Selling SaaS in Europe

3 Min Read | February 06, 2020

I’ve always enjoyed working at tech startups, and the journey which led me to join OpsRamp as the company’s first VP of Sales for EMEA began more than 20 years ago. 

I’ve learned a lot from working across diverse infrastructure categories, such as security, virtualization, storage, and identity management. Nobody was doing SaaS two decades ago, but there’s no question that today, IT is much more meaningful and powerful with the advent of cloud computing. The fact that it’s now extraordinarily easy to procure, set up and start benefiting from new technology makes me wonder how any of us lived through those multi-year enterprise software projects. 

OpsRamp, a SaaS platform for modern infrastructure discovery, monitoring, management, and automation, brings benefits to users from the very first day. Our ongoing developments in important areas like service mapping, machine learning, and synthetic monitoring means that we’re staying in step with the ever-changing needs of IT operations teams. I get to talk to people running large technology operations every day, and it’s an opportunity that constantly opens my eyes to how the world is changing.

Previously, I managed the EMEA business for Okta, where I consistently delivered growth from $1M to $32M ARR. I'm excited to be joining OpsRamp, and will be taking a hands-on role with a wide range of operational duties while growing early adopters and generating revenues in the region.

The European view

Colleagues from North America often ask me what IT modernization and cloud computing looks like for companies in Europe. Even though Europeans are behind the curve a bit in terms of adoption, especially compared with Silicon Valley, there is a cloud-first orientation for companies that are less than 10 years old. The older, historical institutions (financial services, manufacturing) here are moving to the cloud with increasing vigor but they can’t toss their legacy infrastructure. This conflict between the old and new worlds, by the way, is not dissimilar to what’s going on in many traditional, large businesses in the United States. The core difference across the pond is that many European companies are subject to far more regulation. This reality makes hybrid cloud infrastructure a necessary strategy for the foreseeable future.

The challenges of managing hybrid infrastructure here are much the same as in North America. Running multiple environments, across internal data centers, private clouds and public clouds requires a lot more overhead in terms of boots and tools on ground. Coordination is imperative yet often elusive. CXOs desperately want better visibility across IT so that they can manage cost, security and performance, but it’s hard to achieve because there’s so much data and so many data silos. The OpsRamp platform for dynamic, hybrid infrastructure monitoring fits a lot of these needs for visibility and “controlling the chaos” as we say here. That’s why I’m thrilled to come on board and help solve some of these IT modernization barriers for companies in the UK and elsewhere. 

Yet selling solutions into European companies requires a laser focus on demonstrating ROI. Budgets are generally tighter here, and the appetite for risk is usually lower. It won’t be easy--but I’m looking forward to building our team here in London and expanding our reach across the region. Aside from generating new business we’ll be putting equal efforts into keeping our current customers here happy. 

I’ve worked for many tech startups and the ride is crazy and fun. One of my favorite quotes about this career is from Ben Horowitz, cofounder of venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and founder of a16z Cultural Leadership Fund: “Do you know the best thing about startups? You only ever experience two emotions: euphoria and terror. And I find that lack of sleep enhances them both.” 

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