Another day and another conversation with an interesting company offering large-company services to a small-business market. I've already written about Splunk, and there will be more to come soon, but Paglo is doing the same sort of thing through a SaaS model. I'm working on a review of Paglo (OK, and we're working on a review of Splunk, too) but I thought it would be interesting to share some of the conversation I had with CEO Brian de Haaff and CTO Dr. Chris Waters. Brian and Chris know their product, of course, but it was their understanding of SMB issues that I thought was most interesting.
Brian and Chris told me that Paglo's offerings are built on two principles – that business is becoming more complex, and that more business is being managed by SaaS processes. When they looked at how the SaaS management is happening, they decided that developing and retrieving information are still fragmented systems for most businesses – companies are struggling to keep up. Many processes and applications are still isolated silos. Getting at the information in many of these silos still requires clicking down through menu hierarchies. Paglo wanted to let people get at information easily and quickly. I didn't hear anything in this part of the conversation that surprised me.
There are a couple of things I keep hearing about SMB IT that makes this sort of understanding pretty much inevitable. The first is that small companies want the same sort of IT features and services that large enterprises have been getting. The second is that SMBs tend to have a staff that ranges somewhere between small and non-existent. Put them together and you have a requirement for systems to generate usable information and make it easy to get at.
Paglo is, to put it simply, a search engine for IT. You can search it in an on-demand fashion, and it collects tons of information for an IT infrastructure. At the time of our conversation, Paglo had more than 750 users, and had been in testing since January with an explicit goal of reaching the SMB segment. Paglo is based on three core pieces of technology: The first, Paglo crawler, is downloaded and installed on any one computer on the network. It gets system and network info, then uploads it to the technology (two, the Paglo Search Index). The third technology piece, the Web-based user experience, will then let the IT professional log into Paglo and do search and analytics online.
Brian and Chris said that the concepts that drive Paglo started with the understanding that IT professionals do three core things: The first is fire-fighting, responding to emergencies. A person can go into the community and find searches that others have created, so that all searches don’t have to be built from scratch. The searches – not results or information about any customer - are shared.