Claroty’s goal is to secure the cyber-physical systems (CPS) that are used to run critical infrastructure every day. Its technology protects systems used to run oil pipelines, health facilities, power grids, water utilities and many other essential services.
When Noga Sharabani made her first steps into the procurement sector, it was to protect against a very different type of threat.
“It was mid-1999, I was working in a bank and studying for my Master’s degree in Marketing & Finance when a friend called me saying that the high-tech company she was working for, Gilat Satellite Networks, was looking for someone to join the procurement team for a temporary role to oversee suppliers’ compliance for the Y2K bug,” she says.
“At the beginning of 2000, when the Y2K panic ended, I was asked to take the role of direct buyer and started to learn everything about the procurement world. Working for nearly 22 years at Gilat gave me the opportunity to develop my skills and gain experience in almost every category of purchasing – direct and indirect – and managing OEMs and suppliers in a multicultural environment, which kept my career very challenging but interesting.
“I had excellent mentors over the years who taught me about supplier relationship management, and this is what I am focused on teaching my team today.”
Nearly 25 years later, Sharabani is a passionate advocate of procurement
operations taking a leading role within business, being central to the strategy of organisations going forward, and brought that mindset to Claroty since establishing its procurement operation in 2020.
After leaving her career in banking, she embraced procurement at Gilat Satellite Engineering, before making the step to Claroty, where she enjoyed the opportunity presented by helping a young cyber company implement a growth strategy.
Driving innovation through procurement
Claroty was founded in 2015 and has grown to be a trusted provider and advisor for hundreds of businesses with thousands of locations around the world. Its platform is a crucial tool that integrates with customers’ existing infrastructure to provide a full range of controls for visibility, risk and vulnerability management, threat detection, and secure remote access.
“I am passionate about driving innovation in procurement and staying up to date on industry trends and best practices,” says Sharabani. “I believe that collaboration and building strong relationships with suppliers are essential for achieving successful procurement outcomes.”
Driving that innovation has become ever more crucial after the expansion of the Claroty team and portfolio with the acquisition of the healthcare IoT security company Medigate in January 2022.
This represented a quantum change in the company, expanding its focus beyond operational technology (OT) to protect all CPS across industrial, healthcare, and commercial environments: the Extended Internet of Things (XIoT).
Procurement at the forefront of business strategy
This expansion, combined with the ever-changing roster of cyber threats, means it is imperative that the company remains at the forefront of technology innovation while maintaining fast, efficient, and sustained growth.
"In my experience, putting procurement at the forefront of business strategy is essential in driving efficient growth for any organisation. At Claroty, the procurement function is fully aligned with the company's growth objectives, which empowers our team to not only source and manage resources more effectively, but also to proactively identify cost-saving opportunities, adopt a culture of innovation, and foster supplier partnerships.”
One of the biggest challenges Sharabani faced in this role was managing cloud spend. “After the Medigate acquisition, we had to bring two very different cloud spend strategies together. The Claroty platform at the time was on-prem with very little cloud spend, while the Medigate platform was fully SaaS and drove high cloud spend.”
Within a few months of the acquisition, Claroty had developed a new SaaS product called xDome, which further increased its cloud spend.
“To address this challenge, I asked Eli Mansoor, the owner of OskaQ Consulting, to help us develop a cloud spend management plan,” Sharabani describes. “This plan included setting clear goals, identifying cost-saving opportunities, and implementing best practices for cloud procurement. As a result of this plan, Claroty as a team – including Procurement, Product, DevOps, R&D, and Chief Architect – is working in full sync and we were able to reduce the cloud spending substantially, while still supporting the growth of our business.”
It is by adopting this mindset for the procurement function that Sharabani believes she can make the greatest impact on the future success of the business and the customers who rely on its technology to secure their most critical operations.
“I am committed to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and industry best practices,” she argues. “By leveraging cutting-edge solutions, emerging technologies, and strategic partnerships, I am able to secure the most innovative and robust technology offerings for our organisation. I meticulously evaluate and select suppliers with proven expertise, track records of excellence, and a strong commitment to data protection and privacy.”
By building strong communication channels with other business functions, Sharabani has helped to add value to Claroty and support the revenue side through proactive engagement with key departments such as Business Development, Product, DevOps, and Finance. I've been able to identify and capitalize on numerous opportunities for cost optimization and value enhancement that directly contribute to revenue growth.
my team and I work closely with the Product team to to define and track our COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)and cloud infrastructure, ensuring we are getting the best value for our investments but also maintaining scalability.
In collaboration with the Finance department, we've successfully optimized payment terms, reduced supplier duplication, and streamlined critical processes. For instance, we've implemented an efficient vendor onboarding process through automation using the Tonkean AI platform, which not only saves time but also ensures compliance and cost efficiency.
Moreover, a strategic partnership with the Business Development team has resulted in the optimization of AWS agreements, further boosting revenue for Claroty. This collaborative approach across functions underscores how procurement can have a direct and positive impact on the bottom line.
“These examples reflect how the strong relationships and effective communication channels established in procurement have driven innovation and continuous improvement throughout the organisation,” Sharabani says. “I take great pride in my ability to establish and nurture these relationships and communication channels, as they have been instrumental in driving success and positively impacting the procurement function at Claroty.”
Embracing emerging technologies
Sharabani believes that the future of procurement is going to be fundamentally linked to, and influenced by, emerging technologies and digital transformation and that procurement leads need to embrace automation, AI and data-driven decisions.
“By leveraging technology effectively, procurement leads can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve decision-making,” she says. “So, in the next 12 to 18 months, we’ll continue to adopt automation and AI.”
This mentality, Sharabani explains, will help build the foundations for the next decade of progress at Claroty.
“By successfully establishing a scalable procurement organisation, we are helping to position Claroty as a trusted partner for securing critical infrastructure and enabling the adoption of CPS. This will create new opportunities for growth and expansion, allowing us to play a pivotal role in securing the XIoT ecosystem.”
Although AI presents many positive possibilities, she emphasises that it needs to be used carefully and with intelligence to get the most useful results.
“AI relies heavily on high-quality data and we – as the data source – need to ensure data accuracy and integrity. Procurement teams must establish robust data governance practices, clear policies, data quality controls, and data integration strategies to leverage AI effectively.”
The quality of the partnerships formed between the procurement team at Claroty and both internal and external colleagues is something Sharabani is particularly proud of, as it has allowed her to align with business objectives and drive successful outcomes.
“Collaborating closely with strategic suppliers has allowed for deeper, stronger partnerships, resulting in achieving company targets like opening local fulfilment centres in the US and Germany to support our customers locally,” Sharabani says. “By maintaining strong connections with stakeholders, I have been able to align procurement strategies with organisational goals, ensuring seamless integration and driving mutual success like cost optimisation and risk mitigations.”
Sharabani emphasises the importance of some of Claroty’s external partners, as identifying best-in-class partners helps the company achieve its objectives.
She highlights the partnership with OskaQ which has become a key partner in cloud management strategy.
“They have expertise in optimising cloud expenditure and work closely with me and the company to identify areas of improvement,” she says. “Through their guidance and
recommendations, we have been able to make strategic adjustments that increase profitability and optimise our cloud spending.”
This has helped fulfil a high-priority project focused on cloud cost management and optimisation, which is essential for improving the company’s gross margin.
Another key partnership Sharabani references is Wing Security, which gives full visibility into Claroty’s environment and enforces security controls and policy.
“We have monthly meetings with the partner to discuss issues, features, new requests and mutually understand the evolving threat landscape to ensure we are aligned,” Sharabani says, emphasizing the importance of close communication.
“The partnership with Wing Security has been essential,” she adds, “allowing Claroty to effectively manage our security programme and meet our projected target goals to protect Claroty and ultimately our customers from ever-changing threats.”
Another partner is Snyk, which helps Claroty’s software development team develop fast and stay secure, using AI and automation from their first lines of code to their running cloud.
Sharabani also highlights the value of the Tonkean partnership, as a comprehensive solution to handling the entire procurement process.
“By leveraging Tonkean, we can save time and resources for my team while ensuring a seamless and efficient procurement process, from intake to resolution,” she says.
Sharabani continuously links the importance of the procurement operation to wider business and customer goals, whether that be in terms of finance, environment, or security, and the input of partners is critical to that success.
“Overall, these partnerships have been invaluable in helping us achieve our aims. They
bring expertise, technological capabilities, and streamlined processes that contribute to cost savings, efficiency, and a positive user experience,” she emphasises. “By collaborating with these partners, we can drive success in our procurement function and support the overall growth and success of the company.”
When Claroty acquired Medigate, Sharabani says this presented an opportunity to increase value from procurement synergies. “I implemented a new SaaS management platform called Zluri for visibility into all the software within Claroty and Medigate’s respective technology stacks and was able to manage renewal effectively. This way I could better manage the integration, and identify similar or duplicate SaaS platforms, which not only saved a significant amount of money but also enhanced overall efficiency.”
With nearly 25 years of experience in the procurement sector, Noga Sharabani has seen significant changes in technology that have fundamentally transformed the way procurement business is conducted, and she says it motivates her to stay on top of industry trends and best practice.
She believes seeking continuous improvement is the way she gets constant fulfilment from her profession.
“Besides the joy of raising my five children, I wake up each morning eager to learn something new and experience the impact it has on procurement,” she says enthusiastically. “I actively engage in professional networks, participate in continuous learning opportunities, and find inspiration in podcasts and webinars. It is incredibly exciting to witness how AI, for example, can elevate the field of procurement.”
Her advice to other professionals earlier in their procurement careers is to embrace change, as the environment is constantly evolving because of technological advancements, market dynamics and global factors, but by staying adaptable you can thrive.
“What I find most fulfilling about working in my role is the opportunity to shape the future of my organisation in today's rapidly changing business landscape,” Sharabani concludes. “By embracing innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement, I can contribute to creating a resilient and sustainable procurement and supply chain that drives business success.”
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