Wednesday, 28 May 2014 18:53

ManageEngine taking a bite out of IT management pie

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Australia is already a big market for IT management software company ManageEngine, but the company thinks it can do even better here.

ManageEngine, a division of SaaS provider Zoho, was founded in the mid 1990s and provided a platform that vendors such as Nortel used to manage switches.

In the early 2000s it moved into the enterprise IT management space with the goal of providing tools that had most of the features offered by the big players in that market, but without the complexity or cost.

ManageEngine now pitches its range of 30 products with the promise of "90% of the features of the Big 4 at 10% of the price."

These products fall into four areas: network and application performance management, IT help desk and asset management, Windows infrastructure management, and IT security.

The company has more than 90,000 paying customers worldwide including more than 60% of the Fortune 500, though most are small to medium businesses.

Australia and New Zealand are home to 15,000 customers, among them Australian Aerospace Limited, the Australian Catholic University, and the Community Mutual credit union - plus some high-profile companies that can't be named.

"Business is picking up in Australia - we see a lot of potential," director of product management Rajesh Ganesan told iTWire

The total number of organisations using ManageEngine tools is unknown, as most of the products can be used free of charge by small businesses with limited requirements, such as in situations where no more than ten devices are to be monitored.

But the free edition of the ServiceDesk Plus IT helpdesk and self-service product has no limitation on the number of users, said Mr Ganesan. "It's a very profitable product, and we felt we could make this move."

Since March the standard (free) edition has been available on a "no questions asked" basis, though the professional and enterprise versions (which include features such as asset management and incident management) are still offered on a commercial basis.

In the last couple of years ManageEngine has begun to focus on the needs of larger companies, Mr Ganesan said, and this can be seen in the IT360 product which integrates several of the other tools with a dashboard suitable for senior staff such as CIOs and CEOs who are not concerned with which component has failed, but the effect and cost of the failure.

"This opens the door for us to go to bigger enterprises," he said.

"Data centre operations are becoming a challenge" with the need to manage space, power, cooling and cost, as well as the IT equipment and contract management processes. IT360 "gives a visual 360-degree view of the data centre from an iPad," Mr Ganesan said.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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