Opalis CAPs Off Automation Engine

Five Connector Access Packs (CAPs) are now available for the OpalisRobot engine, including CAPs for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), Remedy HelpDesk, Veritas Software Backup Exec and VMware. The CAPs enable administrators to design automated, application-specific workflows for common system tools, said Keith Millar, vice president of product management at the Toronto-based IT automation software vendor.

The CAPs sharpen OpalisRobot's ability to automate IT processes by providing a menu of common tasks associated with running MOM, SMS, Remedy, Veritas and VMware. Users simply drag and drop whichever tasks they want automated and OpalisRobot does the rest, according to Millar.

"We found that people running MOM, SMS, Veritas, etc., have a lot of manual processes wrapped around the application," he said. "For example, to run Veritas backup at night, an IT shop may typically stop the Web server and then stop the database server, grab log files to be archived later, begin the backup, restart the database and Web server, ping the database to make sure it's up and write a report on what you did. But with CAPs, you can automate those manual processes."

User feedback from Opalis' installed base of nearly 1,600 customers helped determine the types of tasks automated with the CAPs expansion tools, Millar said, adding that most common tasks are covered. "We don't ask customers to re-engineer their process. We say, 'Tell us what your process is and we'll automate it,' " he said.

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Pete Parenti, CTO of Total Sanity Solutions, an Oak Park, Ill.-based solution provider, said he sees more market opportunity for OpalisRobot now that CAPs can customize automation for specific applications.

"Opalis has helped a lot of my customers. When a system fails, OpalisRobots go in, check status, redo scripts and restart everything," Parenti said.

Opalis, which has an even split of direct and indirect revenue, is seeking new reseller partners, according to Millar. Discounts, sales leads, training and co-marketing resources are available to qualified resellers and no certification is currently required for reseller partners, he said. Opalis partners also can assist the vendor in a consulting capacity for new products and additional CAPs as they arrive, Parenti said.

CAPs pricing begins at around $10,000, according to Opalis.