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Monday, 02 March 2020 08:27

LogicMonitor eyes Australia for Asia push Featured

Mark Banfield - AI the future for infrastructure monitoring Mark Banfield - AI the future for infrastructure monitoring

US based IT infrastructure monitoring company LogicMonitor is looking to further expansion in Asia-Pacific after a successful first year in Australia.

In less than a year since setting up its first office in the region Sydney the company has hired 20 staff and opened a sales office in Singapore. It is now planning a much greater presence in Asia-Pacific, through channel partners and direct sales.

LogicMonitor operates in the IT infrastructure monitoring space, dominated by major vendors like IBM and BMC and its closest rival, SolarWinds. It has grown very quickly since being acquired in 2018 by Vista Equity Partners, a proactive venture capital fund which owns dozens of software companies, including Tibco and Ping Identity.

iTWire caught up with Mark Banfield, LogicMonitor’s Chief Revenue Officer, visiting Australia to meet clients and discuss growth opportunities. “We have grown a lot since becoming part of the Vista group,” he explains.

“Vista doesn’t only take an equity position. It provides help with strategy and management. It specialises in fast growth software companies.”

When LogicMonitor set up in Australia in 2019 it already had 90 customers, mostly acquired through telephone sales and serviced remotely. The number has since grown to over a hundred and includes high profile companies like Atlassian and BUPA. Many of its customers are systems integrators and managed service providers, which incorporate its monitoring software into the services they offer.

Its first customer in the Asia-Pacific region was Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, and it is now looking at building a larger customer base throughout Southeast Asia, mostly through channel partners.

It is also looking to expand its network of resellers within Australia. The list currently includes Logicalis and NTT (now rebranded after requiring Dimension Data). “We are looking at both direct sales and channel partners, and we’re hiring a channel specialist in Australia,” says Banfield.

Australian manager is Harry Guy. He and Banfield are both British, and worked together previously in the UK before joining the company. Banfield is based in Austin, Texas, where most development takes place, though the company itself is headquartered in Santa Barbara, north of Los Angeles.

LogicMonitor describes itself as “the only fully automated, SaaS-based full-stack infrastructure monitoring platform for enterprise IT and managed service providers.” Infrastructure monitoring has evolved from the old network monitoring tools in the mainframe era. As the name implies, the software is designed to monitor and provide feedback on all aspects of an organisation’s extended network, including both cloud and on premise infrastructure.

The company differentiates itself from its competitors by offering a totally SaaS based suite of tools. Traditional monitoring tools  have used ‘agents’, small pieces of software that set within networks or applications, or on top of products, to report on activity.

“We don’t use agents,” explains Banfield. “We use a small piece of Java software called a Collector, which sits in each location rather than on every device. All network infrastructure activity is monitored by the Collector using standard monitoring protocols and transmitted to our data centre. Clients then monitor their system’s activities through a web interface.”

The next big thing for LogicMonitor is AIOps, an artificial intelligence based ‘early warning system’ that uses predictive algorithms to warn of potential network problems before they occur. It uses preconfigured thresholds that are further refined through machine learning to provide warnings at the optimum time.

AIOps includes a Root Cause Analysis capability that identifies originating dependent sources and can disable redundant notifications. “This is the future of network monitoring,” says Banfield. “We believe we’re on the cutting edge.”

Like most network monitoring tools LogicMonitor needs to learn about new applications and products to be able to monitor them effectively. It has developed LogicModule Exchange, an online marketplace where its users can swap information about new infrastructure components that require monitoring.

“Even small organisations now have complex networks and IT infrastructures,” says Banfield. “Effective monitoring makes everybody’s life easier by putting it all in the cloud we can offer and effective pay-as-you-go monitoring tool for virtually every organisation.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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