Anna Gonzalez talks with Jim Sullivan, SVP of Strategy and Business Development at BIO-key.

Transcript

[Anna Gonzalez]
Hello everybody, welcome to another edition of NASDAQ spotlight live here at Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida.
I’m your host Anna Gonzalez and joining me to now is Jim Sullivan. He’s the SVP of strategy and business development for BIO-key. Jim, thank you so much for being here.

[Jim Sullivan]
Hi and it’s great to be here, thank you.

[Anna Gonzalez]
So, tell us a little bit about what your company NASDAQ listed BIO-key does?

[Jim Sullivan]
That’s correct, we are NASDAQ listed. BIO-key is a company that’s providing biometric authentication solutions for enterprises. It allows them to be able to simplify the process of getting to the strong authentication levels that so many companies are trying to do right now. Its products like hardware and the software that allow you to be able to get there to BIO-key.

[Anna Gonzalez]
So, you did bring some pieces to show so tell me what are these two different pieces right here.

[Jim Sullivan]
Sure, so when you use Windows Hello and you have a brand-new laptop, they may come with a fingerprint scanner incorporated, but for a lot of customers they don’t have the ability to upgrade laptops when they upgrade to Windows 10 so we make products that are hardware and then allow you to be able to add a fingerprint scanner with the USB small-form factor to your laptop or tablet and be able to allow your users to have the ease of Windows alone experience without having to spend the money on a brand new laptop.
And we have a second form factor for people using desktops in client terminals. So those products are hybrid components and then we have software that goes with it that allows an enterprise to make that available to all of their users.

[Anna Gonzalez]
So, what products are you working on right now that most excites you or project?

[Jim Sullivan]
The thing that everybody’s talking about is how we’re moving to the cloud and that enterprises are no longer operating within the four walls of their business and that brings new authentication challenges where you might have to manage usernames and passwords for Salesforce for all of your document management platforms for SAP for your time and attendance for your ERP. All of those can be managed through cloud and authentication platforms like what we make. So, we make products that allow you to have your company manage your biometric authentication multi-factor and then have from all of those cloud hosted applications. And the ease of being able to do that has become much greater now with those technologies like SAML and OpenID connect and make those meetings between products easier.

[Anna Gonzalez]
That is exciting. So what brings you to the conference this week?

[Jim Sullivan]
We’re a sponsor and we are both having our presence in 1647. If you’re here at the show we’d love to see you. As well as Microsoft’s actually showing our product off in their modern workplace Windows alone technology, when there’s all of the business about demonstration.
So, they see the value and help me feel that upgrade without having to buy new laptops and they’ve combined with our technology with Windows to show how you can use as an enterprise-level.

[Anna Gonzalez]
It’s clear you’re very passionate and knowledgeable about what you do. I think before when we were talking off-camera you mentioned 15 years.

[Jim Sullivan]
15 years, in the industry.

[Anna Gonzalez]
So, I can image you’ve seen a lot change over that time. Incredible, yes so tell me about that.

[Jim Sullivan]
When I stared in the early 2000s, biometric was still very much a science-fiction concept for most people. They talked about it as it was something that was very expensive and hard to get a hold of maybe for the government, they can leverage it. Now with the kind of products like we make which these actually MSRP under $40 every person can have the benefit of biometrics without having to spend much money and that ability to bring it down to where it’s a cost component that really is incidental for an enterprise is the big change that’s happened.
That and the fact that everyone accepts biometrics as a valuable component because of their iPhones like you have using over to your laptop at work.
The ability to see and understand how biometrics is simply turning it, touching to who you are with positive ID. That’s so simple that everyone understands that now.

[Anna Gonzalez]
That’s so funny that you mention that.
You’re completely right, I think we would have considered what the world we live in now to be science fiction. So what do you think about where we’re headed next?
What most excites you?

[Jim Sullivan]
Well, I think that the fact that enterprises are moving to try to make things more secure for both of them and their customers, that’s good for overall economy and it eliminates hopefully some of the fraud and the fact that we’ve seen.
And then of course, we play our part in that because usually adding stronger security makes life harder for your users and we have the ability to make life easier while enhancing security.
And that’s a rare combination to make a lot of users like you better when you bring a security technology for them to have to use. And this is one of those rare opportunity.
So, we’re excited about the fact that that is the transition that we are going through with enterprise.

[Anna Gonzalez]
Are you ready for a lighting round? Quick questions?

[Jim Sullivan]
Absolutely, give me the questions

[Anna Gonzalez]
What app can you not live without?

[Jim Sullivan]
For me, it’s OneNote. Microsoft OneNote is something I use every time I sign in both for work to print things, to be able to capture content and assemble a dossier of information about a topic. I think it’s an incredible tool and is something that they just have made more and more enhancements to so I use it on my phone, I use it on my laptop and on my iPad.

[Anna Gonzalez]
And what’s the coolest piece of tech you have in your office?

[Jim Sullivan]
That’s kind of a fast ball through the middle for me. Our biometrics is the easiest thing to be able to allow somebody. When we bring this out and show even people that have had it on their phone, the fact that it’s such as a small and convenient form factor people are wowed by that. It’s almost like magic. You wave your hand and you’re suddenly allowed to sign in and even with the type at all. So that ability to bring that to people is great for us.

[Anna Gonzalez]
You know what I just realized too. We have to change our passwords every now and often, you don’t have to do it with this right?

[Jim Sullivan]
Exactly, it’s measuring the unique features of you and there’s allowing you to be able to sign in with them instead of having to have something that you know which obviously if someone else could know too and that’s why they make you change it. But if you think about all those passwords where you have a password that won’t work on one system that is required on another all that goes out the window with biometrics because each applications understands you for who you are and doesn’t require you to know something, so you can get in.

[Anna Gonzalez]
That’s great. So what do you like to do when you’re not at work?

[Jim Sullivan]
Well for me it’s taking time. I play guitar, I like to spend time with my kids, my wife and I try to travel as much as we can. Ultimately, we’d like to be spending a lot of time on the water sailing on a boat. So, those are all things that I would like to do. Except, right now, it’s time to be spending and helping people to be able to solve their problems. So that will be next to you.

[Anna Gonzalez]
Absolutely. And as we wrap up, what advice do you have for future generations who are thinking one day I want to be sitting where you’re sitting?

[Jim Sullivan]
Well, for me I think that it’s all about passion for what you do. And even 15 years into doing this and having told this story of what we do so many times, I still get excited about it.
And I still get excited about what it means to the people that was selling our product to.
And you know, that is something that if you can get a job that you’re passionate about, that you have a joy about your day and your day is all over before you know it, that’s all things that makes it so that you’re a valuable member of the team because passion you can’t be taught and you have to spend the time to be able to learn your product and then be passionate about it and then the success will find you. I appreciate the time and I look forward to seeing everybody.

[Anna Gonzalez]
Yes, absolutely. And thank you all for joining, stay tuned for more conversations coming from right here from the Microsoft Ignite conference.

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