Digital Transformers anywhere you listen to or view the show, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Digital Transformers.

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Featured Guests

Theresa Lanowitz is a proven global influencer and speaks on trends and emerging technology poised to help today’s enterprise organizations flourish. Theresa is currently the head of cybersecurity evangelism at AT&T Business. Prior to joining AT&T, Theresa was an industry analyst with boutique analyst firm voke and Gartner. While at Gartner, Theresa spearheaded the application quality ecosystem, championed application security technology, and created the successful Application Development conference. As a product manager at Borland International Software, Theresa launched the iconic Java integrated development environment, JBuilder. While at Sun Microsystems, Theresa led strategic marketing for the Jini project – a precursor to IoT (Internet of Things). Theresa’s professional career began with McDonnell Douglas where she was a software developer on the C-17 military transport plane and held a US Department of Defense Top Secret security clearance. Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Connect with Theresa on LinkedIn.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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