Moving Forward
Moving Forward

Time marches along. It's like a brilliant parade filled with music, dancers, confetti and just plain fun. Along the path, missteps and mishaps do happen here and there. After these, pivots, corrections and moves onward fittingly occur.

Once the grand procession is over, onlookers reluctantly or maybe hurriedly go home, depending on the success or not of the overall performance. Its producers, though, diligently and methodically prepare for the next one, ensuring they do just as well or generate a finer showcase the next time around. 

That's where we are with SC Media's long-standing Product Reviews – our next march, moving forward, working to maybe even eclipse our past procession which started with a new Group Test launch that included modified testing criteria and ratings back around 2006, and was followed by still more changes. We engaged in a constant striving for whatever needed improvements and a consistent cultivation of new offerings.

Peter Stephenson and I have known one another for eons, it seems. He worked for SC prior to my coming on board having known the previous owners of the brand well before I even knew of SC's existence. At that time, Product Reviews were handled out of our U.K. office. After Haymarket Media became the sole owners of SC, the reviews still were spearheaded out of the office across the pond. While that suited the still very young industry well for a time, it was becoming plain that we needed to have a more centralized testing division that would be overseen by a trusted, seasoned technologist with strong reporting and writing chops and that would bring in other industry practitioners with sound technical acumen to help undertake and advance the plethora of tests we conducted.

That's where Peter and I came in, establishing what has become a lasting, fruitful and successful team. Over our tenure working on and advancing SC's testing capabilities, we've seen a cavalcade of products and services come into our lab. Along the way, we also established various new reviews-related products.

At the start of this expanded and more organized editorial department when the industry was growing at lightning speed, we were conducting two Group Tests monthly and undertaking one-off reviews of individual products or services in the form of our newly launched First Looks. Eventually, we tapered off the Group Tests to once monthly, which seemed to reflect more precisely the consolidation of the market.  Eventually, we launched our annual Industry Innovators and Hall of Fame specials published online and in our hardcopy edition to wrap up one year and begin the next. Along the way, our Emerging Products testing groups came into being, which allowed us the chance to get our hands on solutions that were just coming into the market and likely would in themselves eventually become established technology groups (probably Group Tests) on which corporate executives eventually might come to rely in future. What fun we've had.

But, the cool thing is, we're still having it. Our ideas haven't stopped. I doubt such an abiding professional partnership and steadfast friendship would allow for anything less. 

So while Peter has retired as our technology editor, he will stay on as an editor-at-large, working with us on editorial projects here and there that I alluded to above. As well, we've now been able to tap one of our former esteemed reviewers in information-security veteran Rob Cote and his consultancy Security Vitals. Under his leadership, a knowledgeable and practiced team of industry practitioners will take on with my oversight of our Product Reviews offerings and their continued development. Indeed with Rob as program director of SC's Product Reviews and Mike Diehl, with his some 20 years of information security experience, as our new technology editor, further progress of SC's testing division is inevitable. At their side, long-time Labs Manager Judy Traub, the product-wrangler, adroit liaison and incisive supervisor for our tests each month, remains. Matthew Hreben will join as security technologist and Dan Cure as technical writer.

Working with this group, we also have Merit Network's Cyber Range underpinning our Product Reviews efforts going forward, which is sure to help us embrace still other new and intriguing facets to progress not only our testing processes and capabilities but also still other editorial initiatives. With this new team and technology, the fun, relentless creativity, non-stop drive and technical acumen is sure to see SC continue its advancing trajectory.

Time marches on, of course, and with that march comes new, exhilarating developments and opportunities. And, these, along with the 30th anniversary we hit next year, are most definitely worth yet another massively entertaining, awesomely worthy, always illuminating parade ever forward.