RSA CEO Art Coviello on his business plans

RSA CEO Art Coviello on the threat of Microsoft, additional acquisitions, Wall Street and more.

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Is Microsoft a real threat to RSA?

Any good market will likely attract competition. In some sense, we're [the] market leader so it's not surprising that we'll have lots of competition. I tell our guys, if we can't add more value than Microsoft, if we can't add value to Microsoft, then there is no reason for us to exist. It's our job to be the most efficient and effective. We need to keep adding value.

Do you plan additional acquisitions?

We don't comment on the prospect of future acquisitions, but anything that extends the value around that chain of convenience, risk and cost, would be something we'd be interested in.

Some analysts suggest RSA is a prime acquisition target. Will you remain an independent company?

One of the key jobs of the CEO is to build shareholder value, and as of right now I believe we can build more value for shareholders as an independent company. I don't think Wall Street has caught up with the fact that we've got all of this potential. And quite frankly, I think we need to deliver some quarters of measurable growth and increases in profitability. But I think we're poised to do that. And when we do we'll get rewarded in the marketplace. I like us as an independent company right now.

Some say Wall Street doesn't give RSA credit, and that it looks down on the company - why?

Our [price/earning] value, 24, that's a good valuation. What Wall Street analysts need to do is realize what's going to change the current trajectory. That P/E represents us going on a linear basis. But once Wall Street understands the potential of this market and our position in it, that will allow us to grow more exponentially. . .. That's when you get a premium off of a normal P/E ratio. That's what we're looking to establish.

What will make Wall Street better understand RSA?

Part of it will come as we sign deals like we did last quarter - with Japan Net Bank and Washington Mutual for Cyoto service. Wall Street will look for proof points that you're executing on your strategy. I think we'll convince them over time.

How important is RSA's annual conference?

It's an incredible branding event for us. We're content to take that advantage from it. We don't select the speakers; we've really made it an industrywide event. Then, like all the other vendors that participate in it, we act the same way - try to get our message out. Like our competitors and peers, we just think the conference is a great venue to get our message across. We have a small group that manages the management of the show. We hold three a year, and we're expanding to four. We have the West Coast, Europe, Tokyo, and for the first time, we'll have one in China this year.

< Back to RSA ups the token ante

Is Microsoft a real threat to RSA?

Any good market will likely attract competition. In some sense, we're [the] market leader so it's not surprising that we'll have lots of competition. I tell our guys, if we can't add more value than Microsoft, if we can't add value to Microsoft, then there is no reason for us to exist. It's our job to be the most efficient and effective. We need to keep adding value.

Do you plan additional acquisitions?

We don't comment on the prospect of future acquisitions, but anything that extends the value around that chain of convenience, risk and cost, would be something we'd be interested in.

Some analysts suggest RSA is a prime acquisition target. Will you remain an independent company?

One of the key jobs of the CEO is to build shareholder value, and as of right now I believe we can build more value for shareholders as an independent company. I don't think Wall Street has caught up with the fact that we've got all of this potential. And quite frankly, I think we need to deliver some quarters of measurable growth and increases in profitability. But I think we're poised to do that. And when we do we'll get rewarded in the marketplace. I like us as an independent company right now.

Some say Wall Street doesn't give RSA credit, and that it looks down on the company - why?

Our [price/earning] value, 24, that's a good valuation. What Wall Street analysts need to do is realize what's going to change the current trajectory. That P/E represents us going on a linear basis. But once Wall Street understands the potential of this market and our position in it, that will allow us to grow more exponentially. . .. That's when you get a premium off of a normal P/E ratio. That's what we're looking to establish.

What will make Wall Street better understand RSA?

Part of it will come as we sign deals like we did last quarter - with Japan Net Bank and Washington Mutual for Cyoto service. Wall Street will look for proof points that you're executing on your strategy. I think we'll convince them over time.

How important is RSA's annual conference?

It's an incredible branding event for us. We're content to take that advantage from it. We don't select the speakers; we've really made it an industrywide event. Then, like all the other vendors that participate in it, we act the same way - try to get our message out. Like our competitors and peers, we just think the conference is a great venue to get our message across. We have a small group that manages the management of the show. We hold three a year, and we're expanding to four. We have the West Coast, Europe, Tokyo, and for the first time, we'll have one in China this year.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.