Today marks a fresh start for a test business that has been a part of several companies in recent years, and now gets a chance to stand on its own.
NetScout has spun out the enterprise Wi-Fi and wired testing business that was previously part of Fluke Networks into a new company: NetAlly. NetScout acquired the business as part of its $2.6 billion purchase of Danaher’s testing and communications assets back in 2014, and last September, it announced that it was divesting the business to a private equity company, StoneCalibre.
The handheld network testing company has officially launched its standalone brand as of today.
NetAlly’s best-known products are handheld testers for Wi-Fi and wired enterprise networks, including its LinkSprinter Pocket Network Tester, LinkRunner Network Auto-Tester, AirCheck wireless testers and
AirMagnet Mobile, as well as its OneTouch AT Network Assistant. NetAlly will sell all of its products through channel partners and has already been working with those partners on the transition, according to company executives.
In addition to its official launch as a standalone company, NetAlly is also announcing Wi-Fi 6 support on the AirCheck G2, and a number of updates to its centralized cloud data and reporting platform, LinkLive, that are available on the AirCheck G2. Those include new filtering options for access point lists, channels and SSID, and automatic upload and documenting of iPerf performance tests, and a LinkLive API that enables data extraction into a company’s network management database or trouble-ticketing system.
Mike Parrottino, CEO of NetAlly, said that more things will stay the same than change for Colorado Springs-based NetAlly, which has more than 50,000 customers in 70-plus countries and sells to 90% of the Fortune 500. He said that the company will continue to living up to its legacy of delivering an excellent customer and partner experience, as well as focusing on helping customers reduce network operations cost and complexity.
Also, Parrottino said, “We still have a strong commitment to research and development — which means, at the end of the day, a very strong and comprehensive product portfolio that addresses the needs of multiple segments. Whether that’s federal, education, enterprise, public sector or small-to-medium businesses, the install base that we have is really significant, and we’re going to continue to make products that are meaningful to those particular segments.”
Part of how NetAlly will do that leverages its online community of more than 20,000 registered members, he said.
“We’ll be much more entrepreneurial, meaning that we’ll aim to have even deeper engagement with customers and partners,” Parrottino said. “When you have that deeper engagement and input, there are things that we might consider in R&D, and it gets embedded in our through process and work streams, [the]insights into how we might improve our approach. It may be products, it may be LinkLive services.”
Stefan Pracht, NetAlly’s SVP of marketing and operations, said that NetAlly’s combination of integrated wired and Wi-Fi testing makes for a unique market position, because “a lot of the competition is very narrowly focused on one or the other.” In addition, NetAlly’s product portfolio spans capabilities to enable either engineers or non-expert staff to conduct enterprise network testing, he said.
One trend that the company is seeing, he added, is that enterprises are taking some of their Wi-Fi investments back in-house, when perhaps they had turned to service providers for their enterprise Wi-Fi networks.
“What we are seeing is that they realize that in order to stay up-to-date, they actually need to take that back,” Pracht said.
The spin-off offers a chance for NetAlly to focus exclusively on its own customer base, partners, products and technology development, rather than take a back seat as a part of a much larger parent company.
“We were just a small organization within the larger NetScout portfolio, and we certainly have been treated very well,” Pracht said. “And we are very thankful that we had a chance to get spun out. We really kind of get rid of the constraints that you have in a larger organization, of not necessarily being the number-one focus.” That ranges from things as simple as NetAlly’s new website only being about NetAlly’s products, so that they are easier to find; to strategic aspects such as market focus and product development.
“As a smaller company, you are much more nimble. You are much more entrepreneurial. You can make quick decisions, you can implement things — like we have already — across marketing, sales and R&D,” said Parrottino. “You can put together roadmaps, you can fund things quicker. You’re just a smaller company that moves a lot quicker and you are not in the wake of a bigger company where decisions are made across multiple organizations and departments. … I think it unbridles a lot of the processes.”
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