What we call ourselves in this world matters. And when our lives and identities change, our names often do too. In the quarter century since F5 Networks was founded, we’ve gone through many evolutions, but our name has remained the same. It’s time for a change.
Today, our lives are digital. We take online classes to complete degrees or pursue a new passion, visit the doctor from our homes, and rent a stranger’s house for a weekend away. Experts predict that e-commerce spending will top four trillion dollars in 2021—that’s double the GDP of France and about 11 billion dollars a day.
When our company opened its doors in 1996, the world was a different place. We went to the bank to deposit checks and took pictures with cameras, then waited for them to be developed. Our phones were landlines with one number per household and we dropped quarters in payphones when on the road. Fax machines were our means to transmit interoffice communications. We watched television based on a fixed schedule.
The world was just starting its digital journey and F5 was there to help our customers become e-businesses. We ensured their growing websites were fast and available so that their customers could buy the latest John Grisham bestseller from Amazon or get some Teen Spirit deodorant shipped from Drugstore.com directly to their homes.
As each new wave of startups disrupted the market and raised expectations, our lives continued to evolve. F5 expanded our scope as we supported both cloud-native and traditional businesses—providing security that adapts to an ever-changing threat landscape to keep bank balances, tax records, and other personal data safe. And enabling flexible and scalable microservices architectures to speed delivery of key customer features like uninterrupted streaming media for a blockbuster on-demand series, and improved uptime for in-flight Wi-Fi, mobile banking, video conferencing, and immersive gaming experiences.
Then the pandemic forced us to shift even more activities online almost overnight. Our workouts, our schools, our jobs, our weddings, our funerals, our doctor visits, our home purchases—everything went digital. And customers expected that every organization would offer the same exceptional experiences delivered by companies like Amazon and Netflix. F5 helped organizations navigate this brave new world. We made it possible for a healthcare organization to save lives while protecting staff—growing from 2,500 to 13,000 remote users in a matter of eight days. Worked with a social media company to stop bots from flooding feeds and harming the democratic election process. And supported one of the largest school districts in Canada as it went virtual to offer quality remote education to more than 100,000 students.
As our lives have changed, so has F5. We’re just not the same company we were 25 years ago. Our name—F5 Networks—no longer defines who we are or what we do. Today’s F5 isn’t just about load balancing websites. To mark this significant departure from the company founded back in 1996, I’m very excited to share today that we have taken the final steps to officially be known as F5, Inc.
Now, dropping a single word from our name might not seem like such a big deal. But to us, this change is huge. A name can define us. It can limit us. Or it can remove those limits. Today, we signal to the world a fundamental shift. By breaking from the confines of “networks,” we’re freeing ourselves to move boldly into a future constrained only by the limits of our imagination.
In a world that’s expanded exponentially, we’re thinking even bigger. Today's F5 enables organizations to give their customers what they want.
Security. With increased online commerce came more sophisticated cybercriminals who make money by stealing identities from leaked personal information and then opening fraudulent lines of credit, skimming gift card balances, and draining bank accounts. We’re helping keep people’s private information private—while saving a Fortune 500 retailer $25 million—by preventing account takeovers. By securing applications and preventing fraud, F5 powers e-commerce—and helps the world sleep better at night.
Innovation. Business moves fast to deliver the next new thing to customers, but companies can’t sacrifice security for speed. We’re helping build some of the most advanced vehicles in the world by powering secure innovation for a Fortune 500 automaker. F5 enables the organizations pushing the boundaries of application innovation to unleash their greatest ideas—while ensuring that corporate and customer data is always protected.
Speed. We’ve grown accustomed to getting everything from a classic movie or the newest song to a week’s worth of groceries with a click of a button. But getting the things you want online is challenging for people without bank accounts; that’s why we’re enabling people who’ve never had bank accounts to buy, sell, and transfer money through their mobile phones. Whatever services businesses want to offer their customers from the data center, the cloud, or the edge, F5 helps them deliver those experiences faster and more securely every day.
The best part about F5 is the intention we place around HOW we do our work. While supporting our customers in their missions, we’re equally obsessive about our guiding principle of striving to first and foremost do the right thing—and putting people at the heart of what we do. We are human-first, and we’re dedicated to having a positive, indelible impact on the communities in which we live, investing in the new generations of Black leaders through education, offering support and connection for new mothers, and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination through our Global Good program.
A quarter century ago, no one could have envisioned how dramatically the world would change. And while no one knows exactly what challenges and opportunities will arise over the next 25 years, F5 will be there. We’re so proud to partner with our customers and our community to help improve the lives of real people all around the world. Through education. Through healthcare. Through culture. Through financial services. Anything that can be done digitally—which today is almost everything—can be done better with F5 as a partner.
The next stage of our journey on this planet is picking up speed. Where do you want to go next?