ManageEngine: The Biggest Disruptor in the IT Management Space


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The IT management industry has been historically dominated by very large players such as HP, CA Technologies, IBM, BMC software, etc. The consolidated market allowed minimal space for new players. However, a few new companies identified market gap and opportunity for disruption. One of the most prominent disruptor—a global leader in IT management space—was ManageEngine.

The IT management division of Zoho Corporation, ManageEngine provides flexible and economic software solutions for businesses. ManageEngine crafts comprehensive IT management software with a focus on making the job of IT infrastructure management easier. A portfolio of over 90 products and free tools that the company provides cover everything IT needs. As aforementioned, ManageEngine has penetrated a highly consolidated market scenario through its innovative offerings. The innovator continues to upgrade its services with the most advanced technologies.

Solutions Provided by the Company

Landscape of the IT management industry has completely changed today owing to disruptors like ManageEngine. Legacy providers have moved to become service providers and then software providers. ManageEngine has picked up this slack to build the most comprehensive suite of IT management tools. From exclusively being an on-premise solution, the technology provider moved to Cloud.

The company was pioneer in offering management solutions on the web, so that customers could download it, try it, and see that if it can solve their problems. Furthermore, for the first time in the industry, ManageEngine was the company who made its solutions browser enabled, so that their clients could scale these solutions across the enterprise without having to worry about platforms. The company has also introduced offerings such as agentless monitoring capabilities, so that organizations can relish benefits of IT management solutions without the needs for any vendors.

The global leader has built all standards around their ground breaking solutions – Service Desk. The solution offers client management technology or endpoint management, where it is significantly tasked to manage desktop and mobile premises, covering all the endpoints.

Along with the flagships such as Desktop Central Offering and MDM Solution the company extends its portfolio to solutions such as IT Operations Management, Network Monitoring Performance Management, and Application Performance Management.

Furthermore, the company has a very big active directory management offering which really is comedown to addressing the identity access management as most organizations rely on active directory for their provisioning and user management and privileges. Security being the most crucial concern for all organizations, the real-time IT management company presents top-notch security offerings, which include Log Management, Password Management, and Logs of Firewall and Forensic Analysis. From last two years ManageEngine has started delivering IT analytics. It gathers all the IT machine data and presents it through analytics so that companies can make better decisions related to IT.

Upcoming Advancements to the Solutions

Since the inception, ManageEngine is directionally headed towards providing out-of-the-box utilities to the IT management domain. Currently, there are three main initiatives the whole team is working on:

Firstly, the company continues to go deeper and more broadly into IT security space. For obvious reasons, ManageEngine keeps enhancing security features at the top of its priorities. While leveraging the emerging technologies, the IT enabler is sincere about strengthening its security domain.

The other area, which the ManageEngine team believes will play a role of a game changer to IT management and other inflection points to IT is Artificial Intelligence (AI). In the next few months, ManageEngine will be introducing some intelligent system capabilities, which will be able to make the administrators, technicians, and IT managers more productive—in this case—by enabling them to issue English like commands either through Chatbots or through voice.

The company will be utilizing a lot of ZOHO technologies related to AI.
ZOHO has recently introduced an intelligent system called Zia Voice, the first conversational AI for sales teams that adds speech and chat capabilities to Zia. ManageEngine is expected to introduce similar advancement to ServiceDesk Plus Offering and the other applications.

Lastly, ManageEngine is striving to utilize all the capabilities Cloud can provide to their solutions. Currently, any organization that is leveraging Public Cloud—either its applications or their own workloads—still has a lot of legacy applications in improvisation that needs to interact with the new technologies. ManageEngine is uniquely positioned to manage capabilities provided by both the infrastructures.

President of ManageEngine and a Trailblazer in IT

Raj Sabhlok, President of ManageEngine and, has responsibilities across both organizations. Having roots in IT management, Raj has started his career at a company called Santa Cruz Operation. Starting as a developer of Unix and Intel, after a couple of years he moved more into business more around Information Technology and Infrastructure Technology. Later he moved to TCM software, which is one of the legacy IT management companies. From there, Raj went to Embarcadero Technologies, a company again that was into management space, and ultimately became the CEO of the company. In 2009-10, he received an opportunity to lead the ManageEngine sector of ZOHO, and he was delighted to receive the chance.

Raj shares that it has been an incredible journey with ManageEngine. He shares that when he joined the company 9 years ago, it was a small organization and today the ManageEngine division itself employs 2000 people or more. Also, when Raj started with the company, they were serving only small to medium sized businesses, today they serve the largest corporations including Fortune 500. Their product line has grown tremendously as well. “Analysts say that IT management grow around 6 maybe 8 per cent, so it’s not hyper growth yet we tend to grow at about four times the market growth, so we are creating new markets, and we are growing at 30+ per cent and we have been doing this for 15 years now,” Raj reveals.

An Innovative Approach to Human Resource

ManageEngine is one of the most successful disruptor in the IT space because breaking the status quos is in its foundation. Not only towards the solutions, but the company also has a unique approach towards the team building process. “We hire people who wouldn’t normally work for IBM or Microsoft. In many cases, we hire people that don’t have college degrees, and may not have majored in Computer Science or Engineering.” This bold statement from Raj Sabhlok arises two main questions: If not the degrees, what are the qualities that the global leader looks in its employees? And second, how the company is climbing the ladder of success with these professionals?

Raj shares that the ingredients that they look for are aptitude, perseverance, and persistence. The company looks for the employees that are determined, those who will not give up even after making mistakes.

Justifying the second part, Raj shares that these are the employees that stay with the organization for a longer tenure. The experts with degrees from top universities tend to work with companies for a shorter period. Hiring team members based on their qualities instead of their degrees has allowed ManageEngine to retain most of its employees for a significantly long timespans. This helps the company to train those members, who in-return stay determined for the company’s welfare.

Advice to Young Technologists

Being an idol for software engineers and serving on boards of one of the most reputable brands in the world, it is generic that Raj gets a lot of queries from aspiring technologists. Raj shares, “A lot of time people ask me, I want to get into software but I don’t know where to start, I don’t know what I should focus on, what areas, it seems so crowded.” On that, as everyone will, Raj agrees that the industry actually is crowded. There are tens of thousands applications, computing power has become more readily available through platforms such as
Amazon, and the cost of development in terms of tools is zero. It is an open source technology with a huge talented pool of developers around the globe.

“So what I say to these folks is – Don’t feel like you have to invent a completely new category to get started. In many cases there’s an opportunity to disrupt in existing market, and that’s really how we got started with ManageEngine,” Raj asserts. As mentioned earlier, there were billion-dollar companies that were servicing IT management and ManageEngine had—on the surface—no reason to have a business. These large corporates had thousands of employees, billions of dollars in revenue. However, the team of ManageEngine was able to look at the gap in their business model and exploit them. “We saw that it was expensive, it was complex, we saw that it had a heavy enterprise sale driven offering, where you needed to have a technical and sales staff in every major city, to sell and support the software. We thought that we can sell this online and can strip out a lot of `complexity and the cost. So that’s the recommendation. Sometimes you need to evaluate established market and explore the opportunities to disrupt. And don’t wait on the side-lines, or you know a new invention or the next great idea; because it may not come and it may already be existing in an established market.”

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