TACKLING IT MANAGEMENT
Sascha Giese, head geek, SolarWinds, talks about the company’s IT management solutions and how the company is strengthening its business and expanding footprint in the Middle East.
What partner initiatives are you rolling out in the Middle East for your channel and which countries are key for SolarWinds’ growth?
SASCHA GIESE: We believe our channel partners are a complement to our route-tomarket. Our distribution partners can help extend our network coverage across the Middle East region, assisting us in reaching a broader audience of potential resellers who can promote and deliver SolarWinds products to their customers. We are currently working with two key distributors in the region: Spire Solutions and Clever.
The Middle East is seeing adoption of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, machine learning, and accelerated acceptance of smart cities. How is SolarWinds contributing to this?
SG: Smart cities, as well as AI and machine learning, require the collection of data. In fact, this is the so-called “big data.” SolarWinds solutions can help ensure the health and availability of the data collection points, the storage of the data, as well as the connections in between.
Just in terms of AI, where is the level of debate among your peers? SG: AI is a hot topic, of course. There are endless possibilities and we see more and more use cases coming up. While there’s certainly a hype, and some of these use cases will disappear quickly again, some cases are valid and helpful. We are just scratching the surface, and we expect great things to happen in the near future.
How are you helping channel partners and end-user clients tackle the local skills shortage, especially around emerging technologies, such as AI and blockchain?
SG: While our business isn’t directly connected with technologies such as AI and blockchain, we are involved on a more abstract level. For example, any supervised machine learning process that could be considered AI, is basically a process running somewhere, and consuming resources, and keeps on talking with other elements. We provide technology that covers the underlying architecture, processes and communications.
Many companies in the region are just tackling the basics of digital transformation. How quickly do you see companies in the region adopting technologies such as AI and blockchain in the Middle East?
SG: The problems they were reporting are more traditional, since they are experiencing issues with bandwidth, and of course storage. Both problems are very real, very costly and very global. The basics need to be sorted out first, followed by any other digital transformation topic and then a meaningful deployment of AI could be
Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, of course. There are endless possibilities and we see more and more use cases coming up.
Despite endless industry hype for its potential, our “IT Trends Report: The Intersection of Hype and Performance,” revealed that just 8% of UK IT professionals surveyed were prepared to hail it as the most important technology to an IT organisation’s strategy today. What’s more, this number only increased to 15% when IT professionals were asked the most important technologies for digital transformation over the next three to five years.
Which industry verticals do you see embracing these technologies quickly and why?
SG: Blockchain offers truly beneficial advantages in many industries, even as financial services put it through early production use cases. These range from cross-border payments and share trading, to smart contracts and identity management.
What can your channel partner community and end users expect from SolarWinds, and why should they continue working with your company? SG: SolarWinds provides powerful and affordable IT infrastructure management software; we make IT look easy. Simply put, we work to help technology professionals solve today’s IT challenges. Our relationship and engagement with the IT community gives us insight and understanding we rely upon to deliver products designed to solve IT management problems the way technology professionals want them solved. We foster this relationship through our daily engagement on THWACK, our online community of over 150,000 registered members.
Our channel partners are an extension of our team. We work closely with them, sharing in-house expertise and product knowledge. Our partners can also access live inperson, free training in our annual EMEA SolarWinds Partner Summit.