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In an exclusive interview with CIO Applications, co-founders Andrew Anderson (President) and James Mancini (Principal Solutions Architect) uncover several interesting insights about their organization’s IT service management solutions, their unique value proposition, and roadmap for the future.
1. What are some of the factors that spurred the conception of Netreo? Can you provide a quick overview of the journey?
Andrew: Back in 2000, a majority of the organizations often deployed off-the-shelf IT products that did not address their day-to-day IT management problems. As their IT stacks were complex and diverse, organizations failed to manage and get complete visibility into the whole environment. Identifying this challenge as an opportunity, we decided to offer pragmatic solutions that solved problems before users could call and complain. This was the genesis of Netreo.
Fast-forward to today, Netreo is on a mission to offer a compelling new value proposition to our customers in managing their entire IT operation. We build the simplest, most effective full-stack IT monitoring and management products, which monitors the entire environment, gets useful data quickly and solves real-world daily IT challenges, giving organizations an ability to detect problems faster and make better decisions.
2. Can you elaborate on the challenges that you are helping your clients address in the market and how similar or different these challenges are when it comes to various industry verticals?
Andrew: Generally, the pain points or challenges are fairly consistent across the different industry verticals, what differs across them is how we tackle the problem, get the right pieces of data, or put the puzzle together the right way for them. For industries like finance, aerospace, and transportation, where regulation is of utmost importance, we help them with early detection of issues, SLA management, and compliance reporting, usually in complex security architectures. While for an industry like healthcare, where reliability is of the utmost concern, we help them to get the right information on time so that their patient’s health is not at risk. And, for industries like retail and food distribution, we help them achieve real-time delivery of their solutions to service customers better, and manage a time-sensitive supply chain.
James: Another major issue that we often see is that companies would often deploy different solutions for different IT teams, creating information silos. So, when a problem is detected by multiple teams, they would all try to troubleshoot it at the same time, often without interacting with each other. And they would finger-point at other teams, which results in a lot of delays in resolving the problem. However, with our software, organizations can now get visibility to all their IT resources in one place and get a single source of truth. Regardless of what’s going on in the environment or how complex it is, we want all the teams to know what’s happening in their organization and how it’s affecting their daily business processes and applications. With a comprehensive view, we can help customers to find the underlying cause of the problem quickly, thus reducing the root cause detection time as well as the mean time to resolution.
3. What are the features and functionalities of Netreo’s platform, and how is it helping your clients and proving to be beneficial for them?
Andrew: Netreo, our flagship product, does full-stack monitoring of everything the IT team does, monitoring the network, server and storage environments, the virtualization and cloud, all the way to applications and user experiences.
Our platform can automate on-boarding of IT solutions, its configuration, and cascade templates to ease the process of learning the organization’s environment. Hence, when a new device with new applications is deployed in the cloud, our toolsets automatically detect and provision those devices and ensure that they are appropriately monitored. This reduces the administrative overhead time required to ensure that the solution is always completely tailored and monitoring every aspect of the customer’s environment, no matter how dynamic it is.
4. Can you tell us how your flagship IT management product Netreo works?
Andrew: Our full-stack monitoring of environments is done in three steps:
Observe — wherein the solution measures the state, operational status, and business impact of all the components in a company’s technology stack. Through our platform, users can get actionable insights automatically from the mountains of data as opposed to creating manual triggers and rules. This process is streamlined in our platform, where everything is automated and sent out automatically through easy-to-read and understandable reports.
The next step is to analyze the IT environment. For this, we use our AI-based model that accumulates the monitored data and applies machine learning to analyze and automate the process of making sense of the data for our clients. It extends the capabilities of the solution, enabling enterprises to quickly monitor the entire environment, giving them a head start so they can focus on their core business better. Applying an AI-Ops approach, Netreo will either automatically fix the problem or provide engineers with suggested remedies using AI and ML algorithms applied against gathered historical data. Our platform also provides all kinds of dashboards for leadership to monitor their teams, and allows engineering and operation teams to monitor to find the problem and take action immediately.
Last of all is Act — where our platform provides real-time dashboards, dynamic automation, and extensible ITSM integration so the user can focus on taking intelligent actions. It automates all the mission-critical tasks like outage reports, root-cause analysis, and mapping to help users keep their eyes off the dashboard and instead on the organization’s future. Automating allows us to help our customers reduce their root cause detection time and decrease the time it takes to restore the service. It works to ensure that the alerts that are sent are extremely focused, instead of just noise.
5. Could you elaborate on a case study where Netreo has helped its clients overcome their challenges around ITSM and attain desired outcomes with your solutions?
James: One good example is a large regional hospital system in the Northeastern United States. They came to us with an environment that had more than 20,000 devices and was being monitored by more than two dozen separate tools, costing them millions of dollars a year in maintenance costs alone. They still had no central dashboard into their environment, they had teams sending incidents to other teams, who’d send them to another team, who’d often send them back to the first team, and they were having serious issues with long resolution times.
We were able to deploy Netreo in their environment in less than 90 days and replace all of those systems with a single server. We integrated into their ITSM incident management and CMDB platforms, and give them a central dashboard for their command center, as well as dedicated dashboards for the storage, applications, server, and networking teams, all sharing one source of data. As a result, they reduced their ticket creation times from seven minutes to seconds, they cut their operating costs 45 percent in the first year alone, and reduced their mean time to repair by 83 percent. They were also able to reduce the number of full-time employees required to manage their tools by 80 percent.
6. What are the key aspects that give Netreo that competitive edge over other competitors in the market?
James: From the very beginning, we architected our products to be highly scalable and efficient, but also easy to administer. It’s designed to allow a small team to manage a large-scale environment and minimize the amount of work. Scalability isn’t just about how many devices you can monitor from a server; it also has to be about creating efficient work flows and streamlining administration. So we’ve built in a lot of intelligence with things like automated anomaly detection and zero-touch on-boarding, so new devices can be brought into monitoring without operator intervention and the platform just stays up to date with the customer environment, no matter how dynamic. It’s designed to be flexible and adaptable and can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, as a pure SaaS solution, or as a hybrid of those, which is a unique capability.
7. What is the future course of action for Netreo? Any geographical or solutions expansion plans in the pipeline?
Andrew: Technology is changing at a blistering pace, where everything is about integrating AI and machine learning to provide answers faster. The more we can offload using AI and machine learning, the more power we can deliver to our customers to solve their daily problems. For the next 12 to 24 months, we are releasing a series of products that will bring more intelligence to the data. We will be releasing our AI-Ops co-pilot platform later on in the year, which will perform real-time decision-making so that organizations can get even more advanced event correlation and predictive analysis. By the year-end, we will release AI-Ops command and control that will perform automatic dependency mapping, business impact discovery, and remedy prescriptions so that our clients have the prescription on what needs to be done before an alert is even triggered.