Business Service Management, Managed Services Converge

For the second time in two weeks, business service management (BSM) is converging with resellers and managed service providers (MSPs). The latest example involves Zyrion Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based start-up that has landed on several "up-and-comer" media watch lists in recent months.

First, the basic news. According to a company press release issued today:

Zyrion Inc ., which specializes in Business Service Management (BSM) and IT infrastructure monitoring solutions, today expanded the company’s reseller channel program, providing more resellers with access to the next evolution of network management – Zyrion’s Traverse BSM solution.
Zyrion claims Traverse enables resellers to help medium and large enterprises increase visibility and control over their IT infrastructure, improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and maximize revenue opportunities.

This is the second major BSM announcement involving resellers and MSPs in recent weeks. Nimsoft in April 2009 launched BSM Express, which targets both corporate IT departments and MSPs that are seeking to quantify the value of their IT services to customers.

Nimsoft and Zyrion both seem to be in growth mode. Nimsoft in April 2009 disclosed continued revenue growth, and Network World in November 2008 noted Zyrion was a rare start-up that actually had mature technology.

Same Acronym, Different Target Market

Still, not all BSM software providers are aggressively pursuing MSPs and channel partners.

A case in point: Novell acquired Managed Objects, a BSM provider, in late 2008. Initially, I thought Novell would pursue MSPs with Managed Objects. But so far, Novell's BSM efforts primarily target corporate data centers -- though a recent Novell road show offered some hints about how Novell will promote BSM through the IT channel.

To be clear, BSM is not for small business VARs looking for low-hanging fruit. Depending on which solution an MSP embraces, the software can cost $10,000 to $90,000 or more. Some pricing is based on annual subscriptions, while other licensing involves perpetual licenses. Very often, it's difficult to make apples to apples price comparisons, so shop around and ask lots of questions.

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