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Park Place offers AI-powered uptime booster

Park Place, the specialist in systems hardware monitoring, is looking at more expansion into Europe and with more acquisitions in the coming year.

At the Park Place Technology Summit last week, European customers and partners were shown the new Park View Service. Powered by BMC's TrueSight system and using AI, Park View’s learning system makes uptime a priority by predicting patterns of usage and failures in data centres, managing and deploying resources accordingly before the client knows that anything has occurred.

Simon Bitton, marketing director for Europe: “We really will be on the map and this is a game-changer for the industry.”

It is part of a plan for Park Place which sees it diversifying and moving into automated systems. It has already acquired several associated businesses and the VC backed vendor has been growing fast, both through acquisition and organically.

Paul Mercina, director of product management: “We’ve been buying firms that we would traditionally partner with, for the technical backline where we have used the support resources. From a product management side, I love it because we then have the dedicated team to work with instead of using their support and develop resources. We are acquiring technical talent and consolidating to get resources. The other play is foot-print – getting into the geography.”

He is looking at Europe from a strong UK base, and can also see demand in the wider EMEA space including the middle east. Park Place came to Europe in 2015, then started making acquisitions which has given it three locations in the UK. It also now has an office in Frankfurt and a distribution centre in Amsterdam, so there has been significant growth in Europe and that will continue through M&A and organically.

Park Place will continue to make acquisitions in 2018; he says; it has a strong position and roadmap through growing organically and thinking strategically.

“Automation plays a big role in this; next year we will have a mobile app so users can see any tickets on the network and check the SLAs and configure it all; looking at either the mission critical elements or the whole picture. I think that is part of our vision.”

The process is increasingly forward-looking: “We can issue the parts required to fix, or as part of preventive maintenance, track them going to the customer and check the fitting. It will set us apart in the next year we will move further into managed services offerings where we will have a lot more partners.”

This is the message behind the launch of Park View – the new tool . There is still a lot of work to be done on analytics to create customer value, he thinks. “I expect we will look at a specialist sales team who can be more consultative. Traditional resellers have not been able to move over into this market.”

“We have done the hard work now and the concept has to go to the managed services providers who also don’t want to do all this maintenance work. They, and the customers are asking ‘What do we have to own? And with what risks?’ They want partners who can take the risk. We will be value based-driven and explain it to the customer, building credibility on delivery. It took us a couple of year to get this going.”

One of the other big trends in 2018 is digital transformation – firms are less interested in growing their IT departments even when they can afford it and can find the staff; most are having fewer staff and want less stuff to manage. This means moving more to cloud and in any case, they want to shift the IT function to a business focus, he says. The monitoring side is a prime candidate for automation.

“We talk about our value proposition – a huge part of that is a maintenance plan which actually creates capacity within the organisation by cutting their maintenance by more than half. The maintenance we offer is at least half the OEM’s bill; after all the vendor wants the customer to refresh the technology and buy more.”

“So we create capacity in the end user IT, taking way all the calls in the ticket. And by giving them tools they can use to manage themselves.”

“Really that is the big story behind Park View – helping create capacity and our own digital service delivery – we are connected all those boxes are generating data on the service side.”

The business is in hardware services, built out using technology from BMC. “BMC has a long history in this and has a large portfolio of products. With this, we can get into network and application performance and move into capacity optimisation. But we will pick our spots beyond hardware and into managed services and IoT.”

“The core is storage and services around that but networking is the fastest growing because we put more emphasis on it.” But third-party maintenance has a lot to grow into even with all the cloud moves, he says.

Down the road he can see the move into software, databases, environment and other data centre-associated areas. “We are going to grow – the market is data centre support and the focus is service delivery. Park View is a significant milestone – the first-ever service launched by ourselves, trademarked and built through working with developers and BMC.

“We are maturing so that we build an innovation culture – we want to innovate across the board – on our systems and backend and our customers. We want to drive more innovation and new services through these initiatives. This is the first one and there are more big ideas coming,” he concludes.