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[Music] welcome to chromecast check it out i'm sam major commercial director for chrome technologies i'm joined today on the podcast by one of our vendor partner managers mark hodgson he is the vendor channel manager for uk and ireland for paisley g martin welcome thanks sam thanks for having me let's add some context it's this conversation um crikey we've been dealing with paisler for a year on it but the best part of a decade obviously great products very interesting tool um and you're probably aware of this but we actually came across your product as a customer so we were using and you'll be more aware of the product nagios at the time which was a good piece of open source software did the job but was horrendously um was horrendous to operate on a daily basis the overhead was kind of outweighing the benefit of having a tool that monitored everything reported on it because we had a full-time guy just monitoring nagas which is obviously not what you need out of your network monitoring system so we went out to market looked at plenty of products [Music] solar winds etc people like that and good products but this was in the early days chrome potentially didn't have the budget for that sort of product honestly view and found paisler but actually found that gave us everything we needed from a functional perspective to monitor our systems and our infrastructure the service platform for our customers um fantastic and it was you know by becoming a customer of it we saw it and said you know what we need to take this out and become a reseller of it and take it out to a customer base obviously that's um you know that's been going well for a while now so um i guess that's that's our how we discovered you guys and obviously we're clearly fans of it um if you could tell me this a bit more from your perspective some of the how you've expanded your products and some interesting features that people would be interested in yeah sure well with prtg our target customer is the it admin and the target that we sell ourselves is simply to make their working life easier so we're looking to do a number of things for them we want to proactively notify them of any issues or problems we want to give them insightful useful data to address their issues and we want to look for any opportunities we have to reduce our workload now in recent times we found more and more admins are sharing a service availability dashboard or a map as we call it in prtg parlance and that's allowing some of the users who are working from home the ability to see which systems are available for them to connect to and the reason we do this is that it helps users help themselves which is a massive boost variety but also it really reduces the number of duplicate tickets when users know that there is an outage so so now you asked about other vendors and ultimately the biggest difference between us and some of the other folks out there is that where they have built on modules for different aspects of monitoring with prtg we give our customers all of our sensors we give them everything i think that was a real boom for us when we looked at your product is um i guess it's you know you buy a car you can buy a bmw but you got to be willing to tick every box there is to get a car that's worth having and then for us obviously as you know when rupert and i looked at this as owners of the business and without cfo alex looking at obviously the penny side of it kind of refreshing to see that that's you know all-encompassing from a licensed perspective there was never a gotcha we'd like to add this we'd like to have that and there was suddenly an extra you know line a license fee that we had to tick and pay for that was a real for us as a consumer of the product that was a real big win for us yeah i think one of the things i'd say you know looking back over 2020 um is the the rapid rate of development of our new centers obviously 2020 was a very challenging uh year for for many businesses uh we were able to grow a little which you know we take that and we also managed to launch our new product uh pestler prtg enterprise monitor absolutely yeah so um that's important actually um yeah we're certainly seeing from our side of it excuse me a bit of a change uh in our customer base with prtg traditionally that's been more the medium-sized enterprise that we've permitted to do in supporting prgm but i'd say from a higher larger enterprise customers are using more of the let's call them i suppose reassuringly expensive tools that are on offer um but we're seeing this shift um and we're seeing the larger organizations now you know implementing very large uh again implementing wrong word over and over we're seeing a larger installs of prtg and the number of sensors that we're selling is kind of growing exponentially so um from your perspective i guess uh be good to understand how you guys are how your tools evolve and how you're able to scale now into that enterprise space um i suppose where the benefits are with prtg with those larger um you know kind of massive it's called the environment well when i joined pesa in 2017 there are a number of customers who said to me that they loved prtg and that's a word i've heard throughout my time admins love prtg they loved how easy it was to implement and live with but they found that we could do more to help them with the large-scale deployments and that's pretty much what we did so when we introduced uh past the prtg enterprise monitor we brought in a number of fundamental changes for our customers who needed scale so firstly we removed the link between licensing and architecture so customers where previously they've been compelled to build fewer larger prtg servers to accommodate our licensing we got rid of that so they can build as many prtg servers as like with no restrictions so that their architecture is their own choice of course that then brings in this uh a problem in itself which is how do you bring them then into a single pane of glass and that's where the itops board the antiops dashboard with its simple elegance comes in and it allows a user-tailored view of the health and the performance uh at an appropriate level for whoever that user is whether that's um you know a cxo or a an engineer they get an appropriate level of insight into the services and the like and then finally one of the uh one of the the big differences that we implemented was that we allowed customers to shift over to an opex model so the enterprise monitor product is uh available exclusively on a subscription basis yeah i think that's um i mean that's the way the software market's going but the shifting that capital expenditure into an operational spend uh clear advantages for a lot of businesses it makes absolute sense to me um so many of our as we're seeing let's say we're on board in a lot more of the larger enterprise clients to prtg and historically and once we've done a good number now the enterprise monitoring tool have been you know standard monitoring tool customers but you know as you as you've alluded to there but with you know a large growing amount of sensors um so we need to take them and other people will be listening to this podcast that prtg customers need to understand how they get themselves from your point a standard customer to point b if you can talk us through what does that great path look like and then how does the pricing structure wrap around look as well sure so i think the first thing is we draw a line in the sand which is that a prtg core a prtg instance has a recommended cap of 10 000 sensors as a maximum and that's the uh the xl1 license um now what we've done you know with that with a number of your uh of your xl1 and multiple xl1 customers we've helped them migrate from uh from prtg network monitor up to the enterprise product now because we did that we we we broke the tentacles by breaking that link between the license and the architecture they've ultimately got better performance and they've been able to reuse all of the noise that they've gained over the years of monitoring with prtg and then leveled up and because all the monitoring within enterprise monitor is exactly the same but then it's the itops dashboard and that service level overview that you get so um commercially the enterprise monitor starts from a shade under 15 000 euros you know and uh with a minimum initial subscription of one year and 20 000 census um but in terms of you know existing prtg customers um you know we've always had a very fair upgrade policy we like to give our customers as much as we possibly can of their investment in prtg back and typically i've seen that where we're doing a three year subscription they've had you know a fair proportion of their capital costs back so i would encourage them to talk to you thank you absolutely um yeah when you look at uh just just the pricing um i remember being very pleasantly surprised you know when we did a bake-off and i've mentioned solar winds there are a number of others which people be aware of you know and you look at the the tick boxes of feature sets etcetera and then you kind of look at the commercial difference on the end you know to be able for what you offer there for shade under 15 000 euros very compelling you know i think that's the the takeaway on that it's such a good feature-rich tool for the money um and that's why i'm such a big fan such an advocate as well um you know when you're taking to the cost saving operation that delivers you to be proactive um yeah and obviously with the added features of enterprise and the scalability of enterprise it's really it's quite compelling as to why wouldn't you you know rather than would you so yeah anyway yeah we've um we're obviously clearly an advocate as i said we've been doing this uh i'm trying to think the exact date but it is the best part um of a decade you know and um some of our customers people in the channel will know people outside the channel may not but obviously you have a direct model and a channel model um from pages of position from your position also being a channel manager if you can talk our audience through you know where you feel the importance of a channel good channel partners are and i guess you know how you feel chrome a lot of our expertise and our professional services wraparound knowledge fit into your ecosystem uh yeah sure i mean as you know you're one of our top tier partners uh and indeed you're one of only two uh uk partners certifying to resell the enterprise monitor platform so you know that's something that you should be very proud of and when we brought that product to market the intention was absolutely for it to be fulfilled through our channel um our channel is super important to us we are a global team of just over 300 people and we have 300 000 customers and we don't provide professional services so it doesn't take too long to see what your contribution is you know we do not sell professional services and you can imagine there's a big difference between an enterprise cash customer who wants a whole solution and you know um somebody who simply wants a transactional business because they already know what they need to about our product and that's why we have our direct monthly so but i mean i love the backstory that you guys have uh the idea of being a customer before you became a reseller you and your folks know your onions uh we love what you do with creating the custom census and you know for those people who are listening to your podcast uh i have no reservations in recommending you personally and the feedback that i've had from our mutual customers is without parallel so keep doing what you're thinking a little bit blush um but it comes down to the fact that we really believe in the product uh we do monitor all of our environment the hosted platforms everything is monitored by prtg and we've done some you know interesting things uh with the products over the years you know obviously it's a network monitoring tool but it's amazing you know what attaches to the network these days and um you know what you can actually you know do with it i remember we had an interesting use case i was talking to i sharp name names but a very large higher educational institute in the south of country um and i was talking to the team there and they had other tools for the job that they couldn't see a place of prtg at that time but i caught the year of the av team and their pain point was the fact that they had a huge number of auditoriums uh and they booked these out for people like the late stephen hawkins to come and and you know speak at et cetera as a huge revenue generator for them and they've instances where you know they wouldn't realize that an auditorium you know had a broken bowl with a projector or whatever wasn't working until it was kind of go time and the disruption the disturbances that caused uh it was huge the cost implications were massive uh and we you know did a poc with prtg there and i think they dipped their toe in for a few hundred sensors um in fact it was the 300 sensor uh license to prove the case it would work and they very quickly became an xl1 than xl5 you know literally huge insulation but it was outside of what people i guess would see perceive as being the norm you know looking at the av and and whatnot um obviously that's my hopefully my interesting war story you've probably seen a few you've probably seen you know something similar in your time at prtg oh there's uh we one of the things that we love to hear is all the unique and interesting uh ways that people implement the product um the one one of the ones that leaps off the page to me that i really enjoyed working with was me being a definite nerd is the national museum of computing at bletchley park and to you know in a single leap go from we have uh the oldest working computer in the world there it's a 1950s um super calculator for want of a better word and it's paper tape based and it's obviously super important being so old and we monitor it using iot um so you know from paper tech to iot in a single uh leap um i've read recently about one of uh the implementations up in the nordics where one of our isp customers had written their own custom sensor and this one very much appeals to me because he's created a custom sensor to check on the weather and sea conditions and prtg alerts him when he should book a day off to go fishing for [Music] that's that's our sort of sense a real world fishing attack oh dear it really is uh and then finally i i have to go back to you know uh where all this came from uh dirk pessler dirk's vision is that prtg can positively impact on a company's uh use of um energy amongst other things and some time back we implemented a solar array i know lots of vendors have done that but being the monitoring company we didn't just do that and we're actively monitoring you know what that's what a difference that's making and trying wherever we can to not only make those initiatives to reduce uh consumption but also to monitor and measure them so yeah that's that's our bigger vision it's good um it's always interesting to i guess share war stories and see how the people are taking uh a product and then adapting it and use it in versatile and inventive ways um i guess you know you've certainly got a product which is adaptable and we can we can push this across most verticals most industry sectors and find those unique and interesting use cases for it so it's uh yeah again i can't say enough about products i don't usually show up about it talking to customers because it is so useful to help us you know find out the pain points we need and especially as a managed services provider having an in-store this is is a no-brainer because it literally tells us what's up what's going on and our team are on it proactively um you know so you make us look good obviously conversely we make you look good by doing our professional services but that's very much a reciprocal relationship so yeah again huge fans um i've got elephant in the room how to phrase this um i'm sure viewers of our podcast obviously being in the tech industry will be aware that there's been chat in the press around hackers and vulnerabilities found in let's just say other solutions so i'm not digging into details around who's but i'm sure people have questions for you for your company around what uh is pacer doing uh in response to kind of the recent attacks that you guys have seen um i've had lots of conversations in recent time about this i mean we took a step back um and perhaps that's an insight into the sort of organization that we are um we started we've intensively examined all of our systems our processes our protocols to to first of all rule out any misuse but also i think more importantly to discover where we can improve you know this is an opportunity for us to take that learning and improve um we have a an internal task force are there monitoring all the available information about the uh attack uh you know it's an ongoing uh thing and trying to you know as i say take those learnings but let me be very clear thus far um i hasten to add that there have been no indications whatsoever of an account on on passer or prtg or that there have been any compromises so but we're we're not um sitting on our laurels we're taking the threat very very seriously that's good i'd expect nothing less uh from you uh from the partners that we work with um just looking at time and i've still pretty captured on what i should say yeah thank you for investing the time to join the podcast stay and i really appreciate it uh it's been really good to understand and say how you've advanced and evolved and where you're going as a company some of the backstory and more stories also they're good to hear so thanks for your time today thanks for having me bye-bye this has been chromecast thank you for joining us uh if there's anything you'd like us to cover in future episodes please leave that in the comments section it does help us to shape future content please like subscribe and share thanks again for joining us on chromecast take

2021-02-20 08:55

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