Pushing Managed Services Into An Enterprise

When we launched this site in late September, we assumed that the bulk of our content would focus on managed services for small and mid-size businesses. But as we listen to the MSP marketplace, it's clear that the managed services movement is pushing deep into large enterprises. And companies like ComBrio and Third Brigade are more than happy to answer the call for enterprise help. Here's a closer look at the enterprise MSP trend.

Over the past few years, many large integrators have tried to transform enterprise management tools like Hewlett-Packard OpenView and IBM Tivoli into managed services platforms. The integrators hoped to remotely manage enterprise accounts, but many traditional administration tools weren't designed with managed services in mind.

In stark contrast, MSP platform providers like Kaseya, Level Platforms and N-able have mostly focused on small and midsize VARs when promoting their tools. Sure, many of those tools can scale quite high -- but the sweet spot of the managed services market remains SMB customers.

That begs the question: Is there a market void between big, complex enterprise management tools and the traditional MSP market? Companies like ComBrio and Third Brigade certainly think so.

ComBrio, a 12-person startup located near Boston, develops a "remote product service tool." Think of it this way: Using ComBrio, a big service provider gains a secure pipe into an enterprise network. The service provider can only access designated systems -- an email server, for instance, but not the customers' financial database. Plus, the service provider only receives a "virtualized" view of the customer's network. It's as if the service provider is looking at a local hologram of a remote customer set-up, notes Randy Krenz, president and VP of engineering.

Now, for another twist: The ComBrio solution also produces event logs that both the customer and the remote service provider can review. This allows large enterprises to double-check the solution provider's network and system access rights. Also, ComBrio seeks to manage any IP-enabled device -- including mechanical and hospital equipment, not just Windows-based systems, notes Dave Boulos, VP of sales and marketing.

Nope, I haven't tried ComBrio's software. But the company seems to have a good feel for its target market. Mom -and-pop MSPs need not apply. ComBrio prefers to work with larger integrators and solutions providers that support large enterprise accounts.

TAGS: Technology
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