The path to growth
A conversation with Helmut Binder, CEO of Paessler AG, about the company’s strategic expansion into the Middle East.
How strategic is this region for Paessler?
The Middle East region is now the second-fastest-growing market for us globally. Therefore, dedicating time and resources to this region is a strategic choice. Drawing from my own experiences, it presents an excellent growth opportunity for German companies. Additionally, our team has made remarkable strides in recent years by establishing a robust channel structure primed for scalability.
You joined Paessler in 2019 as the CEO, just before the pandemic. Can you share with us your vision for the company?
The initial vision of Paessler was to create a product everyone would enjoy using, becoming a standard choice for SMBs. The genesis of our product, Paessler PRTG, dates back to 1997 when our founder, who was employed at an IT company, encountered network issues. At that time, no suitable product was available on the market to address these issues, which prompted him to embark on developing what is now called PRTG.
When I joined the company in 2019, I pondered the next steps and realized that we had the potential to make a significant impact due to our user base of 500,000 relying on our monitoring software. We envisioned a journey in which our monitoring capabilities could be harnessed for broader purposes, such as enhancing energy efficiency and optimizing resources. Consequently, we made the decision to venture into the enterprise market and explore new verticals, particularly in the OT domain.
Regarding our product portfolio, we maintain a continuous release cycle, constantly improving the product every week. However, I proposed the idea of accelerating portfolio growth through strategic acquisitions. As a result, this year has been particularly momentous as we’ve
acquired two companies. The first acquisition is Qbilon, while the other company, formerly known as ITPS, has been incorporated into Paessler. These acquisitions bring diverse market approaches and expertise into our fold, marking a significant milestone in our journey.
What makes Paessler stand out in this crowded network monitoring market?
Well, first and foremost, our solution is user-friendly. Thanks to our auto-discovery module, which has evolved over many years, it comes with built-in functionality that covers most use cases. This means you won’t need to create your own custom code or heavily customize the product. Our customers greatly appreciate this because it keeps professional service costs in check and makes maintenance a breeze.
Secondly, we take customer support very seriously. Whether you’re a large corporation or a smaller business, we’re committed to providing top-notch technical support. We actively engage with our customers and maintain channels for direct communication with our developers and product managers. We value our customers’ input and actively seek their feedback on features they’d like to see. This collaborative approach to development sets us apart from larger vendors that may prioritize maximizing profits over customer engagement.
What are your thoughts on observability, which has become a buzzword now?
Observability is a term we use to describe our ability to understand a system based on logs, traces, and metrics. Traditionally, monitoring has been centered around metrics.
With PRTG, we already notify based on log sensors, and our development department is actively working on further projects to leverage logs and the open telemetry format more. This will enhance our capabilities and enable us to export logs to various systems, including security platforms.
With our recent acquisition of Qbilon, we’re taking observability to the next level. This acquisition allows us to extend observability beyond a single system, providing visibility into complex infrastructures. This holistic view is invaluable for various use cases such as architecture planning, business continuity assurance, internal auditing, and security planning. It aggregates information from diverse sources, including security and monitoring tools, including PRTG, architectural data, and cloud services like AWS or Azure, offering a comprehensive visualization platform. This platform enables deep dives into specific aspects, such as security control checks, identification of servers running outdated operating systems, and identifying unencrypted communication between network elements.
The IT landscape is getting distributed with the advent of the cloud. Can you monitor cloud environments as well?
We have been closely monitoring industry trends; the cloud is a dominant trend, and its importance will undoubtedly continue to grow. However, what we have observed is that the combination of on-premises and cloud solutions remains crucial. This hybrid approach is becoming increasingly important.
To address the cloud aspect, we have developed cloud sensors for PRTG. This allows us to provide coverage for cloud environments and virtual machines, regardless of their location. In addition to our cloud capabilities, we are also committed to maintaining our presence in the on-premises realm. We believe this dual approach is essential because some players exclusively focus on the cloud. However, we don’t consider this a comprehensive strategy, as it would limit our ability to address hybrid use cases, which we see as a standard approach.