Help/Systems Buys CCSS For Systems Management Expertise
October 22, 2012 Alex Woodie
Help/Systems last week bought CCSS, the developer of systems monitoring and performance management tools for the IBM i server. Minnesota-based Help/Systems plans to keep all CCSS employees and its offices in North Carolina, the United Kingdom, and Germany, and run the company as a completely separate entity, representatives with CCSS and Help/Systems say.
Ray Wright founded CCSS and built it into a successful business developing, selling, and supporting IBM i systems monitoring and management tools. The company’s three products–QSystem Monitor, QMessage Monitor, and QRemote Control–help companies and cloud service firms run their IBM i servers in a more efficient and automated fashion.
CCSS carved a niche for itself in the crowded field of systems management vendors by offering a unique set of functionality in its products and by being responsive to customer needs. QSystem Monitor, in particular, provides a very well-rounded set of performance monitoring capabilities for the IBM i server. It covers everything from the basic hardware (memory, disks, network, and CPU utilization) to the IBM i stuff (LPAR, object, ASP, and job activity) and the esoteric stuff, like monitoring the status of DASD battery packs.
QSystem Monitor has been a leader in the performance monitoring space for years. The software gives administrators real-time performance data, which they can use to make tactical decisions. CCSS had also partnered with Midrange Performance Group, which offers more strategic, long-term performance and capacity planning tools.
Help/Systems doesn’t have anything quite like QSystem Monitor, but already has a pair of tools that offer roughly the same functionality as QMessage Monitor, with the Robot/CONSOLE and MessengerConsole and MessengerPlus products, which were originally developed by Bytware and continue to be sold under Help/Systems. Now the company has three message management tools for IBM i.
The folks at Help/Systems have long admired CCSS and its products, Help/Systems manager of technical solutions, Anna Deuel, tells IT Jungle. “CCSS is a very well run company,” she said. “We have admired them from the side. They have a wealth of offerings for the IBM i customer.” The opportunity to buy it came up, and the Eden Prairie, Minnesota, company, which is backed by the private equity firm Summit Partners, took it.
Help/Systems plans to run CCSS as a separate entity, Deuel says. It won’t be integrated under the Help/Systems umbrella like the company’s previous acquisitions, including Advanced Systems Concepts (ASC), Bytware, and PowerTech. Help/Systems is also in the process of digesting Safestone Technologies, a UK security software company that it acquired this summer. It also bought the DataThread DB2/400 monitoring product from Innovatum in 2011.
Wright has left the company, and Help/Systems CEO Janet Dryer has been named a director of CCSS, but no other employee changes are expected at this time, the Help/Systems manager said.
“The staff will remain the same, the office will remain the same. For our client base, it’s business as usual,” says CCSS product manager Paul Ratchford, who is based in the North Carolina office.
Ratchford doesn’t foresee many changes taking place, but sees the size of his new corporate parent providing a possible advantage in the future. “It may give us wider possibilities for development or marketing,” he says. “It may give us a lot more scope for growing than if we maintained our smaller existence.”