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NetSolve Quietly Expands

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).

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