Oculan Puts It All-In-One


New appliance will be sold outright by solution providers to midmarket


Oculan Tuesday plans to launch a new product line for small and midsize businesses that integrates functionality currently available through the vendor's family of network management and security appliances into a single box.

The new appliance, dubbed Oculan 250, combines network management, desktop and server management, intrusion detection, vulnerability scanning and bandwidth analysis capabilities for businesses with up to 25 nodes and 250 seats.

"With the Oculan 250, we have an all-in-one box under one purchase price, and it is by far the best thing for a customer," said Neil Segars, senior consultant at solution provider Southern Network Services, Birmingham, Ala.

Until now, Oculan has offered its products through a subscription model, renting the appliances to customers and providing management services in conjunction with solution providers.

With the launch, Oculan is changing to a product sales strategy whereby solution providers will sell the appliance to small and midsize customers outright. Partners can tap Oculan's new financing program to provide low monthly payments to customers and can continue to offer managed services around the product, said Robert Davis, president and CEO of Oculan, Raleigh, N.C.

"This is simpler for partners to sell, simpler to implement, and it provides a greater value at a better price point," Davis said.

Solution providers welcomed the new strategy. While the subscription model was attractive at first, they said, monthly costs ran too high for smaller businesses, since Oculan charged for each monitored device.

"Customers had to justify a couple thousand dollars per month for renting an appliance when they wanted to just buy it and capitalize the costs over whatever time frame," said Luis Alvarez, president of Alvarez Technology Group, Salinas, Calif.

With a suggested retail price of $9,995, Oculan 250 fills the gap between entry-level network management point solutions and higher-end products from companies such as Micromuse and Concord that can cost about $100,000, Davis said.

For customers with larger networks, Oculan continues to offer its distributed appliance family, including OpticNerve, the base system for network management; OcuGuard for intrusion detection; OcuStat for bandwidth analysis; OcuSys for desktop and server management; and OcuScan for vulnerability scanning.