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Service providers expand into new market -- other service providers

SilverBack's products are designed to make it easier for managed service providers to monitor a customer's infrastructure. Now it's recruiting its customers to sell SilverBack products to other service providers, along with their own monitoring services.

In a move that confuses the relationship between reseller and customer, vendor and value-added resellers (VAR), SilverBack Technologies has launched a program for partners reselling the software it markets exclusively to VARs, systems integrators, managed services providers and independent software developers and hardware manufacturers.

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Partners within the organization SilverBack -- called the SilverSphere -- design, develop and integrate systems to reduce the cost of companies providing IT support. SilverBack event lifecycle management products monitor and manage servers and PCs, network and security devices, printers and UPS systems.

The products are designed to give a remote support provider -- whether a managed service provider or other contractor -- the ability to monitor network and computing equipment from a single site without building a connection to each of dozens of Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) implementations.

"Almost every product on the planet has trap management," according to Bill Hood, president of Network Partners, Inc. in Houston, a longtime customer and newly signed channel partner for SilverBack. "As an IT manager sitting on top of the network I have to learn 15 or 20 devices to fully manage my environment."

Network Partners is a network-management service provider that uses SilverBack products to consolidate alerts and remote management into a single console.

It will also, Hood said, license that capability to other service providers who want to be able to manage their customers' networks, but don't have the infrastructure.

SilverSphere is designed to reach those midsized customers to expand the market for SilverBack products beyond companies with heavy duty management capabilities already in place.

"There are things you need to sell this thing successfully. You do need a data center, you do need redundant boxes, you do need multiple internet connections [to do 24/7 monitoring]," Hood said. "[Potential customers] don't have that, but they do have the customers."

Network Solutions and 10 other channel companies -- including Bell Microproducts, Lexmark, Packeteer, Tripp Lite, Autotask,, eEye Digital Security, Digital-DNS, and Do IT Smarter -- will sell that ability to smaller companies, and supply the service to fulfill the contracts, as well.

"If SilverBack helps bring customers to the table, I love it," Hood said. "I'm selling licenses at that point. And [the reseller customers] not really my competitors because I don't know their customers.

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