Interview with Apu Pavithran, founder and CEO of Hexnode

Josiah Motley · July 21, 2021 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/52bf
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A look at Unified Endpoint Management and why it is important for growing businesses

hexnode software

Image: Hexnode

When you first start a business, managing a couple of devices or programs is pretty straightforward. It's only when you start growing and adding more people and more devices can things quickly get out of hand.

Whether it is security, or the fact you are spending monthly fees on things your team no longer uses, keeping track of becomes a much more pressing issue. Especially for growing businesses that do not have a cash flow that can afford to pay for things it is not using.

If this is something your IT department must manage, solutions that allow for an overarching view of devices are key. Being able to see where these devices are, if they are secure, and if they have the proper tools and restrictions in place is important.

This field is called Unified Endpoint Management and I had the chance to interview one of the companies working in this field.

Founded in 2013, Hexnode is one company offering a service for businesses that let IT departments manage devices across iOS, Android, Windows, and more.

You can read the full review with CEO and founder, Apu Pavithran, below.

Care to introduce yourself and your role with Hexnode? 

I am Apu Pavithran, the founder and CEO of the award-winning device management solution Hexnode. 

What's the inspiration behind the company? 

It all started with a group of people who regularly met for coffee, we were all IT professionals and the conversation at times would move on to entrepreneurship and someone would float around the idea of us starting something of our own. Eventually, our coffee meetings became more serious entrepreneurship discussions. Just like that, one evening we thought it's time for the big leap.

I was the one who first quit my job, and it was a bit shocking for my friends as they never expected action so early. Nevertheless, my friends too left their jobs and joined hands with me in the following months. After settling on B2B, a question that I came across at an IT conference in the US made me seriously consider the option of Enterprise Mobility domain and helped me zero in on it.   

During that time, the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) space was already taken over by a few giants in IT, some pure-play vendors, and niche vendors that demonstrated great potential. That was the time when most industries were taking to the cloud, but I knew that EMM is always going to be on a slow rise. Many factors like the archaic elements in IT management and the slow BYOD adoption remained hurdles in the path of EMM. Favorably, by the time we came out with our product, we would still have a great deal of the yet untapped market.  

Back then, MDM vendors regarded Mobile Device Management as an add-on to Desktop Management. However, it barely works that way, mobile works on its terms and it has to be dealt with accordingly. Even the mobile-only vendors made mistakes due to their wrong management strategies.  

The device-centered approach was not at all scalable, instead was very complex and tiresome. While it had to be user-centric, most vendors had the sole option of doing a tedious job making them go back to the drawing board or fix an innately broken system. Either way, it was an apparent victory for us. 

In a couple of sentences, what exactly does Hexnode do? 

Hexnode is a Unified Endpoint Management solution (UEM), which means it helps secure, manage and monitor the devices provided to the employees in an organization.

How does it do all that? Hexnode applies restrictions on the devices, provides information of the devices to the IT team, helps track the devices, and pushes necessary corporate policies and configurations such as - corporate Wi-Fi, install necessary applications, restrict certain websites, limit data usage, and a whole lot more.

Hexnode can manage devices belonging to multiple operating systems - Apple, Android, Windows, Fire OS, and devices can be mobile phones, tablets, PCs, desktops, TVs, etc. 

Have there been any challenges that your team has faced since you launched? 

It’s never easy to build a business, and challenges are part of that journey. Like most businesses, the biggest challenge we faced was finding the right people.

It was easier when we were starting out, when you work in a small environment, each team member's personality can have a huge impact on the harmony and productivity of the business and we made sure each and every person who came to work for us were able to resonate the vision of the founders. We built the team like a tightly-knit family that functioned well. 

But as the team began to expand, finding the right people, retaining them, and making sure they were able to envision the future of the company became a herculean task. As we transitioned into a bigger company, the whole hiring approach changed accordingly. It became all about dealing with different personalities, figuring out what drives each individual, and tailoring the management to make them fit in the environment. 

What sets Hexnode apart from all the different MDM providers out there? 

Hexnode’s vision has always been to make it simple. We have built a product that makes it possible for an operations manager at a construction firm to manage devices with the same finesse as an IT admin with certifications in security and endpoint management. 

Additionally, Hexnode has a robust tech support team. We respond to support queries with the same enthusiasm as sales queries and our swift response rate have always received applause from our customers. We attempt to resolve the customer’s issue at the very first call and always succeed in doing so. 

To top it all, the people at Hexnode listen to what our customers have to say through our communities, user conferences, or on a routine call and immediately alert the technical team and make sure that there is an update that fixes the trouble in the shortest time. 

Moreover, people come to us from time to time not just because we have the best customer service in the industry but here at Hexnode we go to any length to make sure that our customers are respected, they are cared for and their needs matter. 

Anything new readers should expect to hear from Hexnode? 

Presently we are trying to pull off the biggest user conference ever by a UEM vendor. The conference, Hexcon21 is pretty amazing and we are expecting 75+ speakers from the security industry and are trying to reach a milestone of 3000 attendees. It is completely virtual and completely free to attend. It being a virtual conference, we are expecting to have all of our customers and fellow security professionals and endpoint experts from around the world join us for the event 

There is also a lot more going on at Hexnode, but unfortunately, it is not something that I can reveal right now, but I can assure you that there will be multiple announcements by the end of the year. 

Who are some of your clients? 

Hexnode has a diverse clientele which includes education, healthcare, government, IT services, logistics and pretty much any business that uses mobile devices and PCs for work. To name our marquee customers, it would be Nathealth, Checkedup, Wattbike, and Eatstreet. 

What unique challenges have you faced due to the pandemic?  

When the first wave of the pandemic hit, we were faced with a business dilemma. With the uncertainty looming in the air, a lot of our clients started to shift to a temporary work from home model. As a device management solution, we had to make it easier for our customers to issue more corporate-owned devices and manage them remotely. 

Meanwhile, inside Hexnode our first priority was the health and safety of our employees. We had to quickly adopt a work-from-home model for our employees around the globe. But we had a commitment with our customers to provide uninterrupted service and it was near impossible with our whole team working from home.   

So, we felt it was apt to shift the critical teams to a safety bubble. We rented out hotel rooms and converted them as guesthouses with the highest standard of security protocols to prevent infections so that work was never compromised, and neither was their safety. 
Soon the stress levels were back to normal and the team started to adapt to the atmosphere.

As expected, productivity also picked up and we were able to meet the changing device management needs of our customers

I'd like to thank Apu for take the time to answer some of my questions.

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Josiah Motley

Contributor at various blogs, with a focus on tech, apps, gadgets, and gaming.

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