Archive for May, 2009

Congratulations to Nimsoft team and our new customers

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Excellent end to May for Nimsoft…multiple new and repeat pieces of business won this week….including a major East Coast Managed Service Provider that we are very proud to have won their business – they certainly put our technology and our people through the ringer.

I hate to say (in this economy) that I’m quietly confident for a strong Q2 but……..we’ll see.

Positive signs

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

McAfee acquiring Solidcore for a decent multiple
EMC acquiring Configuresoft for a good multiple as well
Solarwinds positive IPO

Couple of fire-sales as well of companies that simply can’t make it.

Big companies will buy at the bottom of the market where they can get the best bargains (sort of like buying at the bottom of the housing market).
The walking dead will finally die off.

These all seem like signs of the market shaking itself out ready for a recovery.

Kindred spirits

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Made a quick trip to SoCal today to visit customers and partners. I find that so few people truly understand the Managed Service Provider space, it’s a joy when we meet with individuals that really get it!

Stopped off to watch Man Utd get mauled by Barcelona in the Champions League….amazing how a team so good can perform so badly.

Our new Biz Dev leader joined yesterday…this is huge for us as we’ve got so many things that we’re trying to do that we need someone to help juggle some of the balls for us.

Interviewing for additional sales leadership in both Europe and the US. Got some amazingly talented individuals that we’re talking to – the team just keeps getting stronger.

Congratulations to EMC and Configuresoft for that acquisition announcement today – looks like everyone is happy with that one. I’m assuming that EMC are becoming more and more competitive with BMC, HP, IBM in the world of the big-boys as they are rounding out their portfolio.

Small world

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Had a wonderful dinner at Hakkasan in London on Friday night and the flight home yesterday was uneventful.

Would you believe that, while in the bar at Hakkasan we spotted and chatted to some people that we know from where we live in Los Gatos….amazing, thousands of miles away, and they happen to be in the same bar, in the same city at exactly the same time as us.

Earlier in the week, walking through the streets of London, I bumped in to an ex-colleague of mine that I haven’t seen for probably 12 years. He’s the country manager for CA in the UK – hmm, I’ll say no more.

Tons of emails to catch up on, but pretty much done most of them – the beauty of long, boring flights. It’s nice to be back in California weather, although I need to go for long runs this week to lose those extra pounds that I put on in England.

Very, very successful trip. We’ve had a number of changes recently with the UK sales team, but I’m confident that we’ve got a great team in place now. Some new blood coming in plus, our existing top performers are still performing incredibly, and one rep that left us over a year ago coming back to re-join the company. I’m very proud that we’ve never lost one of our premier sales performers.

Got a day trip to SoCal planned this week, but also got a few personal things to catch up on. Looking forward to Memorial Day weekend – hoping that the weather holds out.

Appeared in The451 today….interesting independant analysis

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Nimsoft poised to remain consolidator in quest to challenge Big Four

Now that it has completed its product integration of Indicative Software and is beginning to do the same with the assets that it recently obtained from Cittio, what is Nimsoft’s next move in its continuing effort to compete with IBM (NYSE: IBM), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), BMC Software (NYSE: BMC) and CA Inc (NYSE: CA)? Business transaction management, desktop monitoring and management and more root cause analysis tools could all be on the company’s shopping list.

Context

Nimsoft recently closed its second acquisition in a little over a year, buying source code and other IP from Cittio for an undisclosed amount in a deal made with cash on hand that likely amounted to a fire sale. Once the transaction became public, Cittio shut down its website, replacing it with a message saying that it was winding down operations and dissolving. The purchase will give Nimsoft technology for level 2 and 3 network discovery and topology mapping, monitoring and root cause analysis, filling another gap in its growing suite of IT performance and availability management offerings that it is positioning as an alternative to the Big Four IT management framework vendors’ software.

This follows up on Nimsoft’s purchase last April of Indicative. That pickup has given the acquirer new software for user experience management and its recently announced Business Service Management (BSM) Express offering, which shows how IT service performance impacts the business services they support.

Nimsoft has enjoyed a great deal of success and rapid growth selling mostly to the midmarket and to managed service providers (MSPs). The vendor has expanded from just over 300 customers in mid-2006 to about 850 today. It grew from $10.2m in bookings in 2005 to $29.4m in 2007, then stated that 2008 bookings were $40m-50m. However, it also disclosed that bookings increased by 47% over 2007, which would put the exact number at about $43.2m. While Nimsoft likely did not reach its stated goal of $50m in revenue by 2008, it continues to grow.

Filling more technology gaps, especially those that will make it more appealing to large enterprises, will ensure continued growth for Nimsoft.

Likely targets

Nimsoft’s strength remains performance and availability monitoring. Cittio gives it solid technology in this area for the network. Indicative upgraded Nimsoft’s technology for the user-experience end of application monitoring and gave it the kind of reporting, metrics and dashboards that enable IT organizations to measure the impact of IT service performance on the business services they support. Nimsoft already had extensive monitoring capabilities for applications, servers, databases and service-level agreements.

The firm is positioning its existing offerings for the cloud, which we think it should be able to do fairly easily given its penetration of the MSP market and the fact that its software has extensive capabilities for monitoring IT service levels � including in virtualized environments � and assessing their impact on business services, which is technology that would be necessary for managing private cloud environments. We believe Nimsoft will for now maintain its focus on performance and availability management rather than make a leap into IT asset, service and configuration management, though it will certainly have opportunities to enter the latter down the road.

So how can Nimsoft extend its IT performance management and availability wares? The desktop is one possibility. Beyond managing application performance from the end-user perspective, the vendor doesn’t really have monitoring software for client devices. We wouldn’t expect it to make a huge investment, either, but a tuck-in acquisition is possible.

One potential target is Persystent Technologies, which has strong technology for detecting and resolving PC system failures or performance degradations at boot-up. Buying Persystent could also give Nimsoft a start in IT asset and configuration management as well as policy management and enforcement. Acquiring Vector Networks would have similar benefits for Nimsoft: extending performance management to the desktop, while providing IT asset and service management, including helpdesk, at the same time.

Triumfant would be another possibility with its desktop monitoring plus automated incident management and problem resolution, which is technology that Nimsoft doesn’t really have at any level, but could move into and apply to the other layers of IT infrastructure that it monitors. However, much of Triumfant’s focus is on finding and removing malware, corrupted registry keys and detecting violations of IT policy. Nimsoft is more likely to stick to performance and availability management rather than make a foray into endpoint security.

Another option for Nimsoft would be to extend its service-level monitoring into business transaction management � tracking business transactions through layers of IT infrastructure and pinpointing the cause of service degradations, which Nimsoft already monitors for. DynaTrace software, whose strength is primarily in pre-deployment testing, could be a good fit for Nimsoft here. OpTier is another startup in this space, but is currently well-funded and growing, and is not seeking a buyer. Israeli company Correlsense, which hasn’t made the big splash it intended to in this sector, is a better match. BlueStripe Software has some interesting technology in this area for heavily virtualized environments and some early customer traction, but will likely seek more growth on its own for the time being.

Nimsoft might also make a foray into the performance management of service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and the composite applications that comprise them. SOA Software, AmberPoint and Nastel Technologies are all possibilities here, with Nastel probably being the closest thing to a performance management pure play among those three and therefore perhaps the best option.

Acquiring Cittio gave Nimsoft root cause analysis software for the network, which was a key part of the deal. Nimsoft may look to add root cause analysis software for the other layers of IT that it monitors. Netuitive and Integrien would be the most suitable targets here, with a better deal to be had for the smaller Integrien.

While it’s tempting to predict that Nimsoft will make an acquisition to improve its cloud management positioning, we think the company will make the most of its moves in this area from technology that it already has. Besides, cloud management means a lot of things right now, and any emerging players in this space are way too early stage to be ideal targets.

Looking ahead

After buying Indicative, Nimsoft released two new products obtained through the acquisition over the next year, the Real User Monitoring appliance last summer and the BSM Express offering in April. Less than a month after the second launch, the vendor announced that it had purchased certain assets of Cittio. If that pattern continues, Nimsoft will first integrate the acquired IP and source code into its software, which is a process that likely won’t be completed until sometime in the fourth quarter. We would then expect Nimsoft to become acquisitive again. It may move sooner, though, since the product integration of Cittio’s technology will be a much smaller job than that of Indicative’s.

We’d rank dynaTrace as the best fit for Nimsoft. Its pre-deployment capabilities, deep-dive diagnostics, root cause analysis and even SOA visibility would fill many of the gaps in Nimsoft’s existing product suite and be an excellent complement to its extensive monitoring capabilities. Failing dynaTrace, we could also see Nimsoft picking up Integrien, a company that has achieved limited traction with its strict focus on root cause analysis, and is clearly positioning itself to be bought at the right price. Either Persystent or Vector would be a good catch for Nimsoft at the desktop performance management level, with Vector providing the added benefit of IT asset and service management, should Nimsoft choose to close that IT management loop.

In any case, with the economic downturn forcing some vendors to make the best deal they can and move on (see Cittio), this remains a buyer’s market and we don’t think Nimsoft will wait another year to strike again.

New customers

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Congratulations to the German team, another new customer in Germany today and….one in France as well.

Spent the week in Europe again – Ireland on Tuesday and then rest of the week in England. Mainly customer visits and also a lot of interviewing as we are looking to add to the team.

So far, 2 customer visits on Tuesday in Ireland, 4 on Wednesday in England, none today (in office) and 2 (maybe 3) tomorrow. I think that’s the kind of meeting volume and quality that would make a field sales executive happy.

We’re into the second beta version of our new Service Delivery Portal….extending it out to about 12-15 customers…tons of new development – it’s exciting stuff.

Nimsoft makes another move – acquiring source code assets of Cittio

Monday, May 18th, 2009

The news is out, Nimsoft has made another asset purchase that will further extend our product’s capabilities and allow customers to continue to reduce the number of tools that they use.

At Nimsoft, we believe in building a solid product and a solid business over many years which is what we’ve done. We believe in actually generating revenue, building our customer base, supporting our customers in an exemplary fashion. And we believe in extending our product continually because, even though we already have by far the best product in this space, we always want to keep making it better.

This purchase was completely opportunistic for us. We had an engineering project internally to build Layer2/Layer3 discovery but the opportunity came along to acquire some technology that was already built and working in customers.

We will not be using any of the OpenNMS components of the Cittio products, we will only be using the discovery, topology and RCA – and we will be taking their code and working it in to the Nimsoft Monitoring Solution. This purchase is all about us being able to provide this capability more rapidly to our customers.

So, what next? Well now that I’ve done the easy part (acquired the source code), it’s time for the guys with the big brains to do the engineering and development work involved in lifting this code and dropping it into the Nimsoft product. For our customers, we are expecting to be able to release this in Q4 this year….although we can’t be definitive about that until we get a little more in to it.

More later….

Press article quoting Shop.com

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Noticed this yesterday, one of our customers quoted in a press article….thanks for the shout-out!

Daniel Granja, an IT manager at Monterey, Calif.-based online retailer Shop.com, also replaced homegrown code, cobbled-together tools and open source products with proprietary software. Shop.com switched from Cacti and other tools to Nimsoft Inc.’s Nimbus.

Shop.com uses Nimbus to monitor hundreds of servers, including internal corporate services and external e-commerce.

“Cacti is free, open source. But you spend your time on it,” Granja said. “That had been the solution we were really running on prior to Nimbus. With Nimsoft’s support we cut our efforts in half. We’d never been able to monitor the entire environment before, but with Nimbus we are able to.”

Exciting time to be a Nimsoft customer

Friday, May 15th, 2009

It’s always been a good time to be a Nimsoft customer, but on Monday we will be announcing another technology/source code acquisition that’s going to make our product even better.

It will also serve as another data point to show that very small vendors are at HIGH RISK in this economy.

We continue to add features and functions that are normally associated with products many, many times the price and complexity of Nimsoft – the amount of coverage and capability that we’ve got is simply amazing.

Also, separate subject but we will be announcing the results of some scalability testing soon that will blow everyone away.

Great time to be a Nimsoft customer, horrible time to be a Nimsoft competitor….but then they already know that!

Remind you of anyone in our space?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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Thanks Remko!