Will the Un-Hackable Typewriter Gain Market Share in 2019?

By Drew Baumhauer

In a word, maybe

In fact, the typewriter market has experienced a resurgence over the past 10 years. But you probably haven’t heard about this comeback. Until 2018, it has been a relative secret, closely held by a subculture of our populace known as “the hipster”. But not long after, and in a world of technical espionage and alleged collusion, the typewriter is returning to serve a new purpose: the un-hackable communications device.

It’s true, the genesis of hipster culture gave the typewriter a shot-in-the-arm that has maintained some momentum even now at the beginning of 2019. Closely following, perhaps on the coattails of vinyl records, typewriters have enjoyed a piece of the “retro-resurgence.” What’s old is somehow better again. Some great memes are out there poking fun of these hipsters and their superior typewriters. I’ll leave you with two:

 

So why does our industry care about this or why am I writing about typewriters as a security engineer? The truth is that from a sales perspective, typewriters will not have any impact in 2019. No customer is going to write a PO to any of the last, languishing manufacturers for $100,000 worth of typewriters instead of the latest IT solution. Any typewriter market share gain would be minuscule at best, mostly due to the fact that no one is measuring that data! However we can approach our delivery of service as if the typewriter was impacting our market. But first, some recent history.

Several articles written over the last few years shine a light on a problem that won’t be solved in the foreseeable future. Network security. In one example, these pieces highlight booming typewriter sales in Germany as government and businesses look to avoid spying and hacking, respectively. Amazingly, one German manufacturer, Olympia, experienced a 30% increase in sales between 2011-2012. They achieved another 50% bump in growth from 2013-2014! Another manufacturer, Triumph-Adler, now markets their machines as “Bug proof. NSA proof.” Russian intelligence continues to use typewriters for high-level communications. Bottom line, you can’t hack a typewriter. It almost sounds like something out of a Twilight Zone episode, but there must be something to it. Let’s think about the root cause.

Champion’s Frank Hansen writes the majority of his code on a 1974 Royal Apollo GT

 

Back to how we can approach our service delivery. Security solutions are only as good as the organization deploying them. In our ever-changing landscape of hardware and software, keeping up with the latest tricks, trends and vulnerabilities is a full-time job and a battle that we’re typically losing. How many times have you seen a SIEM deployed with nearly just an “out-of-the-box” configuration? How many times have you seen environments far behind in their patching practice or show any evidence of a quality patching strategy? These products are only as good as the team deploying and maintaining them.

Flawless, frictionless and thorough deployments are the minimum. Ongoing managed services with experienced and dedicated engineers keeping client environments locked down and current should be part of every deal. Let’s always strive to create the un-hackable environment. At Champion, we need to do our part to keep the typewriter dead and buried. This will keep our customers secure, and the prices low for collectors like me.

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Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.

 

Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.

 

Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!

 

As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.

 

He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.

 

Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.

 

Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.

 

In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.

 

Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.