Open-source network monitoring and management vendor Zenoss March
20 unveiled a new platform for managed service providers that will target small
and midmarket customers.

"Our
sweet spot has traditionally been above the midmarket," said Bill Karpovich,

CEO
and
co-founder of Zenoss, adding that Rackspace, a hosted application provider
customer, uses Zenoss software to monitor and manage about 12,000 devices.

Karpovich
said service providers are key to tapping the SMB market, since many function
as the IT department for SMBs that cannot afford an in-house IT staff.

"Service
providers have really been aggressive adopters of open source," said Karpovich,
since many have to innovate and come up with creative solutions
that fit their SMB customers’ budgets. Zenoss’ open-source framework gives
service providers the opportunity to customize their service offerings based on
the individual needs of their customers, he said.

Zenoss
software provides a core set of discovery, monitoring, troubleshooting and
management tools that can monitor and manage entire IT infrastructures,
including networks, servers and applications. On top of this core
functionality, MSPs can create build-to-order add-ons based on customers’
needs.

The ability to tailor the product is a key differentiator in
a crowded market, said Karpovich. "The service provider market is
becoming commoditized, and these folks are forced to compete for business based
on price.  Our open-source framework means service providers can compete
based on other factors."

Service
providers have the option to resell a private-label services offering or can
co-brand their service with Zenoss. Karpovich added that service providers
who develop custom code for a customer either can choose to contribute the code
for those functionalities back to the open-source community or can choose to
package their service offering as a proprietary offering.

Price
is still an important factor, especially for service providers targeting small
and midmarket customers. Karpovich said entry-level pricing for service providers
is based on a "pay as you grow" model, whereby service providers only
pay for the amount of services they actually use. Service providers set
their own end-customer prices, in essence setting their own margins, he said.

Karpovich said Zenoss also understands that, for service
providers, monitoring certain types of devices demands higher rates than
others, and that service provider pricing is also determined based on the types
of devices monitored.

Service
providers’ usage amounts are "trued up" each quarter to ensure they
aren’t over- or underpaying, and as service providers grow their business, they
are eligible to receive volume discounts. All service providers have
access to 24/7 support from Zenoss, said Karpovich.