Nuvo Network Management Inc. wanted to give its customers the opportunity to really see what was going on with their networks.

On a regular basis, customers may not have been able to see exactly what Nuvo, which manages clients’ networks, had been doing for them.

All they might have seen is how smoothly everything was going, said Doug Carwardine, the vice-president of business development at Ottawa-based Nuvo. With webCenter, customers can take a behind-the-scenes look at everything that Nuvo does on a day-to-day basis.

webCenter is the new Web-based service offered to enable customers access to their networks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The webCenter provides users with maps of their network, detailed problem ticket information, reports on planned and executed changes to the network, as well as inventory information.

Compared to other options on the market, Nuvo’s webCenter’s reports and features are a little more dynamic, according to Dan McLean, an analyst at Toronto-based IDC Canada. Because information is being recorded constantly, customers will always receive the latest monitoring information, he said. Previously, users might have had to generate a report, whereas this is a continuous process.

Network management is a very reactive thing, said McLean. Most of the time, “network managers are out there fighting fires,” and on a daily basis you’ll never know what’s going to happen and where people will be. Most companies don’t have as many people on staff as they would like, and if they can avoid having to use their staff to handle the day-to-day tasks, they would. The daily tasks are typically what most people want to outsource, he said. That is what makes services such as Nuvo’s so helpful.

It’s a style of management that isn’t really new, “but it has become almost the de facto way of offering a managed network service — people now expect it to be Web-enabled,” McLean said. There is also a cost savings for users as they don’t have to deploy as many managment work stations as they might have had to previously.

Along with the webCenter, Nuvo announced enhancements to its remote network management services (rNMS). The LAN and WAN management packages include the Nuvo rNMS 3000, which offers non-stop monitoring; the Nuvo rNMS 4000, which provides performance reporting; and the 5000, which is Nuvo’s full management package.

Traditionally, Nuvo focused on larger-size companies, Carwardine said. The services now enables the company to target and serve the medium-sized marketplace as well.

Customers looking to outsource network management from a service provider fear they will lose control, Carwardine explained. This is a product that will put control back in their hands, he said, and they can get services from one place without having to do it in-house.

As well, “if the network grows, they’re more able to cost-effectively support it,” he explained.

If a firm has all of the inventory information that Nuvo requires, Carwardine estimated a network with 100 routers could be turned on by Nuvo in under 30 days. There is a service management team and a new customer introduction team that bring the customer into Nuvo’s network operations centre, he said.

“We order a circuit that connects them to the customer network, and then we input a complete inventory into our system. We tweak that information, and then we’re up and running,” Carwardine explained.

The webCenter has been in alpha trials for 12 months, in beta for six months, and in full beta for 45 days. The full release was at the end of January.

While pricing for the rNMS services was not available, Carwardine said customers subscribing to the services who want webCenter access pay an additional 12 per cent per month.

McLean said he expects this market to continue to grow.

“Web-enabled management is really the whole direction that’s taking place with managed network services offered by various outsourcing companies.”

The benefit is that it offers a high level of portability to the people doing the management, so they can “pretty much connect from any point, and connect through the Internet to actually get to the management monitoring and management tools that they need to get to.”

For more information about the services and webCenter, see Nuvo at