Entrepreneurship is a demanding and exciting field, one which brings forward new challenges, a sense of satisfaction, and adds spark to your ambition. But jumping from the mundane 9-5 corporate job to being an entrepreneur is by no means a small feat to accomplish. It requires a positive mind-frame, effective planning, unwavering courage, and long-term visionary to survive the entrepreneurial bandwagon. Andrew Bagrin, Founder and CEO of OmniNet, is one such individual who took off his corporate hat to put on his entrepreneurial hat and led his company to what it is known as today.
Boasting years of Corporate Experience
Andrew grew up in a corporate environment, one which he liked but felt the lack of ability to get things done. He had an inherent capability to make things work better, more efficiently, and with simplicity. Prior to founding OmniNet, Andrew helmed the Director of Service Provider Business Development position for over five years at Fortinet, a network security provider. At Fortnet, Andrew’s role focused on new security offerings as well as gaps in the security market.
Andrew’s career in the IT space began in 1997, wherein he worked for numerous network security consulting companies. From 2000, he held the chair of Director of Network and Security at Regal Entertainment Group. During his four year tenure at the company, Andrew developed a 500-site area network; he built and migrated a datacenter, and played a significant role in four strategic corporate acquisitions – leading the company to become the largest theater chain in the world. He followed that stint with a position at Check Point Software Technologies, where he worked on the managed security services business for four consecutive years.
With such a wide ranging experience in the IT/security spectrum, Andrew brings-in an extensive level of knowledge and experience to effectively shape the business and align technology to achieve the most far-reaching goals.
Jumping off the Toxic Ship
For Andrew, leaving the corporate landscape in America and starting My Digital Shield, now named OmniNet, was the boldest decision that he ever made. He realized that the road ahead would be full of obstacles, but he wasn’t entirely prepared for the challenge.
Andrew decided to setup a proof of concept to see if the architecture he had envisioned would work. When it did, he realized that this can really shape the way security is delivered in the future. It was only then that he was convinced to take the leap forward.
Additionally, after spending over 5 years of researching security gaps in managed service offerings, Andrew realized that there wasn’t any good security solution provider for the booming small business market at an affordable cost. His desire to fill existing gaps within the industry, combined with his visionary to make better security attainable to all, also contributed significantly to his leap in the entrepreneurial direction.
Turning a Perceived Risk into Success
Being the son of an entrepreneur, Andrew’s upbringing helped him to shape his creative and solution-driven mindset. But his entrepreneurial journey wasn’t initially a bed of roses. He came in from a different market and it required him to understand this market. Understanding how it works and what makes it tick, was one of his biggest challenges at the beginning of his new career path.
Concerning his able leadership skills, Andrew asserts “Leadership is much easier when you have a great team. I love to collaborate and make sure people are working together. I try to promote this as much as I can. I also like to challenge people and focus on making everyone better at what they do.”
A network security expert, Andrew has been quoted in various media outlets, including Small Business Computing, Business Solutions Magazine, The New York Times, Columbia Business Law Review, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Delivering Security Solutions at an Affordable Price
My Digital Shield was created in an effort to provide small businesses with an enterprise grade security solution at an affordable price rate. Now renamed as OmniNet, the company provides a platform that allows IT providers and various technology channels to easily offer security as a service to the small business market. OmniNet leverages a fusion of SDWAN and Elastic UTM to deliver an extremely robust and solid network foundation, hence enhancing all other applications that use the network.
A Future of Continual Growth
Andrew hopes to see OmniNet continue its surge in growth, both in terms of its product and customer base. He believes that there is a lot of work ahead for the company to reach its huge potential. Within the next five years, Andrew envisions OmniNet’s platform to be a central platform for secure networking and will continue to enhance user experience of all other applications.
Andrew’s Sound Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“Go and do it. Don’t stop, keep going! Don’t be afraid to sell because someone will see value in what you currently have, even if you feel there is very little value. Sell, observe, improve, and repeat.
By very nature, we are crazy! I think it’s critical to find and mentor others who are as crazy and guide them to leverage their craziness in an amazing way.”