Paul Di Leo, CEO at Zeus Technology
Paul Di Leo, CEO at fast-growing web server company, Zeus Technology says that the web is now the difference between success and failure for many companies.
The company Zeus Technology's application traffic management software is designed so organisations can securely manage and optimise traffic around both web-based applications and websites, ensuring the highest levels of security, resilience and performance for web based applications and delivering swift and seamless interaction between web-enabled application services.
It integrates the three essential business requirements of traffic management, optimisation and security in a single robust and scalable solution, which provides centralised control and resilience for applications and ensures swift and seamless interaction between web-enabled application services.
The company holds strategic partnerships with world-class companies such as AMD, Egenera, HP, IBM, Intel, Sun Microsystems, Qualcomm and VMware. It powers over one million sites across the world and provides web infrastructure solutions to over 800 customers including BT, China Telecom, Hotel.de, NASA, PLAY.COM, Federal Railroads Administration, The Institute of Financial Services, STA Travel, Strategic Command, VNU, and Virgin Holidays.
Paul Di Leo was appointed CEO of Zeus in 2004 to accelerate the company into its next stage of growth and innovation. He joined from Cisco, where he held a number of director level positions. His most recent was worldwide operations director for Mobility Technology and Solutions, responsible for supporting Cisco's mobile operator customers and wireless LAN products. 1) Zeus appears to be in growth mode. What is driving your expansion? Zeus has been delivering growth in excess of 60-70 per cent year on year for the past three years. Growth has been established by the release of award winning competitive products, focused sales and marketing activity and targeted geographical expansion.
In the past 12 months, Zeus launched a US operation in Mountain View, California. Zeus has also established sales offices in China, France, Finland, Germany, Japan, Spain, Italy and Russia. Through Zeus' channel expansion strategy, the company recruited 25 partners over the past 12 months.
Zeus Technology has over 800 customers worldwide and its global expansion has seen leading Distributors, Value Added Resellers (VARs), and System Integrators (SIs), as well as several OEM partners added to the business. The overall application delivery controller market potential is around $1-2 billion worldwide by 2009/2010 (Source: Gartner Dataquest) and Zeus is now poised to further exploit this and other adjacent growth markets such as virtualisation, remote desktop brokering and SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). 2) There is a strong geographical component to that expansion. What are your primary aims in that area? Our main aim geographically is to establish partner orientated organizations in our target geographies. Partners will derive additional addressable market potential and additional value added services by working with Zeus. We understand the need for a balanced business model with partners that allows them to build on our product set. Additionally the focus is also on delivering innovative and market leading products. As we continue to innovate, our partners will be able to grow their businesses beyond their present markets and focus. 3) Before the bubble burst, Zeus was considered a red hot IPO candidate. it is beginning to appear so again. Are there any plans to take the company public? Zeus is delivering robust and exciting results. We continue to attract new customers globally and retain and grow our existing customers. We as a company will continue to focus on our growth potential and continue to increase the attractiveness of Zeus to our customers, partners and the market overall. Essentially it is this focus that will deliver our continued success and allow the company to explore and take advantage of the many options available in the future. 4) How much of an effect did the technology bubble have on the development of the business? Technology bubbles have come and gone throughout history in many industries. For Zeus it is not the emergence or existence of a technology bubble that matters but the ability to see a trend or a market movement and be able to step in and exploit that potential.
Today we see the internet traffic management market as a key area for our growth. Virtualisation and SOA (Service Orientated Architecture) markets present a key growth opportunity for Zeus.
In essence, our ability to innovate is key. However, what is more important is our ability to execute. Even at the height of the bubble many companies failed due to lack of clear execution despite innovative products. 5) How has the World Wide Web changed in the 10 years or so since the company was formed and what are the major opportunities going forward? The web is now established as a key part of any enterprise's business strategy. It is now no longer seen as a nice thing to have or some kind of experimental project. The web is now, for many companies, the difference between success and failure. Therefore the performance of web applications is fundamental and a critical part of the operation since it will impact internal operational efficiency and external customer service. 6) What are your goals for the company over the next five years? We intend to keep growing Zeus and innovating our products to meet customer and partner needs. 7) What is your single biggest challenge, both technologically and as a company? There are many challenges and I don't see any single one being more important or critical than others. We look at running all areas of our business in a balanced way. It is usually the small neglect of many things rather than the 'not doing one thing well' that will impede the success of a company.
We need to continually ensure that we are competitive as regards our people, products and customers. 8) What are the benefits of having one of the original founders of the business so heavily involved with the company? The continued involvement of a founder can provide continuity. However, a company's competitiveness and success extends beyond this. Zeus operates as a team continually working all areas of the business to keep us competitive. A company's competitiveness goes beyond a single product innovation but lies in the continuous collaboration of the whole company towards the goal of growth and success. 9) Do you see the open source model as a threat? Open source is one way of creating a low cost technical and development community to develop and innovate products. However, it is also just another go to market model for many software products. There are many opportunities, risks and challenges in an open source business model.
It could be a threat but no more so than other competitive threats in the market. Open source should not be seen as a synonym for 'free' as is proven by the many commercially successful open source projects in other markets. There are costs to customers in an open source solution beyond the delivery of a product. These costs include support, maintenance and licensing of operational product. 10) Is Zeus a potential billion pound company? We will continue to grow and innovate as a company and we'll leave it up to our customers to decide on the level of success and growth that Zeus will deliver.