Shavlik Technologies is expanding its patch management offerings with a revamped multifaceted cloud strategy aimed at delivering enterprise-level patch and IT management to SMBs.
Shavlik, which has historically been known for its patch management software and services, is expanding its delivery methods into the cloud while extending its portfolio to provide IT management for SMB and lower midtier markets. The new cloud strategy addresses the challenges faced by small businesses as they slowly transition their data and IT infrastructure into the cloud, executives say.
"The industry will be forced to move a lot of management infrastructure up into that cloud. That's what we're doing with our products today," said Shavlik CEO Mark Shavlik. "For all companies that have a significant install base, they can't just snap their finger and move it all to the cloud. Nor can the channel partner absorb that change."
The prolonged hybrid environment presents challenges when it comes to IT management, Shavlik executives say, especially when it comes to gaining visibility and control of underlying virtualized assets. That problem can be addressed with Shavlik’s cloud strategy that enables the company's IT management solutions to automatically discover all physical and virtual assets while simultaneously providing asset, patch, configuration, power and compliance management uniformly across all platforms.
"That's a big part of our business going forward. We can support these partly cloudy environments with our product line," he added.
The first phase of the strategy includes reorienting its patch, IT and virtual machine management tools to the cloud, executives say. Initially, Shavlik will be offering two new cloud platforms germane to its existing core competencies -- PatchCloud and OpsCloud -- which share underlying infrastructure but feature different deployment and third-party partner integration models.
PatchCloud offers Shavlik's patch management services in a cloud distribution model, which ultimately accelerates the delivery of patch data to more than 10 million end points in minutes. The PatchCloud offering also integrates with a growing list of IT management platforms, in addition to Shavlik-branded and OEM products, to deliver Microsoft and other third-party updates via the Web. The patch delivery is facilitated with a "patch plug-in" model, which merges with Microsoft's System Center Configuration manager via Shavlik's SCUPdates, VMware Update Manager and VMwareGo platforms.
In tandem with the PatchCloud release, Shavlik's team of researchers, known as PatchPatrol, will gather intelligence and feedback from the global PatchCloud community to rapidly analyze and distribute patch data for Microsoft and third-party software applications such as Adobe, Apple, Mozilla and Sun Java.
In addition, Shavlik is expanding its portfolio to include SMB operations management with its OpsCloud strategy, a cloud-based IT management application and tool targeted at cash-strapped SMBs. OpsCloud is designed as a one-stop-shop SaaS-based application aimed at enabling SMBs to easily access vital IT operations such as asset, software and patch management, as well as the VMware Go platform.
Executives maintain that one of the biggest benefits of its SaaS IT management offering is its agility and ability to unify diverse and disparate multilocation platforms.
"When you get into [SaaS] management, you have a much more compelling story. It allows you to get to productivity," Shavlik said. "It doesn’t provide any benefit to the customer to have a six-month rollout."
Down the road, Shavlik plans to launch similar cloud offerings for antimalware, remote control and help desk.
Meanwhile, Shavlik executives contend that while cloud adoption continues to grow, the majority of businesses will occupy a hybrid cloud-appliance or cloud-software-appliance IT environment for quite a while.
"The end game is about 10 years out. The tipping point is about eight years out. It's not two years out," Shavlik speculated. "They'll be some rapid progress in certain things and some slow progress in other things. But when things do change, they change fast."