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Sudhakar Ramakrishna on Innovation, Adaptation, and Future Vision

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Khushbu Raval
Khushbu Raval
Khushbu is a Senior Correspondent and a content strategist with a special foray into DataTech and MarTech. She has been a keen researcher in the tech domain and is responsible for strategizing the social media scripts to optimize the collateral creation process.

Discover Sudhakar Ramakrishna’s vision for SolarWinds as he discusses its strategic objectives, innovative IT solutions, cybersecurity measures, and commitment to customer success.

In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO of SolarWinds, as the company celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since its founding in 1999, SolarWinds has grown into a global leader, serving over 300,000 customers with innovative IT management solutions. 

Ramakrishna discusses his vision for the future, emphasizing a commitment to customer success and continuous innovation. He also shares insights on how SolarWinds adapts to the evolving IT landscape, the importance of a security-first approach, and the company’s strategic shift to a subscription-based model. Join us as we explore SolarWinds’ milestones and plans under Ramakrishna’s leadership.

Excerpts from the interview; 

Looking ahead, what is your vision for SolarWinds? How do you plan to lead the company in achieving its strategic objectives?

This is a milestone year for SolarWinds as it marks our 25th anniversary. We started in 1999 with a simple mission to make the lives of IT teams easier. Today, SolarWinds proudly serves over 300,000 customers around the globe, and our solutions help accelerate our customers’ business transformations. This is an incredible legacy to build upon, and we remain committed to enriching the lives of the people we serve. Our focus on customer success fuels our commitment to adapting and innovating to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. 

How is SolarWinds adapting its IT management solutions to address evolving challenges and stay ahead in a rapidly changing tech landscape?

From a technology standpoint, SolarWinds has always excelled at monitoring capabilities, networking, databases, applications, and systems. In recent years, we are unifying all of this into the “SolarWinds platform.” So, whereas some of the competition is looking at applications infrastructure or databases discretely, we can pull together all of these, give them comprehensive visibility, and help them reduce the time it takes to detect and solve issues. Ultimately, this translates to greater productivity, reduced costs, and an overall security improvement — all of which are top-of-mind objectives for IT teams.

We have also been steadily pivoting towards a subscription-based model, which we don’t just see as a business model transition but also a value-model transition. Migrating customers to cloud delivery — at the right pace for their business — enables us to arm them with greater capabilities to manage their complex, hybrid cloud environments. This model has resonated extremely well with our customers, who see it as compelling from a value features and functionality standpoint. 

How does SolarWinds integrate a security-first approach into its product development and ensure ongoing software security and integrity?

SolarWinds is deeply committed to security best practices, and this ethos is best encapsulated in our Secure by Design initiative that we launched in January 2021. This is our gold-plated cybersecurity approach to software build systems and processes that set a new software supply chain security standard. 

Our ‘Next-Generation Build System’ is crucial to the Secure by Design approach. With this unique method, we use a parallel build process where our software is developed in multiple secure, temporary environments. This makes supply chain attacks more difficult to execute. We have worked to align this system with the Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) set by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Also Read: Why Data Quality Matters for Business Success

How does SolarWinds cultivate a culture of innovation and continuous improvement?

SolarWinds prioritizes fostering a culture where team members feel empowered to share ideas and collaborate across departments. We encourage continuous improvement through Accelerate, our internal code name for cross-functional innovation initiatives, brainstorming sessions, and skill development programs, which allow our teams to challenge the status quo and devise creative solutions to complex IT problems. 

Additionally, SolarWinds launched our online THWACK community—which today consists of more than 195,000 IT professionals—in 2003 to provide the IT community with a collaborative space to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly contribute to the SolarWinds product development process. This continual, direct customer feedback helps us ensure that solutions are aligned with the industry’s most pressing needs, challenges, and priorities. 

Can you share SolarWinds’ key partnerships that boost its products and market presence?

SolarWinds works closely with Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Global System Integrators (GSIs), Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and other valued channel partners through our Transform Partner Program, which enables our industry-leading technology partners to offer customers the technology solutions, strategy, and support they need to navigate digital transformation. We recently introduced enhancements to the program — including new revenue opportunities and incentives — designed to help our partners cross-sell across the entire SolarWinds product portfolio of comprehensive full-stack observability powered by AIOps, database, service management, security, and automation capabilities.

Also Read: From 0 to 40% Faster: How Porsche Informatik Revved Up Performance with Cloudflare

What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for SolarWinds, and how do you plan to ensure sustained growth and success?

Rising complexity, incessant security challenges, compressed budgets, and workforce limitations plague businesses of all sizes. IT, Development, Security, and other professionals fight these challenges daily. 

SolarWinds is dedicated to enriching the lives of these committed professionals with simple, powerful, and secure solutions that deliver value quickly. We help them identify problems in their environments promptly and resolve them quickly. In doing so, we aim to improve customer productivity, reduce complexity, and deliver superior value. Staying relentless on this mission enables us to deliver sustained growth.

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