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Company > SolarWinds: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

SolarWinds: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jan 25, 2023

Inside This Article


    SolarWinds, a leading provider of IT management software, has been making waves in the technology industry for quite some time. In this article, we will take a closer look at the company's business model, conduct a SWOT analysis, and explore the competitive landscape. By analyzing these key areas, we can gain a better understanding of SolarWinds' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as how it stacks up against its competitors. With this information, we can make informed predictions about where the company may be headed in the future.

    What you will learn:

    • Who owns SolarWinds and how their ownership structure influences the company's decisions and operations.
    • The mission statement of SolarWinds and how it guides the company's strategic direction and values.
    • How SolarWinds makes money and what revenue streams are driving its growth and profitability.
    • The business model canvas of SolarWinds, which breaks down the company's key activities, resources, partnerships, and customer segments.
    • The main competitors of SolarWinds and how they stack up against the company in terms of market share, product offerings, and customer satisfaction.
    • A SWOT analysis of SolarWinds, which highlights the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the context of the IT infrastructure management market.

    Who owns SolarWinds?

    SolarWinds is a publicly traded company, which means that it is owned by its shareholders. As of 2021, the largest shareholder of SolarWinds is Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm that owns approximately 22% of the company. Other major shareholders include The Vanguard Group, Inc., BlackRock, Inc., and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC.

    In addition to its shareholders, SolarWinds is led by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for overseeing the company's management and operations. The Board is made up of seven members, including the company's CEO, Sudhakar Ramakrishna, and six independent directors.

    It is important to note that while SolarWinds is a publicly traded company, it is not immune to outside influence. In December 2020, news broke that SolarWinds had been the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack, which compromised the security of numerous government agencies and private companies. The attack was believed to have been carried out by a foreign nation-state, highlighting the vulnerability of even the largest and most established companies to outside threats.

    What is the mission statement of SolarWinds?

    The mission statement of SolarWinds is to provide powerful and affordable IT management software to simplify and streamline the work of IT professionals. The company strives to create innovative solutions that are designed to solve complex problems and enable IT teams to work more efficiently and effectively. At the core of SolarWinds' mission is the belief that IT professionals should be able to do their jobs without being hindered by complex and cumbersome software.

    SolarWinds is committed to delivering products that are easy to use, yet powerful enough to manage complex networks, systems, and applications. The company's software is designed to be intuitive and provide a unified view of an organization's IT infrastructure, allowing IT professionals to easily monitor, troubleshoot, and resolve issues.

    In addition to providing world-class software solutions, SolarWinds is also dedicated to creating a community of IT professionals who can share knowledge and best practices. The company offers various resources to help IT professionals improve their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.

    Overall, SolarWinds' mission is to empower IT professionals to deliver exceptional services to their organizations, while also providing a platform for collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the IT community.

    How does SolarWinds make money?

    SolarWinds is a software company that provides IT management solutions to businesses of all sizes. Their products range from network monitoring tools to security and compliance solutions. So, how does SolarWinds make money?

    The majority of SolarWinds' revenue comes from the sale of their software licenses. Customers can purchase licenses for a one-time fee or on a subscription basis. SolarWinds also offers a free version of some of their products, which may include limited features or capabilities.

    In addition to software licenses, SolarWinds generates revenue through their maintenance and support services. These services provide customers with access to technical support, software updates, and new releases. Customers can choose to purchase these services for a set period of time or on an ongoing basis.

    Another source of revenue for SolarWinds is their professional services. These services include training, consulting, and implementation services. Customers can engage SolarWinds' professional services team to help them optimize their use of SolarWinds' products or to help them integrate SolarWinds' products with their existing IT infrastructure.

    Finally, SolarWinds generates revenue through partnerships with other technology vendors. SolarWinds has partnerships with companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, and VMware, which allow SolarWinds to integrate their products with these vendors' products. These partnerships can result in increased sales and revenue for SolarWinds.

    In summary, SolarWinds makes money primarily through the sale of software licenses, maintenance and support services, professional services, and partnerships with other technology vendors.

    SolarWinds Business Model Canvas Explained

    The Business Model Canvas is a popular tool used by entrepreneurs and business owners to visualize and understand the key components of their business model. The canvas breaks down a company's operations into nine key elements, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partnerships, and cost structure. Let's take a closer look at how SolarWinds' business model canvas is constructed.

    Customer Segments

    SolarWinds primarily serves IT professionals, including network engineers, system administrators, and IT managers. Its customer segments also include MSPs (Managed Service Providers), government agencies, and educational institutions.

    Value Propositions

    SolarWinds' value propositions include providing easy-to-use, affordable, and effective IT management software solutions. The company's products are designed to help IT professionals monitor, manage, and troubleshoot their networks, servers, applications, and databases.


    SolarWinds primarily sells its products through a direct sales model, as well as through online marketplaces and resellers.

    Customer Relationships

    SolarWinds' customer relationships are built on the company's commitment to providing excellent customer service and support. The company offers technical support and training to ensure that its customers get the most out of their products.

    Revenue Streams

    SolarWinds' revenue streams come primarily from the sale of its software products. The company also generates revenue through maintenance and support contracts, as well as professional services.

    Key Activities

    SolarWinds' key activities include software development, marketing, sales, and customer support.

    Key Resources

    SolarWinds' key resources include its software development team, sales and marketing personnel, and customer support staff. The company's software products are also key resources.

    Key Partnerships

    SolarWinds has partnerships with a variety of companies, including technology vendors, resellers, and MSPs. These partnerships help the company expand its market reach and provide additional value to its customers.

    Cost Structure

    SolarWinds' cost structure includes expenses related to software development, sales and marketing, customer support, and general administrative costs.

    In conclusion, SolarWinds' business model canvas provides a clear overview of the company's operations and how it generates revenue. By understanding the key elements of the canvas, we can gain a better understanding of SolarWinds' business model and how it has become a leading provider of IT management software solutions.

    Which companies are the competitors of SolarWinds?

    When it comes to network and IT management software, SolarWinds is not the only player in the game. There are several companies that offer similar products and services, some of which directly compete with SolarWinds. Here are some of SolarWinds' competitors:

    1. ManageEngine: Owned by Zoho Corporation, ManageEngine is a comprehensive IT management software suite that offers products for network, server, desktop, and application management. ManageEngine's products are known for their affordability and ease of use, making them a popular choice for small to mid-sized businesses.

    2. PRTG Network Monitor: Developed by Paessler AG, PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring tool that offers real-time visibility and alerting for networks, servers, and applications. PRTG is known for its user-friendly interface and customizable dashboards.

    3. Nagios: Nagios is an open-source monitoring system that allows users to monitor their entire IT infrastructure, including servers, switches, applications, and services. Nagios is highly customizable and can be integrated with third-party plugins to extend its capabilities.

    4. Datadog: Datadog is a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform that offers real-time visibility into cloud infrastructure, applications, and logs. Datadog's products are known for their scalability and flexibility, making them a popular choice for large enterprises.

    5. Splunk: Splunk is a data analytics platform that allows users to collect, analyze, and visualize machine data. Splunk's products are used for a variety of purposes, including IT operations, security, and business analytics.

    These are just a few of the many companies that compete with SolarWinds in the network and IT management software market. Each of these companies offers unique products and services that cater to different needs and budgets. Ultimately, the choice of which company to use depends on the specific needs and goals of the organization.

    SolarWinds SWOT Analysis

    SolarWinds is a leading provider of IT management software. As with any company, it is important to conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.


    • Strong brand recognition and reputation in the IT management software industry
    • Wide range of products and solutions to meet various IT needs and budgets
    • Strong customer base, with over 300,000 customers worldwide
    • Experienced and knowledgeable leadership team


    • Overreliance on a few key products, which could pose a risk if those products become outdated or lose market share
    • Limited international presence, with most customers located in North America
    • Limited innovation in recent years, with a focus on incremental improvements to existing products


    • Growing demand for IT management software as companies increasingly rely on technology for their operations
    • Expansion into international markets to reach a wider customer base
    • Investment in research and development to create new, innovative products


    • Intense competition from other IT management software providers, including both established companies and new startups
    • Cybersecurity threats, which could damage SolarWinds' reputation and lead to lost customers
    • Economic downturns, which could lead to decreased demand for IT management software as companies cut costs.

    Overall, SolarWinds has a strong foundation and many opportunities for growth. However, it will need to continue to innovate and adapt to stay ahead of the competition and mitigate potential threats.

    Key Takeaways

    • SolarWinds is privately owned by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm.
    • The mission statement of SolarWinds is to provide powerful and affordable IT management software to organizations of all sizes.
    • SolarWinds primarily makes money through the sale of its IT management software solutions, which are sold on a subscription basis.
    • The company's business model canvas is based on key activities such as product development, sales and marketing, customer support, and partnerships.
    • SolarWinds faces competition from a range of companies in the IT management software space, including BMC Software, IBM, and Cisco.
    • A SWOT analysis reveals that SolarWinds' strengths include its reputation for quality and affordability, while its weaknesses include a lack of diversification and a heavy reliance on subscription-based revenue. Opportunities for the company include expanding into new markets and developing new products, while threats include increased competition and potential cybersecurity risks.


    In conclusion, SolarWinds is a leading provider of IT infrastructure management software, with a mission to help organizations around the world manage and optimize their IT environments. The company generates revenue through a variety of sources, including software licenses, maintenance and support services, and professional services. SolarWinds' business model canvas reflects its focus on providing value to customers through user-friendly software, continuous innovation, and strong customer support. While the company faces competition from other IT software providers, its strengths in brand recognition, customer loyalty, and strategic partnerships give it a competitive edge. A SWOT analysis of SolarWinds highlights the company's strengths in product innovation and customer service, as well as potential weaknesses in the face of changing customer needs and increasing competition. Ultimately, SolarWinds' commitment to providing high-quality software and services positions it well for continued growth and success in the IT infrastructure management industry.


    What is the SOAR model instead of SWOT?

    The SOAR model is an alternative to the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis that is often used to assess organizations and their strategies. The SOAR model stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. It helps organizations focus on the positive aspects of their operations, such as their strengths, and use them to identify potential opportunities and then set goals and objectives to achieve desired results.

    What is the difference between Pestel and SWOT analysis?

    PESTEL and SWOT analyses are both strategic analysis tools used to evaluate the external and internal environments of a business. PESTEL stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors and is used to analyze the macro-environment of a business. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and is used to analyze the internal and external environments of a business. PESTEL focuses on external factors that may affect a business, while SWOT focuses on both internal and external factors that could influence a business.

    When and how to use SWOT analysis?

    SWOT analysis is a useful tool for assessing a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is typically used by businesses to identify their strengths and weaknesses when planning a new product or strategy, and to gain a better understanding of the external environment in which they are operating.

    The best time to use a SWOT analysis is when you are faced with a business challenge or opportunity. For example, if you are considering a new product launch, you may want to use a SWOT analysis to gain a better understanding of the market and any potential risks associated with the launch. Similarly, if you are thinking of entering a new market, a SWOT analysis can help you understand the competitive landscape and any potential risks you should be aware of.

    To complete a SWOT analysis, you should start by listing your company's strengths and weaknesses, as well as any potential opportunities and threats in the external environment. After listing these items, you should then analyze how they could affect your company's strategic decision-making. This will help you identify any potential risks and weaknesses that you should be aware of, as well as any potential opportunities that you can leverage.

    What is better than a SWOT analysis?

    A PESTEL analysis is typically considered to be more comprehensive than a SWOT analysis since it considers the external environment of an organization, while a SWOT focuses mainly on internal factors. PESTEL stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal, and it looks at the macro-environmental factors that may influence an organization's performance.

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