FrontRange Goes Modular

As many as 12 new modular upgrades to the vendor's Heat service management and Goldmine CRM products are set to arrive on an almost quarterly basis through the end of next year, said Kevin Smith, vice president of products, Pleasanton, Calif.

The first seven modules -- incident management, problem management, change management, release management, availability management, configuration management, and service level management modules -- all hail from the Heat side of FrontRange's business.

Each new module will give FrontRange partners the opportunity to upsell added functionality to their current FrontRange customer base, said Smith. Adding new FrontRange customers should also become easier because of the additional product entry points, Smith added.

Built upon the Microsoft .Net platform, FrontRange's modular upgrades can be applied in nearly any order, said Smith. The idea is to give FrontRange resellers a simple way to deploy a complete IT Service Management (ITSM) solution for their customers, he said.

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FrontRange is also planning a managed service offering next year based on the new modular products, said Smith.

"We'll host it, and the VARs will manage it," said Smith of the MSP plan.

The added flexibility of a modular ITSM product from FrontRange is something Steve Dryer, CEO of SMA Systems, White Plains, N.Y., likes for two reasons. First, its gives Dryer the flexibility to customize FrontRange products for SMA's customers. And second, it demonstrates that FrontRange intends to stay the course with its product portfolio.

"[FrontRange is] not abandoning their customer base. They are allowing people to stay with Heat and add the other modules without moving away from Heat," said Dryer.

As with any modular system, understanding how best to blend certain modules to manage a particular environment can sometimes be daunting. Mike Antonelli, president of Anton Systems, Sunrise, Fla., said that while he liked the modular approach FrontRange has taken, "if they had some templates for some of the vertical markets, that would allow us to go to market a little faster."

FrontRange targets Heat and GoldMine at the lucrative midmarket, and would like to add more reseller partners in an effort to hit a 100 percent indirect sales model, said Smith. FrontRange offers up to 40 percent margins for top resellers, as well as a wide range of co-marketing resources and other partner incentives, said Smith. The vendor recently refreshed its entire partner program.

Pricing is available by request.