Now before you get mad at me, and you will, I urge you to accept that this is not just my opinion: but an opinion that I am putting my money behind. How I choose to build our business based on our strategy and research may not be fitting for everyone else.
We have been hard at work with Unicorn v2. Here is a bit about the infrastructure changes:
The old version of Unicorn used http replays between the client machines to relay information to the Shockey Monkey server.
The new version is a 3 part system: Server component, Client component, Viewer component.
The server runs on an independent machine in the cloud, accepting TCP/IP connections.
Each client, will authenticate with Shockey Monkey credentials and establish an open connection to the server machine. No information will be sent through the pipes until data is requested from a connected viewer.
Viewers also connect through TCP/IP and retrieve information from the selected machine. The client machine then packs up all relevant information and transmits It to the server, which relays the information to the view for real time data viewing and access.
Basically to be able to reach our global client base, we’ll spin up cloud virtual instances as needed and you’re welcome to roll out as many agents as you can against them as you wish. Here is what the latest beta looks like:
It will be released when it’s ready, we’re currently using it to support our existing ExchangeDefender Migrations & Support clients and are obviously adding more and more features to this new agent while creating a more scalable system.
You can see the commercial version that’s currently used by our partners here.
Unicorn: Is it dead? Is it ready? Can I replace XYZ with it?
Obviously, the existing version is used by a ton of people so it’s far from dead. The second release is in beta, as you can see above, so far from dead there too. Whether you can replace something else with it, that’s where things get a little tough.
When we originally built the Unicorn our agenda was to give that solution away because we firmly believe that the world of a pure play MSP is past the critical extinction level.
We build the Unicorn not to sustain or scale the pure play MSP – we built it to eradicate it. The business model behind the Unicorn is not to sustain the operations of the company that doesn’t want to go to our cloud – it’s to arm the companies in our cloud to be able to mass market the MSP bare bones as a valueless service that anyone can take to expose the holes in their in-house IT and let someone else handle it at a huge discount when you subscribe to other services. Other services are key here.
Mad at me yet? Don’t just take it from me, take it from all the other pure play MSP companies that are folding, selling for pennies on the dollar, laying people off and otherwise being marginalized with the reality that the commodity on premise IT business is an opportunity in the sunset.
Does that invalidate the business? Far from it – it shakes out weak and strong players alike – and empowers the more nimble and flexible IT Solution Providers to approach the customer and say: “You want to buy solution XYZ from me, listen – I can take this fee you’re paying to this other IT company right off your expense sheet and provide it for a fraction. So we’ll just fire them and look how much cheaper this makes going with us?”
So.. yeah. If you’re in IT selling servers and computers as your primary business.. sorry? But if you have a specialty, a vertical focus or a solution focus, if you’re diversifying and focusing on service instead of geeky stuff nobody cares about – you’re loving this. And you want to retire that Popular Mechanic Geek Squad guy too.
I’ve been saying this for at least 4 years now and it’s not a matter of bullshit on a blog or an expert panel of soon to be unemployed: We put a lot of resources into this. We’re not seeking to make the point-solution guy find full time employment – we’re looking to help our diversified partners cut costs and leverage their solution stack for greater profits simply by reducing expenses and creating a solution stack that makes them valuable and relevant.
Trusted advisor? Technology expert? Hit the bricks pal, nobody cares about your junk. We’re growing business by millions $ by aligning what the clients are willing to pay for with what they perceive to be valuable.
“Vlad doesn’t care about his partners..”
As far as I can tell, “Vlad” is the guy putting money, resources and solutions to help the partners move forward.
And doing so with a smile ear to ear baby! Thank you for your continued support and thank you for helping us design the solutions that make you more competitive in the marketplace. We’re simply moving our partners forward based on the advice you give us on what is going to make you successful. ExchangeDefender would still be a Gateway Pentium 60MHz box under my desk at DialISDN if it wasn’t for the 15+ years of partners constantly helping us make the right decisions.