NetSolve Quietly Expands

IT service provider is expanding its product line to include applications management

August 21, 2004

2 Min Read
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Life's interesting at NetSolve Inc. (Nasdaq: NTSL), an IT management outsourcer. They survived the late 1980s, when no one understood them, and they survived the dotcom crash, when it seemed as if everyone was a management service provider.

NetSolve went public in 1999 and experienced an executive shuffle in 2002, when several former Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) leaders were hired, including CEO and president David Hood. Now there are about 1,000 customers, and services are sold with an initial setup fee and monthly fees as well. Besides application management services, NetSolve for now is focusing on straightforward growth, says Jeff Guillot, vice president of development.

Now the Austin, Texas, company's technology agenda seems to be in sync with corporate America, where outsourcing data center aspects is no longer a fad. "We think this market is really getting defined now," says Guillot.

NetSolve's product portfolio, called ProWatch, has management options for messaging, networks, security, servers, and IP telephony. Next up is applications. Guillot says it's moving remote management capability all the way up to the application layer. It's even ready to launch a new application service geared to vertical markets. The new service, tentatively called ProWatch for Applications, will focus on vertical-market products and business applications such as PeopleSoft, Guillot says.

An ongoing challenge for the company is to keep up with large IT outsourcing outfits like Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) (NYSE: EDS) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).Paul Holden, vice president of technology infrastructure at Sedgwick Claims Management Services, signed up to have NetSolve manage his IT five years ago. Sedgwick has 3,600 employees in about 100 offices, sometimes opening new offices in as little as two weeks' time.

The applications management plan will be helpful, Holden says, noting that Sedgwick cuts about a million checks a year worth $2.4 billion, so keeping the back-end applications running 24 hours a day, seven days a week is vital. However, he feels NetSolve could stand some refinement in its server offering and could stand to offer services for asset management and IT integration.

Overall, he says, "I'm amazed day-in, day-out at what we can produce here," largely because of NetSolve's network management. Sedgwick has just two network engineers and Holden believes it would probably need about 15 to get the same results internally.

Evan Koblentz, Senior Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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