SilverBack Technologies plans to launch a program to encourage tighter integration between its managed services platform and other IT products.
Called SilverSphere, the program is designed to increase the number of technology vendors that have enabled their products to be managed directly through SilverBack's MSP monitoring and management console, said Jim Hare, vice president of worldwide sales at the Billerica, Mass.-based MSP platform vendor. The other key goal of the program is to educate midmarket solution providers about how to build profitable MSP businesses, he said.
Plans call for SilverSphere to officially launch Oct. 23. "This is something that is going to help the entire industry," Hare said.
So far, SilverSphere members include printer maker Lexmark, application management vendor Packeteer, power management vendor Tripp Lite, professional services automation (PSA) vendor Autotask, and security vendor eEye Digital Security, according to SilverBack. Bell Microproducts will participate in joint integration of its storage and server products with those of other program members, Hare said. Bell Micro, which recently signed a deal to resell SilverBack monitoring services in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) fashion, is a founding member of the SilverSphere program.
Several large MSPs also are SilverSphere members and are contributing home-grown technologies to the effort, according to Hare. Network Partners, Richardson, Texas, which a year ago won a contract to provide MSP services to customers of CDW, is contributing its workflow technology to the SilverSphere program. And Digital-DNS, an MSP in Greenville, S.C., will bring its advanced reporting technology to the effort.
The SilverSphere partnerships aren't exclusive, but there will be an advantage for MSPs that combine the products and services of the program's members, said SilverBack CTO John Igoe. "It's going to be a better solution in the end," he said.
For example, being able to monitor and manage network devices such as Lexmark printers through the SilverBack console is a money maker, said Bill Hood, president of Network Partners. If Network Partners can go from using SilverBack just to see a Lexmark printer on a network to actually being able to interface with the printer's system commands, then the MSP could begin to add billable services, such as replacing toner, he said.
"We become a much better solution provider," Hood noted.
More affordable and flexible licensing for products of SilverSphere members is being considered, according to Hare. SilverSphere members are scheduled to begin a series of road shows next month to get the word out about the program, he said.