Paragent, a start-up that marries open source with managed services, is turning heads at the DEMOfall show -- an invite-only event that can make-or-break a software company's business. Paragent's involvement in DEMOfall shows just how far the managed services industry has come. And it reinforces the untapped potential of managed services.
But Paragent could also disrupt the MSP industry. Here's why.
According to ComputerWorld Blogger Frank Hayes:
"Paragent showed Paragent MSP, a subscription software-as-a-service offering for remote IT management. It does what you'd expect -- software/hardware inventory, warranty tracking, compliance -- for about $8 per computer. Designed for managed service providers, and just getting geared up, but this may eventually be something appropriate for large IT shops."I know Hayes from our brief time together at InformationWeek in the early 1990s. I've read his work from afar for more than a decade. When he writes about emerging vendors, I pay attention.
Launched in July 2003, Paragent is a privately held and based in Muncie, Indiana. The company describes itself as:
"An open source IT management software company that is improving IT services with their reliable, feature laden desktop management software which is now available as a free download via Paragent's homepage and Google Code."
Open Source's Rising TideI'm not suggesting that open source will dominate the MSP space. But open source rising popularity among MSPs is undeniable. Dozens of MSPs now leverage open source offerings like Groundwork Open Source, Nagios and Untangle. And Linux companies like Novell and Red Hat are formulating MSP partner strategies.
We will see a blurring of the lines between open and closed source strategies, where APIs (application programming interfaces) allow MSPs to snap open- and closed-source systems together into complete solutions. At least that's the way I see it.