SEA Delivers Web and Mobile Consoles for absMessage
June 5, 2007 Alex Woodie
One can never be too rich, too thin, or too young, as an old saying goes. When it comes to systems management tools for the i5/OS server, perhaps one can never have too many ways to interact with and control the server. One vendor embracing this concept is Software Engineering of America, a developer of tools for System i and System z servers, which recently introduced two new interfaces for absMessage, its message management utility for i5/OS servers, bringing the total number of product interfaces to four.
SEA is a relative newbie to the System i systems management space, but it has accomplished quite a bit in a short amount of time, and more is on the way. The company jumped into the marketspace in late 2004 when it began reselling RevSoft‘s suite of i5/OS of utilities. That partnership ended less than a year later, and since then the company has embarked upon its own i5/OS development strategy.
The company’s first i5/OS systems management tool was absCompress, a compression and encryption tool that uses the gZip compression and AES encryption standards to reduce file size and protect sensitive data. That product, which is developed and maintained by SEA’s partner, Seneca Technology, has been in demand among companies seeking to comply with the Payment Cardholder Initiative (PCI) mandate, says Jay Thakker, SEA’s vice president of sales.
SEA’s second i5/OS tool was absMessage, which it launched at the Fall 2006 COMMON conference in Miami Beach, Florida, less than a year ago. At the 2007 COMMON Annual Conference and Expo in Anaheim, California, last month, the company introduced two new interfaces for absMessage.
The new Web interface allows administrators to check the status of their i5/OS messages and issue commands, if necessary, from any standard Web browser. “We developed the Web console based on a few particular user requests,” Thakker says. “They said ‘We need to control this from anywhere.'”
Similarly, the new mobile interface allows administrators to monitor and manage their System i message from a wireless device, such as a RIM‘s Blackberry, Microsoft Windows Mobile devices, and handhelds from Palm.
The new Web and mobile interfaces are in addition to absMessage’s existing interfaces, which include the 5250 green-screen interface and a Java-based GUI. These interfaces are more designed for setting up and configuring the product as opposed to working with it on a daily basis, Thakker says.
SEA has made an impact in the short amount of time it’s been in the System i market, Thakker says. “We’ve ramped up quite well in the last six months,” he says. “We have 12 sales representatives for just the iSeries. Business for absMessage is taking off. We’ve really been able to get our feet in the market.”
But it’s not just absMessage, he says, but absCompress that’s selling, as well. “All those products have gotten a great deal of interest,” he says. “We’ve created a large footprint for ourselves in a fairly short amount of time.”
The company plans to build a bigger footprint with new enhancements and products during the next 18 months. This strategy includes new support for tape and field- and file-level encryption in absCompress, plus support for Windows messages with absMessage, and a new disk-analysis product, tentatively called absDisk, scheduled for beta this summer.
Other products are in the wings, including a scheduling tool that could ship in the 2008-2009 timeframe, and possibly a backup tool after that. “Our goal is to make the abs suite of products a complete automation package. That’s our strategy,” Thakker says.
The new Web and mobile consoles are no-charge features of absMessage release 2.02.32. Pricing is tier-based and starts at $3,000.
SEA is holding a Webcast on absMessage Thursday, June 7, at 3 p.m. EDT. For more details, see the company’s Web site at www.seasoft.com.