Why do you call yourself an emerging alternative to traditional systems management frameworks? Isn’t that a bit ironical for a company that has been around since 1996?
Davey: If you look at the big folks in the industry, you will see that they are heavily focused on sales and marketing. To make up for those heavy investments, they ensure the customer pays up more. That’s why most of the vendors offer very complicated management suites that are not just expensive, but also complicated to install and maintain. As a customer, you are reliable on an army of consultants to install those products. Management of these products is another headache for the rest of your life.
At ManageEngine, we believe that these complexities are unnecessary. We are less focused on sales and marketing and more towards R&D to bring out products that are affordable and simple to use. We also believe in the philosophy of ‘try it before you buy it’. So all our products have a free trial version available on the web. To make this model successful, the most important thing was to ensure our products easy to install and use. That’s the reason our products are pre-packaged.
But this differentiator will only get you so far. The market is very competitive.
Davey: This was the story we started off with and that surely gave us a lot of mind share in the market. Today we have about 72,000 customers globally. But as the market progressed, customer demands also changed. Our efforts currently are more one delivering real time IT. IT users in enterprises are expecting everything they experience in their consumer world—be it the use of social media or plenty of other applications. And they expect the IT department to respond in real time. So IT has to be real time in many aspects, right from identifying a problem in the infrastructure to fixing it.
Enterprise IT department also needs a dedicated collaborative approach to be efficient and quick. We focus on providing multiple tools that help customers achieve these goals. We give our customers the option of buying these tools as point solutions or as a full stack of integrated IT management.
That means, the way an enterprise looks at systems management has changed.
Davey: Cloud, virtualization and mobility have changed a lot of things in enterprise IT. So a CIO should also be the chief learner first. He can not wish away the changes and he should in fact look at tools that will help him bridge the gap between legacy applications and the new age IT.
Consumerization of IT is a big reality. Data center consolidation and management is a big area for us now; so is MDM. A lot of our desktop management effort will now be channeled towards MDM, because that’s where we see a lot action due to factors like BYOD.
Are your products used predominantly by small and mid-sized customers?
Davey: We have customers in the SMB as well as the enterprise sector. We are also present in the service provider market. In an enterprise, however, our products are typically used initially at the department level and are then gradually standardized across the organization. We also have many MSP and remote infrastructure providers as our customers.
Currently, ManageEngine has a hybrid go-to-market model. But almost 60 percent of our business in India is driven through our channels.
Radhika Nallayam is a special correspondent for ChannelwWorld India. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Radhika on Twitter at @radhikanallayam