Monday 20 May 2019
 
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INTERVIEW

ManageEngine eyes further growth in GCC

MANAMA, 25 days ago

By Sree Bhat
ManageEngine, a global IT management leader, plans to expand its footprint further in the Gulf following a double-digit growth across the region last year.
 
The company, which has been in the Gulf since 2005, achieved a record 35 per cent growth in Bahrain, said Raj Sabhlok, President of Zoho Corporation, which owns ManageEngine, a global IT management solutions company.
 
Speaking exclusively to TradeArabia, Sabhlok said ManageEngine is helping usher in a digital transformation in the region as it moves ahead with its mission of democratising software solutions, making it available and affordable for most enterprises.
 
The company has a big operation globally and it works through its partners in the region, including Hilal Computers in Bahrain and Elitser Technologies in the UAE. ManageEngine has a workforce of over 2,500 members in Chennai (India) and offices in the US, Europe, China and Japan.
 
“We also opened an R&D centre near Chennai recently with about 500 engineers. A lot of our software is in the cloud as well and we run our own data centres. There are eight of them around the world serving 45 million users,” said Sabhlok elaborating on the company’s worldwide operations.
 
“We invested early in the Middle East and our revenue is significant from the region. We think there is a lot of synergy between India and the Middle East,” he continued. 
 
ManageEngine helps IT divisions in companies manage their technology infrastructure including servers, networks, security and it has a host of software applications that aid in the process. Many of the oil and gas companies, government organisations and airlines in the region are using the company’s solutions to manage their IT infrastructure, explained Sabhlok.
 
“I think one of the reasons we are so popular in the Middle East is that we were early to come to the region, much before many competitors.
 
“For better or worse, the way technology has evolved, some of the Western countries adopted technology first and countries in the Middle East and other regions later. The advantage of moving second is often that you get the benefit of the latest technology. In this scenario, vendors such as ManageEngine and Zoho are able to take the complexities out and offer fresh solutions,” he said.
 
ManageEngine offers great technology; price points that are affordable and make it really available to everybody; and solutions that can be deployed swiftly, he says. “Companies will start seeing the benefits quickly and be able to compete with the bigger players much more effectively using our solutions,” notes Sabhlok.
 
“For example, our business solution software Zoho can be purchased for a dollar a day per user in an organisation.  It’s pretty incredible when you think of the breadth of solutions we have: we offer sales tools, marketing applications, finance, HR, email – almost every application you need. It’s an incredible value proposition.”
 
Sabhlok says that IT management has become very important again and ManageEngine is a leader in the segment. “I say it because of certain dynamics. One is digital transformation, which is to me is leveraging technology to help grow your business faster and increase profits and efficiency. But it’s very technology-oriented and IT management sits right in the middle of all that. If you are bringing in technology, it needs to be deployed, managed and optimised and that’s what IT management software does.”
 
Elaborating further, he says most organisations have looked at IT as a cost centre and they have to do more with less, so automation becomes the order of the day. There again, IT management software fits in. In many cases, IT management is underpinning the deployment of technology in the management of technology, he said.
 
“Even the SMEs can look much larger if they leverage technology. Fortunately, with companies like ManageEngine, the price points are at a place that SMEs can also enjoy the benefits of its sophisticated software,” he added.
 
“What is interesting about SMEs is that they have been a major beneficiary of the whole positive tidal wave of technology. It has created more opportunities for them to absorb technology much easier. As technology is a great equalizer, leveraging technology allows them to compete with bigger competitors, expand their market. So it’s a game-changer for SMEs.”
 
The technology also helps cut costs. “One of the big drivers in terms of cutting costs ostensibly is to move to the cloud. How do you get it over to the cloud? How do you manage it on the cloud? Security issues don’t go away on cloud and the answer to that is management solutions that can make them happen.”
 
Speaking on the company’s plans for the region, Sabhlok said the firm sees a huge opportunity in the region. The demand for technology at the moment is insatiable and any time technology is deployed, ManageEngine is going to be deployed to support that effort.
 
“We achieved a 35pc growth in Bahrain last year, which for a company in business for 20 years is very significant. I think we can grow even faster. That’s the kind of environment we are in right now,” he affirmed.
 
The other big markets for ManageEngine in the region are the UAE (Dubai) and Saudi Arabia. They are similar models and the company goes through partners and both of these markets are doing incredibly well.
 
Is the company planning any investment in the region? The ultimate investment will be a data centre, said Sabhlok. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet, but it’s certainly in our minds. We know that most countries are sensitive to where their data lies and who has access to it and the Middle East is no different. Hopefully, in the near-term, we will figure out how we can move ahead with this plan.”
 
Speaking on the Saudi and Dubai markets, he said: “I think they will be major, double-digit growth markets for us. Dubai because of the fact that we went there early and we have a big partner there. It’s easy to do business from India in Dubai and we got an early start and still growing well. Saudi is trying to catch up.”
 
On artificial intelligence adoption by ManageEngine, he said AI is coming onto a lot of management technologies, particularly in areas like security. “One of the challenges with security is that we have so much technology that is deployed, it’s almost humanly impossible to keep track of it without the help of automation and technology. One of the things that we have done is to try to keep track of the logs created by applications.”
 
Logs contain a wealth of information about these technologies, including data that can help diagnose problems or even potential security threats. Using AI and the company’s SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), the EventLog Analyzer sifts through the mountains of data to deliver actionable data to the IT security and operations teams.\
 
Also, Zoho's AI technology is a fundamental component of the company’s flagship help desk offering – ServiceDesk Plus.
 
“We want to be leading-edge, we want to help companies and businesses usher in these new technologies like Quantum Computing, AI and 5G. To that point, we have launched Zoho Labs, an organisation of a few hundred people who do nothing but experiment with new technologies. A lot of AI we are putting in the ManageEngine comes from Zoho Labs,” said Sabhlok.
 
ManageEngine is a development-focused company and invests roughly 35pc of its revenue back to its R&D, he says proudly. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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