Even as the cloud computing market accelerates, SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson says his company will never abandon on-premises IT professionals who manage servers, applications, databases, networks and more. In an exclusive interview with MSPmentor and Windows IT Pro, Thompson described how SolarWinds (SWI) will balance on-premises and cloud R&D to make sure IT pros enjoy job security for years to come.
First, a little background: SolarWinds has rapidly expanded its IT management software portfolio -- through acquisitions and organic software development. In its most recent quarterly results (disclosed in Feb. 2014), SolarWinds said Q4 2013 revenues jumped a strong 32 percent to $97.1 million.
On the one hand, Thompson is quick to evangelize SolarWinds' growing cloud- and subscription-oriented recurring revenue -- which involves the N-able Technologies acquisitions. But on the other hand, Thompson says SolarWinds will continue to empower on-premises IT professionals who manage on-premises equipment.
In the MSPmentor interview, Thompson said: "Most IT professionals who manage servers, storage, and networks use on-premises tools. But as cloud technologies continue to grow and evolve we'll give IT pros a set of technologies that keeps them relevant as their world eventually goes cloud." Working with SolarWinds, Thompson said, "You can manage your infrastructure today -- but still have a guaranteed level of performance as some workloads move the cloud."
How so? Thompson points to Orion -- an overall IT platform that will support more and more services -- ranging from network management to database, server, application and storage management.
Of course, SolarWinds faces plenty of competition. Microsoft System Center has evolved to manage both on-premises and cloud workloads. IT management giants like BMC, CA Technologies, HP and IBM continue to prowl the market. And upstarts like NewRelic and AppDynamics are catching on for application management.
Best of Both Worlds?
Still, Thompson is quick to claim SolarWinds enjoys a leg up on rivals. He believes large IT management companies are chasing the cloud and forgetting about their on-premises heritage. And he doesn't think application-centric startups can evolve to offer end-to-end solutions.
Perhaps most importantly, Thompson points his remarks directly to IT professionals who must manage on-premises solutions while keeping an eye on the cloud. Stick with SolarWinds, he told MSPmentor, and your skills won't get left behind.
We'll keep tracking SolarWinds to see if Thompson can back up that claim for the long haul.