Nimsoft targets MSP help desk with Unified Manager

Nimsoft Service DeskIT management software vendor Nimsoft is throwing its hat into the increasingly active ring for service desk systems for VARs and MSPs with the launch of Nimsoft Unified Manager.

Chris O’Connell, director of product marketing at Nimsoft, said the expansion beyond its core unified monitoring offerings is part of a bid by Nimsoft to offer MSPs a more integrated stack of products on which to build their business. Typically, he said, new Nimsoft customers are using the company’s wares to replace “two, three or four niche products they were working with,” and that number continues to expand as Nimsoft rounds out its offerings.

It’s also going after a field that many MSPs are exploring in managed service desk – O’Connell said that the company’s research found the service desk space to be in the top three priorities in terms of new business fields for managed service providers.

“Many MSPs feel like they’re at the mercy of they’re clients, that they’re living month-to-month,” O’Connell said. “By offering a trouble-ticket system embedded into their solution, they’re having an ongoing conversation with their customers and getting a competitive advantage.”

With Unified Manager’s service desk infrastructure, MSPs get the systems by which to run customers’ service desks remotely and integrated with their remote management tools. MSPs still staff the service desk themselves, and typically white-label the service under their own brand.

According to O’Connell, Unified Manager starts at “less than $100″ per user per month.

Historically, the company has offered its software as an on-premise solution, but it’s begun to offer the choice of on-prem or cloud-based, starting last year. That continues with the Unified Manager launch, and O’Connell said the decision is allowing Nimsoft to penetrate further into the mass of smaller MSPs.

Historically, the company has focused on some of the largest managed services companies in the country, but that focus is expanding.

“Many of the smaller MSPs we’re talking to see this as a way to make themselves look bigger to their customers,” O’Connell said of the service desk opportunity.

The software can be licensed in multiple configurations, giving MSPs the option to take on Nimsoft’s service desk, monitoring software, or both in tandem.

While relationships with larger MSPs will continue to be largely around on-premise, white-labeled versions of its products, offering an on-demand version should make it much more attractive to those smaller MSPs. In fact, O’Connell said the company is now “going after any MSPs that are willing to talk to us” to use its offerings.

Nimsoft does offer its management products directly to end user customers, but exclusively in the enterprise class, $300 million (U.S.) per year companies and up. Below that customer size, Nimsoft goes to market through MSPs, and O’Connell said he sees that opportunity continuing to grow for the company.

“We believe we will be the de facto standard for MSPs that are serious about offering their services going forward,” he predicted.

By adding support for ticketing and help desk capabilities, Nimsoft would appear to be making its way into the territory traditionally associated with professional services automation software packages as well as with the players in the emerging markets for outsourced help desks for MSPs. While O’Connell wouldn’t rule out a future expansion into those spaces based on customer demand, he said that the plan for now and the foreseeable future is working hand in hand with players like ConnectWise and Autotask.

On the help desk side, Nimsoft’s focus is on providing the infrastructure for help desks, and not on the full outsourced help desk space like a Live Virtual Help Desk or its peers, while its goals also stop short of the PSA vendors.

“We want to focus on monitoring, on service desk and on ITIL processes around service desk,” he said.

In unrelated news, Nimsoft is going through a little a management change right now, as company CEO Gary Read is stepping down to make way for CA Technologies veteran Chris O’Malley atop the division, MSP Mentor is reporting.  The decision comes about a year after CA purchased Nimsoft.