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Nerdio’s New CTO On Microsoft Services Innovations, Helping Customers Do ‘More With Less’

CJ Fairfield

‘We are growing fast and we have raised money. That shows confidence and our ability of what we accomplished so far and what more we can accomplish,’ says Suresh Thirunavukkarasu, Nerdio’s chief product and technology officer.

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Nerdio’s newest chief product and technology officer Suresh Thirunavukkarasu’s primary focus is on the enterprise and MSP customer.

“The entire company is so excited to be growing our business and specifically solving customer problems,” he told CRN. “We are talking to lots of enterprise customers and MSPs and we hear more and more how Nerdio is helping them. It’s about what you can do to do more with less, that’s going to be a theme for this year.”

Thirunavukkarasu joined Chicago-based Microsoft Azure automation provider Nerdio last November and was a part of the company’s leadership expansion efforts. Andy Baker was promoted to chief people officer and Susan Driscoll came on as vice president of customer success.

What attracted Thirunavukkarasu to Nerdio was the people.

“We have a fantastic team and culture at Nerdio,” he told CRN. “I’m so impressed with all the leaders and people I interacted with before joining the company, and all the board members.”

He said the entire team is “so obsessed” with solving customer problems and growing the business.

“We are in a large market and we have built an incredible management platform to simplify the deployment and management of that solution,” he added. “We have so much growth opportunity in front of us.”

Thirunavukkarasu comes with more than 20 years of experience in product management, marketing and IT from VMware, Cisco and, most recently, Yubico where he was the chief product officer and led product management, business strategy and technical documentation.

In his new role, he is responsible for Nerdio’s product, engineering, partner solutions and support functions to allow MSPs and enterprises to unify, optimize and streamline the management of Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, physical endpoints and Windows applications.

“We are growing fast and we have raised money,” he said. “That shows confidence and our ability of what we accomplished so far and what more we can accomplish.”

CRN spoke to Thirunavukkarasu about how his previous positions prepared him for his new role, opportunities he sees ahead and how he hopes to help simplify endpoint management.

You come from a robust background with previous roles at Cisco and VMware. How have those positions prepared you for this role?

I also worked in a startup called Yubico. I was the chief product officer at Yubico in growing that company 300 percent in the last three years. I’m well [versed] both in terms of working in large and small enterprises, in startups and knowing those enterprises and SMB customers. I come with infrastructure security experience in working with large enterprises and SMBs. All that knowledge and experience is going to really help us at Nerdio in scaling the team and continuing to innovate with new and advanced capabilities and services on top of native Microsoft services.

 

Talk to me about some of the projects you want to tackle first in your new role.

We see tremendous adoption and traction from our customers, and my job and focus is to continue to accelerate our innovation and simplify the management of all endpoints, specifically Microsoft [Azure Active Directory] and Windows 365, for both enterprises and MSPs. So we’re going to innovate and bring many more capabilities this year and hopefully we can simplify the management of all endpoints and improve the security posture of those endpoints.

What do you think your biggest challenge will be this year and how do you plan on tackling that?

I always think about in terms of opportunity, we see tremendous opportunity with customers modernizing the management of endpoints using native cloud services. Obviously, that creates opportunities for us in terms of bringing out new capabilities to help them modernize the management of endpoints and the security of those apps. Customers wants to do more with less given the challenges that they face, and management platform like ours optimize the cost and helps them accelerate the modernization specifically for hybrid workforce. That’s going to stay this year, to continue the remote and hybrid work so more customers will adopt that solution and look for a solution like ours to simplify.

 

That’s a perfect segue to my next question. I spoke to an end user recently and we talked about a possible economic downturn. He said, “You can’t squeeze more out of our people. We have to squeeze more out of our tools.” Would you agree with that statement? And how could Nerdio implement something like that, to squeeze more out of the tools?

When the money was so cheap the last few years, people were consuming more and more from the cloud. And now the question is, how can they optimize the consumption so that they can save more? We have done a tremendous job in identifying areas where we can optimize the cost, and we are seeing 50 to 80 percent cost optimization in many cases. You will see that trend of enterprises and MSPs looking at how they can do more with less, specifically around optimizing cloud consumption cost.

 

What can we expect from Nerdio this year in terms of product and product development?

We see good traction from customers on Microsoft Intune for endpoint management, and obviously security’s on top of everyone’s mind and will continue to remain the same this year. What we are looking at is how can we help those customers accelerate deployment and management of endpoints using Intune. Intune offers many advanced capabilities, but it is complex and it’s not meant for MSPs and others to simply make use of that technology. We are looking at how can we help with the prescribed policies, configurations, reporting and monitoring so that customers can make use of it. 

Learn More: Managed Security
CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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