Nimsoft CEO: Selling a New Value Proposition

By:
12/13/2011
From the Road

Corporate functions from human resources to customer relationship management (CRM) have already been migrated to the cloud. Now systems monitoring and management is becoming a cloud-based service. Nimsoft, a CA Technologies company, provides management-as-a-service (MaaS) capabilities. CEO Chris O’Malley and I talked about strategies for marketing new technology, selling to different customer segments and finding common ground with CIOs.

Customer Segments See You Differently

CA is focused on the largest IT shops, predominantly companies where mainframes are a key part of the IT infrastructure. It acquired Nimsoft in order to expand its customer base to include mid-sized companies and firms such as Groupon or Netflix that are disposed to running their IT infrastructure and applications in the cloud. These “new age” companies won’t view CA’s traditional products and services as relevant to them, O’Malley said. But “they would see the more edgy nature of something like Nimsoft.”

Through Nimsoft, CA can also make a case for traditional customers to remain with CA as they move to the cloud, whether they they want to deploy IT management as as service internally or use a management services provider.

Don’t Sell Everything the Same Way

When you enter a new market, you have to adapt your sales and marketing process. Nimsoft has remained independent from CA and sells its services differently than its parent company. “We’ve got to be a viral company to get volume within a market segment that has 14,000 customers and thousands of MSPs,” O’Malley said. With a financial model for Nimsoft that is based on monthly recurring revenue, deals have to be made–and customers have to get up and running–quickly.  “It’s dramatically different than an on-premise software vendor that does three-year deals.”

Find Common Experiences

O’Malley ran CA’s mainframe business, during a period when the company was revamping its mainframe management capabilities. “It gave me a lot of excitement about the fact that IT people could go through this transition and be a part of the new age of things,” he said. “I look at what we did there in reinvigorating the platform as very much like what CIOs have got to do with their IT organizations.”

As the value proposition for data centers evolves, CIOs who want to change how IT is managed have to consider the impact on the people who run the infrastructure now. “It’s hard because you’re looking at a lot of faces of the people who have built this thing that runs at five nines.” O’Malley said. “It’s fulfilling its promise” but has to change anyway.

Read the complete interview here.

Check out a companion interview with CA Technologies CEO William McCracken here.

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