Level Platforms Adds Agent-Based Device Scanning

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Level Platforms has released Managed Workplace 2011, an updated version of its managed services platform which includes new automation and agent device manager functionality, according to CEO Peter Sandiford.

Device Manager is a radical change from the company's agentless model history. While Level Platforms still employs a no-agent policy as its primary technology, MSPs who have customers that have devices that need an agent to be managed can now do so, Sandiford said.

"Even though you love agentless, the fact is it doesn't fit everywhere. There are large classes of important technology that don't work in that environment. Anything that's not connected to the network: laptops, kiosks, DMZs. We said let's put an agent that's optional and as soon as we deploy this Device Manager, it syncs up as if it is on the network," Sandiford said.

Many MSPs might look to employ a hybrid model with agent-based and agentless monitoring and management, depending on the customer, he said.

The other big addition is automated asset scanning, which automatically looks for new devices without waiting for a scheduled scan. In addition, software assets are subdivided into applications, Windows services and hot fixes, which simplifies organization of that information, said Sandiford.

"We didn't focus on that and we needed to catch up. We think this leap frogs us past the competition," he said. "It really allows the MSP to automate everything to do in their business with lots of management around it."

Level Platforms also has a new service called Automation On Demand in which the company can create any script within 48 hours of request, Sandiford said.

"We've created a very easy to use product. Managed Workplace 2011 fills the two gaps we had in the product," he said.

Andy Harper, owner of Gaeltek, a Manassas Park, Va.-based MSP and a member of CRN's Most Innovative MSPs, has piloted Managed Workplace 2011 and said it's significantly faster than the old version.

"It was painful to go back to the old service center," Harper said. "The asset scanning is more robust now. As soon as a device is found on the network it is scanned almost immediately. Before it was a four-hour window. And the depth of the information about the device is phenomenal. I can see down to the memory configuration. Everything I want and more."

To support MSPs, Level Platforms has an 18-city road show scheduled between Feb. 8 and 24 with stops in San Mateo, Calif., Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Houston, Orlando, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, Newark, N.J., Raleigh, N.C., San Diego, Toronto, Washington, D.C., Orange County, Calif., Boston and Philadelphia.

In addition to showcasing the updated platform, several vendors will be on hand to detail their integration with Level Platforms.

"For example, Symantec has not been real active in managed services, but we're building a nice integration with them. We're starting to show what that looks like. It's not in the [new] release, but it's coming soon and we're giving some previews," Sandiford said. "We'll also have some top MSPs presenting and participating in an open forum. We think we'll get groups of about 100 people in each location so we should get some good reactive discussions."

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