Aaron Feigin

Aaron brings to Sumo Logic 20 years of experience helping technology heavyweights and disruptors elevate their position, build their brand and grow their business. Before Sumo Logic, Aaron most recently spent 6 years at VMware, where he built and led the global team responsible for communicating the vision, strategy and values during a period of rapid growth – $2B to $5B in revenue. In addition, Aaron was responsible for the market introduction of VMware NSX, the transformative network virtualization platform that grew from several million to several hundred million dollars in revenue in under three years. Aaron currently serves as advisor to several early stage startups and non-profits who are working to bring new ideas to market.

Posts by Aaron Feigin


Ground Zero for a $30 Trillion Disruption

Yes, that is a “T” as in trillion. In the last 30 days, I had the pleasure of attending two events that reinforced in my mind that Sumo Logic is at the center of the largest market disruption I will most likely experience in my lifetime. First, I traveled with our Sumo Logic CTO, Christian Beedgen, to Lisbon, Portugal, for his presentation at Europe’s largest technology conference, Web Summit 2016. After watching at least 100 thought leaders representing 20+ different industries from around the world, the comment from Saul Klein of LocalGlobe and Index Ventures about the expected reallocation of $30 trillion in market value from existing Fortune 2000 companies to new disruptors and yet-to-be-born companies beautifully summed up my key takeaway from the show. However this massive transfer of wealth is not just dependent on each country represented (more than 115!) finding and funding the next Google. Klein passionately appealed to global policy makers and influencers to support the 120 million “zebras” on Facebook interested in entrepreneurship in order to have more control over their lives. Self-employed entrepreneurs already represent five percent of the global population and growing. So, imagine the synchronicity I felt when I found myself a few weeks later at what I consider to be the mecca of the zebra wave: AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas. The energy, activity and dialogue of 32,000+ attendees (or ‘builders’ in parlance of AWS CTO Werner Vogels), across a myriad of market categories sharing and demonstrating their cloud-based products, solutions and services was not only exciting, but also gave me a sense of hope. Hope, in that, as Gary Vee said at Web Summit, now with the ubiquity of mobile and the accessibility of cloud, “if you have the imagination and willingness, no one can stop you. No one.” This hope is not just in transformative technologies but also in the very way people come together to create. It’s collaboration that goes beyond the sake of inclusivity in and of itself. The market transition to a size-able, global entrepreneurial workforce will create an ocean of experts who have the opportunity to come together in a much more harmonious way to solve similar problems, providing solutions to market that benefit people and profits. For businesses adopting this philosophy, silos will dissipate in favor of collaborative structures, processes and decision-making. We see this playing out already in digital businesses that have adopted DevOps as their innovation strategy. DevOps practices scuttle linear, waterfall software development approaches in favor of agile and continuous delivery practices resembling “loops.” Silos fade away, and a cross-expertise (as opposed to “cross-function”) of development, testing, deployment, operations, security and line-of-business professionals come together to create, monitor, troubleshoot, optimize and then creation again — a continuous loop that drives continuous innovation. And these loops won’t be cookie-cutter — they will be unique to the ideas, culture and opportunities of each organization, thereby creating new sources of business competitive advantage, and new sources of hope for unimagined opportunities. We see examples of this today in organizations such as Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, Spotify, Snapchat, Amazon and Netflix to name a few. So, every company faces a fundamental question — to be part of the policy of continuous innovation (hope), or to maintain a policy of entrenchment to preserve the status quo. In my mind, no group will survive a policy of entrenchment or isolation. A company might keep going for a while, but ultimately it won’t survive. The longer it waits, the more it delays the inevitable. That’s why Sumo Logic is passionate about helping companies make this transition. Our machine data analytics platform provides the visibility and confidence companies desire to transition to cloud and modern applications. We think of it as “continuous intelligence” to feed the loop of continuous innovation decision-making. And the value is applicable across the organization. For example, as a 20-year marketing & communication veteran, I’m excited to finally be in the position of being a consumer of a B2B technology that’s relevant to my expertise. Our cloud-native, multi-tenant platform service enables us to leverage customer meta data to better understand their usage patterns of our own product, so we can better support and market to them, in addition to optimizing our services. And that re-allocated $30T I mentioned earlier? Well wrap your head around this: one expected outcome will be that 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced in the next 10 years, at the current S&P churn rate. (Source: Innosight, Richard N. Foster, Standard & Poor’s). So, there’s a sense of urgency in the air, which may explain the astonishing growth rates of Web Summit (from a couple of hundred in Dublin 2010 to more than 50,000 in six years), and AWS re:Invent (5,500 attendees in 2012 to more than 32,000 this year). And that gives me hope too because it means people are getting it. So, when I look back ten years from now at Web Summit and AWS re:Invent 2016, I’m proud to know that I was there at ground zero for a $30T market disruption. And my forecast for the next ten years? It will be a wild ride for sure, but those who go ‘all-in’ on cloud computing, focus on new ideas and delivering value continuously at speed, are likely to come out on top. And at a time when much in the world seems unknown, the future certainly seems bright to me. https://www.sumologic.com/blog... class="at-below-post-recommended addthis_tool">


Shopping for a MSP That Gets Cloud? Three Essential Questions to Guide Your Search

As organizations look to move more workloads into the cloud, many have turned to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to help with their journey. While organizations have the opportunity to choose from a vast pool of MSPs, not all MSPs are created equally when it comes to the cloud. Case in point: This past week, Sumo Logic had the privilege of hosting a panel of three “next generation MSPs” – Day1 Solutions, Logicworks, and Smartronix. The panelists, along with Kelly Hartman, who heads up the MSP Program at AWS, met at the AWS Loft in SoHo to learn more about why these organizations are on the cutting edge of the cloud market transition and what that means for customers. From the discussion, I took away three key questions that I recommend IT leaders consider when determining which MSP is right for their journey to the cloud. 1. Is your MSP resting on its laurels? A key characteristic of “next generation” organizations – whether an MSP, technology vendor, customer, etc. – is their passion for constant innovation, including their laser-like focus on the latest shifts and trends that influence innovation. Thus, next generation MSPs are built on speed and agility, and they quickly adapt to relevant trends – making investments in the right tools and technologies to meet the demands of their customers. All our panelists agreed that while these changes are necessary, they can be quite painful – from restaffing and training, to new tools and service offerings – but a true next generation MSP is able to see the value in these crucial investments. This shift will bring about both an expertise in industry trends and the specific “tools of the trade.” Next generation MSPs will not only be well versed in new cloud-native tools, but will also recognize where their old tools simply won’t do the job. Jason McKay, Senior VP and CTO at Logicworks, advised that many customers aren’t fully aware of the breadth of capabilities that cloud-native tools can bring to the equation, and MSPs need to be able to educate customers on the new capabilities. This means going beyond just the new bells and whistles and delving deep into new ways of using data or monitoring applications. 2. Is your MSP a code company or a people company? Our panelists also highlighted the operating model shift of next generation MSPs. In the past it was a common selling point for MSPs to showcase their fully-staffed NOC. Now, according to Brian Clark, VP of the Managed Service Division at Day1 Solutions, the degree of code running infrastructure operations is the new measure of IT confidence. It’s less about “old-world” system administrators, and more about “new-world,” agile infrastructure advisors, who can aid customers on the cloud/IT strategies relevant for their businesses while code takes over the rudimentary work of keeping the infrastructure up, running and viable for end customer engagement. For example, MSPs that invest in cloud-native log management solutions will provide their customers with real-time, full-stack visibility of their entire infrastructure for managing, monitoring and troubleshooting their applications – a capability that simply didn’t exist in the past. This capability, known as continuous intelligence, enables customers to reallocate valuable IT headcount to focus on higher-value work, such as developing and delivering new business applications that can contribute to company profitability either through increasing revenue opportunities or internal process efficiencies. 3. Is your MSP willing to tell you your baby is ugly? Early in the discussion Paul Beda, Principal Cloud Architect and Strategist at Smartronix, chimed in to say that a next generation MSP needs to be willing to tell customers their baby was ugly. What does this mean? When entering into a relationship with an MSP, you are seeking expertise, and this means finding an MSP who is willing to take charge, who will point out the flaws in your current systems, tell you what can be altered, and what needs to be re-architected entirely (aka, the ugly baby). Next generation MSPs do more than manage infrastructures, they have the expertise and experience to optimize, automate and innovate your IT environments to ensure it’s tightly aligned to business goals and objectives. Thus, you’ll maximize your MSP investment if you leverage your MSP as a strategic advisor in addition to a service provider. The panel all agreed that the challenge here is that many customers try to come into the relationship and say how they want something, as opposed to what they really want. Even if your next generation MSP is telling you your baby is ugly, their expertise is lost if you aren’t willing to listen and let them do their jobs. I believe these key questions will greatly aid your search for the right MSP partner. In addition, specific business and IT guidelines and requirements are essential, which is a point that Kelly Hartman emphasized, and AWS has recognized through its development of the Managed Service Provider Validation Checklist. AWS announced that the 3.0 version of this list will be available January 1. Sumo Logic has been working closely with the AWS Managed Service Program to help enable next-generation MSPs by providing the continuous intelligence they need to deliver on the infrastructure needs of their customers. Learn more about our cooperation with this program in this blog post.