In an approach to hook new customers, CA Technologies has rolled out a free version its Nimsoft Monitor software, which is used to manage and monitor IT resources.
The freemium version, called Nimsoft Monitor Snap, is free for up to 30 monitored devices. It contains most features, but has some stripped out in order for it to be set up in as little as an hour, according to CA Technologies.
"The idea for snap is we wanted to create this visual image that is just so immediate and so tangible in terms of its results, immediate in its time to value," Stephen Miles, vice president of service assurance for Asia-Pacific and Japan at CA Technologies told ZDNet.
Users bypassing IT departments
The free version is targeted at "emerging enterprises" or higher-end SMBs and departmental or line-of-business customers. Besides being resource constrained, Miles pointed out many of these users were currently cobbling together freeware, because they were frustrated with their IT departments' lacking response.
The demand for monitoring software has also been driven by the trend of IT being aligned with business outcomes, where there have been more efforts to making it more accountable, said Miles.
He noted that had manifested in a form of behavior that has broken out particularly over the past four years, where some frustrated departmental users managed by KPIs around their businesses were forced to try things out themselves, because their IT departments were not moving fast enough or did not have the budgets.
"One of two things happen. Either that organization gets forced into adopting stuff which is already installed working and operational and successful, or it sort of creates cycles where it's necessary to make rapid decisions in the evaluation of products," Miles said.
Targeting potential customers earlier, especially in Asia
This also meant that people were buying and evaluating products differently, he pointed out, particular making decisions much earlier in the life cycle of the company--a key reason to reach out to these users early.
"In Asia, there's another driver, this whole notion of this very large cashed up, growing and powered up base of emerging enterprise companies, who probably have a younger generation of employees, so to them IT comes second nature," said Miles. He explained this meant they were more open to bypassing their IT departments to try software.
The vice president of service assurance said the goal of the free version was to promote an experience of a "well regarded and widely appreciated" product that would become viral and push broader adoption. One feature that has also been rolled out is a community forum called Snap Central, to encourage peer sharing of ideas and best practices.
The free version is built on the Nimsoft Monitor Release 7 code base, and will be provided in English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Competing products to Nimsoft Monitor Snap include SolarWinds' monitoring tools and Spiceworks.