|By Xenia von Wedel||
|April 2, 2016 05:00 PM EDT||
What does it mean for GSX Solutions to reach the 20 year milestone?
Antoine Leboyer, CEO of GSX Solutions: It is certainly a key milestone in anyone's life. I can fully appreciate this when I think back to my younger days and then I look at my eldest daughter, who is 20 years old and in her second year at university.
But for a company in the IT sector, a 20-year anniversary signifies that we have experienced and endured so many radical changes in the industry. We have witnessed the era in which mainframes were challenged by minis, which were then themselves challenged by PCs. Then came the age of software, then something called the Internet, and now another something called the cloud. Every time, we thought that nothing more could be invented, another massive change would take place.
If we are still here and thriving after 20 years, it is a testament to our ability to realize that things will always be constantly changing, and that we must adapt to new worlds.
How difficult is it to adapt to change?
Leboyer: It is a massive challenge for individuals, as well as for companies both large and small.
There is a book I have read called Denial, written by Harvard Business School Professor Richard Tedlow. (http://www.amazon.com/Denial-Business-Leaders-Facts-Face/dp/B0042P56D0). I recommend that anyone and everyone read it. Professor Tedlow has since retired from Harvard Business School, and now teaches at the Apple University. There are great lessons to learn from his book which have inspired me greatly.
The ability to change begins with the realization that changes happen, and there will always be a delay in this realization. There may be times you can anticipate change, but frankly, it is rare.
When change takes place, it is scary but do not fight it - embrace it. Encourage discussion around new paradigms, then analyze how resources can and should be allocated accordingly. Set clear measures on both legacy and new initiatives. Do not be afraid to have frank and open discussions.
How have changes impacted the IT professionals who are using your solutions?
Leboyer: The most profound changes have come from leveraging cloud-based technologies. In this new world, availability is a given (or at least, should be a given). There has been a subtle yet clear shift in focus to new metrics - the most important one being the level of service experienced by the end-users.
What this means is that the new generation of professionals with whom we work no longer work in silos. They are personally responsible for all of the components that affect the level of service. This is quite similar to what is happening with the concept of "Devops" - the distinction between the development and production team has become blurred, and Devops seek to analyze and impact all steps of the cycle.
We are now working with, shall I say, "Adminops," who have a complete view of the delivery of the applications for which they are responsible.
We've had many deep discussions with "Adminops" and have worked with them to spearhead a number of developments around the platforms mentioned at http://www.gsx.com/beyond-unified-communications.
Does this mean that you have changed focus during these 20 years?
Leboyer: For the most part, no. We have continued to deliver solutions for the monitoring and reporting of unified communications on platforms of many vendors, and this is the value for which we are known.
Our core competencies remain in both understanding the challenges of unified communications as well as in-depth mastery of the technologies of agentless monitoring.
Is agentless only applicable to unified communications?
Leboyer: I do not think so, but we need to work with other people to enable them to leverage the technologies we have at our disposal.
Let me explain: we have both the knowledge of how to run unified communications in an "Adminops" world, as well as the capabilities to deploy all of the underlying technologies around agentless monitoring.
If a company wants to do the same thing for an e-Commerce or financial application, there is a need to understand the business side and the corresponding components which affect the different environments.
The same is true if a company comes to us and wants to agentlessly monitor a specific application that encompasses, say, SQL Database and Network Latency. We can serve them, but might require additional platforms specific devices or server platforms.
We are currently starting to work with a small number of partner companies to enable them to use the same tools that our engineers - who are specialists of unified communications - are using.
So, just as there are "Intel Inside" PCs, we hope to enable partners to come with "GSX Agentless Solutions" inside. This is a very important strategic initiative for us. We have not communicated around these projects yet as we want to let them mature, but we plan to do so and ramp up when we are completely ready. Right now, we are focusing on making our current initiatives successful and therefore replicable.
Do you have some ideas on what the next 20 years holds for GSX?
Leboyer: It would be foolish - or worse, arrogant - to make any real predictions about what we hope to accomplish over the next 20 years.
In the short-term, we all have a strong belief that agentless-based monitoring solutions will gradually replace all outdated technologies, and that we will be part of this change. But this may hardly be even a footprint in the history of things to come.
All I can say is that at GSX, we all love technology and its challenges. They keep us young.
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