Web site management firm InterOPS debuts

Customers looking to outsource their Web site management without having to invest in new network management tools may want to check out InterOPS Management Solutions.

InterOPS Inc., a management service provider (MSP) focused on Internet environments, launched Monday with its set of three remote Web site management service offerings. Customers can choose a consolidated view of the support elements of their Web environment from inside the firewall or an external view that manages Web site performance outside of company firewalls. The third level of services lets customers collect performance and network data and build a knowledge base that could serve to help them better optimize their Web site, the company says.

Company President and CEO Ed Mallen, who comes to InterOPS from companies such as NetCentric, Interleaf and IBM, says the company's offerings work with customers existing network management software and devices. Unlike when dealing with competitors such as NOCpulse, which sell proprietary products along with their service, InterOPS customers don't need to add software or hardware to their network when they sign on for service. InterOPS also competes with MSPs Triactive and Totality.

Mallen says the company plans to work incrementally with customers to establish trust because InterOPS customers "can't afford to relinquish control and add new investments on our word alone." As of right now, and Fidelity Investments have signed on with InterOPS.

InterOPS either places an object request broker in a customer environment and establishes a VPN between the customer site and InterOPS' Internet management center, or uses Secure Sockets Layer to ensure a secure connection. APIs deal directly with the customer's management tools and send that information back to InterOPS, where data is collected and analyzed. Using a browser, InterOPS and customers see the same consolidated view of network and Web site performance data.

Gartner analyst Eric Goodness says the lack of additional network tools, along with the process management InterOPS builds into its service offerings, may set the MSP apart from others. "InterOPS is like a personal trainer - they make sure you do what you need to, do it enough times and do it right," Goodness says. "Engineers love firefights, but oftentimes when fixing a complex problem, they don't take the time to establish a process."

Customers sign on for a 1-year contract, and InterOPS determines a monthly service fee for customers depending on service option, infrastructure level and complexity. Pricing can range from US$15,000 to $30,000 per month.