Startup Optinuity gets funding

Startup Optinuity gets funding

Management software vendor Optinuity intends to give veteran vendors a run for their money with its automation technology, and the start-up recently garnered US$6.5 million in first found funding to get the job started.

The US company this week will announce it reaped a total of US$6.5 million in Series A venture funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Venrock Associates, with additional funding from Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds (MAVF). The company, founded in April 2004 and now headed by former Visual Networks CEO Scott Stouffer, will launch its product in early 2005. The software, Stouffer says, will automate the responses network managers typically have to take to resolve network, system and application problems.

"There has been a lot of investments made in the monitoring and detection of network problems," Stouffer says. "We intend to automate the execution of human troubleshooting and problem resolution. It's an area that remains totally inefficient and error-prone, and our technology can discipline and streamline those processes."

The software, which Stouffer refused to share details on until January, will help IT operations staff maintain network, systems, application and ultimately business continuity. Hence the company name, Stouffer explains, which merges operations with continuity.

The company hopes to address CIO pain points such as speedy network repairs, quick disaster recovery, tight staff budgets and the lack of expertise on the job. The software would incorporate the intelligence of high-level staffers into software so companies with small operations staff could address problems without a lot of expertise.

"Every IT shop has an IT rock star that the CIO fears will someday leave the company and then chaos will break loose," Stouffer says. Optinuity's product will help IT shops put that intelligence into a software platform so the actions would be repeated, without error, regardless of the network administrator on duty. The repeatable nature of the product could also help companies deal with regulatory compliance.

"Keeping documented records of actions taken will be easier when it's automated in software," he says.

Optinuity could compete with the likes of Mercury Interactive and IBM's Tivoli Software, both of which acquired IT governance technology in Kintana and Systemcorp, respectively. Stouffer says Mercury and Tivoli along with BMC Software, Computer Associates International and Hewlett-Packard are vendors Optinuity could compete with in the coming months.

To start, Optinuity will sell directly to large enterprise accounts, with software deals starting in six figure dollar amounts. In the future, Stouffer says the five-employee company will consider channel and other partnership deals to distribute the product.

"It's not a small tool to address niche problems," Stouffer says. "It will help break down the silo management approach many companies are stuck in today and automate problem resolution across the infrastructure."

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