On my flight out to the ConnectWise IT Nation event, I thumbed through the Wall Street Journal old school style and ran across an ad for the WSJ Wine Store claiming you can save $100 on a special Thanksgiving pinot. My first reaction was to ask myself, "Why is Rupert Murdoch selling wine to WSJ readers?". I suppose it's his form of product extension -- when companies add connected products in an effort to increase stickiness, average revenue, usability and sometimes, happiness. This particular stretch might actually be a distraction from WSJ's core business, but you can imagine a couple of cigar smoking fat cats enjoying their pinot and telling each other how great the WSJ is and complaining about the election results. At least that's probably Murdoch's premise.
For LogicMonitor, the idea of product extension is more simply tied to the fundamental user experience. You may know that LogicMonitor was founded by SaaS industry vets who built out the datacenters for web businesses like Citrix Online and ad networks like ValueClick. "Tech Steve" founded the company leveraging a deep understanding of the IT ops technology that lives in the datacenter. The experience made him want to solve the age-old monitoring problem that legacy solutions still struggle so hard to do well with their premise-based technology. So later, it wasn't a surprise that web-based businesses started subscribing to our SaaS monitoring service in large numbers as they exhausted their ability to rely on open source monitoring tools like Nagios.
As early adopters, the web-based businesses pushed us hard to monitor all sorts of new technologies, and bake the functionality into the same software platform so that it "just works" in the same way. Responding to their requests, we queue up the development of most any new datasource (the sw package that we drop into our platform to monitor a given device or app) that can be deployed among our greater user base and then incorporate it into the product. Sometimes this takes a day (other times weeks), but it gets done and represents our core philosophy to make our customers' lives easier by making their monitoring way better than they could have imagined.
What we stumbled on along the way is that other business segments aside from web-based companies have unmet monitoring needs as well. Managed service providers (MSPs) are a prime example. MSPs take a variety of forms, from value added resellers to System Integrators to Cloud Providers. Not only do MSPs need to monitor their own infrastructure, more and more of them are turning away from the thin margins of the equipment trade to a recurring revenue services model and need to ensure uptime and performance for their hosted or managed services.
LogicMonitor uniquely solves a problem for these MSPs in that they can use a single portal to manage their own infrastructure along with their customers', wherever the services live. Many MSPs provide role-based access of their LogicMonitor portal to their customers, offering a higher level of service by not only showing the customer what they are paying for, but also how their services are performing. Transparency is an important value in today's competitive MSP market.
Back at the office the scene is a whir of activity. Mostly engineers cloaked in LogicMonitor tees, flip flops and pens behind the ears with a mantra of getting things done and empathizing with our customers monitoring needs and determined to build the best product. Empathizing with our customers means finding ways our product can be connected seamlessly with their other fundamental technology solutions. That's why we recently announced Puppet integration for scaling web businesses like Cedexis – to eliminate human intervention when deploying servers and apps, and know with confidence that what they deploy is automatically monitored.
The most recent example is ConnectWise integration. ConnectWise is a professional services automation solution used by several thousand MSPs. And although we had a work around in place for some time (by sending alert emails to ConnectWise to open a service ticket), our customers asked for a more thorough integration to utilize ConnectWise in a best practice manner. We just announced our integration and will continue to advance the functionality between LogicMonitor and ConnectWise. Which reminds me of why I got on the flight to Orlando in the first place and had a chance to read the paper. If Murdoch can sell wine as a WSJ product, maybe we should start selling pocket protectors. We could use them back at the office.
– This article was contributed by Kevin McGibben, CEO at LogicMonitor