Klir software shares IT management advice

Inspired by the communal wisdom generated on sites like Wikipedia.com, Klir Technologies launched an IT management product Monday intended for system administrators at small and medium businesses.

Klir Analytics 3.0 beta allows IT users to publish and share their own favorite fixes, using a software-as-a-service (SAAS) business model. Over time, the most successful software will garner the best ratings, just as the most popular photographs get top billing at Flickr.com, said James Maiocco, Klir's chief executive officer.

U.S.-based Klir hopes to gain the most users at companies that are too small for the Fortune 2000 list, where large corporations get their IT services from long-term contracts with BMC Software, CA, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, he said.

Maiocco is betting that IT managers at small companies would rather get customized service, picking their own products with a buffet-meal approach enabled by Web 2.0 technologies. Using a distributed work model is also more efficient than centralized call centers, since 50 percent of help-desk calls relate to bugs that have already been addressed by patches and release notes, he said.

Fewer than 500 people use Klir Analytics 3.0 today, but Klir began distributing a free, entry-level version in August, hoping to enlist 1,000 users and push their results into statistical relevancy. Once that happens, the company will roll out quantitative benchmarking of IT products and services, based on users' reports on applications, bandwidth, networks and servers.

Dell Inc. launched a similar product in June with its Platinum Plus IT services offering, a dashboard that uses maps from Google Earth to let IT managers track problems and compare their results with other companies. However, Dell's product is for companies with at least 100 servers, while Klir Analytics subscriptions start at US$108 per month to manage 10 devices.

A closer competitor may be Splunk, a San Francisco company backed by CA whose software lets system administrators search through data on applications, devices and services, then share their troubleshooting advice in a community wiki.

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