Conversation with Zenoss' new CEO Greg Stock

Stock believes that he is going to be able to distinguish what Zenoss is doing from all of the other competitors. Is he right?
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Zenoss, a player in the application performance monitoring (APM) market, wants to address the very competitive market with clever, powerful tools. But can they win the race?

Zenoss' PR folks reached out to me recently to connect me with the new CEO, Greg Stock. Their promotional email started with the following statement:

Zenoss Inc., the leading provider of unified IT monitoring and analytics, today announced that industry veteran Greg Stock has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Stock has held multiple CEO positions and brings more than 20 years of enterprise software growth experience to Zenoss. As CEO, Stock will seek to expand market share of Zenoss’ award-winning solution to enterprises and service providers worldwide. Previous CEO and co-founder Bill Karpovich will remain on the Board of Directors.

In the past, Zenoss was a client of the Kusnetzky Group and we still enjoy speaking with them from time to time. What they're doing is interesting and their people are top-notch.

The environment

Zenoss is in the middle of a very dynamic, very competitive market. I've spoken with more than 20 different players in that market over the last year.

It is clear that the growing complexity of applications has created both a challenge for organizations and an opportunity for suppliers who can address those challenges.

One of the bigger problems suppliers in this market face is the fact that everyone has developed powerful tools that can address all or part of the problem and everyone is using the came catchphrases to describe what they're doing.

Here are a few of the common catchphrases in use:

  • Machine learning
  • Big data
  • Predictive analytics
  • end-to-end monitoring
  • End user experience management
  • Hybrid IT
  • Cloud services monitoring

Since everyone is using the same catchphrases, even though the underlying technology is different, customers and potential customers are confused. Zenoss, like the others, sprinkles these phrases and many others throughout their public statements and marketing materials.

Zenoss' recent levels of success

First of all, what Zenoss is doing is quite successful. Stock pointed out that he takes the helm after the company has acheived a number of important milestones. Those milestones include achieving record revenues and completing a move to its new 35,000 square foot headquarters in the Four Points area of Austin, Texas. The company was also awarded a reader’s choice award by Virtualization Review. It also was recognized as a leader in IT Operations Analytics by ITOA Landscape. Furthermore, the company achieved certified integration partnership status with ServiceNow, and also extended its solution support for Oracle databases, HP and Dell rack servers, plus HP and Dell converged infrastructure solutions.

Certainly a good track record of success.

Where is Zenoss headed next?

Stock pointed out that the Zenoss customer base expects a ability to monitor and manage everything easily — that includes physical infrastructure, virtualized workloads and workloads that are executing both on-premise in the organization's own datacenter and off-premise in a cloud service provider's datacenter. Zenoss' products offer these capabilities now and is working on future products that will do more and do it better.

Stock also said that the company is going to continue to focus on improving its ability to attach to a customer's network, monitor what is going on and build its own understanding of the customer's environment. Zenoss is focused on making things easy to use and powerful.

Finally, Stock said that his goal was to build upon today's level of success and extend the company's ability to offer products that provide deep analysis of operational data and provide useful, actionable insight into the customer's IT infrastructure.

Quick take

Stock believes that he is going to be able to distinguish what Zenoss is doing from all of the other competitors.

Knowing some of Zenoss' people, I'm sure that they're going to address the market with clever, powerful tools. I'm also sure they're going to do their best to creatively market their products and the benefits they can bring to the table.

I'm sure they're going to give it an excellent try, but in the end, it is not clear that Zenoss will be able to win when faced with the heavy investments made by some of the other players in both engineering and marketing.

I'm going to continue to watch them and comment here.



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