Vendor Goes After SMBs With BSM Offering

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Startup BSM (business service management) vendor FireScope this week launched a low-priced product aimed at providing small and medium-size businesses with easier entry into BSM, where implementations can run into the six figures.

BSM software -- where FireScope competes with BMC, Hewlett-Packard and Managed Objects -- seeks to provide companies with a way to map the performance of their IT assets, such as servers and applications, against the day-to-day processes of a business.

"You can look at the 'health' of all your data-center stuff in relation to how smoothly, or not, the business is running," said Michael Coté, an analyst with Redmonk. "The idea there is two-fold: enabling, for lack of a better word, IT to simply do their job of running all the computers for the rest of the company, and, giving IT the raw data to justify their existence, resist budget cuts and ask for more budget."

Pricing for FireScope BSM Business Edition starts at US$2,450.

The product also simplifies the process of implementing BSM, said Mark Lynd, FireScope's president. "Everything has wizards and contextual information, step-by-step, how to do this." However, it does not include some key features found in FireScope's offering for larger enterprises. Among the omissions are the ability to customize the application's look and feel, multisite data aggregation, SAN (storage area network) support for Firescope data, real-time reporting and an advanced analytics package.

"Our goal is to go out there and reach [SMBs] with this, and as these companies grow, grow with them," Lynd said of the Business Edition, adding in reference to his competitors, "I don't think the market is ready for this kind of pricing."

But a representative of one FireScope rival downplayed the potential effect of such a low-cost offering on the market.

"The idea of providing some BSM functionality to smaller IT shops is noble and an interesting idea, but I'd recommend being cautious about raising expectations. ... BSM doesn't lend itself to tossing cheap and cheerful code over the wall and hoping it will self-install and model critical IT services independently," said Frank Strong, marketing communications director for Managed Objects, via e-mail.

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