Authenticated Answers

Valimail Authenticated Answers With Dean Coclin

Join us today with another interview in our blog series: Authenticated Answers! We sat down with Dean Coclin, Sr. Director Trust Services Specialist at DigiCert. 

At Valimail, we take our work seriously but try not to take ourselves too seriously. This value inspires us to get to the heart of what makes people unique and how it affects their careers to provide valuable advice, inspiration, and insights to people working with email daily.

In this lighthearted interview series, we connect with experts from the email, IT, security, ISP, and authentication spaces to learn more about them and their experiences.

About Dean Coclin

dean coclin headshot

Dean has been working at DigiCert for the past seven years, but he has over forty years of experience in the tech industry. He’s excited about the future challenges and opportunities technology and AI will bring to the industry that he’s excited to explore and solve.

In his spare time, he studied wine for three levels at Boston University’s School of Wine Studies. He hated visiting restaurants and seeing a wine list and not knowing what bottle to choose. Now, he knows enough about wine that he even gets late-night texts from his friends asking for wine bottle recommendations. 

How do you stay motivated when learning something challenging or frustrating?

I look towards the end goal. Why am I learning it? Why am I doing this research? What’s it for? Maybe I need more context to help the person properly, so focusing my efforts on it is the goal I’m trying to get to and putting away any distractions, especially when under a deadline. Focusing on the endgame is very important. 

Sometimes when I work remotely, I’ll grab my laptop, hop on the train, and go to the library in Boston to work someplace where I know I’m not going to get any distractions and see something interesting. 

If I focus on all that, then I’ll stay motivated. 

What was the last wall you crashed through?

Probably my garage door after I got my driver’s license! I didn’t crash through it, but I made a significant dent in it. You know when the car should be in drive, and it’s in reverse, or vice versa. That’s what happens. And you know, when you’re young, and you just got your license…oops. 

But I don’t think that’s what you mean. 

There are barriers all around us: at work, home, school, and volunteer groups. I think the last one is probably most relevant to answering this question. I once volunteered on a board where people split into two camps. It became very divisive for no good reason. I had to break through those barriers to get everyone to put those walls behind them and focus on the end goal.

What’s your favorite way to show gratitude?

Giving people a bottle of wine that I’ve curated specially for them!

What’s the funniest mistake you’ve made, and how’d you handle it?

I’m sure I’ve embarrassed myself many times in my career and personal life. I remember that at my first job out of college, I had to use a copy machine, and it was new and unfamiliar to me. There was a line of people waiting behind me to use it. 

I had a stack of maybe ten pages, and I tried to use the automatic feeder. Well, it turned out I was putting the papers on the wrong side of the machine. The woman behind me started giggling, and the whole line of people came up to see what was happening. Needless to say, I was completely embarrassed and walked away without copying. I came back after work hours to figure it out (with no one watching).

Early in your career, you do a lot of embarrassing things that end up being funny now. A few years ago, when I was in an office, I saw a reflection of that event when I saw an intern come up to a printer. I said, “Do you need some help?” I think these embarrassments help us understand others better, too. 

What’s the smallest hill you are willing to die on?

Family and friends come first, so whatever I have to do to keep those relationships front and center is very important to me. I actually have a list near my computer screen with all the priorities, so I never forget.

Losing someone to an illness is devastating, and recently, I lost someone close to me. I tried very hard to help her, but it was out of my hands. 

It necessitated putting other priorities aside for a while, but it was worth spending her final moments together. The bottom line is to make sure you have your priorities straight, which will help guide you in life.    

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about BIMI?

That they knew what BIMI stands for and what a great benefit it is, not only for marketers but also for IT professionals. Having your logo on every email you send, plus now with a security checkmark, has tremendous opportunities for your customers.

BIMI-Verified 1

Having your logo on every sent message, especially with Gmail, which has over 1.8 billion email inboxes, and having that logo and branding associated with your company for a relatively small price per year is gold. 

You can’t buy adwords at the price we’re talking about, that would get that kind of coverage and having that consistent trademark which is associated with your brand, your website, and your collateral. And now, since Gmail introduced the Blue Check Mark, we’ve got a security benefit here for your IT folks. 

google bimi checkmark

I also wish more people were aware of both the branding benefits. and benefits not just from the checkmark but also the fact they need to have DMARC on their domain. And that’s something that DigiCert and Valimail do a great job helping people with so you can get your logo on all your emails along with the blue checkmark. It’s just a nice and easy way for consumers to identify that your mail is legit. 

How would you explain DMARC to your grandparents, friends, or relatives?

You know those emails that you get that pretend to be from your boss but it’s not really them? DMARC stops that by not allowing fraudsters to send emails using your boss’ email address. This is a great security benefit whose time has come and hasn’t been implemented enough yet. Let’s convince more companies to adopt it by showing them how appealing it is.

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