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IBM to Offer NetSolve's MSP Services

IBM (NYSE:IBM) is diving into the Management Service Provider (MSP) market by teaming with NetSolve Inc. (Nasdaq:NTSL), an Austin, Texas-based provider of remote network management services.

Under the alliance, IBM Global Services, Big Blue's consulting arm, will offer NetSolve's ProWatch suite of managed network services. IBM Global Services integrates IBM services, hardware, software and research to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of their IT.

"Clients would rather concentrate on their business than manage a network," Dr. Ed Harrison, director and managing principal, U.S. network services practice of IBM Global Services, told InternetNews. "And we can manage it at a lower cost than they can."

NetSolve's services enable IBM to offer customers the option to outsource specific network management activities to increase reliability and uptime, reduce overall network costs and simplify timely migration to new technologies. This is just one part of IBM's full lifecycle of network services, which includes assessment, plan design, implement and run phases, Harrison said. "This is part of the run phase – caring for the network," he said. "We saw a big opportunity here for e-Sourcing."

NetSolve will begin its alliance with IBM by providing network management for Memphis City Schools' Wide Area Network (WAN), Local Area Network (LAN) and servers.

The network, which currently connects 180 school and administrative sites throughout the district and consists of over 2,000 networking devices, is designed to provide the school district with a customized system to support their educational, training, curriculum and administrative applications. Memphis City Schools is Tennessee's largest school system and the nation's 20th-largest metropolitan school system with 118,000 students.

"Our network has become the critical element determining the effectiveness of our educational system's administration," noted Linda Mainord, director of IT for Memphis City Schools. "But as a public education system, we have to work within a conservative budget and limited IT staff. IBM and NetSolve brought us a solution that reduces our risk, ensures our network reliability and gives us a cost-effective, fixed monthly fee."

IBM will begin offering NetSolve's services to its mid-sized U.S. clients, with plans to expand globally in the future.



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