business, people, year, cyber, customer, call, company, innovation, piece, cyber risk, week, psd, lean, gavin, world, big, irish, sms, book, run
Paul C Dwyer, Paul Dwyer and Gavin Carpenter
Paul Dwyer 00:00
Hey folks, welcome to the cyber Task Force podcast. This is the show but everything cyber from embracing innovation to cybersecurity and everything in between. We can go from the very, very dark to the brightest to bright topics, so listener discretion is advised. This is your host Paul Dwyer and on this episode, we’re going to speak to none other than Kevin carpenter, co founder on how he is operating a innovative cybersecurity business. So if that’s something you’re interested in, great, keep listening.
Ad Speaker 1 00:41
This episode is sponsored by cyberprism.com. CyberPrism is an award winning platform that allows you to measure and manage cyber risk in a really effective way. More about that later and now on with our show.
Paul Dwyer 00:58
So welcome to the show, Gavin carpenter. You’re very welcome to our podcast today. And if I introduce you to the audience, it’s Gavin Carpenter in today’s show, he is CEO of innovation. Gavin is the CEO of innovation since 2006. Before this, he worked with Isa telecom energies and cold telecom in senior management positions, providing him with a wealth of telecoms experience. Carpenter holds a degree in business management and a master’s in management from the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School. He’s launched many successful services for phone innovation, which has placed the company has one of the market leaders in the industry. Carpenter is an award winning Lean principles practitioner and change management leader for innovation is a lean, best practice in Europe company, a certified Microsoft silver partner, and has earned Deloitte best management companies award for the past three years. So look, I’m gonna stop there, because it goes in and we start talking about phone innovation, providing omni channel communications and so on. But I think maybe let’s hear from the man himself. Gavin, tell me, what does for innovation do and then we can get into a little bit about your own role in there and about Lean management and so on.
Gavin Carpenter 01:59
Hi Paul’s thanks for today its actually, I haven’t heard my bio in a while. And that person sounds really interesting. I’d love to meet center. Yeah, I’d love to meet them. And so for innovation, we provide an omni channel platform. So we provide an email, SMS, RCS, telephone solutions. So omni channel allows you to talk to the customer in whatever way is going to get the best result from them. So that’s the omni channel piece of the
Paul Dwyer 02:31
second party audience. So Gavin, just for the audience. What’s RCS
Gavin Carpenter 02:35
RCS is rich communication services. And it’s the it’s the next generation SMS technology. So it’s the one that the carriers have brought out to compete against the likes of messaging on apps, but it will actually be delivered to the same band that and SMS is delivered through. And so it gives us a much, much richer and a much richer platform, it’s, it’s very similar to what you might, you might see on WhatsApp, or, or some of the other messaging platforms themselves, but it’s delivered without an app. So very cool. Next Generation. And SMS is still the only way to get in touch with everybody. From a business if you want to talk to 100,000 people if you want to talk to a million people, and it’s the only platform you can use that can get to everybody all the time. And otherwise, you’ve got to find out what app they downloaded and what access they have and communicate with them. So actually, SMS is still continuing to grow, and 10 to 15%. year on year and has done since 2012 2013. Okay, I
Paul Dwyer 03:40
suppose formation surface probably best known for those texted numbers, the likes of The Late Late Show, but there’s a lot more to innovation, isn’t there? I mean, you. You mentioned, I know, certainly in the last few years, he won an award from the ICT gfmd innovation you’ve done around sim fraud and things like that, and protecting businesses and banks and what’s going on a PSD two. Can you talk a little bit about that about how you’ve the company, which in technical terms from a tech companies were in quite a long time, and you’re there since 2006? How has it evolved? Certainly in the last five or 10 years.
Gavin Carpenter 04:14
Thanks, and great, great question, great opportunity for me to talk about one of my favorite things, which is how we have morphed and changed ourselves from Company A to company BCD. So we started off in premium right services in 1988. And, and in 2010, we launched a bulk SMS platform, which allows what we call a to P application to person messaging. So when your dentist sets an appointment and you get a text message automatically, that’s an ATP and application to pass a message. Last year we send 240 million ATP messages for Irish businesses to Irish consumers. And when I talk to people they say I don’t get SMS anymore And so you’ve been company they’ll tells you to put it out on a Wednesday. I like it. Those and the Batman tells you when actually, your refund and Irish life tell you when do your policy documents already Maxi, when you see what SMS on a business perspective is doing. It’s still a very, very powerful tool in 2010 95% of our revenue came from The Late Late Show and, and TV shows like it and and this year, it will account for less than 10%. So over that period of 2012 to 16, we completely transformed the business from being a large. And the reason we had the TV shows for such a long time, is that we were excellent at Mass call handling. So we can handle 2000 calls simultaneously. And there isn’t another platform like that in the country, the next biggest platform was the M is run by the ESB for emergency Storm Damage, support, and that actually can handle 600 lines. And we do all of their overflow. So the first 600 calls go to the SP during a storm and then the rest of them come to us. Okay, and we stay in sync. So that’s actually why we had those large contracts with people like Archie and I and M and these guys, because because we’re a mass call handler in 2012. We said What else could we do with this huge technology that’s only used in the evenings, we started to roll it out. And with payment providers for if you wanted to pay for your your your hospital will tell the hospital if you want to pay for an event collection if you want to pay for different products. So actually, we became a PCs, a payment cards as services provider, we got accredited by visa. And so we run a PCI and payment line using our mass call handling. And then we said well, we can we can handle 400,000 SMS messages for a vote show on TV in one hour. It’s the largest SMS platform in the country. What if we use that for businesses during the day. And we began the mass application of ATP messages in Ireland in 2011, and 12. And as I say, and that market last year was circa 400 million messages in Ireland, and we send 250 million of them. Wow. And we’ll do more again this year. It’s growing all the time,
Paul Dwyer 07:11
no doubt and all of that innovation. So you come into full innovation, you brought your your your business qualifications and entrepreneurial spirit. And the services have been created with the team that you have there. Before I get into the the risks that that has brought from a cyber perspective,
how have you
Paul Dwyer 07:34
How have you mastered keeping your business lean and efficient? Because you’re you’re not the biggest company in the world. But But you you’re doing brilliantly and you’re on a global stage and and you’re winning against big guys, internationally, everything else like that. So how have you been so efficient? How have you managed that growth going from? If you like that sort of older technology company embracing everything, almost like a new startup? And how did you do that integrate the old legacy with the new
Gavin Carpenter 08:01
with lots of help is the quick answer. And and there’s a there’s a story where lean best practice company. So what that means is that and lean is, is looking for waste within the business and looking to eradicate waste. So waste is anytime you do something that doesn’t add value to the customer, it might be putting a logo on your envelope. If the customer doesn’t value that well, then that’s a wasteful process. So it’s not just about tackling jobs or shortening the time that it takes to build something. It’s anything that you do and spend time on that doesn’t that customer but the customer doesn’t value that they don’t want. So we it’s interesting, you say startup, we treat ourselves like a startup all the time. And I have this story. We watch the Gordon Ramsay show when he comes to a restaurant and he says What do you mean you don’t make your own nail while you’re holding the hand beside the chicken, all these kinds of things. And I’m from day one, I said if Gordon Ramsay came into this building, if the Gordon Ramsay of business came into our building, and looked around, he’d say, where’s your CRM? So we got a good CRM. And then he’d say, where’s your E rp? Do you have an enterprise resource planning tool? So we just actually launched an E Rp. And how good was your balance sheet? What’s it look like? Where are your debtors and creditors what’s over 90 days? I went around the business and I go around the business thinking if the business Gordon Ramsay comes into the business, what would I be embarrassed about?
Paul Dwyer 09:26
What would we not make it baselines? Yeah, it’s so yes. Success and getting caught up and drinking your own Kool Aid. You’re actually still maintaining and operating it from a real perspective, quote, unquote, a real bit. Yeah.
Gavin Carpenter 09:38
Yeah, everything is we are a business and we’re doing really well. Somebody would say and I’d say how do we know? And I say, well, the customers are happier, are they? What’s our NPS score? So we roll out NPS and we track it every single week, net promoter score, nine or 10 is a promoter. Anything for Below is a detractor and anything In the middle would leave you for a better price. So our standard is 90% or above, that’s all we’re interested in. That’s the, that’s the lowest level that we can accept is 90% or above.
Paul Dwyer 10:14
And no doubt that feeds into morale in the company, because because I’ve met quite a few members, your team over the year, and they all have a great attitude, and a great focus on customer care. But But how does all of these sort of things like Lean principles? How does all of that work? When we’re all in sort of almost survival mode with COVID? From a business perspective? Have you found that to be an overhead and a burden and a hindrance or something that’s helped you manage through COVID? From March onwards?
Gavin Carpenter 10:42
Yeah, no, it’s it’s, it’s, it’s been the engine in our car since since COVID. So and I’ll go back a little bit. We were acting like a startup with this fail fast idea. And, you know, try it. And we started a new business that worked with Microsoft selling Microsoft product using mobile money. And it was the first of its kind in the world. And it did a million euros in turnover in its first year. And we switched it off in its second year, because we could use those resources better elsewhere. Okay. We still try this. And we got behind it. And we got Microsoft in the UK, and Microsoft and Ireland backing it 100%. And we had great sales, and then we killed it, because it wasn’t as good as the other products that were growing at the same time.
Paul Dwyer 11:27
So relate to that. Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s a crucial point to emphasize. I mean, it’s you can keep all the children alive, all the innovations, all the projects. And these processes that you implement seem to be that you can identify which ones that you need to feed and take care of that you can take care of everything.
Gavin Carpenter 11:44
Yeah, well, what actually happened was, and we were making all these changes, and we’re being creative and innovative, and we didn’t have a huge amount of process behind us. And I got a p one. And p one for us comes out by text. Because a customer calls in and says I have a service that’s down. And in a traditional company, all the technical guys get around and fix the problem. And it could take six hours or eight hours or two hours, and then they tell the customer. So in our business, the first thing that they do is tell the company that we’re having a p one, or having a p one, we’re working for a customer to fix this, don’t talk to us about anything that’s not p one related. It’s actually a recently done the VHF radio course on on channel 16. on a boat when you call in a mayday that is no one else use this channel until the Mayday is being cleared. So it’s freeing everybody open, it’s freeing communications up. So the other thing it does, it tells all the sales guys a not to talk to the customer, unless they’re ringing about an update, because there’s no point in calling and asking how they are or if they’d like to buy some new things that’s currently broken. And it allows them support the technical guys. Two weeks later, I had the same key one. And they didn’t understand I called him to the guys and we can’t we haven’t seen p one disk space error or whatever it might have been. This is 2014. Since that happened two weeks ago, I said no, but we didn’t have time to fix it. Because we’re so busy innovating and creating new services. And I said no, there’s something wrong there for if we’re falling into quicksand that we’re not taking the time for the signup, even the say quicksand. There’s something wrong. I call it enterprise Ireland base sent in a guy called Richard Kagan and who’s a really good friend of mine at this stage. And he lectures in Trinity College on operational excellence. And he is the world lead on lean excellence, he created the lean the EU, Japan collaboration for lean excellence. And they basically send students over to Europe, we send over there, they do visits. And I asked them to help. He then started to get into the weeds with us and say, What is it you’re trying to do? How are you trying to get there? Is there a better way? And they built in this undercurrent of improvement, daily continuous improvement, setting the scene that there is no perfect, there’s only improved. So if you’re doing anything to make it, what are you doing today to make things better than they were yesterday, that allowed us pivot from maybe six people who used to work from home at a 24 to 24 people working from home within 24 hours, because everybody was used to change. And everybody recognize that change is in fact, the positive thing. change for the better change for improvement. And we have a thing around experimentation. So if I say, Paul, I want us all to wear blue shorts for sales meetings. And you say well, I’m perfectly happy with my white shorts. I’m not selling I think there’s some science behind it. But can we try it for three weeks and see if it works. There’s very little that people won’t do for three weeks to see if it works. Okay, so we all wear blue shorts for three weeks. We see if the data supports it has to be data related. Sales gone up a percent, and we say okay, so blue shirts and everyone says you have blue shirts. I’m not going back to white. How could you go back to white shirts when you know sales increased by a percent because you Do something
Paul Dwyer 15:00
differently of ideas and innovation within the company and everybody getting behind that issue of what’s going to just keep making the company better in the services better for customers and not lose sight of that’s where the success is coming from is keeping you
Gavin Carpenter 15:12
asked me how we made it, how we how we work from home, we’d six people who, who used to not work in the office and the other 18, who would come into the office every morning, and they’d hang up their coat and they’d make their coffee, and they do the thing. And then they work from work and think big PCs under the desk, you know, monitoring a keyboard, no laptop, all that kind of thing. And this democracy at our strategy meeting, which is a weekly meeting, are we still on track? Are we still on track to be still on track? And one of the team, one of the other team, not me said, I’m worried about this COVID-19 thing that starts bubbling, we should send everybody home. And I said, Okay, there was no conversation or discussion around it, if that person believes that that’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. We talk about making decisions at the speed of trust. So if you trust the other person, and they say, I think we should do this, you just go with it. Okay, decisions made at the speed of trust. So Rob said, we need to send everybody home, I said, let’s do it. Within 24 hours, everybody who’s working from home on a laptop that was secure, it was VPN into the office that was encrypted, that they got access. It just happened, it was just incredible.
Paul Dwyer 16:23
Brilliant. And I can, I can hear the probably all of that was because of the strands of the infrastructure of trust that you have your team, which is obviously a two way process, and your clients and your customers. And that confidence. I mean, trust and confidence go hand in hand. So there was a level of confidence there to make those decisions. So it’s not like you’re being led by a member of the company, you’re still leader, but you’re using their their smarts, their wisdom, and they’re sort of they’re, they’re the canary in the mine, so to speak, to tell you and you’re taking that informed decision. So it’s brilliant, I mean, it’s a great way to operate in the business and look your success I’ve been obviously watching over over the last few years and and it’s inspirational and brilliant to see somebody who is so still with it, like you know, I mean, you mentioned there your your radio course and that’s because now you have a nice boat and life is great for you. And you have a beautiful family lovely wife, great thriving business. Where did it all go wrong for you? By that I mean like what what was your what’s your key to maintaining success because it’s too easy. For people who are it can get complacent in business they can get just used to it and go let the business run itself but you never take your finger off the pulse. What what pushes Gavin Carpenter to make sure that he is worrying about Gordon Ramsay coming in and checking for things. What’s your Yeah.
Gavin Carpenter 17:52
So it’s changed over the years, thankfully, because my earlier motivation was very effective, but possibly negative. So it was it was built around not getting things wrong, it was built about always getting right best foot forward, no mistakes, no weaknesses. I am the leader and therefore I must know all and and then I went back to college in 2012. I did a master’s in management in UCD. And on the first weekend, I realized that the only reason I didn’t know everything is that I haven’t been taught everything. Okay, so it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t know everything. It was just that I hadn’t learned.
Paul C Dwyer 18:36
Do you have the ability but the information hadn’t been put in to the computer? Yeah.
Gavin Carpenter 18:39
But equally before before I went and learned at that level, I thought I should know everything I taught the expectation from other people within the business on my peers was thought I should know everything. So I should say so I can’t ask for help. I can’t show any weakness I have to keep looking for I mean, think about it. Gordon Ramsay Kony comes into failed businesses to get them back on track. Yeah. So even though we were doing well, we’re creating services that were generating millions of euros a year, I was still wondering about what what Gordon Ramsay make of us became in. Right. So that’s the motivation. That’s completely changed. Once I realized that I was no reflection on me if I didn’t know different things that they could be learned for Lana just became, I just became this completely different person. Right now. We have Richard Keegan, who I’m having a session with him next week on three horizons, three horizons, his first rise is what you’re doing right now. So might bring you up to maybe Christmas or January. Like right now I know exactly what that is for the next four months. Next horizon is maybe to the end of 2021. And then the third horizon is one I can’t see. So I won’t see it until the end of 21. But I’m starting to think about what it might be based on where we are now. And based on where we’re moving. So the third horizon is this piece we can’t see and I’m thinking I don’t know What’s going to happen then, but I can start preparing for different scenarios. Like I’ve got Richard cake and one of the world’s best strategic minds working with us on this Avante de Valle, who’s a lien expert. With john lennon, who is a business coach, we have help from from everywhere. I’ll take on for the listeners, how
Paul Dwyer 20:22
do they get on board with this kind of thing? I mean, I know that you were talking there about that you have done an event with Land Rover, Toyota and ibec, and so on. How does somebody benefit? I mean, this is wisdom that you’re sharing with the listeners from the point of view of what’s helped and what’s worked for your company? How can someone else avail of that you mentioned di, and I found them to be a hugely positive organization to deal with and hugely beneficial to our own businesses. And I would imagine that you’d echo that as well. But But how can somebody start into this Heck, and they take it from the next level of listening to this podcast, to finding out more.
Gavin Carpenter 20:59
That’s brilliant, because I would love to, for them to be about me and what we’ve done. It’s it does a couple of nuggets, a couple of takeaways. So my story around the second p one, and the fact that the disk space have gone again, we haven’t put up the that I was flabbergasted. I had been to the monsters. I was open to help. I was trying to grow the business. Yeah, they have people in the team who wouldn’t who are too busy to pull up a warning do not stand here sign. It’s like the guy we used to have a poster up on the wall after that event with the caveman and the square wheels. And he’s he’s moving the things along and the square wheel wheelbarrow. And one of those piles is invented a wheel and he’s a non too busy have to move these rocks, you know, to try something new. So I called our da in AI. I said, I am absolutely at a loss. I am trying to bring more business in. And we’re not doing things right in house. We’re making mistakes. We’re not even putting up warning signs. What do you do when that happens? And they said, you go lean. So Richard Keaton came out, I said, I don’t know what that is. Richard Keegan came out, spent an hour with us really liked us. The next week gave us a day spent with us and showed us that the upside of a collective working towards one goal. And from then on, everything changed. So when I see us, I see our business, I see many businesses as basically somebody playing a game of chess, they have, they have their pieces laid out in front of them, there’s a certain structure, and certain people have different sets of skills. And he always played to those skills, some guys can go diagonally, some guys can go forward, some guys have been mixing a match. And then every now and again, you have a superstar who can go anywhere on the board and you can put the money where it’s fantastic. But the chess player, the manager, the leader of the business is the one moving all these pieces around, not not for innovation, for innovation once we decided to go lean, and once we decided to reduce waste and treat each other with respect and move ourselves around the board. We picked the goal, we pick where we’re trying to get to and then everybody moves themselves across the board. So when we made a competitor, we have 29 people playing against that competitor. Okay, um, they have a manager moving their 29 players around the board. And that’s the difference between another company on it and a company like us, so and it get a process get help. Ei are phenomenal.
Paul C Dwyer 23:34
He is the first port of call is it is he I was my call. I
Gavin Carpenter 23:37
didn’t know I assumed I didn’t know who else to call. I’d finished the Masters obviously for the year, I now knew there’s a better way before then you see, I just thought you work as hard as you can for as long as you can.
Paul Dwyer 23:47
I know what you mean. But that’s all I have. Yeah, I think it sounds like that that was a catalyst for the business. And then in parallel with that you get your confidence from from the education piece that did that you were open to leveraging the entire team instead of just all of your efforts, you were able to harness everybody within the company. So if we look at this now from a different perspective, Gavin, you’ve got this successful business, right? And in the world of cyber security cyber risk that’s got two sides to it really one is you’re protecting huge corporations and and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of identities and mobile phone numbers and personally identifiable information. You’ve got a compliance overhead. You’re trying to facilitate digitalization within these huge corporations, everything else like that. You’ve got your core team there. That’s one challenge with the cyber threat actor piece pushing against Sure. The other side is you’re a business, right? You’re a bigger attack surface now. You’re a root into into your clients, everything else like that. How are you guys dealing with that? I mean, how do you sleep at night, knowing you can’t do everything, but that knowing that that what you’re doing is appropriate for risk and so on.
Gavin Carpenter 24:58
Okay, that’s a great question. And I suppose we’re eventually going to get to the cyber piece because it’s impossible to say that you’re completely protected against all threats and all the time. So what we did was in our Lean journey, we recognized standards, we made decisions based on data to somebody says, How are things going, our customers, our customers happy? Well, I can tell you, we’ve got an NPS score of 50. Well, how are people within the business? We have a culture amp score of well, I won’t tell you what it is. But it’s 12 points above the benchmark in our industry, it’s in the 80s. It’s in the 80 percentile, it’s incredibly high. And what culture measures is, How happy are the staff in the company? 29 of us here, how happy are we? Well, we’re 83% happy, okay, we’re 83% engaged on it, on the average is about 71. And the reason I said I wouldn’t talk about numbers on I just have is that we don’t talk about it as a tool, because it’s internal to us. It’s something that we use to check ourselves to make sure that we’re happy to make sure like if our culture, I’m going to 69, we could go in and see that it’s because of work life balance has gone out the window. So our sales might have gone up. But our culture has gone through the floor, well, then we’ll sacrifice sales to get our culture on backup. Okay, so I know that my customers are happy with lammps. I know that the people in the team are happy through our culture. And I know that I target people are happy because they have a we have a target team. When we recognize targets, we count amount of innovations we do how many ideas actually make it onto the idea as well, how many make it through the customer filter? And then how many make it into prototype? So I know we’re an innovative company. I equally know, sorry, what I’m thinking about. And what I’m answering is we measure everything, and we have numbers for everything. And just like bass, we have set the standard for security as ISO 27 001. Okay, so we don’t just say the word secure, we have external supports, we have a cyber risk tool, which puts us at 910 out of 992, possible 999. And not only that, we talk about it at every single staff meeting. So the third slide that our weekly staff meeting, says this is our current NPS is going up or down. And these are the initiatives we’re doing to fix it or correct it or improve it. This is our our cyber risk score. This is our uptime. So we’re 99 point x are we below or above target. This is the demand of innovations we’re currently working on. And this is our target. And this is the amount of learning hours we’ve done this month.
Paul Dwyer 27:39
Okay. It sounds like you’ve, you’ve done a brilliant job of integrating as part of the culture, the fact is that it’s a topic that’s coming up so, so regularly in the meetings from the idea as well to everything else like that. It’s not something that’s bolted on and added on. And I would imagine that’s part of the key to success as well is that as as you’re able to provide that assurance to your clients, that you run a tight ship, that it’s that you’re managing risk. And it’s not just an add on that you pay lip service to this is something that’s integrity now part of everything you do in business every day, which is fantastic, and has been our own experience in doing what you guys as well as been that. So, you know, getting back to let’s say, look, we’re going through crazy times with COVID. You know, we’re all playing this game of chess, we’re trying to survive and trying to get through to the next piece. We’re in the new normal. So there is no going back to the old way of form. And then we have to strive forward. You mentioned things they’re like the ideas. Well, that’s a physical thing in your office, presumably that there’s the idea is that well, yeah.
Gavin Carpenter 28:43
Everything is posted up until about
Paul Dwyer 28:46
our own office.
Paul C Dwyer 28:47
Yeah. How do you?
Paul Dwyer 28:49
How do you envisage handling past Christmas? Right, so we’re in October now in cybersecurity modes? We’re pushing ahead. And you’re looking at those different horizons you mentioned, and there was great plans, but obviously, they’ve been impacted by COVID. Because what hasn’t been impacted? Yeah. We’re from the point of view of business development, let’s just focus in on one area, okay, development, supporting your clients, identifying new clients, and Brexit has impacted companies, they’re moving off during the financial sector, they’re obviously a target for you, right? That you want to be able to do business with them to be able to help them and protect them. What’s your strategy? What’s your plan for that?
Gavin Carpenter 29:28
Okay, so we have a rolling three year plan, horizon, one horizon to horizon three, and it rolled. So currently, it’s up to the end of 2022. And because everything changed in March, and isn’t going to change back and we are currently reviewing that three year plan, and I’m looking at my second board in the room, so I’ve got a physical board in the room. So I still use physical physical spaces, and here in the office, but also a physical board and everything’s written down. Everything is posted around Read posts, that’s something that’s problematic if I don’t fix a green one is an opportunity. A blue one is an internal one. A yellow one is a management one, for example. And the reason for that is when I look at the board, I can see that I’m doing a good mix of all things.
Paul Dwyer 30:15
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Gavin Carpenter 31:05
I’m not just doing the things I like, which is sales, or the thing that I like, which is problem solving, I’m actually doing one or two of each of the important things in the business. We’ve set ourselves a new goal for the end of 2022. And it’s not around revenue, it’s around transactions, it’s complete flip, okay, it’s a complete flip. So if everything’s changed, Well, then let’s change it. One of the head of learning for Trinity business school the other day said, and don’t waste the opportunity of the pandemic. If everything is changed for you, you still going to try and do everything exactly as you did. Or you’re going to try and reimagine what you do. So we are completely reimagining what we do a good plan. This is a this is a great tip that I’ve taken from from some of the best brains in the world. And a good plan is something that identifies what it is you want to do, the obstacles that are going to stop you doing it, and how you’re going to overcome them. If it doesn’t have a vision, what’s blocking you and how you’re going to deal with those will then it’s not going to happen. So what we’ve said is X number of transactions. We are currently great in Ireland and not good outside of Ireland. So we need international reach. So we’ve identified the blocker of limited market. And we’ve identified how we’re going to get out of there, and then add the sales ability piece. So we need a market development plan for you. Because the product that we have at the moment the sim protection solution is is is is absolutely dreamed up for and PSD to PSD 120 years ago, they said you can use plastic instead of cash. And that sat for 20 years on MPC twos the next two hours, and then it’s going to sit for if not 20 years, 10 years, it’s going to be the way that we govern. And PST two says that if you’re going to engage with somebody, you have to know two things out of three. And two, three, identify the three identity pieces are something that you have something that you are something that you know. And our solution is this something that you have in a box. So in one API, we will tether that person to that phone to that sim and every time you engage with that phone, you’ve got one identity factor nailed. And PSD two is pan European, but our product only exists in three countries in the world, the UK, Ireland and the US. So as Vodafone are rolling out an API to give some protection in Germany and Spain and Italy, we’re on the other end of those. So our product that we hold the European Patent for is being rolled out across Europe to come by the 2019. And legislation of PSD to you couldn’t write it as
Paul Dwyer 33:46
follows those who are prepared for it as well. I mean, you know, and foundations put in all the work within
Gavin Carpenter 33:52
We’ve put in the hard yards.
Paul Dwyer 33:53
Yeah, exactly. You know, and your leadership has obviously been a massive part of that. I mean, the the COVID cyber threat actor impact got Europol, Interpol reporting over 500% increase in the last few weeks a month, Irish banks deciding to reimburse people who had been defrauded. What’s your view on that? I mean, at the end of the day, the customers pays for cybercrime. It’s not the banks that pay for it because we all absorb it in our fees. Do you think and I don’t mean to put you in an awkward situation because it sure is a target sector you’re in. But do you think Irish banks are doing the milk? Do you think that people that hold mobile phone number as personally identifiable information are doomed to know for what what could they do better? What Why isn’t every single financial institution using your solution or or if there’s a competitive competitive solution?
Gavin Carpenter 34:45
Yeah, so it’s very fine. So and they’re probably not using it because they don’t know about us. So the people that know about it, everybody, we have a we have a 100% we have one customer who knows about it. doesn’t want to use it. Yes. But that’s all. And when you think that every pillar bank in the country is the technology to protect the mobile phones, and it is phenomenal, and all the UK banks users, and most of the US banks use from different companies. So the product was actually created in Ireland in 2012 2014. And upon European patents on on the US Patent were created by us, and, and the UK have their own version of us. They were inspired to create their own version, as was the US they were equally inspired a quite similar time to create their own version of it, but actually doesn’t exist elsewhere. So PSD two says, you have to, you have to connect that person to that device. Or else it’s not PSD two compliant on our product, literally, those are from an API. So I fully anticipate great success in the big European countries, as well, our partner Vodafone, and I fully expect the product to grow in Ireland, I think what happens is the certain level security is created by the banks, it then moves into the insurance areas, it will move into into betting, it’ll move into an email, anywhere that you want to allow your customer use their mobile to access the service and be sure what your customer will then PSD to is the highest standard, just like ISO 27 001 is our highest standard is what we hold ourselves accountable to a PSD two is another one that other companies will move up into over the coming years. So
Paul Dwyer 36:34
So with that in mind, one of the one of the issues that we all we all suffer from is the lack of trust online. And the lack of being able to understand the integrity of the messaging we’re receiving. So let me go a little bit deeper. We’ve got we’ve got the we’ve got the elections going on in the United States, you’ve got cyber bullying, out of control, you’ve got trolls going on everywhere. Why isn’t Facebook coming along to you and saying, Listen, we want that API, we want that technology. And because we want to verify the people who use our service are who they say they are, and will be accountable for whatever they post or whatever they say online.
Gavin Carpenter 37:18
Paul C Dwyer 37:20
it’s not a natural progression of this. I mean, the whole…
Gavin Carpenter 37:23
I’d love to say yes, I’d love to say it’s a two pronged answer, if you don’t mind is a very difficult if it’s such a difficult, it’s a difficult one. The first piece is Facebook, don’t Facebook would rather have a million phones that were unregistered. Seeing ads, then know who those people are?
Paul Dwyer 37:45
Let’s just say social networks as opposed to Facebook, just in case we get some nasty emails. Sure. Social Networks, right? What Yeah, why aren’t they proven? Who’s using the services will not be
Gavin Carpenter 37:56
anti social networks, in my view, and but the anti social networks aren’t creating the content, people trade the content. So if you see what happens, and I was listening about a pylon this week, and I think it was around JK Rowling’s letter that she wrote around identity and women’s identity, and it’s been the lines being forged around. And she got a terrible time online. from people that wouldn’t say to her face from people that if they were in an audience where she was interviewed, they would phrase their question more delicately and things like this. So what happens online? Is it you know, more than anyone else? What happens online is that the subject is dehumanized. And you can say what you want, because it’s online. And I was only joking, and I was only having a laugh. And these are silly things that that adults say. So I don’t think people will ever hold themselves accountable did the only burning platform I engage with is LinkedIn. And every now and again, someone says something completely ridiculous and completely designed for a Facebook type rant, and they’re shut down so fast. So unless there’s a socially responsible platform, that actually the community protect themselves within well, then the maturity is not going to improve. And when you add that to Facebook, or social networks, desire to sell a product, well then they don’t they don’t need to have that they Twitter, all these things could be could be created in it in a much leaner, greener way. And a much more responsible way. If trolls were blocked as soon as they did something, but that’s actually not what happens or anything like it. When the product is free. The person is the product.
Paul Dwyer 39:49
Yeah, and when their share price is based on how many users they allegedly have registered on the system and using I mean, it just this morning was reading about, you know, the blocking queue anons conspiracy theory, broadcasts and and all these sort of things are coming up around the elections and so on. But to me if I take my cyber hat off for a second, and just as a consumer, here’s his company phone innovation that has a magic card that could be licensed by any of the social networks to prove a person is who they say they are on their phone. And if they’re using their service, whether it’s WhatsApp, whether it’s Twitter, whether it’s LinkedIn, whatever. So it’s almost that you know, that they know the lake is there in the in the middle of the phone card, but they won’t put a fence around it because they’ve acknowledged as a danger. And I hopefully, more can be done about that over time as people are awakening to the fact that they are being that are being used or commodity and yeah, not sorts of entities and at all ages and effects. It’s not just that the children are being cyber bullied, but right up to business level everything I suppose the fraudsters, it’s the it’s all the C 19. scams, the COVID-19 scams that were going on all of these things, it’s almost almost a magic bullet that could be implemented to reduce it significantly. And it seems to be crazy that that it’s not legislated for no regulations there to put that in place. But it’s fast. It’s absurd. Look, you know, as we come to sort of the close of this, Gavin, it’s been a really good chat. But there’s a few things to run by, you’re obviously you’re a lifelong learner. What’s the Do you listen to audiobooks? What What are you reading at the moment? What are you? What was your knowledge coming from at the moment?
Gavin Carpenter 41:32
I’m having an absolute nightmare release in the box at the moment, because I am. JOHN Connolly is an Irish author. And he’s written and very many books, and they’re all New York Times bestsellers within the first week or two on their crime novels. And I read the first one or two, the fourth one is called every dead thing. And somebody handed me a prequel. My dad handed me a prequel. And it brings you right back to this, you know, 20 years ago when this thing, and right at the end, it gives away the whole series of books. So I suppose it’s his most recent book, so I was supposed to read the other 20 books, and read this on the last page it gives away and I was like, Oh, no, now what do I drink heavily? You
Paul Dwyer 42:16
Gavin Carpenter 42:17
yeah, that’s what I say, What am I reading? I’m reading that to distract me. Yeah, I’m reading and the four hour workweek. And, and I did, I did a summary of books. First, I do the 30 minute audio summary first. And then if I want to move forward with the book, I’ll buy the book. So I’m physically reading that at the moment. And my audio book is around and I don’t I actually never know the names are the author’s I know, to
Paul C Dwyer 42:44
me either, I get the content, but I can never make
Gavin Carpenter 42:46
- So the author’s white fragility, why it’s hard for white people to talk about racism. And that’s by Robyn D’Angelo. And I started that yesterday. And it’s already fascinating, because I’m really worried about race, I’m really worried about how people treat each other. I’m worried about what the states do to each other, this two party state piece, I’m worried about people on the bus going from point A to point B and Dublin and being abused, and because of their color, and I just think it’s an awful awful place to be. And the more people understand that the battery will be able to manage it. So I’m reading a how to work less book, a crime thriller book, and white fragility, which is a big picture box, I’m just, I’m in a bit of a reading mode. And I’ll probably stay there until the end of the end of the winter. And then they’ll go out and they’ll run around the streets again, with the dogs and have some fun, but ya know, I’m enjoying reading at the moment.
Paul Dwyer 43:39
And what’s what’s one thing that people generally misunderstand about you?
Gavin Carpenter 43:45
God, I’m such an open book, I’m not sure. And
Paul Dwyer 43:50
what do they not get one impression, and then they realize, there’s another side to whatever, because you’ve mentioned things there about, you know, you’re reading about racism, someone like that. And, you know, the more I’ve got to know you, I know you care about so many different subjects. And it’s probably not always the most obvious thing when you meet you. Because obviously, you have a big personality, you talk about the company you’re so proud of, and the solutions and products that you do. But when you scratch the surface of those things in there, is there a hidden activist inside you mean a, you know, the passions that you have of a caring, I think is something that do people just think you’re a businessman and you’re hard nosed businessman, is that the impression they get? Or do they? Do they understand you from day one? Are you an open book?
Gavin Carpenter 44:35
I am an open book for anyone who’s interested and but general persona is definitely, you know, suit and the business and I feel very passionate about the business. Somebody asked me while ago, I was a bit of a breakthrough. Somebody said to me, how are you on? I said, Good. Nope, everything’s going. I said God actually are having a good year. We’re doing this and we’re doing that and we This sort of thing might work out for singles. No, no, no, not the business. How are you? How am I? Yeah, and I’m having a good year, I think my number would be about, you know, I’ll generate a 2 million on the products, this new product and you know, Mike, Mike, you, Gavin, you’re not in the business. So firstly, how are things? The business zoom fine. Now? How are you? Oh, I am doing fine in the business. And the third pirate part to me is actually the me piece. So the first two is the business. And then the third part, the third layer is how I am, how the family is we’ve we’ve two great dogs who are, you know, great fun. That’s the third level. But most definitely the fourth persona is the business. The second persona is me in the business. And then the third, then is when you get down below all of that stuff. And the third part is who I am. So. And yeah, I mean, I’m waiting for our work week, because I want to work less. Yeah. And still have the success that we’re having. So you’re taking
Paul C Dwyer 46:05
care of yourself as well from that perspective, because I’m not trying to do 60 hours a week, I don’t have
Gavin Carpenter 46:09
those goals anymore. It’s about how little do I have to do to keep us on the right track?
Paul Dwyer 46:15
And to keep it growing as well. But yeah, I suppose a bit like the bundle thing where he turns up just to the song, we don’t get to that point and not be around for all the rehearsals, and all that face would be fantastic. I have a couple of other fun questions I want to throw at you. One of them is Look, if you could have a billboard with anything on it for free. What message would you put up on a billboard? It given the Times ran given you mentioned racism, anything that doesn’t have to be about business? I mean, what would you put up on a bill? But what message do you want to send out to the world?
Gavin Carpenter 46:42
Gavin Carpenter 46:45
find the beauty in every day and be kind to each other? Cool. That’s that’s really the message? Yeah.
Paul Dwyer 46:52
This is something we need to emphasize more and more as we go on about that. A couple of other fun questions I have. I know you’ve got a beautiful family, and how would your How would your kids describe what you do for a living? Do they know what you do for a living? Like, how would they describe your job? Or as data moneytree? Like, I mean, you know, where does that come from, like me today, on a day to day basis.
Gavin Carpenter 47:18
So I’m probably a bit Chandler being you know, nobody knows what I do. And then I’m in computers on nit, and actually had this talk last week, my son’s just satisfied Leaving Cert. And he’s had some fake points allocated by the government, which brilliant, and he starts college later this week. We don’t talk about because dads always have lots of advice. And actually, the advice only starts to make sense when you’re 35, and 40. And I remember all the things my dad told me, and they’re all still hugely relevant when they pass them on to them. And then Lauren is in fifth year, I sat and Megan is in college. And I went to them yesterday and said, we’re having dinner together at six o’clock. And they said, Guys, I know and just this big kind of lumbering thing that moves around the house telling you to turn things down and kind of you know, feed the dogs and do the dishwasher. But actually, I was on a panel today with some of the some really great managers and leaders in from Land Rover and Toyota and these places, and I back. And I do have some skills in that area. So what I’m reminding you here, and I’ll only ever do it once, if you do want to talk about college, if you want to talk about careers, if you want to talk about how to get the most out of the course or how to balance you know, getting work, but I’ve gone crazy, like, I know some of this stuff, and they just kind of come in Yeah, spaghetti holidays. Yeah, right. Here we go. So so like, how did they see me? That’s how they see me.
Paul C Dwyer 48:43
Yeah. Fair enough. And, look, last question. So here is what are you not very good at?
Gavin Carpenter 48:54
I may not get very good at em, my initial thing. My initial thing says I wants to say lots of things. And but but then when I actually challenged that I’ve spent I spend a lot of time on reflection, I spend a lot of time. So everybody has an inner critic. So I say you’re not very good at this. And then I have a way now saying, Well, actually, let’s look at that, you know, I’m only not very good at that. So I’m not so quick to criticize myself anymore. And but I’m not good at administration. So and I have to do, or I have a monthly check in with all my senior team. So there’s a form we fill in. We both fill it in and say what went well, what did you like, what would you like to see more of something, and I never go and I’ve ticked the box to say that I did them. So I do the work really well. And we always get locked out of it. But I don’t go to the forum on teams and ticket to say that we did them. So we have a 90 percentile target for check ins each month, and we always hit 100% but because I don’t fill in the box we always fall down below. Right. Like, I don’t know how many times I don’t have to not deal with before somebody starts doing it for me or I don’t have to get better at it. I can really do the work. But I don’t always do that last piece internally. Maybe it’s like the builders home, you know, the gate always. Gates always rusty or whatever else. So yeah, no, my biggest failing is still admin actually getting that last piece done.
Paul Dwyer 50:23
Yeah, well, that’s not too bad. So look, I want to thank you for your time today, given it’s been really, really interesting. I mean, and you’ve imparted lots of pieces of wisdom there around the lean business stuff about your own success and how you maintain that success. You know, as I said, said at the start IC phone innovation as a cybersecurity innovative company that’s doing really well on a global stage. And quite proud to see an Irish company doing so well with such an innovative solution. And I think is only going to get better and better and better for you guys. Because you’re steering a steady ship as it goes. And you know, more power to you on that. And look at the final point of these podcasts. What what I want to do is this sort of a little fun piece, a little section where just I turned the table, turn the table. And now you get to ask me one question before we say goodbye. So hit me with something.
Gavin Carpenter 51:18
Okay, so I didn’t know I was gonna have to ask anything, and I don’t have anything prepared. But I am interested in and what your plans are for the next two years. Given all the changes happening? What are the plans for an ICT ETF? Is it is it in Europe is a wider field? How do we go to the next level? Okay, well,
Paul Dwyer 51:41
well, thanks for the question, I’d probably have to add an hour onto the podcast if I go to all the things I want to do. But look at the ICT TF. This was meant to be our 10th year. And we started as a not for profit initiative. When we recognize it, all the bad guys were working together. So I would get called out, let’s say by telco number one, and they say, Hey, we’re suffering an attack, we’ve tried to deal with it, we’re still going on. I managed the incident and help them through the whole process. And then telco number two would call me a few weeks later, because the bad guys and moved on to telco number two, and then I’d had those guys, why don’t you talk to each other, like we need a community. And when we looked at the the the the very fact that some of the keys to success that the bad guys were having was the fact that they they helped each other, they educate each other. They had online meetings, they they they had face to face meetings, and they collaborated, right? So I decided I’d start to up 10 years ago, this this group, which I was just calling the Irish cyber crime Task Force, and it was as simple as that. And it was snowing 10 years ago, and about 60 or 70, people turned up. And we said, well, we’re onto something here. Everybody’s feeling this problem. So very quickly, that became International, we had chapters running around the world, but then opened down to Peter, because this this is essentially enough profit initiative and hobby over 10 years with a portal. We had lots of different things in different versions of it.
Paul Dwyer 53:06
became bigger and bigger, certainly over the last year. So maybe it’s a little bit ahead of its time. So one of the positive things that a COVID was that it gave us an opportunity to navel gaze, self reflect and say, what are we doing because we have planned our big 10th event this year with the City Hall booked. We have a waiting list of sponsors with everything lined up to do this amazing big event. You know, we’ve done the ones in the past really big significant ones, we said this is going to be really special in your town and along Ken COVID. So during the lockdown, I use that as an opportunity to re energize ICT ETF hence the podcasts to create. What was burning in me was to create a training course that would empower business leaders, which is the certified cyber scuffs Of course. And I partnered with some of the best companies around the world, the likes of the International compliance Association, the Irish Computer Society, Crime Stoppers International, to bring this out to the great amount of people because what we want to do is we want to share the knowledge. And now we formatted that into a course. So what’s going to happen, we’ve had tremendous success with this all over from Bermuda to Singapore, Hong Kong, we now have people on this course and getting certified and getting educated through this. So we’re going to do the same thing in a different way. But now I believe we can scale because what we have is, instead of one event a year and having a little bit of income to run out, you know, maybe an anti bullying campaign or whatever happens to be, we now have sustained income so we can be strategic over the next few years. And we’re going to leverage partnerships. We’re going to leverage other people’s energy other people’s it’s not all about Paul Dwyer, blah, blah, blah and the Paul Dwyer show. The essence of this is about the community. We’ve built up with 40,000 people that are partners and over 100 countries with over 4000 really active members in that piece. So now is the time for us all to utilize this and hopefully influence, morality, ethics that’s going into technology and bring The conversations with deeper level rather than you know what it was 10 years ago, we’re letting people know, hey, there’s, there’s cyber criminals out there, there’s nation states doing this, the conversation has moved on. But I believe our mission is to educate from the top down to influence change, and to cut the bull and the bullshit out completely out of the world of cybersecurity. It’s a business issue, it’s a CEOs responsibility, the board accountable, it’s an imperative for the board, and we want to educate them. So they can be the business leaders that that manage risk within the business support innovation. So that’s our plan to do that, we’re going to do that, through this series of courses, that we’re running out four different levels that that people can bring up. And, and, and support any online events, we can, there’s a great cyber Expo coming up at renascence in November. So anything we can do to support that mission we’re going to do at to bring it forward. Like I said, the podcast is proud of that. And that’s why you’re one of the first people I thought to reach out for because I know you care. And when saving your blushes, you do actually care so much about your customers about human beings and their, their their vulnerability to cyber threats and so on like that you’ve been very supportive of ICT Deaf over the years, and hopefully more like minded people will be able to support this community in this mission to to be as effective as we can. So that’s my little answer on that. And but thanks for the question. It’s really, really good. On the front, I would just say, we would see awry in cyber prison, we are readjusting ourselves. COVID gave us a kick in the balls as the only way to describe it. We were opening up our New York office on March 17. And on March remember, we had to cancel our flights. And we’ve had to we’ve had to read the chess pieces were moved around. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re still playing a really good game. We’re taking on new customers every week. We’re supporting global companies. And we’re doing really well on that front. But it’s, it’s I’ve learned a lot from this call Gavin it’s about keeping the that headspace from the person life perspective as well. And getting that balance. It’s not always about more work and more work. And all of that couldn’t be you know, and and it’s again, though, so and I think the audience that that listen to this, they will they will have learned that as well. And thanks for sharing your wisdom and your thoughts today. So hopefully we will see each other again in the real world very soon. But uh, thank you for your time today on the show. Thanks, Gavin Carpenter from phone ovation.
Gavin Carpenter 57:25
Delighted. Thank you, Paul. Jason.
Paul Dwyer 57:31
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