Managed Services Platform Vendors Ready To Fortify MSPs With New Tools


Managed services platform vendors have been busy in 2011. A slew of companies have launched a multitude of new upgrades and tools for 2011, a list that includes Nimsoft, N-able Technologies, Kaseya and Level Platforms.

Overall, the new and upgraded tools should allow service providers to get closer to their customers and take on more IT responsibilities on behalf of those companies, executives said. Here's a look at some of the new functionality that service providers can expect:

Nimsoft

Nimsoft, a CA Technologies company, has launched a user platform, Nimsoft Unified Manager, for its brand new Nimsoft Service Desk product and its existing monitoring solution, newly renamed as Nimsoft Monitor.

It's a significant product overhaul for the Campbell, Calif.-based company that was acquired by CA in March 2010

Nimsoft Unified Manager provides an intuitive and bi-directional integration between monitoring and service management and is available either on-demand (SaaS) or as an on-premise solution, said Chris O'Connell, director of product marketing for Nimsoft.

The integration between monitoring and service management should improve the productivity of IT operations -- helping to ensure that problems and potential problems are quickly and accurately addressed based on their impact to the business, he said.

"We see a trend of customers wanting to consolidate and get rid of high-cost silo solutions. This [Unified Manager] is for database, service desk, configuration management. We wanted to consolidate to a common look and feel, be more agile, cut costs and give customers a better TCO," O'Connell said.

Nimsoft is confident that existing MSPs using Nimsoft Monitor will want to add the new Nimsoft Service Desk solution as well.

"For service providers to be successful, they have to be as close as possible to customers. By offering Service Desk as an integral part of that offering, they have 24x7 log-in of all issues and problems, with all transparency to deliver a certain service level for their customers," O'Connell said. "We are coming out of the gate really going hard at this, allowing customers to adopt [Service Desk] for less than $100 a month for a fixed license. We will be aggressive to help our customers help their customers."

Leveraging Unified Manager as a common user experience across both Nimsoft Service Desk and Nimsoft Monitor should help recruit more service providers to both products, O'Connell said.

"It's a common architecture, same configuration management database, same portlets and APIs," he said. "The customer is going to be able to adopt one product and quickly learn the other."

Customers can also mix and match on-premise and SaaS-based choices to whatever best fits their business model, O'Connell said.

"Pay-as-you-go is a big deal with service providers. They want our product to be an integral part of their service, something they can white label and have consistent costs to charge their customer in a consumable model. If only one customer uses five Service Desk seats, that's all you pay for and if you adopt another customer, the charge [per seat] is the same," he said.

Nimsoft Service Desk is built on technology that Nimsoft acquired from InteQ, an IT service management company that it acquired last December. InteQ's technology leverages IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) guidelines, cloud and Web 2.0 technologies to develop a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) service management solution that reduces the total cost of ownership, offers fast time to production and easy adoption, according to Nimsoft.

Next: Level Platforms Launches Device Manager