Ipswitch in major R&D push, targets system integrator business

Network management and monitoring software specialist Ipswitch has the enterprise and system integrator business in its sights, but insists it will not abandon its SME roots

Network management and monitoring software firm Ipswitch, the firm behind the popular SME management package WhatsUp Gold, has been setting out its vision of the future of its key markets and product roadmap, and how the evolution it is undertaking will impact its partner channel.

Speaking at a roundtable event at the vendor’s base in Lexington, MA, Ipswitch Network Management division president Ennio Carboni described the ongoing evolution of the network monitoring market and laid down the key areas where Ipswitch wants to beef up its portfolio.

“The fallacy I hear is that network infrastructure monitoring is diminishing in importance,” he said, “Although I see large scale migrations to wireless and the cloud, there’s still a fundamental importance that the backbone network is up and running.

“We will continue to focus there, but we do see a large opportunity in virtualisation; we are surprised by the lack of controls around the usage of the technology [and] need to do a better job of managing that environment, so you’ll see an expansion in network availability and performance around virtualisation,” he continued.

“Application performance we [also] see as a large market [with]so many apps causing network performance degradation. We are making large investments in all those areas, and have hired over 60 R&D people in the past 12 months,” Carboni added.

The expansion of Ipswitch’s product roadmap is set to bring the firm into much closer contact with system integrators – indeed it is already working with a number of them in Europe, including Dimension Data, Fujitsu and NextiraOne  – but Alessandro Porro, Ipswitch international sales VP, was adamant the company would not abandon its roots.

“We will continue to be exclusively partnering with channel companies but in reality I think that the evolution we will see, rather than going through two tier value added distribution, will, by virtue of the customers we already have [go through] midmarket and enterprise partners. [They] are the ones we will increase our business with,” said Porro.

“We will continue to work with distributors and VARs. It’ll be a win-win for all, we won’t take from John to give to Paul.”

Porro said he planned to ramp up the company’s reliance on direct touch outreach with customers to bring more channel business into the fold, adding that he expected to be doing business with more virtualisation management specialists.

For partners working with Ipswitch’s sole UK distributor, Computerlinks, Porro added that the vendor was conducting business as normal following its recent purchase by Arrow ECS, and did not anticipate any major impact.

“We have worked with Arrow in other countries in Europe…. We hope some of the chaps at Computerlinks will still be our points of contact,” he said.

Meanwhile, Carboni also gave a strong hint that Ipswitch will look to acquire in the future saying the company will seek to target companies that share its mission, principles and values.

You can read our full interview with Ipswitch’s Alessandro Porro next week on MicroScope.

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