In light of the quality of life provided by the region and its burgeoning reputation as an innovation hub, an international tech company with over 500 million downloads has opened its U.S. headquarters in Tampa Bay.
Founded in 2014 and based in Stuttgart, Germany, AnyDesk enables remote connections between IT professionals and clients’ devices to solve technical issues. The remote desktop application experienced tremendous growth over the last couple of years, as the pandemic forced employees worldwide to work remotely. The proprietary software solution now provides over 900 million sessions per month.
AnyDesk held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its first U.S. office in Clearwater on Wednesday – and the company has become so enamored with the region that it plans to open a downtown Tampa office in the next couple of months. J.D. Mersinger, director of Americas for the platform, said its leadership in Germany took notice of Tampa Bay as an up-and-coming tech hub.
“It’s (the region) attracting a lot of talent,” said Mersinger. “So, we decided to put our roots here. Basically, for employee wellbeing, and … skilled, qualified candidates.”
Mersinger explained that the company’s founders decided to launch the AnyDesk Americas division in 2020, as Covid was sweeping the nation. Naturally, they began looking for the best place to open an office in the U.S. and “gravitated towards Florida.”
The company, said Mersinger, looked at traditional tech hubs such as Silicon Valley in California, Austin and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill research triangle in North Carolina.
Instead, AnyDesk bet on Tampa Bay’s stock continuing to rise, first selecting Clearwater. The Pinellas County location is at 19321 US Hwy. 19 N., just a short trip to St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa.
Mersinger previously served as a management consultant for “Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte. He moved to the area from Chicago “about eight or nine years ago” and said he fully understands why so many tech companies are deciding to open up shop in the region.
“I get it, I definitely get it,” he said. “You think about the work-life balance and the opportunities here, I understand why it’s becoming a tech hub.
“The fact that Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates invested a tremendous amount of money – just within the downtown Tampa area – just kind of goes to show you that they’re doubling down here, as well.”
AnyDesk, explained Mersinger, provides remote work, support and maintenance solutions. Whether an individual or business needs access to a device, he said the platform provides a software solution to connect from anywhere in the world.
He called AnyDesk the next generation of technology that helps bridge the intersection of “wellbeing and productivity.” The company’s software, said Mersinger, is scalable and transferable to meet the needs of the new, post-pandemic work environment.
“The way work is getting done has changed,” said Mersinger. “Our solution is one of the few that enables companies to easily and securely implement a solution to enable their workforce to work anywhere in the world.”
Mersinger said AnyDesk’s speed and performance differentiate it from other remote desktop solutions. He added that the proprietary technology makes the service “basically latency-free.”
Latency refers to the delay between a user’s action and a web application’s response, and Mersinger said through AnyDesk that data moves instantly. According to Techwalla, reducing the distance data must travel or increasing the efficiency of its path can improve latency. AnyDesk’s solution runs in the cloud and on-premises and, according to its website, bridges 50 million miles per month.
“And that’s incredibly unique,” said Mersinger. “No other solution provides that type of response or performance.”
The increasing preponderance of remote work is good for AnyDesk’s business and is also one reason the company chose Tampa Bay as its first U.S. home. While the pandemic left no option but for many employees to work remotely, Mersinger said the latest generation of professionals demands a flexible work-life balance.
He explained that even before Covid, the work environment was beginning to change, as companies offered more opportunities for people to work from home. He added that all the pandemic did was accelerate the transition, as workers received a taste of the benefits provided by the new method.
“Now, they can go pick their kids up from school on time,” said Mersinger. “They can get dinner on the table. They can work out at a decent hour.
“Not only did Covid accelerate it, but it exposed the flexibility, and the wellbeing, working from home can do for you – or working from anywhere, for that matter.”
AnyDesk, said Mersinger, has operated in the Americas for about 15 months, starting in a co-working space in Clearwater before opening its permanent location. Now that it acquired and opened a local office, he said company leadership is excited to establish local relationships and connections.
Mersinger said that AnyDesk wants to “tap into” the local talent pool for all its new hires and noted the international company has grown by about 400% over the last eight months. He also said the close proximity to the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg and Tampa campuses “100%” influenced the expansion into the area.
“We’re continuing to grow, and we’ve worked incredibly hard to create such a unique culture – and everybody in this office are doers,” said Mersinger. “We’re here, and we’re growing something big soon.”