When Oliver Steil, took the helm as CEO of Germany-based TeamViewer earlier this year, he inherited a company that was (and maybe still is) best known for remote administration tools.
I spoke with Oliver ahead of the recently launched TeamViewer 13.
Initially developed as an internal tool, TeamViewer is now expanding into new, technologically focused markets. Backed by private equity firm, Permira, the company is making big gets on the growth potential of its technologically saavy market.
What is “TeamViewer?”
TeamViewer, is a computer software that allows for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing, and file transfer across a multitude of devices.
“The way we collaborate is evolving at breakneck speed,” Steil told me, “and the future of remote assistance will go far beyond an ‘IT guy’ logging into your desktop to install software.
Competing with others in the market such as Bomgar and LogMeIn, the remote assistance software market is on the cusp of a major business transformation that will soon include augmented- and mixed reality, as well as sophisticated “internet of things” (IoT) hyper-connectivity in the enterprise.
Against the backdrop of other mega trends in the global workforce like “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies and an ever-expanding number of endpoints, corporations are increasingly looking for remote access and support solutions on a global scale.
At any given point in time, we have approx. 14 million connections between devices. Since inception, more than 1.8 billion devices or device ID’s have been created. The software is for free for personal use, thereby distributes itself, and we have a big install base around the globe.
“The software in its early stages was developed to connect people on different computers, provide IT support, and screen share services,” Steil told me.
But, with an actively growing customer base, concentrating on where the market is primarily thriving, is vital.
Andrew Rossow: Where would you say is your biggest market?
Oliver Steil: With over 250-300 million active users per year, we find that our customer base is spread across 200 countries. While we are based out of Germany, we have learned that our most important and growing market, is undoubtedly, the United States.
The product is global in nature. Its key features have the ability to connect all devices, all operating systems, on a global scale. We have a strong leadership team in America, with our very first office opening in Tampa, Florida. This market is three to four times bigger than Germany’s, which due to the “viral” effect, marketing works independently of the language. But, what’s important to know is that we take this localization, very seriously, as the same holds true with our presence in the APEC region, Japan, India, and China.
3 Initiatives That Comprise The “Team”
Steil broke down the company’s three major marketing initiatives they are focusing on:
#1 –Regional Expansion
We are building management teams and sales & marketing teams in more direct markets. Traditionally, we’ve served countries like Japan, India, and China. We are beginning to spread out and invest more in Latin America and of course the European markets as well. We have been able to win over paying customers and generate billings in most markets, but if we are on the ground, the effect triples quickly.
#2 –Implementing Actual “Use” Cases
We think about the different ways in which our customers can use our products. We started out twelve years ago with our classic IT support/screen sharing features. Now, the software is used for remote access and larger file transfers.
Many people utilize TeamViewer for the built-in “meeting” functionality. By tacking on a bug suite of use cases to the “internet of things” (IoT), connecting devices with devices in accordance with real-time data, we are beginning to create more than just software, but a fully-functional network and community of machinery and devices.
#3 –Consistent Enterprise
Our last initiative is moving up the chain and serving our enterprise clients consistently. Historically, we grew out of a small/medium business environment. However, we have discovered that very large corporations use TeamViewer and more complex requirements such as security, mass deployment, and device management. As such, we needed to provide conditional access features.
Expanding Into Augmented Reality
Last month, the remote assistance software market recently hit the cusp of a major business transformation, announcing its augmented reality (AR) product, Pilot.
The AR product will help business utilize augmented reality to improve customer service. By bringing remote support into the real world, customers are able to use their smartphones, point it at any particular piece of equipment, and receive adequate support from a second-level expert in a call center.
This type of technology can transcend far beyond the IT realm, but also into manufacturing and healthcare.
“I love the vision, drive, and engineering mindset with this company. While I joined the company as CEO at the beginning of this year, I was previously working with shareholders of the company. What we do, with over 800 employees over the globe, the level of activity, projects, and growth initiatives in this business is extremely unique. More so, our fill dedication to super high-quality product development and security makes us stand out. Of course, there aren’t many German software companies that have this kind of global reach, which makes this fun.”