There are plenty of tools on the market to help service providers do the job of remote monitoring and management, including a number of incumbents that cater to the managed services market specifically. And that's a market that Israel and Boston-based Centerity is looking to target now with what it calls a "business service management" platform. Founded by former HP and Seimens network systems management experts, Centerity is looking to unify the monitoring and management of the whole IT system, from servers to storage to networking to databases to security -- both on premise and in the cloud, including the public cloud. Here are the details.
Centerity, founded in 2006, and funded by its founders and venture capital, started out offering its BSM software to IT organizations for enterprise management. And it has an impressive list of enterprise-sized customers ("across all verticals" including Coca-Cola, Hertz and UPS, to name a few) and a lean staff of 20, mostly focused on R&D.
Centerity's goal is to give organizations a holistic view of their IT infrastructure including a view of user experience. It provides this kind of visibility into user experience through a synthetic recreation of that experience, according to COO Marty Pejko (pictured) who spoke with MSPmentor earlier this week. (Pejko joined the company in the last year as part of the effort to expand its business development and geographies.) The company's BSM software takes all the data collected from its monitoring of all IT systems to deliver a more comprehensive view of the health of the system.
Next Gen IT Management, Next Gen Pricing and Licensing"We think of ourselves as a next generation tool," Pejko told me. "Business services management is an an old term but its promise has never been realized," he said. Centerity's unified approach to BSM is what makes it different. "We started out with a unified platform that integrates all these pieces together." The holistic, unified view also promises a better alignment between IT and business, according to Pejko.
This platform also offers a very different pricing scheme. Licensing is priced on the basis of "checks." The overarching rule of thumb is about 10 checks per device. Once check might be looking at disk space on a particular storage unit. Another might be monitoring the temperature in a UPS at a data center. Checks are bundled in packages of 1,000 and the first 1,000 checks are priced at $35,000. Volume pricing kicks in after that with 2,000 checks priced at $45,000 and so on. In turn, MSPs can divide checks among many customers and set up their checks as they see fit. Then services can be priced by the MSPs and white-labeled to the end customer.
And if you think the $35,000 is a hefty initial price to pay to a relative newcomer to the managed services space, Centerity has done something to make it a little easier. First, they can offer offer proof of concept configurations. But even better, they host such a configuration in the cloud so you can check out how their system would work in your environment or in a particular customer's environment. Pejko says the company has hundreds of plugins to capture the assets of different devices, both agentless and with agents. Monitoring support includes various public clouds as well such as Salesforce.com, Amazon AWS and Rackspace. That seems to be a growing area of attention for vendors as pointed out in our post yesterday here.
All About Breadth"We are all about breadth," Pejko said. 'Breadth gives you a lot of information. It lets you manage by process, not by element. Once you start to correlate information and how it is impacting processes, that's where the power comes."
Right now the technology is only available as an on-premise option for sale, but Centerity is looking to partner with others who can host the service for MSPs and other customers.
Pejko said that the sweet spot of the market will probably be MSPs that are selling targeting mid-level enterprise with between $5 million and $25 million in revenues. MSP customers so far have typically migrated from other platforms. And there are other non-MSPs that Pejko described as systems integrator-types that are looking at the platform as a way to enter the managed services business.
What's next for Centerity? We'll be staying in touch with Pejko going forward to find out about further plans for the managed services market and the company's platform.