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Vijay Kurkal, Chief Executive Officer for Resolve – Interview Series

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Vijay Kurkal serves as the CEO for Resolve where he oversees the strategic growth of the company as it helps maximize the potential of AIOps and IT automation in enterprises around the world. Vijay has a long history in the tech industry, having spent the last twenty years working with numerous software and hardware companies that have run the gamut from mainframe to bleeding-edge, emerging tech. Before joining Resolve, he held leadership positions at IBM, VMware, Bain & Company, and Insight Partners, playing a critical role in accelerating the growth of a wide array of technology companies and introducing state-of-the-art product lines.

You’ve been leading Resolve since 2018, first as COO, and now as CEO. What initially drew you to this company?

There’s a huge need for automation and AIOps today given the challenges that enterprise IT organizations face. These teams are managing increasingly complex, highly virtualized, hybrid environments and are tasked with rapidly implementing new technologies to stay competitive. Without the aid of tools like automation and AIOps, it’s impossible to effectively manage these environments, and the complexity is only going to grow.

Given the tremendous market opportunity, I was immediately drawn to Resolve’s deep roots in automation. Drawing on my 20 years of experience with a wide range of tech companies, I am incredibly excited about the possibility for automation and AIOps to truly transform IT operations. These technologies are game changers for companies — not just to survive, but to thrive in the current environment. As we’ve seen over the last few months as digital transformation has rapidly accelerated, automation is absolutely necessary to succeed. Resolve is uniquely positioned to meet these needs and usher in the next generation of IT operations.

 

How would you best describe what Resolve offers IT companies?

By combining cutting-edge AIOps capabilities with our industry-leading automation platform, Resolve helps IT teams achieve more agile, autonomous IT operations even as infrastructure continues to expand in scope and complexity. Our unified product offers a closed loop of discovery, analysis, detection, prediction, and automation, including prebuilt automations that can be autonomously triggered by AIOps insights to stay ahead of problems and lighten the load on IT organizations.

Our goal is to help ITOps, NetOps, and Service Desk teams meet the growing demands on IT, streamline operations, reduce costs, improve MTTR and performance, and accelerate service delivery through the power of automation and AIOps.

 

For readers who are not familiar with the term AIOps, can you explain what this term describes and what makes it so important?

AIOps – or AI for IT Operations – helps streamline the management of complex, hybrid IT environments by deploying AI, machine learning and advanced analytics to aggregate, analyze, and contextualize tremendous amounts of data amassed from various sources across the IT ecosystem. These insights facilitate the identification of existing or potential performance issues while spotting anomalies and pinpointing the probable root cause of incidents. Over time, machine learning can predict future issues and proactively automate fixes before they affect the business.

Additionally, most AIOps tools offer advanced correlation capabilities help IT pros determine how alarms are related, reducing noise by grouping similar events and bringing the true issues to light, so people can focus on what matters most. Some AIOps solutions also perform auto-discovery and dependency mapping to provide deep visibility into how entities are connected to one another, and how outages might impact critical business services. This offers a wide range of benefits from keeping your CMDB up-to-data and accurate, to accelerating incident response and simplifying troubleshooting, change management, and compliance.

 

What are some of the data challenges faced by IT companies?

By far the biggest data challenge IT organizations face is managing increased complexity caused by exponential infrastructure growth and the daily onslaught of new technologies. Data volumes and alarm noise created by infrastructure growth have far exceeded human capacity to find the needle in the proverbial IT haystack. Gartner estimates a two- to three-fold increase in data volume growth per year. To survive in this dynamic environment, it’s critical for IT organizations to embrace AIOps and automation to help them cope with massive amounts of data and to streamline management of new technologies.

 

How can businesses overcome these challenges using Resolve?

Resolve enables businesses to manage increasing IT complexity with fewer resources through the powerful combination of AIOps and automation. The platform is designed to provide immediate relief, as well as long-term value.

Unlike many other AIOps solutions on the market, customers don’t have to wait months to start seeing value with Resolve. In fact, customers get value in literally minutes with Resolve’s automated discovery and dependency mapping. These capabilities enable us to generate complete infrastructure visualizations, detailed cross-domain topology maps, application dependency maps, and comprehensive views of inventory. Additionally, Resolve ingests data from many other tools (such as monitoring, event management, ITSM, and logging solutions) and aggregates it with telemetry data collected natively by our own platform. This allows customers to achieve the much-sought-after ‘single pane of glass’ that they need to effectively manage complex, hybrid infrastructure, and it provides significantly richer (and complete) visibility across domains.

Over the course of several weeks, these insights are enhanced and enriched as Resolve “learns” the environment and leverages machine learning to perform activities like event correlation and clustering, predictive analytics, multivariate anomaly detection, dynamic thresholding, and autonomous remediation – making the product exponentially more intelligent (and valuable) over time.

Our enterprise-class automation capabilities can take action on insights from the AIOps components or can be used independently. Built for the scale and complexity of modern, hybrid environments, the platform can handle everything from simple tasks to very complex processes that go well beyond the capacity of other tools. Combining AIOps with this level of automation offers an unparalleled ability to autonomously predict, prevent, and fix issues before they impact the business, and to radically improve overall operational efficiency.

 

Can you describe how Resolve makes it easier to investigate security incidents?

Resolve’s automated incident validation quickly determines which alarms are actual threats versus those that are simply false positives. Hours of manual effort are eliminated by automatically collecting data across the IT environment and security tools, including SIEMs, threat feeds, antivirus systems, and logs. All of that data gets unified into a customizable dashboard, so it’s easy to see the problem and determine how to fix it. Resolve centralizes orchestration of the end-to-end triage and investigation workflows to ensure that issues can be addressed quickly. We also capture a full audit trail of incident investigation steps and results to support compliance and governance.

 

One of the features of Resolve is it enables IT professionals to ignore ‘noise’ to focus on highlighted real problems. Can you discuss this?

IT pros are bombarded with alarm noise coming in from multiple systems. It’s hard to know where to focus since many of these alarms are false positives, and many others ultimately derive from the same underlying problem.

Take for example the case of an e-commerce system failing. Alarm bells will start ringing everywhere as IT pros frantically sort through multiple data sources to determine whether it’s the network, application, or one of many underlying pieces of infrastructure or services causing the problem. It could take hours to determine that the culprit was high CPU utilization that led to a slowing database and ultimately the failure of the e-commerce system. Even worse, with all of the alarm noise, the IT teams might miss the events altogether related to the e-commerce system and instead focus on a much lower priority issue that isn’t revenue related.

Resolve eliminates alarm noise by performing event correlation and clustering. Clustering machine learning algorithms are used to identify and group events (across systems and domains) that usually occur together, which dramatically compresses event volumes. Our platform also leverages sequential pattern analysis and time-series event correlation. Millions of events across applications and infrastructure are normalized and sequenced in a time series and then analyzed by machine learning to identify patterns. These patterns enable Resolve to reduce alarm noise and help pinpoint root cause – as well as proactively detect problems before they happen. Additionally, the time-series correlations can be leveraged to playback all of the events that occurred in a time period leading up to an outage.

In the case of the e-commerce example above, Resolve would be able to cluster all of the alarms related to the application failure, compressing those into a single event. The system could also track the root cause back to a spike in CPU utilization, making it fast and easy for the IT team to fix the issue rather than triaging hundreds of alarms independently as they look under every rock to get to the root of the matter. If desired, Resolve can even trigger an automated response to take care of the problem autonomously without human intervention.

 

Can you give us a case study of how an enterprise client used Resolve?

Fujitsu had a range of drivers for adopting automation to better deliver its suite of IT managed services to a wide range of global enterprises. Chiefly, Fujitsu needed to bring down operational costs while continuing to grow their infrastructure, improve organizational efficiency and standardize processes. We helped them achieve all of those goals by automating key processes, and we helped them improve MTTA and MTTR to ensure they were quickly addressing issues impacting their customers to meet their SLAs.

 

Is there anything else that you would like to share about Resolve?

Digital transformation has gained momentum in the wake of the global pandemic. We see an incredible need to alleviate the mounting strain on IT systems and staff that the crisis has created. Meanwhile, it’s also apparent that businesses need to be planning ahead for the next unexpected event. Automation and AIOps are both fundamental to achieving those ends as they can help safeguard business continuity and improve agility and resilience while reducing security risks and cost. Our mission is to help our customers excel even during challenging times by strategically leveraging these technologies.

Thank you for your wonderful answers. Anyone who wishes to learn more should visit Resolve.

Antoine Tardif is a Futurist who is passionate about the future of AI and robotics. He is the CEO of BlockVentures.com, and has invested in over 50 AI & blockchain projects. He is the Co-Founder of Securities.io a news website focusing on digital assets, digital securities and investing. He is a founding partner of unite.AI & a member of the Forbes Technology Council.