Persystent Seeks Partners For Tool That Cures Ill PCs

Software maker Persystent Technologies touts its Persystent Enterprise automated desktop support technology as that magic wand -- and solution providers in Persystent's fledgling channel program say the software is indeed great for dazzling clients.

"There's a huge 'wow' factor," said Jerry Longsworth, director of commercial sales for solution provider Naknan in Houston. "You can go in and do a demonstration to the customer where you tell them to make the system unbootable -- put a virus on, mangle DLLs -- and the engineer just hits control-alt-delete and reboots. Forty-five seconds later, the machine is back in a healthy state."

Persystent, based in Tampa, Fla., had its coming out party at last year's Demo conference and began building its channel program soon after. The company has signed around two dozen resellers in the United States and hopes to double that number by the end of the year.

"We know that for this type of technology, the channel is the most efficient way to bring it to market and serve those customers long-term," said William Corkery, director of channel sales at Persystent.

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Persystent's application aims to reduce help-desk calls by automatically resetting a PC's configurations with each boot cycle. Administrators can tailor the PC image and personalization settings in accordance with their company policies, preserving user settings that would be lost in a full operating-system wipe and reinstall.

The software is most attractive to organizations that need to support a large number of PCs with a minimal support staff, according to VARs.

Administrative Partners Inc. (API), another early channel partner of Persystent, deployed the Persystent application for a small law firm that didn't want its staff bogged down dealing with PC problems. Naknan recently sold the software to a local school system that will use it to maintain 1,000 laptops used by students.

What differentiates Persystent from other desktop recovery offerings, such as Symantec's Norton Ghost, is its rapid repair time, Longsworth said. Persystent typically takes less than a minute to revive a damaged PC. It also allows administrators to efficiently store variations on a desktop image, a technique that can noticeably trim storage costs.

Persystent Enterprise starts at $110 per user, with additional back-end server software costs. Volume licensing reduces the per-user cost.

Distributed through Ingram Micro, Persystent offers resellers 15 points of margin up front and an additional 15 points on the back end for registered deals.

Persystent is using's partner portal and has hit "some pain points" getting it up and running, Corkery said. For now, deal registration is being handled by e-mail. The full portal launch is expected to happen this quarter.

Longsworth said Persystent has been a responsive partner, offering useful training, a fair pricing structure, and a sales and engineering team that "knows how to help you close a deal." He also likes the services opportunities that Persystent creates.

"The software is not what I would call a plug-and-play situation. You have tailoring that needs to be done," he said. "The customer will have a number of images out there, a number of operating systems -- well, that creates an opportunity for a consulting project on image consolidation."

That fits with Persystent's strategy of being a channel-driven company. "We want partners to make all the money on support," Corkery said. "Our services are really around getting partners technically enabled. Any deals or leads we get, we're going to go out with through the partners."