ManageEngine + Zoho = Managed SaaS Services?

ManageEngine + Zoho = Managed SaaS Services?

AdventNet LogoQuick, name a company in the managed services market that successfully competes against Google Apps, Salesforce.com and Microsoft -- all at the same time. Before you answer, consider this name: AdventNet -- which owns Zoho (SaaS applications) and ManageEngine (managed services software). Take a closer look, and you'll discover Zoho and ManageEngine are cross-leveraging their technologies. Here's how.

I've been a vocal advocate of Zoho, and I've used a few of their SaaS applications for about two years. Now, sister company ManageEngine is getting into the SaaS game.

According to a Zoho blog entry:

AdventNet, the parent company of Zoho has several brands serving different markets. While Zoho focuses on Online productivity & business applications, ManageEngine focuses on providing downloadable products to IT Departments.
Last November, Zoho picked up some technology from ManageEngine to launch Zoho Status (http://status.zoho.com), now ManageEngine is using Zoho's Cloud Computing framework to launch its first application - OpManager - as an on-demand service.

Converging Customer Bases

Zoho already has millions -- yes, millions -- of SaaS users. And roughly 35,000 companies leverage ManageEngine. Connecting the dots between Zoho and ManageEngine could be a win-win for both AdventNet divisions, and a potential win for MSPs that are sorting out their tools and on-demand applications strategies.

Or as Zoho puts it:
This technology sharing between these two divisions of AdventNet is important as we will see some Zoho Apps integrated into ManageEngine products and some ManageEngine applications could make their way into Zoho's portfolio.
Zoho wants to be the IT Departments for SMBs. But if you have an IT Department, ManageEngine's OpManager can help you manage servers, networking gear, desktops & applications for your business.
So let's look at the competitive landscape:
  • Google offers on-demand applications and the new Google Apps Reseller program for VARs and MSPs.
  • Microsoft is still sorting out its Software Plus Service strategy, and doesn't really have a set of MSP tools in place (at least not yet).
  • Salesforce.com is a SaaS applications provider but doesn't really specialize in management tools.
  • Numerous MSP software providers have successfully empowered VARs to become MSPs, but most of those software providers don't have a direct play in hosted applications (Email, CRM, ERP, etc.).
  • AdventNet offers on-demand applications via Zoho and on-demand management tools via ManageEngine.
I think the company best positioned to compete against AdventNet is Ingram Micro Seismic, which is pushing beyond MSP tools to offer hosted Microsoft applications.

Of course, the convergence of managed services and SaaS applications remains in its infancy. But the folks at AdventNet seem to be onto something -- assuming they don't take ManageEngine direct to IT departments, and assuming they aren't biting off more than they chew.

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