Nimsoft Creates Unified Monitoring Alliance for MSPs

CDW, Ingram Micro and Rackspace are among the first partners in the new Unified Monitoring Alliance, according to Gary Read, CEO of Nimsoft.

Nimsoft first announced its unified monitoring initiative last month. That program allows partners to offer hosted, cloud-and SaaS-based resources and users to check performance and service of their internal data center environment, as well as multiple external environments, Read said.

"We see end user IT organizations increasingly looking to augment with external services. While the external service provider provides a service to the end user, it's still the end user who is responsible for delivering the service to their business and their customers," Read said. "They need to be able to look at the performance of their service in a holistic manner, irrespective of whether they have an MSP providing the service, or a hosted XChange service, or an internal SAP deployment. They need to see all those things holistically."

Nimsoft created a Web site,, that shows a live demonstration of the capabilities of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace,, Google Apps and other applications.

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"As part of that, we're announcing an alliance between like-minded parties to be able to deliver upon this vision of unified monitoring and management of the infrastructure," Read said.

The alliance allows customers to see how partners perform and benchmark offerings from different companies, Read said.

"The end user can bring information from that service provider with another into a single cohesive view. They're also agreeing to become part of ecosystem where MSPs can support each other in the delivery of total customer experience," Read said.

For example, if an MSP has a network operations center (NOC) on the East Coast, but has a customer that needs 24x7 coverage for operations in another geography, the MSP can find a partner to perform that extended coverage, Read said.

"Rather than having to build my own 24x7 NOC, I can push that service off to another MSP in a different part of the world," he said. "In tomorrow's world, no one vendor will deliver all the capabilities that everyone needs. We've got other tech partners in this alliance that have all agreed to make sure our solutions are interoperable and that they can extend their solutions into other environments. This includes ConnectWise and Autotask."

Benchmarking a service provider's performance can become a powerful sales and marketing tool for an MSP, Read said.

"Think about the discussions going around in corporate environments. A CEO is going to the CIO and saying 'You're telling me it costs $500,000 to deliver e-mail, but I just read that Google can do it for 20 bucks a year per user.' The answer is yeah, butthis absolutely enables you to compare and contrast offerings," Read said. "It may cause customers to make a more valued decision around third parties they use. This is really important for the mass market acceptance of third-party managed services."

Many enterprises still don't trust the quality or reliability of a service that MSPs can provide, Read said. "This is built on transparency and visibility and showing that real information over time. [As an end user], I want to be sure that Salesforce is delivering the level of service that I need before I commit to it," he said.

Read acknowledged that more visibilitymay not be good for weaker MSPs, but it will be good for the industry as a whole.

"There's a lot of talk about SLAs, but in reality, service provider agreements become pointless. It's good that everyone has some skin in game, but if my Web site goes down on the biggest shopping day of Christmas, I don't really want back the $200 of service credit that day. What I want back is the $2 million in transactions lost that day," Read said.

Charter service provider members include Alvaka Networks, Atrion Networking, BSG, CDW, Data Electronics, ENKI, FusionStorm, Ingram Micro's Seismic Division, IT Authorities, Longview, MicroMenders, PHNS, NetEnrich, Rackspace Hosting, and Thomas Duryea. Charter ISV.

SaaS provider members are Acentix, Attention Soft, AutoTask, BigFix, ConnectWise, geoXMF, Plixer, Sanfir, Service-Now, Sensatronics, Shavlik, Stratavia, VaultLogix, and Wendia, and charter technology development partners are InTeliNet and Agentil.