Paessler is a German software company, that has been financially independent since its beginning. “We are not part of a private equity, financed or global group. The core product’s goal was always to make it easy for IT administrators to monitor their network. That was the original idea of our founder, and basically his main task was to make it easy to use the product,” says Helmut Binder, CEO Paessler AG.
Paessler’s flagship product PRTG Network Monitor was originally designed for small and medium businesses; it is feature rich and meant to work through easy installation procedures. Binder calls the product an all-in-one tool which is easy to implement and use.
The alliance programme started on the IT side and is being expanded into the OT side as well
The feature set of the product has been growing over the years and it now covers the requirements of large enterprises as well. Two years ago, Paessler launched the PRTG Enterprise Monitor, with the same concept, and an all-in-one product for large enterprises.
Paessler follows a perpetual licensing model, whose price point is decided by the number of monitored parameters or sensors. This represents the actual information that is being collected by PRTG about the devices and applications being monitored, not the number of devices or interfaces.
The pricing includes all the modules of the product, and as long as there is an active maintenance contract, the enterprise receives the upgrades as well.
Since the licensing cost is decided by the scale of the monitoring itself, the pricing increases with the business scale of the enterprise. This allows the associated channel partner to also earn with the growth of the customer’s business, both in terms of licensing cost and annual maintenance contract.
Since the licensing cost is decided by the scale of the monitoring, the pricing increases with the business scale of the enterprise
“Basically, it is one product, and all the add-ons are already included. And if you are growing, you will very easily just upgrade your license. You do not have to change the license key, and you do not have to buy different options, it is already included,” says Binder.
In the face of large-scale adoption and awareness of digital transformation and cloud adoption, Paessler has also increased its value integration with technology vendors both in the IT and OT space. Paessler has integrated select technology vendors, who are part of its Uptime Alliance Programme, into its PRTG solution.
The alliance programme started on the IT side and is being expanded into the OT side as well.
“No product can solve every customer problem. We have launched what we call the Uptime Alliance Programme, and that brings the additional value to the customer,” says Binder.
The integration of alliance vendor partners with PRTG is mostly to meet the requirements of the large enterprises
Paessler’s PRTG solution is usually sufficient to meet the use case requirements of both small and large businesses and large enterprises. The integration of alliance vendor partners with PRTG is mostly to meet the requirements of special use cases such as in-depth VOIP quality analysis or industrial edge analytics in the OT space.
Through this alliance programme, Paessler is adopting a best of breed approach. “The customer is selecting the best monitoring infrastructure pool, and then for different monitoring areas, we would propose specific vendors to them from our Uptime Alliance,” explains Binder. “We have a service-oriented dashboard, where we are able to display application monitoring features.”
The integration of alliance vendor partners with PRTG is mostly to meet the requirements of special use cases
PRTG capabilities have also been extended into the cloud with cloud sensors that work in a hybrid environment.
Entering the OT space
Another initiative by Paessler is to extend monitoring of the IT network into the ecosystem of sensor networks or Internet of Things, IoT in the production network of manufacturing plants and medical devices in healthcare institutions.
“That is the way we are growing the use cases of our product significantly, and because it is still one product, we are helping our customers to integrate different use cases,” explains Binder.
The vision is to make a bridge between operational technology, OT and information technology, IT, and to create one IP-based product that can see and monitor the complete infrastructure under one dashboard. Binder believes this has real value for Paessler’s customers.
One challenge that Paessler’s IT channel partners would face on the short term would be that IT and OT worlds inside an enterprise are still very often silos
In order to do this Paessler had to understand how its products have to integrate with various OT protocols; understand which OT parameters need to be displayed; and the design of the OT dashboards to display those parameters.
The use cases, templates and the parameters being displayed for OT users are vastly different from those displayed for IT users. For examples, hard disk storage space consumed in GB has little relevance for OT administrators, but an out of storage space message has relevance for IT administrators.
Data collected by PRTG in the OT environment can be displayed on the integrated PRTG dashboard for small and medium-sized users. However, in the case of large enterprises this data can be made available for the on-premises hosted SCADA and HMI systems, typically available in large enterprise ecosystems.
The primary opportunity for Paessler channel partners to build their business model is through professional services
“It can be used only as a data collector, but it can also be used as the front end for monitoring. Both are possible,” says Binder.
With the licensing model followed by Paessler, its channel partners earn through the software purchased by their customers and annual service contracts. As the customer’s business expands in operational scale, that is the number of devices being monitored by PRTG, as well as the enterprises’ IT maturity, the opportunities for the channel partner to engage also increase.
However, the primary opportunity for Paessler channel partners to build their business model with the vendor is through professional services for their customers. The Uptime Alliance Programme and the PRTG use cases are an opportunity for the channel partner to offer services in deep value areas.
Another area of growth for channel partners is when the usage of PRTG switches over from the IT side to the OT side inside an enterprise.
However, one challenge that Paessler’s IT channel partners would face in the short term would be that IT and OT worlds inside an enterprise are still very often silos. However, channel partners who are already working inside vertical markets and with OT solutions, would not face this challenge. They are probably the right choice to take Paessler’s PRTG solutions into the OT space inside those enterprises.
One challenge that Paessler’s IT channel partners would face would be that IT and OT worlds inside an enterprise are still very often silos
Binder also points out that the network monitoring and IT infrastructure diagnostic capability of PRTG is also being leveraged by managed services partners as well. And that is another business opportunity for channel partners in today’s rapidly expanding services market.
Overview of Paessler in the region
The Middle East and Africa region is growing in the fields of IT, OT and IoT. Paessler’s PRTG product portfolio comes into play to cover the needs of small and medium-sized companies as well as large enterprises to monitor IT infrastructures, data centres, industrial OT environments, hospital networks with clinical devices, physical security and buildings as well as IoT networks.
Adding to that, Paessler’s product portfolio features a hosted monitoring solution, which offers flexibility while eliminating hardware needs. Paessler’s flagship solution is PRTG Network Monitor, and the offering for large networks is PRTG Enterprise Monitor.
Since the licensing cost is decided by the scale of the enterprise, the pricing increases with the business scale of the enterprise
Paessler’s PRTG monitoring products help detect flaws as early as possible and thus avoid problems, damage, and breakdowns. This refers not only to classic IT infrastructures, but also to environmental factors, especially important for data centres, like overheating and leaks in air conditioning systems, or physical security, like the monitoring of complex CCTV setups.
Paessler PRTG augments multivendor solution stacks by offering APIs that allows for integration with other specialised tools. On this note, it is important to mention that Paessler not only offers the possibility to integrate PRTG with other solutions, but also actively fosters technology alliances that add value for our customers. Rittal, for monitoring data centre infrastructures, and Soffico, for deeper insights into medical and industrial networks, are just two examples of Paessler’s about 40 technology alliance partners.
The IT infrastructure, networking and security partner community is a good fit for Paessler’s product portfolio. The monitoring solutions work for businesses across all industries and all sizes, from small and large businesses to large enterprise customers through the channel partner ecosystem. Also, partners who help industrial companies digitise their factories and manufacturing workflows are a good addition.
Paessler’s PRTG solution is usually sufficient to meet the use case requirements of both small and large businesses and large enterprises
One of the capabilities of Paessler’s PRTG is to provide monitoring of both the IT and the OT world. With PRTG it is possible to monitor medical equipment such as scanners and imaging devices using DICOM and HL7 protocols and bring those devices into the central monitoring view.
For customers with complex or large infrastructures, PRTG Enterprise Monitor offers an OpEx-based cost model that scales with the customers’ networks, an exclusive ITOps Board to provide an overview across multiple PRTG servers, all while enabling easy customisation and integration. Paessler competes with monitoring solutions that have a more general approach but lack technical depth in certain aspects.
In the region, Paessler serves customers of all verticals, especially in energy, government, healthcare, and telecommunications. Immediate benefits are user-friendliness, being cost effective and being easy to deploy. Enterprises usually start their subscription of PRTG Enterprise Monitor with a basic set of sensors and, after the initial implementation phase, scale their monitoring and add new sensors to their set-up as their infrastructure grows. Regional enterprise customers include Abu Dhabi University and AXA.
It is important for channel partners to have knowledge of Paessler’s PRTG products, so they can advise customers in the best way possible.
Inside the region, the expectation is growing for a broad customer base with a vertical focus, especially in industrial and IoT segments, physical security, building management and healthcare.
The Uptime Alliance Programme and use cases are an opportunity for channel partners to offer services in deep value areas
Paessler is investing in the region to train channel partners through physical and virtual training sessions and webinars and to improve sales through account maps and sales incentive programmes.
In the medium to long term, Paessler sees a continuing convergence of IT and OT environments. Industrial control systems permitted SNMP access historically, but many also only provide access through Modbus TCP, MQTT or OPC-UA. PRTG offers sensors for these industrial interfaces and will continue development in this field.
With a focus on data centre monitoring, combining Paessler PRTG with Rittal consulting and components, customers gain a detailed overview of their data centre energy consumption.
Paessler’s innovation team is focussed on IoT solutions that will ultimately help to reduce resource consumption and thereby improve its contribution to global sustainability.
Uptime Alliance Programme
In 2018, Paessler announced its global Uptime Alliance, a technology partner programme designed to help include network monitoring functionality in vendor offerings through the PRTG Network Monitor.
With Paessler’s PRTG solution suite, system administrators can monitor the health and performance of their infrastructure, including networks, systems, hardware, applications and devices – all in real time. The Uptime Alliance builds on PRTG’s capabilities and fosters collaboration with technology partners to provide integrated solutions.
With more than 300 pre-configured sensors, PRTG monitors the overall health of the network infrastructure to granular details like the performance and temperature of individual devices and the revolutions per minute of the fans within them.
Custom sensors are integrated with PRTG and enable IT leaders to embrace pivotal computing trends like the Internet of Things with confidence.
Paessler is a member of the Cisco Solution Partner Program, HPE Technology Partner Program, NetApp Alliance Partner Program and VMware’s Technology Alliance Partner program, amongst others.
Charter members of the Uptime Alliance include: AppSphere, Check Point, Kentix, MachineShop, NetBrain, Plixer, Savision, SonicWall, UVnetworks, and WatchGuard.
The use cases delivered by the technology partners include datacentre, infrastructure, Internet of Things, manufacturing IIoT, networking, security, services management, and special purposes.