Exclusive Interview with Apu Pavithran, Founder and CEO of Hexnode | Mitsogo

Exclusive Interview with Apu Pavithran, Founder and CEO of Hexnode | Mitsogo

Endpoint management is the practice of authenticating and supervising the access rights of endpoint devices to a network and applying security policies that prevent any external or internal threats posed by that access. Security solutions help companies to protect their original products and the integrity of their services. Hexnode|Mitsogo is such a company that provides organizations with meticulous endpoint management and security solutions. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with the company's founder and CEO Apu Pavithran.

Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that your company offers.

Mitsogo Inc. is a leading provider of endpoint management and security solutions. Headquartered in San Fransisco, California the company has offices in Australia, Germany and a large presence in India. Our customers include SMBs to Fortune 500s, enterprises of all sizes have leveraged Mitsogo's prowess in device management to drive business productivity and compliance. Our solutions adapt to the most complex of business environments. Our company has been helping organizations in over 100 countries to stay agile and competitive in an increasingly mobile world.

With what mission and objectives, the company was set up? In short, tell us about your journey since the inception of the company?

It all started with a trio of friends at a coffee house. We were all IT professionals hovering over an idea to start something of our own. One fine evening, we decided it was time to actually do something about it. I was the first to quit my job and soon my friends followed suit. It was at an IT conference in the US that we zeroed in on endpoint management.

Kindly share your point of view on the current scenario of big data analytics and its future.

I have high hopes for big data analytics. For the past 5 years, every decision that we made at Mitsogo was after data-centric research. In every industry, there are large amounts of uninterpreted data, which if properly analyzed can help increase their productivity and revenue by at least 25%.

For us at Mitsogo, big data analytics has always aided in making better strategic decisions. We assimilate attributes of our website visitors to figure out the behavioral pattern of a potential customer. Then using our analytics tools, we can identify leads and provide insights to our sales, marketing, and business development teams.

Even then, the interesting fact is that there is still a long way to go. It is an industry with tons of potential. With data being the center of every decision being made and more businesses bringing on data analytics professionals onboard, the next five years look very promising.

Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now.

When we founded Mitsogo in 2013, it was me, and my closest friends from work sitting in a small room working on an idea that we thought could revolutionize the enterprise device management market. Fast forward to today we are a 250 people company with 5 offices in 4 countries and doing business with clients from over 120 countries.

Even though it was an amazing journey, it wasn't always smooth sailing. In 2013 Software as a Service (SaaS) was a relatively new concept and businesses were just starting to familiarize themselves with the subscription model for their business tools. We had to face several challenges along the way. But the biggest of them all was when the pandemic hit.

It was a time of great uncertainty. Everyone was worried about their safety, and slowly work slipped into second gear. For me this meant that the team needed support more than ever, I had to switch through the roles of the captain, cheerleader, and even at times the therapist.

We put employee wellbeing first and immediately established a fully remote work landscape. But it didn't work well as our critical teams had a lot of dependency on office resources. So, we made a decision that made absolutely no sense from a financial standpoint.

We rented out hotel rooms and made them our office guesthouses for e our employees around the globe, ran security checks and screening protocols equivalent to that of hospitals. We made tweaks to the insurance such that if anyone got tested positive, it was easy on their wallets.

In a couple of months, the stress levels started to climb down, the team started to enjoy their workcation and slowly productivity became better than pre-COVID levels.

What is your biggest USP that dierentiates the company from competitors?

Our primary competitors include VMWare Workspace one, Microsoft, Cisco, Blackberry, and Ivanti. Our USP is simple – the platform is simple compared to other vendors with fewer clicks to obtain the same result. Also, Hexnode is budget-friendly which will enable SMBs to adopt UEM equally like big enterprises. In addition, we offer the best tech support in the industry, with a response time of 4 minutes and every customer receives the same top-notch services from the tech support team. This enables the smaller businesses that do not have a strong IT department to implement the solution efficiently. The tech support team guides the IT admin through the entire process and assists them 24*5.

Please brief us about the products/services/solutions you provide to your customers and how do they get value out of it

Hexnode MDM is the award-winning unified endpoint management platform from Mitsogo Inc. UEM is a cloud-based solution providing more secure, flexible, and robust management services than any other vendor in the market. Hexnode employs a top-of-the-notch EMM solution to track, secure, and manage corporate-owned as well as personal devices. It supports most of the major platforms and devices ranging from android 4.0 to TVs 6.0 to mac os 10.7.

Our main product is Hexnode UEM.

  • Hexnode UEM simplifies the work of an IT admin.
  • When an organization deploys devices for work to its employees, they also need to monitor and manage the devices. The IT team should have complete visibility into all the company's devices and where they are, what's in it etc. This is crucial because if one device gets compromised or falls into the wrong hands it will put the whole company at risk. So Hexnode gives IT the power to grant or revoke access to the work resources or data and even wipe the devices remotely if needed.
  • Also, in the case of onboarding employees and providing them with new work devices, the IT admin doesn't have to manually open configure all the devices. If it's a few devices it may work out but in the case of hundreds and thousands of devices, it's an impossible task. Hexnode enables the IT team to enroll the devices to the Hexnode portal and push applications, configurations, and restrictions to these devices in a few clicks.

Every industry needs an agile UEM solution for effective management. Our key markets are based in North America and Europe and our customers are spread all across the world from various industries like government, aviation, transportation, education, hospitality, healthcare, logistics, human resources, retail, non-profits, manufacturing, and construction, etc. You can find the customer stories on our website. To name a few we have Oasis, DKT, Conde Nast, Hampton Jitney, Nathealth, Checkup, Wattbike, Eatstreet, etc.

How do you see the company and the industry in the future ahead?

The future we are soon going to be a part of is a connected one. Software as a service (SaaS) is gaining more popularity than ever. The incredible speed and minimal latency of the 5G network will soon drive every IT solution to the cloud. A surfeit of IoT devices will take advantage of this connectivity and make the act of securing a business network seem like an arduous task for IT admins. UEMs will evolve to keep up with this influx of connected devices utilizing cutting-edge device discovery features and secure cloud-based services.

Hexnode has already been using a cloud platform to host our servers and is capable of advanced IoT device management. In the near future, we will offer support for even headless IoT devices. In addition, we will soon pass another milestone for our company, with the release of Hexnode Do. Hexnode Do is a SaaS app management platform that will provide a unified platform to manage and secure different SaaS applications.

What's your growth plan for the next 12 months?

Growing in a post-covid world has its challenges, but we managed it successfully with the support of a committed team. We recently opened a second office in Chennai – an even bigger office, housing around 500 employees. We plan to hire freshers from more than 250 colleges across India, including IITs, NITs, and IIMs. In addition to the freshers, we are also planning to hire experienced candidates for various positions. By this time next year, we are planning to double our workforce.

Do you also feel that the right kind of talent is a challenge in the industry?  

Up until a couple of years ago, everyone wanted to work for the so-called "Tech Giants," but that is not the case anymore. Young graduates today prefer start-ups where they feel appreciated and challenged, somewhere they can explore and have the freedom to be creative. Although technically, we have grown past the bounds of a start-up, our ideals and practices remain the same. Another critical aspect of getting the right people on board is to be innovative. For example, Hexnode is an award-winning endpoint management solution offering some of the best features in the industry. Giving them an opportunity to be at the forefront of something like that is vital in hooking the right people.

Attracting the right talent is difficult, but the real challenge is in retaining that talent. The current generation of the workforce tends to job hop frequently. Making them feel like they belong here and feel part of a family is essential for employee retention.

AI is projected to be the next market. How is AI contributing to the making of your products and services?  

Every day we hear of new ways in which the power of AI is being used. So, it was only a matter of time before UEM vendors like us harnessed the power of AI. The capabilities of AI work in tandem with all the data collected by the UEM to provide valuable insights and guidelines. AI predictions and behavior analysis will be able to spot irregularities and anomalies anywhere and take action. Even customer care is being automated by using AI-powered chatbots capable of responding to text or voice commands.

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