By Ennio Carboni, President, Network Management Division

As a private and thriving software company in Lexington, MA, we are in an opportunistic position.  New business is growing at 30% or better, service revenue, government business and international business are at an all-time high and our customer feedback regarding functionality, usability and our business model continues to impress.  Cool!  We are doing many things right.

 We are also at a key inflection point in our strategy.  Should we stay private?  Should we take outside capital?   We generate a lot of cash amongst all three business units so investing our own private capital is possible and working well.  We have completed 4 acquisitions and we are just beginning to work on a fifth.  Capital means different things to different people.  Some believe capital is the only way to scale the business organizationally and while I agree in part – I am not convinced this is all true.  In our business model, capital is most useful in its ability to influence and expedite M&A and R&D risk and achievement.  We have built a foundation for a repeatable business model and now need to scale the business and grow it rapidly with highly usable solutions to take advantage of their market opportunity.

I have also seen capital make organizations less focused, stupid and void of business integrity.  Take one of my main competitors; a strong business and product acumen from inception and a market leading growth and success story for years and then fast forward the clock to 2011.   Focus lessens, new units are in the barrel and their business practices continue to make me laugh.  Their CEO preaches “we have no competitors” and “we don’t discount”.

That is a confusing statement as we’ve heard different from accounts who are evaluating both of our solutions, on occasion going from 20% discounts to 70% to win the new sale.   Hmmm?

 We’ll continue the analysis and we will make the right decisions into 2012.

One thing is for sure: We have worked far too long and invested too much in this market and our customer base to insult them with business practices that lack integrity.

Have you checked out the WUGspace Community Site yet? WUGspace allows network engineers, IT managers, architects and system administrators – WUG users or not – to connect with other IT professionals and see what their peers are doing and benefit from shared scripts and best practice recommendations. The IT-centric community exists solely for your benefit so sign up and check it out today!

                                           Check it out here.

There’s a lot to like about our recently launched WhatsUp Gold version 15! Roger Greene, our CEO, has blogged that he is “particularly proud of this release because of its emphasis on user experience.” Check out Roger’s full blog post, “User Experience Is A Feature,” to learn more about why he is especially proud of this launch.

In my many travels visiting customers and IT professionals around the world, I ask a simple question, “What do you do when you have to send a file to someone that’s just too big?”  They ask me how big is big?  I say too big for your email or even worse, something that is too big for the receiver’s email.  These attachments are typically large powerpoint files, spreadsheets, uncompressed images, media files or even databases.  With a sheepish grin people usually tell me they use one of the free email services, like GMail, MS Live or Yahoo.  However, recently the answer has shifted.  I’m now being inundated with business users and IT professionals professing their love for Cloud services such as DropBox.

In all fairness if you look at my iPad (peeling it from my cold dead hands) you will see my Dropbox app and PAID Dropbox account.  So it’s unnerving for me to think about the four hours on Sunday when Dropbox left user accounts unlocked and you could access anyone of the 25 million users’ accounts and data… Including mine.  Yep, just type in an email address and use any password you want and it’s all yours.

According to Dropbox there wasn’t any nefarious activity but if YOUR COMPANY’S information was on there – legitimately or illegitimately – you just had a data breach.  So I was a breach victim… And if I had any Ipswitch IP on the servers, the breach is extended accordingly.  To Dropbox’s credit, their business is all about collaboration and file syncing, not governed file transfer or managed data at rest.  In the end, some of these types of Cloud services will eventually get enough of it right to secure their future.  Some will last, many won’t.

Regardless, how are you going to handle your data breach this morning?  I’m headed over to my bosses office to explain my brazen disregard for corporate data.  He’ll probably buy me a new iPad2 that’s locked down (wishful thinking) and order IT to set up a more secure way for me to be mobile with my documents (more wishful thinking).

When you embark on a new adventure, including purchasing new software, it is a whirlwind of excitement and relief that is often combined with confusion and anxiety. Clearly, this apprehension isn’t going to prevent people from buying new products and services, so what’s the solution to help minimize their concern? The answer is simple – training. For more information on the benefits on training check out a blog post from Andy Couture, one of the Sales Directors here.

Training can be received in three ways – online, onsite at your office, or in an open classroom – and each option offers unique features. Read more about the WhatsUp Gold Certified Hands-on Training now.

Strategize, Protect and Master Your Network with WhatsUp Gold v15

WhatsUp Gold v15 is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Supercharged to give you absolute control over your network, WhatsUp Gold v15 gives you the power to discover all your assets down to each individual port, manage your network, and protect your data from a single pane of glass — faster, and more easily than ever before! Boasting a brand-new redesigned interface and lightning-fast performance, WhatsUp Gold 15 will even give you an integrated view of layer 2 topology maps, performance and event logs auditing information, from a single interface!

We’re really excited about this new release and hope you are too!

Learn more or try it today.

By Ryan Arsenault

The IPv4-to-IPv6 transition is in full force with the culmination of the celebration – although some network engineers might not see it as a jubilee – being World IPv6 Day, commemorated today.

If you’ll remember correctly, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) has been around some 30 years and is still predominantly the major player in terms of Internet Layer protocol deployment. We say predominantly as it’s in the early stages of big changes: The last unallocated block of IPv4 addresses was allocated in February.

It isn’t exactly surprising, given the fact that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been evangelizing the rapid depletion of unique IPv4 addresses for 20 years when it created a special group to investigate it. This wasn’t the empty promise of the Rapture, folks, there was hard depletion evidence — the multiplying number of mobile devices, always-on broadband networks, etc.

Flash forward to present-day IPv4 address depletion and World IPv6 Day, June 8, 2011, sponsored by the Internet Society. A number of organizations, including Ipswitch, Google and Facebook, have committed to launch their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour period with the goal of motivating companies to prep for IPv6 to ensure smooth transitions.

WhatsUp Gold, of course, has been ahead of the curve with its support of IPv6 for the past five years, including in the newly released v15. We’ve also developed a dedicated IPv6 focused page that commemorates participation in IPv6 World Day by operating over IPv6 for the next 24 hours; this page also has some cool resources to help prepare you for IPv6.

You can directly access the IPv6 page (http://www.whatsup-gold.net) or through an automatic proxy from IPv4 (http://www.whatsup-gold.net.ipv4.sixxs.org/). From an IPv4-only environment, users can utilize a tunnel broker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IPv6_tunnel_brokers) or use a proxy (http://list.glype.com or another proxy list: http://www.sixxs.net/tools/gateway/#ipv4gate).

Happy World IPv6 Day! At Ipswitch, we’re ready for IPv6. Are you?

By Ennio Carboni, President, Network Management Division

What does it mean to run a company with strong values? How does a commitment to “do the right thing” as it’s applied to employees, customers, and other stakeholders affect an organization’s daily decision making? I found out yesterday.

For the past eighteen months, the R&D super men and women of our company have been busy at work designing and coding phase one of the next generation WhatsUp Gold product architecture and today was scheduled to be our release day – a celebration employees, partners, customers and selfish me were looking forward to for months.  We service an international list of SMB and enterprise customers and our reputation for delivering quality, easy to use and functional software is our best marketing source for leads – and has been for twenty years. We had our last check-in as a team at 5pm yesterday and that’s when I heard it. Yup! The words no one wants to speak, never mind listen too. “We found a small defect and we don’t believe it will impact more than 10% of our customers but we feel it is prudent to let you all know…”

At that instance as President you realize how challenging it is to operate a business the right way. Everyone is watching you and the decision you make to understand the tone of how the business is run. The echoes of “Less than 10% of our existing population is impacted” and “We have all our release messages and parties planned” and “Partners have been notified of the release” all repeat themselves in your head like that Lawrence Welk song collection you hear at the supermarket. And companies operate with different leaders and agendas. Some MBA types might calculate the probability of how many calls from affected customers may come and whether that outweighs a delay in revenue from the slip date. Other may not care that much and release it and preach, “That’s why we sell maintenance!” Trust me, that comment is not far from the truth that I, and countless others, have seen.

We are different here at Ipswitch. In truth, we could have shipped; in this morning’s review meeting I noted we would have generated less than a few hundred calls over 6 months and with a patch release in the next 10 days that number would have likely been less. Did I make an error in stalling the release? I don’t think so. My team doesn’t think so either. Our customers will definitively not think so.

We try hard to do the right thing and the benefit of being a private company is that we answer only to the expectations we set for ourselves and the customers we serve. No bankers at the gates to fight off. No third parties interested in maximizing our profitability in 3 months so they can sell us off. We lead by example and our workforce learns and approves of the high bar we set for ourselves and the markets we serve. I will never make a decision that compromises the values we set forth with our customers because of the short term pain it causes for our employees and partners.

I believe my responsibility is to lead this company to grow the right way which translates into a sustainable and value-centric growth plan as we drive to $100M.

Ipswitch has been cautioning companies about the dangers of private/confidential information being sent through Google (and other hosted and person-to-person services), both from a security and a responsibility perspective.

Last week’s GMail hack further drives home the point that organizations must proactively manage and have visibility into what information is being shared with service providers and how information is being sent between people.

Don’t let your guard down and simply treat the cloud as just another internal resource…. They need to be properly managed and governed just like any other third-party.

Ipswitch’s Frank Kenney recently concluded a 4-part webcast series on integration.  It’s not too late to watch a replay of it.  In parts 3 and 4, Frank talks through the issue of relying on cloud providers and provides tips for managing and governing cloud and person-to-person interactions.

Google revealed yesterday a targeted phishing attack from China against hundreds of GMail users, including government officials and military personnel.  The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the White House National Security Council are all participating in an investigation of the cyber attack.

My hope is that this breach will serve as the wake up call that public and private businesses need to start enforcing policies around personal email.  According to an Ipswitch survey at the InfoSec Europe conference, employee use of personal email is still a major problem.  Nearly 70% of respondents send classified information (including payroll and customer info) via standard email every month… And 40% admitted to sending confidential information through personal email accounts specifically to eliminate the trail of what was being sent to whom.

Have you provided your employees with a simple tool to send large and confidential files?  Do you have visibility into what is being sent and to whom??  Do you have a documented AND enforced policy around using personal webmail accounts from work computers???

Employees have proven over and over that they will ‘do what they need to do’ in order to be productive. It’s critical that organizations provide simple, safe and auditable tools that enable employees to collaborate and share files.  It’s equally important that they govern employee activities to mitigate data risk by increasing visibility, control, compliance and security.

Ipswitch’s Frank Kenney shares his perspective on breach responsibility and security with Information Week:

“Google has asked for U.S. government support against censorship, but the government’s response has been to ask companies to take responsibility.  If Google does have an ulterior motive, it’s likely to be to pressure the U.S. government to take a more active role in defending U.S. companies in markets like China that present obstacles to fair competition.

Google is urging Gmail users to review their account settings to make sure they’re secure, but Kenney suggested Google could do more to alert users when their accounts are accessed from an unfamiliar IP address or when their accounts have been configured to forward messages.”