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Centreon ready to go into hyperdrive

Centreon is looking forward to significant growth in 2022, driven by partner recruitment and investment in partner enablement. Technology Reseller finds out more from UK Country Manager Juan Lyall

Last month, Centreon, a channel-first provider of open IT monitoring solutions, announced that it was planning to increase its channel investment in the UK by more than 300% over the next 12 months as it seeks to raise its profile in the UK channel and increase awareness of the revenue-generating possibilities of monitoring solutions.

The company entered the UK market at the end of 2020 with an AIOps-ready, multi-platform IT monitoring platform capable of monitoring converging infrastructure from cloud-to-edge. Having laid solid foundations including the appointment of ABC Distribution as its distribution partner, it is now looking to go into hyperdrive and engage directly with more partners.

Centreon UK CM Juan Lyall says that Centreon has a unique position in the IT monitoring market that will help partners differentiate themselves from competitors.

“Lots of people do some parts of what we do, but what we do that’s relatively unique is have a holistic, 360-degree view of all of your IT assets regardless of where they may be and allow you to see themvin a single pane of glass. That is actually fairly unique. There’s not many people that enable you to do that. And of the very few that might profess to do so, none of them really have a strong channel message or even a strong channel relationship, so I think we have a really nice opportunity for channel partners.”

He adds that Centreon is not designed to replace all existing monitoring tools but to complement them to give end user customers true visibility into their data.

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“Companies, regardless of whether they’re end user enterprise, small, medium, large or MSPs and service providers, all have multiple tools and multiple points
of data collection – I think the average is something like 14 or 15 different tools
in any one organisation. Our role isn’t necessarily to replace all of them but to utilise them and help customers make the best use of them. In a great many cases, we will replace a large number of those tools but often there is good reason to keep some and have them feed into Centreon so that you have a single point of view, a single point of monitoring and can orchestrate them and understand them in a concise and coherent manner.”

Lyall suggests that the alternative to a solution like Centreon, essentially bolting on multiple point products or building your own solution from freely available tools, is neither economical nor sustainable.

“We speak to a lot of organisations, service providers and customers, that have built a monitoring solution using various tools, free or otherwise, and come to us when they realise that bolting on tools and building something yourself isn’t necessarily a sustainable solution. They come to us because they want a more coherent, cohesive solution.

“We’re frequently asked who our biggest competitor is and very often
the answer is people building their own solution, people who haven’t quite arrived at the point where they recognise that spending money on a grown-up solution actually saves time and effort. They are still in this world where they think building with free tools is actually free but of course it isn’t. People need to cross that particular bridge in order to start adopting technologies like ours. Ours doesn’t need to be expensive at all. In fact, it’s very, very economical if you allow yourself to understand that building your own is not free.”

A compelling story

He adds that a lot of people with legacy solutions still haven’t grasped the fact that monitoring can be really proactive and really dynamic. As a result, the channel is missing out on an opportunity to build services and offer real value-add to their customers.

“We have such a compelling story for the channel because we can offer them both a fantastic product and a fantastic opportunity to have a services business and build their services business. Some of our partners in the UK and certainly elsewhere are building fantastic businesses through services, and the Centreon piece, the piece that we sell as a vendor is actually a relatively small piece of that.”

These services range from simply taking Centreon’s solution and providing a monitoring service to clients, to building dashboards, views and maps to more in-depth consultancy services.

Centreon still has a relatively small footprint in the UK, compared to continental Europe, with just a few partners and a limited number of end user customers. However, Lyall says it is poised for rapid growth.

“Our industry is growing 10% year on year, but Centreon as a company grew by 56% globally last year and we will be significantly north of that in the UK.”

Customer size

While Centreon’s solution is applicable to businesses of any size, its main market is enterprises and the public sector.

“To give you some idea of size, we license our products per monitored host. We have customers that have tens of thousands of monitored hosts and we have customers that have just a few hundred monitored hosts. Our average would be somewhere around a couple of thousand monitored hosts, so a mid to large enterprise or public sector organisation.”

Lyall’s priority for 2022 is to take on more partners, but in a manageable way, with coverage in multiple verticals and geographies and a range of partner types from small, nimble players to mid-size partners looking to diversify and build their professional services business, to really big players with access to very big accounts.

“We want more reach, we want more coverage, we want more access into different verticals. We also want that to be manageable. We want to have a good close working relationship with our partners and to be very proactive, so we’ll look to grow that in a healthy manner by investing in partners, investing in lead generation and partner tooling and making it easy for them to work with us and find opportunities.”

Centreon has already taken part in a number of exhibitions in the UK, including the AWS Summit in London where there was a great deal of interest in its new SaaS product, and Lyall is looking forward to more face-to-face interactions in the months ahead to increase awareness of the Centreon brand and to generate channel interest in its solutions.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for partners. We think we can offer them something that’s very unique, that’s very needed, that can be really profitable for them both on the product side of their business and on the services side. Whether they’re small, large or somewhere in between almost all of them will have ambitions to have a service business and will recognise an opportunity that’s over and above box-shifting.

“The partners we really want to work with will be those that can take the product and do something really proactive with it and differentiate themselves because no one else does it in quite the same way that we do. At the same time, we want to offer a really nice packaged channel solution whether for a service provider or a traditional reseller. We’ve been wildly successful elsewhere and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be that successful in the UK.”

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TechnologyReseller: 2021