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Inforonics Offers More Managed Services

Provider unbundles services and adds support for packaged apps
Managed services continue to be an attractive alternative to maintaining an in-house staff of technology experts. That's why managed-service provider Inforonics Inc. last week unveiled plans to expand its managed-service offerings, including construction of a Network Operations Center to monitor client systems. Inforonics has also unbundled its services so customers can choose the exact offerings they need. It's also added managed services for packaged applications such as SAP R/3 and converted off-hours beeper support to round-the-clock live support to give global customers the type of direct interaction they desire.

Inforonics customer, a joint venture between Business Wire and Medialink, provides online news and information to more than 52,000 users. It cut $600,000 from its IT budget by outsourcing Web-site and Web-application management. The savings resulted from not staffing network engineering and security positions. "That's a staff I couldn't support in this economy," Newstream managing editor Les Blatt says. The managed-service approach lets Newstream pay a monthly fee rather than build an IT infrastructure.

Because Newstream doesn't rely on revenue from advertisers, it's crucial that its news is disseminated promptly to journalists, the users that companies pay to reach. "Just as important, we have to be able to tell the companies that post news with us who's using our site," Blatt says. Inforonics built Newstream's content-management system and personalization engine and continues to manage its Web-site usage statistics.

Inforonics' experience hosting IT operations for publishers such as Business Wire and Thomas Register make the service provider well-suited to deliver managed services to the media, Dataquest analyst Bruce Caldwell says. Other customers include Apple Computer, Blue Cross of Massachusetts, and MCI WorldCom.

To broaden its appeal to clients outside publishing, Inforonics may consider partnering with other managed-service providers. Among its current partners are HP Bluestone, Microsoft, NaviSite, Oracle, and Sun Service Partners.