Inside Illumio is a monthly series that highlights the exceptional individuals behind Illumio’s world-class products. Each post will take a peek behind the scenes to spotlight a member of our team. Come get to know us a little better and learn more about what makes Illumio’s culture so unique.
This month, meet Faraz Aladin, Senior Director of Technical Marketing at Illumio. Hear about why he chose Illumio after years at a large, established tech company and how he blends his passions for engineering and teaching in his role.
Tell me about yourself. What do you do at Illumio?
I've been at Illumio for over 4 years now. My career has revolved around working with customers and our sellers as a systems engineer, product manager, and as a product and technical marketer.
At Illumio, I specifically focus on our product portfolio and making sure it gets the highest visibility in the industry. I do focus more on the technical side of things – I’ve always had a technical bent to my role at Illumio and throughout my career.
I sit at the intersection of sales, marketing, and the product engineering teams. I see my role as the bridge between the internal organization and the world outside, communicating technical information to our customers and partners in a simpler way and connecting technology to how it solves their problem vs how it works.
Our team jokes that we’re engineers with social skills. We’re required to have a unique blend of technical and communication skills.
What made you interested in working at Illumio?
I spent almost my entire professional career working at a large, established tech company in a variety of different roles. After a long and satisfying run, I wanted to try something different.
During my job search, I was looking for a role in a startup that was solely focused on cybersecurity and with a great team.
Illumio came to the forefront of other companies I interviewed with.
What differentiated Illumio from the others is that they were in a completely different category. They weren't doing more of the same, making something better, or doing it differently – they were doing something completely new.
That takes guts – it’s scary – but it’s one of those things where you can look back and know you were part of something brand new that moved the world forward.
What does your typical day look like?
It changes every day! But I spend a good portion of my time working outbound with our sellers and customers. I help with competitive intelligence, analyst briefings, inquiry sessions, sales collateral, and more.
My recent additional responsibilities include a more inward focus as well. I am part of Illumio's product development team and work closely with our product managers and engineering leads.
My team is responsible for enabling the sales and support teams on Illumio products. This includes creating technical trainings, demo environments, and customer proofs of concept (PoCs) as well as lending our subject-matter expertise in design sessions.
I also work with customers directly, presenting roadmaps, joining strategy sessions on how to solve a particular problem, and running advisory boards.
And I’m out on the road quite a bit. I participate in speaking sessions, meet with customers, and attend industry and regional events.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned at Illumio so far?
I’ve seen cybersecurity grow from a technical discussion to a business necessity.
Illumio is in a very relevant market. You no longer need to explain why businesses need cybersecurity.
Illumio has done a particularly good job of shaping how customers should understand today's cybersecurity landscape. It’s a losing battle to try to treat ransomware and breaches in general, like you’re going to find it and stop it before it happens. That’s a whack-a-mole game. You must assume you’re going to get breached, and you must be able to contain the breach and stop its spread.
I’ve watched as companies have started to understand this and adopt an “assume breach” mindset. And not just large organizations with giant networks and deployments.
Ransomware and breaches are problems that traverse all the way from multi-national corporations to small businesses. It has gone from an inconvenience to a significant business risk with potential societal damage.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I like to teach. My goal is, once I am not working full-time, to teach school kids. I think there’s a certain gratification and satisfaction in teaching. You get to impart something to someone, and they’ve walked away knowing more.
I bring that into my work all the time – it’s helpful that I like teaching. When I talk to customers, it’s fun to teach them how to use Illumio and share our knowledge with them.
Outside of that, I’m passionate about my work. We spend a good portion of day and life working, and I believe in spending that time doing something that really makes a difference.
Which Illumio core value resonates the most with you and why?
Run to challenges. That’s something I personally believe in. And I think it's the need of the hour, especially in cybersecurity.
In my previous roles at a large organization, almost everything was already established and had a set procedure. I was excited to have the opportunity to build things from scratch at Illumio.
I’ve been able to help shape not only the platform but the organization itself.
What do you want people to know about working at Illumio?
It’s a fun place. I think Illumio is one of those companies that come about once in a decade, and you just have to become part of it.
I was fortunate to work at one for many years before joining Illumio. It was thrilling to be part of a successful, industry-shaping organization, and I’m certain that Illumio has the same potential. I believe Illumio is in the right place with the right approach.
I've enjoyed being at Illumio professionally and personally. I’ve made very good friends at Illumio – even if they’ve moved to other organizations – including some that I’ve actually hired back to Illumio!
If you’re somebody who’s looking to step into an organization that’s doing something new and much more effective in the security space, you should look at Illumio. It’s a fun place to learn and grow.
Interested in joining the team? Check out our career openings.