ManageEngine Seeks Rapid UK Growth Amidst Cloud Adoption Surge

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ManageEngine Seeks Rapid UK Growth Amidst Cloud Adoption Surge
ManageEngine Seeks Rapid UK Growth Amidst Cloud Adoption Surge

ManageEngine is planning large-scale growth in the UK this year and has already made significant investment towards that as the company seeks to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the move towards cloud by many businesses.

When ManageEngine announced in April that it was opening its first data centre facilities in the UK, it was a significant move for the company. Not just in terms of investment – about $1 million – but also as a statement of ManageEngine’s plans to expand by 25-30% in the UK this year.

The data centres, sited in London and Manchester are ISO/IEC-27001-certified and have been built to support UK customers with a need for data sovereignty and data residency. The data centres offer enhanced data security and carry all the necessary SOC, ISO and PCI DSS certifications, ensuring that data is stored securely and in compliance with local regulations and industry-specific standards. 

The new sites are hosted by Equinix, which was selected by ManageEngine for its state-of-the-art, global, secure, sustainable data centre platform. The data centres will host a few prominent ManageEngine products, including ServiceDesk Plus Cloud for IT and enterprise service management, and Endpoint Central Cloud for unified endpoint management and security. The long-term plan is to offer ManageEngine’s entire portfolio from the UK data centres. 

“Cloud adoption has been rapid in the UK, far outstripping other markets,” says Rajesh Ganesan, president of ManageEngine. “We have seen 70% growth in cloud adoption year-on-year since 2018, versus 50% globally. Post-Brexit, we also saw increased demand from customers for data centres to be located in the UK to ensure data sovereignty and comply with local regulations.”

Keeping it private

Rajesh adds that this decision is also driven by the need of the majority of its customers to have data within the UK because UK is a sizable market, and ManageEngine’s future growth depends on how well the company serve its customers in the region it is investing in. As mentioned, the data centres are co-located with the Equinix facility, but the entire stack, including all hardware and software is built in-house by ManageEngine. “This is a commitment we give to our customers.” he says. “We could host with other providers – there are many cloud providers today and they are good options – but we believe the moment you rely on a third party, the terms of service that we give to our customers has a dependency.

“And ManageEngine’s business model is simple and transparent and the revenue model is built around serving the customer’s needs end-to-end. We do not monetise our customer data or share it with any third party in any situation. We make sure our privacy policy complies with the demands of the local regulations and we realised being self-sufficient in terms of our cloud operations is the way for us to deliver on such customer promises. 

“Equally important is the uptime and SLA commitments to our customers and we believe being in complete control of our stacks puts us in a good position to deliver on those commitments, as opposed to relying on multiple levels of third-party SLAs if we hosted with other providers. We think long-term and end-to-end as a company and as a SaaS provider, we have the conviction that building the complete know-how of running cloud operations is critical to our efficiency and sustenance. And this investment in the UK data centre is part of our commitment to our model and values.”

“Across the globe, we sell to about 190 countries and have about 270,000 businesses that are customers of ManageEngine”

Established player

ManageEngine, a part of Zoho Corporation, which focuses on cloud-based business applications, also brings a wealth of experience to its UK operations. The company has its beginnings in 2002 in its native India, starting out with a basic ticketing system, which could automate processes around delivering technology services. Over the next decade, the number of products grew to more than 40, which were all integrated and covered end-to-end technology management. “Not just process automation, but service delivery, IT, operations management, cybersecurity,” says Rajesh. “After two decades, ManageEngine is a single platform that completely ups the game on how technology is managed in companies.

“Today, any business, regardless of size, runs technology and it is common to have a hybrid technology infrastructure – with some on premises and some in the cloud – and the workforce uses devices to do their actions, so this infrastructure needs good management, to ensure they give a good experience to customers and employees, and this is what ManageEngine focuses on,” says Rajesh Ganesan, president of ManageEngine.

For instance, the platform incorporates artificial intelligence, Rajesh notes. “When an attempted cyberattack starts, we have the intelligence to know about it immediately and can alert the administrators and take proactive actions to respond to the attacks.

“We have multiple products that work seamlessly as one entity for our customers to manage their technology infrastructure completely. Across the globe, we sell to about 190 countries and have about 270,000 businesses that are customers of ManageEngine. Since we started, North America and the UK have been our primary markets, and the UK remains our number two market in terms of number of customers and revenue.”

UK plans

The opening of the data centres in London and Manchester are part of ManageEngine’s ambitious plans for growth in the UK – by 25-30% – including targeting medium and large enterprises. To achieve this, it was felt that more people on the ground were needed and to that end, the company opened an office in Milton Keynes recently. This has also been accompanied by a recruitment drive. A country manager for the UK has been hired, along with a team of salespeople, customer support, marketing and so on. “We want a local presence to go directly to our customers,” says Rajesh. “A lot of business is down to relationships and building long-lasting and deep relationships with our customers.”

ManageEngine also has a strong channel presence and is looking to expand that too. The company has had three primary distributors but is now looking to grow that number.

“We are very aggressive about expanding our direct and channel presence and that we believe will take us to the growth numbers that we are talking about, despite the challenges that UK has currently economically and politically,” he says. “We believe this model, along with our mature platform and our familiarity with the UK market and the trust that our customers already have, will ensure we achieve this growth.

“We realise we need partners, the channel, the expertise, which is why we are always looking to expand the channel.”

Achieving ambitions

Arun Kumar, regional director of UK at ManageEngine, adds that ManageEngine are optimistic of growing by 25% or more in the UK because they already have close to 6,000 customers using its products within the UK. “Historically most of these customers start with one or two products to solve their IT challenges but because of the integration benefits and the seamless value we bring as a suite, a lot of our customers tend to buy more products down the track. We have seen that increasing in recent years. 

“Part of our expansion plans are to have the team locally based in UK to offer value services and give more enablement on our products and how that can solve their IT challenges. Those are customer-facing and account management roles which we are bringing in within UK to meet and engage and create that awareness among our customers.”

As mentioned, the channel will also play an important part in ManageEngine’s growth strategy, Arun adds. “Almost 40% of our UK revenue currently comes through the channel network,” he says. 

“We also have a distribution network which helps us to penetrate the channel network, including a lot of transactional partners, MSPs system integrators or even value added partners. And recently we have hired a channel manager for the UK to enable partners to assist them with market strategies and drive more revenue across the reseller network. But our long-term goal is to go into the larger channel network and create the awareness of our products.”

Arun emphasises that it’s important to have the people on the ground for the strategy to work rather than just do it virtually.

He adds the UK expansion is part of the company’s plan over the next 12-24 months, based on how the business grows. “We already have the team, and our immediate priorities are bringing the customer facing teams, which could help customers and partners.”

More widely, ManageEngine plans to make using the company’s products a seamless experience as one platform, both on premises and in the cloud. “Currently, we have about 80% of the portfolio covered on the cloud, but the big objective for 2023 is to have 100% parity of the portfolio in on premises and the cloud, so customers have absolute flexibility,” says Rajesh.

With plans in place, Rajesh is confident that ManageEngine can achieve its ambitious targets for ManageEngine, but, more importantly, help satisfy customers’ burgeoning demand for cloud-based but UK-domiciled products.