Fluke Network eyes double-digit growth in Asia
By Goh Thean Eu July 6, 2015
- Cloud services at inflection point with enterprises, end-users demanding more
- Companies can potential save 15% of annual capacity cost with better visibility
FLUKE Networks, which specialises in network performance monitoring and diagnostics solutions, expects its business in Asia to grow by double-digit percentages, fuelled by the growing demand for cloud services.
According to Fluke Networks senior director of business development Amit Rao, the demand for cloud solutions by enterprises is hitting the inflection point.
“Two to three years ago, companies were curious about the cloud. They tried it in a small way.
“Now, it is hitting critical mass because they are seeing it’s stable and the uptime is acceptable. Companies are saying that they can now roll it out across the entire organisation.
“This means it’s now more critical that the IT (information technology) department has full visibility of the network,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Petaling Jaya recently.
Which is why Amit is expecting the company’s sales – especially its cloud-based solutions – to continue to grow this year in Asia, the region he is responsible for.
“We are looking at double-digit growth,” he said, without disclosing actual figures.
Everett, Washington-based Fluke Networks started life as a business unit within Fluke Corp, a wholly-owned unit of New York Stock Exchange-listed Danaher Corp, but was spun off into a separate entity in 2000.
Fluke Networks says its products and services are used in over 50 countries. According to Amit, its solutions are used mainly by financial institutions and telecommunication companies, as well as healthcare providers and universities.
Financial institutions use these solutions to find out what the fastest network is in real time so that they can do their trading transactions on the that one.
When it comes to a bank, if a customer is experiencing slow speeds when using its online banking platform, the IT team would be able to find out the root cause of the problem.
In Malaysia, Amit believes that demand for Fluke Networks’ products and solutions will grow when bandwidth starts to improve, which will indirectly result in increasing end-user demand and expectations.
“We see that in Malaysia, where consumers are increasingly dependent on their network being always available and always on, expectations on network performance have increased ...
“As the cloud becomes more prevalent, as Internet speeds rise, as video consumption increases, you will see consumers in Malaysia also demanding quick response times from their applications and services providers.
“The good news is that companies are responding to that, and trying to create Class A infrastructure networks,” he added.
Savings when there’s visibility
According to Amit (pic above), in today's IT world, the lines between the enterprise data centre infrastructure and outside applications have blurred, partly driven by the fact that a company’s IT department may not necessary own the entire infrastructure.
Yet IT has to manage its own data centres, and at the same time, may still have to keep an eye on other services or applications sitting in other data centres it does not own.
This means that when a problem occurs – whether it is email or the company website taking too long to load, or even when user is experiencing poor performance on a third party application – the IT department would need to find out the real root cause of the problem.
“Today, you can have users who go to a café and use Salesforce.com via the café’s WiFi network,” said Amit.
“Then they say their network is slow and want the company’s IT department to fix it. It’s a real challenge, because the IT department may not know what network … or what Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider they are using – but IT is expected to solve the users’ problem anyway.
“Also, because of the lack of visibility of the network, there’s a lot of finger-pointing when problems occur,” he added.
By using Fluke Network’s solutions [one such is its TruView Live], the IT department can get a broad view of network performance and be able to pinpoint the root cause of the issue within three clicks, Amit claimed.
“Whether the problem is at the data centre, the client, the server or the application,” he added.
Amit said that by finding the root cause of network’s poorer-than-expected performance, companies can potentially save some 15% of their annual capacity expenditure.
Without any network monitoring visibility, when users complain that the network is slow all the time, and the IT department doesn’t look for the root case, “the first reaction may likely be to add capacity, to go from [for example] a 100Mbps network to a 1Gbps network.
“So that’s investment in additional capacity,” Amit said.
He added that in some cases when Fluke Networks looks at its clients’ traffic patterns, it’s usually the case of having ‘unauthorised traffic’ running at the wrong time of the day.
“In one of the case, we saw that some people doing backup to the cloud at the same time when there was a lot of people making Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls. This resulted in network congestion.
“So it was a situation where increasing capacity may not have been the best answer ... you would be putting in money but not getting the result.
“This problem can be solved by just changing the backup time – doing it when the network is less congested,” he said.
Unique in the space
Fluke Networks is not the only player in the network performance monitoring space, but Amit claimed it is the only one with end-to-end solutions.
“We now have solutions all the way from low-end networking tools to [those for] high-end servers and cloud-based services. Other players may have solutions at parts of the value chain – we have the full suite,” he declared.
While the company’s strength is in the telecommunications and banking sectors, Amit said that its services and solutions are suitable for other industries as well. One such industry he may be looking at is the media and entertainment sector.
Fluke Networks currently has a client in the United States involved in the video streaming business.
“The company uses our solution to identify slowdowns in streaming, to see if the issue is only occurring in one country or an entire region,” said Amit.
New video on demand (VOD) services have popped up in South-East Asia recently, including Catcha Group’s iflix, Singapore Telecommunications’ Hooq, and even HBO On Demand.
“I can’t recall if we are in the media space in Asia, but it is definitely a sector that can find our solutions useful,” Amit said.
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