Perhaps one of the least sexy, yet most important parts of building a strong service-provider ecosystem is ensuring that all the infrastructure and tools needed for service providers to… provide their service, are in place. OneNet, a cloud vendor based in New Zealand, recently rolled out a series of tools designed to help service providers offer a complete solution using HP’s Autonomy LiveVault product. LiveVault is a server backup service, again not exactly an area full of excitement and appeal, but one which real world enterprises need on a day to day basis. The LiveVault agent encrypts all data before transferring it from the customer’s servers and this data remains encrypted at Autonomy’s own data centers, as well as on the optional TurboRestore appliance within the customer data center.
As would be expected of an HP product – it is sold through service providers who often bundle a number of different services together to provide a tailored solution for customers. And this is where it gets interesting, one would have thought that, given their go-to-market involves service providers, HP would have provided everything those SPs need in order to sell a product – well the OneNet launch would suggest not. OneNet is offering three “as-a-service” modules that offer service providers:
- Data visualization through dashboards. Past usage and growth are tracked and future usage is forecast using algorithms. Alerts can also be viewed at multiple hierarchical levels, thereby providing LiveVault partners and end users with an indication of the overall health of their LiveVault environment
- API’s for billing and reporting which can be used to extract monthly LiveVault usage figures to feed into a partner’s billing process
- An automated “closing engine” for converting trials to paying customers – The Profit Maximisation Engine includes two key components; a Forecast Demand Simulation model and an Optimization Decision Support Engine. The Forecast Demand Simulation model uses regression analysis of historical data and Monte Carlo probabilistic simulation to forecast total data storage demand within the infrastructure replenishment time frame. This forecast is then fed into the optimization engine. The Optimization Decision Support Engine is a mathematical model of the infrastructure required to deliver services. This includes cost and engineering relationships. The Optimization Decision Support Engine determines optimal choices to minimize costs with respect to the timing of new infrastructure investments, subject to the requirement to meet forecast demand and the engineering relationships within the infrastructure
All of which sounds pretty much like rocket science until one talks with OneNet CEO and founder Dr Michael Snowden who, over the past 30 or so years has bought a highly scientific and analytical approach to both business improvement and technology. The convergence of these two themes speaks directly to the profit maximization technologies that OneNet has created for LiveVault. Of course LiveVault is only one solution and one could well expect the same sort of technology being used as an engine for many other technology problems.
I’d like to see what OneNet is doing in this area broadened into a stand along business improvement solution that other service providers (and, indeed, direct software vendors) could use. That would start to get interesting and deliver a solution not entirely dissimilar from that provided by start ups such as Totango.