Alex Hollingworth DTX 2019 Interview
NATALIE TURNER [00:00:13] Hello and welcome back to day one of the Digital Transformation Expo. You’re with me Natatlie Turner from Disruptive Live, and my incredibly intelligent, witty, sharp co-host David Savage. But we’re not here to talk about David. We are here to talk about Alex Hollingworth, who is the senior director in sales for Lantronix, right. How much would you thinking out there today? How are you?
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:00:40] Very well. It’s been a great show so far.
NATALIE TURNER [00:00:43] How are you finding it?
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:00:44] It’s the first time that we have actually exhibited IP Expo so this is all new to us. But it’s been really interesting the amount of people we’ve had actually visiting our booth already. So pleasantly surprised so far.
NATALIE TURNER [00:00:56] Fabulous, so what are you hoping to achieve from this event?
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:01:01] Well, really, for us, you know at Lantronix everything that we do and everything that we are is all about helping our customers to connect to their most important infrastructure. So that could be in the Internet of things connected to industrial devices in a factory somewhere. It could be health care applications. It could be water filtration systems and utility companies. But we’ve been helping customers connect to their devices over the network for over 30 years. But this week is all about our out of band networking management products. We’re launching a new product here at IP Expo this week called Edge Managemet Gateway. And so we’re very excited to be able to do that here at this event and essentially get the name out there of Lantronix and educate people about our management a little bit more.
NATALIE TURNER [00:01:51] If you could Educate us a bit more on products. That would be amazing.
DAVID SAVAGAE [00:01:58] I’ve talked to psychologist lots and out of ban Is not something I was familiar with. So, yeah it would be good to know more.
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:02:02] It’s an interesting concept and it’s not covered so well at all for Gartner or IDC or four five one, I used to work for Gartner and it’s not an element of research that is covered, although I think that won’t be long before we do start getting some more analyst coverage in that area just because the tam is growing exponentially. So let me just take a step back, outbound management is essentially if you if something happens to your network that could be in a data centre, it could be at a remote office location somewhere, perhaps a retail store or a branch office, if you network goes down or something happens, it could be someone going through a cable in the street. It could be a denial of service attack. It could simply be that somebody somewhere downloaded a VPN patch and has rendered the network useless, at that point it doesn’t matter what special hardware you’ve got or what special software you have. If the network goes down, you haven’t got the ability to find your mission critical infrastructure, connect to that. And be able to find out what’s going on. And that’s what out of ban management products really do. And that’s what Lantronix specialise in. And so with our products, people often think of it like network insurance. And so if the network, for whatever reason, goes down, you’re able to get to see your equipment in and out of band fashion. Now, typically, that’s using something like 4G LTE. So in addition to having connectivity with the local management network, if that goes down and you can’t get to any of the equipment you’re trying to bring back online. So if you think about a retail store Christmas week and the till system goes down and everyone’s looking around at each other, go, how do we bring this thing back up? Typically speaking, what that would mean is somebody somewhere has to run along in a van with a computer and a serial cable, connect to it, find out what’s going on and quickly be able to resolve that networking issue with our technology. It just greatly simplifies the process. You get notified that there’s an issue you’re able to connect to the equipment that you’ve lost or is experienced difficulty via an out of network. So in this case, 4G LTE connect to it. Excuse me. Monitor the situation. If there’s a denial of service attack and there’s a particular network uplink that’s got a lot of traffic on that’s causing a broadcast storm. Obviously, you can’t get into that networking switch because it’s log jammed full of traffic. But using our Edge management gateway products, which we’re launching this week, you’re able to very quickly get in to see that networking equipment, understand the problem, be able to take that network link down, bring it back up again and get back in control of your environment. And of course, it’s also a lot quicker than having somebody jump in a van and drive anywhere.
DAVID SAVAGAE [00:05:00] I suppose the interesting thing is if you’re a sales guy. So the obvious story to paint is the retailer at Christmas because everyone can immediately picture the chaos that would ensue. But what parts of the market are you actually seeing this have real relevance to interaction? I see retail is one, but there must be some interesting user cases right?
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:05:18] You know what the use case is abroad. It’s an excellent. New product that we’re excited about. But as you said, there are so many different use cases for it, the economy as it is now. There’s a lot of macroeconomic things that are going on, whether that’s tariff based, whether that’s Brexit. IT budgets aren’t getting any bigger. If anything, IT budgets are flat. If you listen to what the analysts are saying, you have to do more with less. And so in an industry which is essentially being asked to do a lot more as it relates to digital transformation, the Internet of Things, you need to be very thoughtful about how you are spending your budget. And so therefore, in a budget constrained way, using our products and the ability to get to any particular remote office location, whether that’s a retail store or a branch office or oil rigs, we’ve even put some of these on a very interesting use case to put these on super yachts to look at all of the networking and mission critical infrastructure that they have on board. This is a way to very quickly get access to that equipment and manage a problem before it starts to impact the business. So you’re right. The worst possible case is that retail application. But the reality is everyone needs the ability to see what’s going on in the event of a crisis. And with less and less people to manage more and more kids, you need to be able to connect smart and do more with the things that you’ve got.
NATALIE TURNER [00:06:57] So this is your first time here, what does digital transformation mean to you?
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:06:57] It’s a great question. It’s one of those catch all terms, a bit like the Internet of Things when you actually drill down into it. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I think for Lantronix digital transformation is important because what it means to me is the multiple projects which are going on with a lot of our customers, whether that’s big data analytics, whether that’s. A move to software as a service. Different applications because the reality is as people look to do more with the information that they have. Sorry, as people look to do more with the information they have. They need the ability to. I’ve just drawn a complete blank.
DAVID SAVAGAE [00:07:43] something that someone mentioned earlier by the way, that I just. Just parked in my brain now was that they said that digital transformation was chaos and it was fun. And I guess that chaos actually in your case would be a really good business opportunity.
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:07:59] Chaos is. Yes, exactly. It’s a good business opportunity. But. The focus for us is when people are trying to do digital transformation. It is affecting the network architecture that they have because people used to be provided applications in remote office locations and have to go back to the data centre to use the ERP system or the database with shadow I.T.. Moving along now and people using the cloud to access applications, the way that people use networks is very, very different, which is why we’ve seen a massive adoption in SD one the migration away from NPLS to direct internet access for remote sites and that exactly plays into Lantronix in the way that we help our customers, because essentially as the digital transformation projects come onto the business and make architectural changes in the data centre, we’re able to help our customers manage those environments and get access to the care that they need most.
NATALIE TURNER [00:09:00] So your key message have we covered that? or Is there anything else that you feel is prevalent?
ALEX HOLLINGWORTH [00:09:09] Certainly, as it relates to this particular show, I think the messages we are looking for reseller partners within Europe, Middle East, Africa region. So if there are UK based partners that already sell networking infrastructure to their clients, I’d encourage them to to come and see us because we’re a Cisco ecosystem partner. We work with all of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 networking providers because anywhere a networking product is being sold into is a great space for Lantronix to be involved in as well. So the messages come along, visit business on the booth. We’ve got a great new product to show you. And for the resellers that are here, we’ve got an excellent business proposition, go to the market together, add value into the customer base, increase spend and increase the opportunity to add value, which is really what it’s all about.
NATALIE TURNER [00:09:55] Fantastic, well what a brilliant note to leave this on. Thank you so much Alex for joining us, David. Thank you. Well that is all from us for now however you can join in on the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you follow us on Disruptive Live and hashtag DTXEurope. But don’t go away. We will be back after a short break, see you in a bit