No, KEMP Technologies hasn’t changed its name to add a 2.0. But it may as well have. The New York-based SMB-focused maker of load balancers is still based in New York, but almost everything else has transformed over the last five years or so.
“We’ve changed quite a lot, matching the major changes that have been happening in the market,” said George Zervos, Kemp’s VP Sales for Americas and APAC. “KEMP360 is part of that. Apart from KEMP360, we have also changed the way our channel works.”
KEMP’s go-to-market has changed massively.
“Four-five years ago, we were a load balancer company,” Zervos said. “We were mainly SMB, mainly Microsoft focused. But as the market began to move to hybrid, our focus has moved from SMB to mid-market and enterprise. We now sell into government, education, and health, either siloed for specific applications, or doing everything.”
Their core LoadMaster line has been reworked extensively.
“Years ago, we just sold on-prem load balancers, but most of our sales now – over 50 per cent – are software appliances. We also sell traditional hardware, and cloud. We compete at the high end against Netscaler and F5 and complete on performance, and because we are now basically a software company, we can be disruptive.”
KEMP360 is an element of this disruption.
“It’s turning on the switch to what I call KEMP 2.0, where we are fully embedded across the on-prem world to the cloud world, and everything in between becomes the catalyst for us,” Zervos said. “We have had a phenomenal amount of interest on the market from customers on this, which has shown that we were right in estimating demand.”
KEMP360 is a wrap of two complementary solutions – KEMP360 Central and KEMP360 Vision – both of which are entirely new products – within an application delivery framework that offers a single point for application infrastructure control, monitoring and diagnosis.
“KEMP360 Central provisions, manages and deploys,” Zervos said. It simplifies day-to-day application delivery across multiple load balancers and hosting platforms from different vendors, through centralized service management, log collection and administration.
“KEMP360 Vision is a service which uses the same framework to provide proactive 24/7 alerting of customers, 24×7, and which provides real time visibility of events and workload availability,” Zervos added. “Everything is application-centric now, and our appliances sit right in the middle. Once Vision goes in, we immediately see things that the customers didn’t know and report it to them, so they can fix the problems.”
Zervos said KEMP360 is critical in expanding the company’s drive into the enterprise.
“Both of its offerings help us grow in the enterprise space, and that’s where we are focused over the next year plus,” he said.
KEMP has always sold entirely through channel partners, but the channel has been evolving with KEMP’s strategic re-orientation of its market focus.
“Nothing stands still,” Zervos said. “Like us, the channel also has to evolve or will wither and die. That is something that has always happened anyway. Some of our traditional partners have evolved with us. We are also looking at a new breed of partner, more professional services-oriented than they used to be. Many partners are also moving into managed services and products like KEMP360 are aimed at that, because for the enterprise, it’s hardly ever all cloud. That’s what KEMP360 does. It manages that whole transition.”
Zervos said that KEMP’s efforts to support partners in this transition includes a new training initiative, Learn at KEMP, a new portal which has been available for about a month.
“We had education before, but it was very much face to face,” he said. “This enables our ability to scale and educate more partners with both basic and advanced technical training.”
Zervos also indicated they have been strengthening their Canadian business, which previously had been underrepresented in western and central Canada.
“Now we have organized our Canadian business into east, central and west regions which correspond with the U.S., and are taking a more technical approach to our selling,” he said. “We are also using dedicated channel account managers now who manage outside the big national accounts, which in Canada are basically Dell and CDW.”