How It Started
Alex Hoff, David Yach, and I share a running joke about the origin of Auvik. While we all agree on HOW it happened — a conversation that led to a handshake — it’s WHEN it happened we’re a little fuzzy on.
Since this is my blog post, I say November 2011.
There is a story about why things are a little fuzzy, but what came of that meeting was the decision to make managing the corporate network easy — something that should have already been solved — considering networks had been around for over 30 years by that time.
I still remember the HP OpenView days of the late ’80s. Yes – I’m that old. OpenView was a collection of network and systems management products disguised as professional services but engineered for network specialists – a role that was brand new to organizations.
Imagine interconnecting your PC? The wonders!
Fast forward twenty years, when SolarWinds transformed the market by making a shrink-wrapped network management software product designed for expert users that didn’t need professional services – or professional service budgets – to deploy.
At the same time, there was a massive shift to the cloud and SaaSification of business apps, including network management. Networking had become a much more common problem, and as such, there was no longer a need for complicated, bespoke network management solutions and experts.
So, we formed Auvik with the mission to make a beautiful product that people would enjoy using, that made complex tasks easy, and gave IT generalists the same level of control and confidence as a network expert. And do it all with as little ramp-up time as possible. That focus on “easy” is crucial to what Auvik is, and will always remain central to all its offerings.
We discovered the MSP market in 2015, and I like to joke that we couldn’t even spell MSP back then. MSPs couldn’t use traditional network management tools — managing clients with a collection of network devices from different vendors and eras didn’t play well with the “single network” approach network management tools of the day required. We’d found our “niche” if you will, and the rest is history.
How It’s Going
As with every other company around the world, we shifted from a location-oriented culture to being fully remote — driven by both the opportunity and mandated by COVID-19.
While some of the world had already started moving toward a remote workforce option, COVID forced much of the rest into it. We all saw how different industries and the global economy reacted. Apparently businesses, just like people, don’t like being told what to do.
Even though a remote workforce (or Modern Work, as we call it) wasn’t a new concept, the technology needed to support remote work was very complicated, had limited but specific features, and was wildly expensive. We’ve all spent years taking care of and troubleshooting our personal devices at differing degrees, and so at Auvik, we believe that including the user in the management of Modern Work is paramount to being effective at the organizational level. It increases the gratification of IT teams and the satisfaction of the users.
We define Modern Work as devices connected to any network using SaaS applications to perform prescribed duties, regardless of time and place.
The traditional definition of a network has changed. It’s no longer confined to a brick-and-mortar office space or neatly kept behind a firewall. Work still happens on the “corporate” network, but it also happens on home networks, the coffee shop network, the airport network, or tethered to your phone’s hotspot. These are all now extensions of the work network because that’s where work happens.
Our customers have been encouraging us to expand our product to include more of this new extended network. To make it easier to troubleshoot issues across distributed users, their networks, their devices, and their applications. To answer this call, we acquired Metageek, Boardgent, and Saaslio, and are actively integrating those products into Auvik 2.0.
At Auvik, we believe that every organization today, regardless of size or industry, has an equal responsibility to support a Modern Work environment. And this responsibility doesn’t need to land solely on internal resources. Not because they can’t, but because they shouldn’t have to. There will always be responsibilities internal IT teams can and should be focused on unique to their business goals — like data privacy and security. But for [others], it’s time to outsource Modern Work support to modern MSPs.
We’ve grown up in the MSP market, and it will always remain a crucial part of our business, even as Auvik evolves to include more features and functionality to help internal IT teams. There will always be the need to reduce the burden of time-consuming tasks, and that’s part of why Auvik exists, and why we continue to evolve our core platform.
Leadership is a crucial part of this evolution. I’m turning 50-10 soon. This birthday is a watershed moment for me personally, and a signal for me to evolve to the next phase of my career, too. There are exciting times ahead for Auvik, especially over the next 12-36 months, and I felt it was best to pass the leadership torch, sooner rather than later, to someone who could carry the company forward onto the next chapter of this story.
I can’t think of a better person than Doug Murray to take on the role of Auvik’s new CEO. His experience, combined with his passion for technology and proven tenacity, is just what Auvik needs at this critical time.
I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished at Auvik so far, and I am very bullish on Auvik 2.0, the opportunities it creates for our customers, and the impact it will have on the IT market as a whole.
At its core, Auvik remains focused on providing a powerful IT management experience to support this ever-evolving modern work concept. My vision has always been that good technology should just fade into the background and make it easy for users and technical staff to get work done, whenever and wherever they like.
I’m not going away, but I am handing over the reins and moving to the Board of Directors to continue to advise and champion Auvik. And as I pass that torch to Doug, I am confident that he will help to realize this vision and drive the Auvik Way Principle of “Wow our customers”.
And know that regardless of my role with Auvik, I will always bleed purple.