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December 24, 2010

Appliance Deployment: Taking the Appliance Model to the End User: NEI

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


The cost-effective delivery of software is an important focus for any software developer as the increased interest in cloud computing has brought software pricing to the forefront of decision making. One company, NEI, is working to provide a way to bundle applications together to benefit both the end user and the provider.

To get an idea of what NEI (News - Alert) has been up to in 2010 and what the company has planned for 2011, TMCnet’s Rich Tehrani sat down with Mike Slattery, director of software engineering at NEI. Their conversation was captured in this video.

NEI is a business focused on expanding the appliance space by reaching out into a number of different markets that the appliance model will fit into. NEI is currently looking at opportunities to deliver software more cost effectively.

The core business for NEI is complete appliance solutions and application software as an end solution. NEI can develop the platform to provide users what they want in terms of applications, while also making it available as an end solution.

Element Manager is a key piece for NEI. If a company is delivering software, the company needs to be able to manage the box. In other words, the company has to manage for help, updates, support, etc. Element Manager does this instead at a much more competitive price than the company doing it in-house.

As for NEI’s value in the market, the appliance saves the IT shop by hardening the solution, pre-installing the software and eliminating the set up and maintenance activities that normally apply. This saves time and therefore money. NEI supplies all of these capabilities so the end user can just start using the product.

This approach is also beneficial for NEI developer customers as they are in very competitive application markets and they want to focus on developing new solutions, not maintaining what they have.

The appliance also fits very well in a virtual and cloud environment. One of the challenges coming out of the IT data center is that they are under pressure to drive down cost and power consumption. In a virtual environment, the appliance model has been tuned for that environment and it doesn’t take up additional space or power within the data center, meeting this need.

In terms of trends in the market, Slattery noted that a lot of customers are trying to figure out how to address the cloud space. Not all appliances or services are designed for the cloud, yet a lot of providers are trying to use the cloud to reach down market and NEI can help streamline this process.

As for what is next for NEI, the company is trying to leverage managed services in the market and would like to expand and improve this service.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca


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