Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Every now and again a disruptive force shows up in a product category that more or less forces everybody in that category to possible rethink their approach to a problem. So too it is with managed services in the form of an appliance for delivering managed services that is called the IT Control Suite.


Built by a unit of DSM Corp. out of Toronto, the IT Control Suite is being distributed in the U.S, by Tech-Monitoring Inc. in Plainview, N.Y. Winner of the Best in Show award at the recent CompTIA Channel Summit in Montreal, the managed service appliance seeks to change the way solution providers approach managed services on three levels.

The first issue that IT Control Suite addresses is how long it takes to set up the managed service. As a Linux-based appliance, the IT Control Suite can be deployed in about 20 minutes because it auto-populates itself. That means it automatically scans the site to discover what assets are present and then installs an agent to manage those assets, which means the solution provider does not have to manually configure an agent for each device that needs to be managed.

The next biggest differentiated approach to managed services relates to pricing. The company is offering each appliance on fixed lease that costs $329 a month, which means there is no need to keep track of per node or per user pricing schemes. And finally, because the manage service is based on an appliance rather than a packaged set of applications that reside on a server, the system can receive automatic updates each time a new feature or agent is added to the service. That means that solution providers don’t have to install each update to the managed service platform themselves.

At this point, the IT Control Suite appliance has only been deployed at a handful of customer sites. Tech-Monitoring Inc will sell the appliance to any IT organization that wants to use it to provide managed services for their own IT operations or any solution provider that wants to use it to drive a set of managed services offerings. But Tech-Monitoring has not plans to sell managed services directly to customers in the U.S. However, DSM is offering managed services to end customers in Canada using the appliance manufactured by its subsidiary.

Although this appliance approach to managed services has been under development for five years, it’s too early to say what impact it will have on companies such as N-Able, Level Platforms and Zenith Infosystems. All three of those companies have been lining up solution provider partners for a number of years now and enticing solution providers to change managed services platforms is not always east given the costs of switching.

But on the face of it, Tech-Monitoring Inc might just have a better way to deliver managed services more profitability. So now we’ll just have to wait and see how the current market leaders in this space respond to what just might be a better mouse trap.

Michael Vizard is Strategic Content Expert for Ziff Davis Enterprise. He can be reached at