LogicNow, which develops cloud-based software for managed services providers, has launched a big data initiative to help MSPs better serve small businesses.

Details about the big data and machine learning push surfaced at Max 2015 -- a partner gathering near Washington, D.C. Roughly 12,000 MSPs already leverage LogicNow's MAXfocus remote management, storage, security and service desk tools.

The twist? All of those tools run in LogicNow's cloud. Not by coincidence, LogicNow has been hiring data scientists to pinpoint machine learning opportunities for MSPs within LogicNow's cloud. Moreover, LogicNow has been hiring user experience team members to focus on the core code and make the cloud products more intuitive -- especially as big data capabilities emerge, according to LogicNow GM Alistair Forbes.

Start with the Data

Among the key themes at the conference: Leveraging data in the right way -- combining speed with direction to create business velocity. "Data is at the core of what we do," said Forbes. Until now, MSPs had to go searching for the data they needed within their management dashboards. But LogicNow has been investing in machine learning -- having the system learn from what MSPs do. The result? The system will increasingly reflect a customized view -- giving specific MSPs the specific data or insights they need. 

"You start to see the scale of our big efforts when you look at the machines we have connected to the system," Forbes told the audience. "Look at the numbers: 12,000 MSPs with 60,000 engineers on the system; 175,000 networks being managed; more than 2 million endpoints under management. We have lots and lots of data. But what should we do with it?"

There's no way individuals can keep on top of the information, Forbes conceded. The IBM Watson project suggests 90 percent of data has been created in the past two years, he noted. "So how do you profit from all that in an SMB business?" In response, LogicNow is launching a range of big data tools and analytics for MSPs.

He pointed to three types of analytics: Descriptive (conventional reporting), predictive analytics (what may happen in the future) and prescriptive analytics -- where the system looks at the data, predicts what will happen and gives you pointers in terms of what steps to take.

In particular, the system will help MSPs to predict what cloud and IT services small businesses will likely want to purchase next, Forbes said.

New Big Data Brand

The actual big data product's name? LOGICcards. Data Scientist Dana Bullister provided the deeper details. "It's an intelligent notification engine for MSPs," she said. "To draw the data from millions of devices worldwide, you need to do more than transform it into more than analytics. It has to be actionable knowledge."

Bullister then demonstrated a range of features within the LOGICcards dashboards -- showing insights culled from devices worldwide. The big data platform is available immediately to conference attendees, according to Director of Community Dave Sobel, with a broader MSP rollout planned soon.

Forbes conceded that LogicNow's software initiatives aren't easy -- comparing the various enhancements to building or enhancing an airplane while it's still in flight. 

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