Everdream IT Service to Let Users Call the Shots

Hosted desktop management tool takes aim at large enterprises.

After pioneering the virtual IT department as a hosted service, Everdream Corp. is hoping to appeal to large enterprises by retooling its platform to give more control back to users.

The company next month will roll out improvements to its namesake IT Management Platform that put features such as electronic software distribution and remote systems controls in the hands of IT managers, officials from the Fremont, Calif., company said.

The move comes as Everdream, which made its name proffering comprehensive desktop management services, looks to attract enterprises that employ their own help desks and want to manage some IT functions themselves.

Everdream still hosts the server-side elements of its service at its data centers in Fremont and in Charlotte, N.C., with all management traffic traveling via secure Internet connections. But the company is now testing a version of its platform that can be hosted completely within an organization, for large users that want the overarching functionality but want to keep the platform contained, said Russell Rive, Everdreams chief technology officer.

Among the key changes to the Everdream platform will be evolution of its Control Center console into a customizable IT Dashboard, which gives IT users a real-time start page with current views of system information such as help requests and security updates.

Everdream also plans improvements to its reporting features with a SQL-based Advanced Query Builder that can be exported to Microsoft Corp.s Excel. In addition, the company is making the service modular, allowing users to pick services such as asset discovery, software deployment and trouble-ticket handling as needed. Everdream will also introduce custom engineering services to help large users tackle business problems through IT, officials said.

Everdream user Stephen Kutzer of CarrAmerica Realty Corp., who has been testing some of the new features, said the hosted IT model has cut costs and improved service for nearly 800 users at the real estate investment company.

"With a centralized IT and with users scattered, we were the ideal candidate for Everdream," said Kutzer, vice president of IT engineering and operations at the Washington company. "Weve tripled our support coverage and reduced head count."

Kutzer estimated he saved $400,000 in costs related to software updates, and the Everdream platform has allowed CarrAmerica to implement asset discovery, backup and virus scanning on PCs. Everdream now handles 65 percent of trouble tickets with no intervention from CarrAmerica.

Because of the granularity of the updated platform, pricing will depend on features used, Rive said. The range runs from less than $10 per desktop to upward of $80 per desktop, he said.

"Enterprises are attracted to Everdream because executives are tired of being burned by the broken promises, complexity, infinitely long installation times and cost overruns often experienced with large desktop management suites," said Everdream CEO Gary Griffiths.