Everdream: An SaaS for PC management

* How much can you outsource to SaaS?

The trend to using SaaS (Software as a Service) marches on particularly where small and midsized businesses are concerned. The ROI for using SaaS can be huge because it can, in theory, reduce the number of IT staff you need, allow you to scale up (or down) services as needed, and allow you to have predictable costs. The question is how much can you outsource to SaaS? How deep into the organization can these services go?

It turns out that the answer is very deep, right down to basic network management functions such as backup; antivirus; patch management; and all the elements of compliance management.

If this sounds like a set of services you could use you should check out a company that offers a huge range of options in this market: Everdream.

Everdream provides software, the Client Manager, that installs on a client’s PCs (desktops and laptops). The client software communicates with the Everdream Control Center, which provides a Web-based interface that allows administration of all desktop management functions and reporting. All communications are secured and all data transfers are encrypted with SSL and Triple-DES.

The actual management services are divided into three groups: The Everdream Compliance Services Suite; the Everdream Uptime Services Suite; and the Everdream Live Help Desk Services.

The Everdream Compliance Services Suite tracks hardware and software assets; software license usage; and supports regulatory compliance. A crucial issue is that because it's SaaS-based it works for all corporate assets that can be contacted via the Internet.

Everdream’s Uptime Services Suite provides anti-exploit and hacking features along with antivirus protection; patch management; and online data backup. The Everdream Live Help Desk Services outsources end-user continuously available support.

Everdream also offers additional services including service request management; remote access features; and Theft Recovery Services, which secures sensitive business-critical data on managed computers if stolen or lost. The company can also assist law enforcement in the recovery of wandering assets.

Add to that Professional Services that support deployment of services; customization; software distribution; application development; contingency planning and training; and there’s pretty much everything an SMB could need to build, extend, and manage infrastructure.

There’s no doubt that this is an ambitious set of offerings on Everdream’s part and some potential customers might be nervous about putting all of their IT eggs in one basket. The beauty of well structured SaaS offerings is that you can treat them as a buffet taking on only those elements that you need and are comfortable with.

Currently only Windows machines are supported, Macintosh and Linux support is in development for release in 2008.

Pricing starts at $3 per PC per month which would provide only asset discovery and management. A more comprehensive set of services including online backup of up to 5GB would work out to around $16 per PC per month while a complete management and compliance package with customized help desk – in other words Everdream handles everything for you – would run at around $30 to $35 per PC per month. Volume discounts are also available.

Everdream is a leader in this market through both the breadth of its services as well as deals with major vendors including IBM, branded as IBM Express; British Telecom, and WebEx, branded as Systems Management. I also found out that there’s a deal in the offing with Dell to be branded Desktop Manager.

It will be interesting to see how Everdream builds and extends its business in the face of what will become a hugely competitive market.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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