ControlUp CEO Jed Ayres: Record Q4 Results Signal New Era Of Digital Employee Experience Sales Growth

ControlUp CEO Jed Ayres said the company’s record 65 percent growth in net-new annual recurring revenue in the fourth quarter signals the start of a new era of explosive growth for the emerging Digital Employee Experience (DEX) software provider.

“This is a seminal moment for DEX,” said Ayres, who took the helm of the company six months ago. “The product is red-hot and partners are leaning in. Customers are recognizing how disruptive the technology is in terms of improving not just the VDI and DaaS experience, but the more than 700 million physical endpoints whether it is Windows, Mac or any other devices. The future couldn’t be brighter.”

With new AI and security capabilities coming to the ControlUp DEX platform, 2024 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for ControlUp with continued double-digit growth rates, said Ayres.

“We are headed into a market where we are going to be providing security and AI with autonomous endpoint management that radically improves the user experience with automated remediation, issue prediction, anomaly detection and amazing levels of security,” said Ayres. “We put the employee at the center of everything we do. We are able to look every three seconds at the vital signs of the employee experience, monitoring in real time, taking a snapshot every three seconds. This is the future of DEX. We collect an insane amount of data on the employee experience so we are able in real time to see where there may be a security risk or a performance risk and autonomously correct for that. That is a huge lift for IT and employee productivity.”

Market researcher Gartner, for its part, said that the DEX market hit $476.8 million in 2023 and predicted it will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.3 percent through 2027 based on constant currency.

By 2025, Gartner predicted 50 percent of all IT organizations will have established a DEX strategy team and management tool, up from less than 20 percent in 2023.

For 2023, ControlUp reported high-double-digit growth in annual recurring revenue and a 40 percent rise in the total number of endpoints it now manages to more than 5 million.

In addition, ControlUp said it increased the physical desktop seats that it manages by 120 percent in 2023 and the number of VDI seats it manages by 30 percent.

“The growth we are seeing and the rise in the number of total endpoints we are managing shows we are the market leader in DEX,” said Ayres. “Our product is easier out of the box than any other company. No one else has a solution that is faster to time than value than ControlUp. We are the one player where you can go to our site, download the product and get it up and running in minutes. That is one of the reasons we are seeing rapid market acceleration.”

The DEX market is also experiencing a surge in anticipation of the end of life for Windows 10 effective Oct. 14, 2025, said Ayres. “We are heading into a super cycle in hardware refresh that is going to benefit DEX as companies prepare for Windows 10 end of life,” he said. “That is being magnified by tailwinds from AI and the changes in the VDI market from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.”

To scale the ControlUp business in the midst of the DEX market boom, Ayres has made a massive investment in a revamped channel program that is already resonating with partners.

One sign of the growing momentum is the stepped-up partner sales commitment that was front and center at ControlUps’ recent sales kickoff in Atlanta, which included 50 executives from 30 top partners, said Ayres.

“Partners can see the investments we are making to scale this business,” he said. “We are providing a path to 30 percent margins with exceptionally high rebates and a super frictionless price book with just five SKUs with healthy rewards for seven- figure deals. This is going to be a big year for ControlUp as we pivot from just being a product-led company to one that is sales-, partner- and customer-led. It is a huge opportunity for us to dominate the DEX market.”

Mike Quirin, a partner at Alchemy Technology Group, a provider of disruptive technology solutions that was just recognized as ControlUp Global Partner of the Year, said his company’s ControlUp sales tripled in the fourth quarter.

“We are seeing bigger sales growth with more than double the number of deals because we are not just focused on DaaS, we are focused on providing a better DEX for all endpoints,” said Quirin. “We are always looking for disruptive next-generation technology. That is 100 percent what ControlUp is. This is giving customers the visibility they need to drive employee productivity gains. Without ControlUp companies are operating blind. It is like trying to fly an airplane without a control panel.”

Quirin said he could not be more excited about the huge growth ahead for DEX after coming out of the recent ControlUp sales kickoff.

“It’s refreshing and exciting to see the opportunity with ControlUp and what they are doing with AI and security and the ability to get real-time reports,” he said. “There is so much market opportunity in terms of new areas we can sell into with new features and functions for customers.”

Quirin credited Ayres for acting as a catalyst to drive big growth in the DEX market. “Jed has added what amounts to a booster engine to drive growth to ControlUp,” he said. “The ControlUp ride has been great but now it’s absolutely supersonic.”

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