Economy & Politics

A potential like the one at SAP?

Anydesk boss Philipp Weiser has great ambitions. Photo: Anydesk

The Stuttgart IT company Anydesk started with the topic of remote maintenance. But thanks to an innovative programming concept, they also want to benefit from the megatrend of computer networking in other areas – and become really big.

Stuttgart – remote maintenance, that is probably one of the few German terms that are still used in the IT world today. The term describes access to computers from a distance. He combines the computer world, so to speak, with classic German engineering virtues. And so the region’s biggest IT success story from the past few years comes from this area: the Göppingen company Teamviewer, a company with around 1,100 jobs worldwide and valued in billions.

Opportunity for a global IT market leader?

Philipp Weiser, born in 1983, co-founder and head of the Stuttgart-based company Anydesk, founded in 2014, also comes from there. Until 2012 he worked as a software developer at Teamviewer before developing the core IT components of Anydesk over a two-year period. He doesn’t hesitate for a second when asked whether Anydesk could now become the region’s new big success story, the new team viewer from Stuttgart, so to speak: “Yes, I see enormous potential.”

Because the Anydesk software, which has already been downloaded 300 million times worldwide, is just the beginning. Next year they want to enter the booming market due to the corona pandemic with digital communication platforms based on the example of the Teams and Zoom programs.

With its remote maintenance tool, Anydesk promises a tenfold increase in productivity when solving computer problems. And even with the as yet nameless, new communication tool, they want to be significantly better than the competition in terms of stability with poor data connections. Anydesk sees its program architecture not only as new software, but as a new “paradigm”.

A new paradigm for programming

In the computer world, this means a complex interplay of software, processes and development principles with which problems and issues are solved fundamentally differently than before. And that’s why Weiser doesn’t shy away from raising the bar a little higher and measuring himself against the potential of the Baden-Württemberg IT giant SAP.

Anydesk could set a similar standard for the world of networked computers as the IT giant from Walldorf once did in accounting. “We want to create a completely new market and make things possible that were previously not possible,” says Weiser. The company’s own approach is not so easy to copy, one assumes a technological lead of two to three years – which in the field of software development is half an eternity. The need for intelligent networking of computers is limitless today.

This applies, for example, to the machines in a computer-controlled factory hall, smart devices in a household or ecological energy management. “For example, you could make sure that the air filter doesn’t work against the air conditioning,” says Weiser. So far, such links are often difficult to program. Anydesk wants to simplify this massively with its new software paradigm.

The need for networking computers is growing rapidly

That’s why Anydesk has great ambitions. Sales have increased by 170 percent this year, and by the end of next year one billion downloads of the remote maintenance software are in their sights. A company valuation is called 400 million euros. With around a hundred employees, you are only around a tenth of the Göppingen competitor Teamviewer.

However, Weiser does not consider this to be a value that actually reflects the gap between the two companies. You are more productive for each employee. “We don’t necessarily want to measure ourselves against Teamviewer – our goals go beyond that,” he says. The so-called freemium principle, according to which you initially pay nothing for the basic functions, should be the vehicle for further, rapid market penetration. And once the Anydesk brand is established in the minds of users, this should also increase their openness to other products from the IT company.

Baden-Württemberg as the right location

Weiser thinks Baden-Württemberg is exactly the right place to launch this type of IT. You can find the employees here who are needed for this special area. This is due to cultural factors: “There is a special species of IT people here who work very precisely and are creative at the same time – who are on the one hand very demanding with the end result and on the other hand pragmatic.”

It is no coincidence that there are already other success stories in this area in the country with Teamviewer from Göppingen or Netviewer from Karlsruhe, which has since been taken over by the US company Citrix. “Remote maintenance is a certain German specialty, and it is also seen that way internationally,” he says.

Anydesk in the region has not lacked investors who understand this special IT business from the start. “Stuttgart will always be the main location,” says Weiser – even if you now have offices in Berlin, China and the USA.


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