Moving Forward as VictorOps + Splunk: An Interview with Rick Fitz

Moving Forward as VictorOps + Splunk

As of today, VictorOps is officially part of the Splunk team—and we couldn’t be more excited. Our mission has always been to “make on-call suck less.” We’re confident teaming up with Splunk, a longtime VictorOps integration partner, will only help accelerate our ability to deliver on this value to our customers in new and innovative ways.

Linking our incident management software with Splunk, a leader in turning machine data into answers, will help enable us to build the future of Artificial Intelligence Operations (AIOps). This idea of creating a “Platform of Engagement” has the potential to change the way IT organizations—and applications as a whole—work.

I sat down with Rick Fitz, the SVP of IT Markets at Splunk, to ask a few questions about the future of VictorOps + Splunk. Spoiler alert: It’s some good stuff.

[Interview]

Question: Hey Rick, thanks for taking some time to chat. Of course, I want to kick things off by saying we are definitely excited to join the team. Can you tell us a little about Splunk?

Answer:

Sure. Splunk’s mission is to make machine data accessible, usable, and valuable to everyone. Splunk collects, indexes, and analyzes all kinds of machine data—from logs to metrics, across infrastructure and applications.

Originally, Splunk caught a hold with system administrators looking for a faster way to troubleshoot problems. But now, it provides dashboarding and analytics across IT Operations, application monitoring, security, business analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT). We have over 15,000 customers from around the globe. The Splunk community is one of the most exciting parts of being at Splunk.

Question: From your side of things, tell me about what you’re looking forward to now that VictorOps is part of Splunk?

Answer:

I’m looking forward to many things, but I want to focus on two in particular.

First, Splunk is amazing at collecting and analyzing an immense amount of data. With our advancements in our Artificial Intelligence (AI), we can help our customers sort out what’s important and what’s not. Combine that with VictorOps’ ability to engage people who can address incidents, and provide the right context to solve the problem from wherever they are, and it creates a Platform of Engagement. This type of platform can help teams not only find and fix problems faster but also make smarter, well-informed decisions.

Second, we have complementary user bases where we see a lot of opportunity to “open their eyes” to what we can offer as Splunk + VictorOps.

Question: So what changes can employees expect to see over the next few months?

Answer:

Since we just closed the acquisition, it will take us some time to develop an operational plan. Both companies are coming from a position of success, so first and foremost, we want to preserve momentum, ensure customers and partners remain satisfied with the current offering, and all our employees are engaged and excited. From there, we will execute on our commitment to innovation, extend our investment in this area, and continue to hire more great people.

I really have been impressed with the people I met, and it will be great to have our teams working as one company, with one mission.

Question: VictorOps is based on Boulder, and you all are headquartered in the Bay Area. Is Splunk planning on investing in a Colorado office?

Answer:

Definitely. The pool of software development talent in the Front Range is outstanding. Moreover, the Boulder and Denver area is home to some of our largest customers and partners—and its one of the most heavily attended locations for our one day SplunkLive! event.

Given the growth and excitement we see in Colorado, we’re looking forward to expanding the Boulder office with more talent from throughout the Front Range.

Question: We’re pretty happy out here in the mountains, so glad you’re going to put a stake in the ground. Aside from our employees, the acquisition matters to our customers. Should they expect any changes?

Answer:

Initially, we want to keep both teams focused on delivering the features and experience our customers expect. We acquired VictorOps because we see this as a differentiated technology delivering on a very important value, which is something we’ll continue to invest in.

Question: Sounds like this will make on-call suck even less. Any other benefits customers can look forward to?

A couple things come to mind. First is building out our Platform of Engagement. As we combine AI and breadth of use cases from Splunk with engaging on-call management from VictorOps, we’ll help empower teams to quickly find, fix, and prevent problems.

Second, Splunk has a great community of customers—ITOps, developers, DevOps professionals— that participate in networking, including online events, local meetups, and .conf, our annual user conference. It’s a great opportunity to share best practices and meet new colleagues.

Question: Could you touch for a minute on “why VictorOps” and what you see as the future of incident management software?

Answer:

Technically, many attributes of VictorOps came into play for why we are acquiring and further investing in VictorOps. But first, it felt like a hand-in-glove fit with what we have been doing with our AIOps strategy and plan. Second, VictorOps offering fits very well with the highly dynamic incident management that developers and DevOps professionals require.

Question: Awesome. Any closing thoughts to share?

Answer:

In many respects, the attitude and innovation that VictorOps brings remind us of Splunk at a similar point in the journey. The fit with Splunk and VictorOps feels so natural, both on paper, and culturally. Now we get to roll up our sleeves and work together as one team. I’m privileged to be a part of this.

Rick took some time to pick my brain as well. Check out my responses on the Splunk blog.

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