From Academic Research and Enthusiasm to 130 Passionate Experts
Flowmon spun off 13 years ago from long-term academic research in the area of large scale network monitoring (led by Jiri Novotny, Jan Korenek, and Pavel Celeda). The first three employees were Rostislav Vocilka, Jan Pazdera, and me. Jan and I may have been just fresh graduates with no business experience, but we soon understood that what we had may well be a future-proof approach that could endure well into the next decades with clouds, hybrid environments, and encrypted traffic. At the beginning, our technical team counted one person but we had a great piece of technology developed during our research time at CESNET, Brno University of Technology and Masaryk University. Over the years that followed, our technical team grew steadily, both organically and through two later acquisitions. Today, it takes up more than half of our 130+ headcount, and our technology is recognized by Gartner, as one of the three in the world that meet the requirements for Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics and Network Detection and Response.
Pulled by the Bootstraps
For me, it was an exciting personal journey, too. During the first few years, I managed all company operations except finance, selling Flowmon products in the Czech Republic, later in the CEE region and in Japan. I emerged as a sales director and technology alliances enthusiast until I was assigned the CEO position 3 years ago. As CEO, I planned to double the company revenue within three years and build a substantial business in the US. But without experience, this was easier said than done. We bootstrapped the company without external financial resources and made it to:
- Number 1 market position in Central and Eastern Europe
- Number 2 in Japan
- 60% growth in two years
- Reaching more than 1250 customers
- Having a customer’s presence in 45 countries
We were, and still are, living our dream to make our product global. During the time we rejected many acquisition offers. Some were friendly but wouldn’t add any significant growth potential. Some would have been devastating to our team, customers, and partners. And then I met Kemp.
Far Beyond Technological and Go-to-market Fit
From the first meeting at a conference in San Francisco, there was no doubt that we speak the same language. Our communication was smooth, we got along as people, and found we shared the same values, too. We soon saw a close culture fit and mutual go-to-market and geographical opportunities.
- Our technologies complement each other and represent a basis for a new approach to business enablement.
- We both serve similar size customers.
- We are both channel-focused companies.
- Flowmon has a strong presence in Central and Eastern Europe and Japan, while Kemp primarily serves Western European and US markets.
- Kemp has great go-to-market capabilities, thousands of customers in Flowmon’s sweet spot, and hundreds of partners in regions where it was hard for us to succeed.
And on top of all that, we both deliver easy-to-use and cost-efficient technologies to companies that don’t fall into the large enterprise category. In other words, we democratize our respective markets.
Together Towards New Horizons
People today don’t care if they can’t access an application because of insufficient throughput, an overloaded application server, or a cyber attack against the database server. They just want things to work. Kemp is definitely the right partner with whom we can make them work. Together, we are covering three crucial points the application has to pass on its way to anyone connected to the Internet: network, application, and security. Check out Pavel’s blog about why load balancing and network visibility makes sense, if you fancy a deeper technological dive. Last but not least, we continue our work towards our goal - make Flowmon available globally. Perhaps not as an independent company, but certainly as a product. I am proud to have been a part of such a great team of professionals, where I have made friends for life. We have always listened to our customers and partners and it was they who shaped us into what we are today. Without all these people, we wouldn’t be here.
Thank you.Jiri Tobola, co-founder of Flowmon Networks