ComBrio platter: ILS Technologies deal lands managed IT services solutions

Acquisition in late October of ComBrio greatly extends the reach and power of ILS Technologies’ portfolio of connectivity technology—specifically remote product services software for data center management. The result is even greater access and security in remote monitoring processes and IT asset management while maintaining the integrity of corporate firewalls.
By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor (fosmith@thewritinggroup.com) November 17, 2008

Acquisition in late October of ComBrio greatly extends the reach and power of ILS Technologies ’ portfolio of connectivity technology, gaining remote product services (RPS) software for data center management. ILS garnered strong market presence with its deviceWISE product, an appliance that connects intelligent plant-floor devices like PLCs, bar-code readers, and other technology with higher-level systems. It also enables collaborative sharing of production information using ILS secureWISE software.

According to Fred Yentz, president and CEO of ILS Technologies, “secureWISE lets you share visibility of the data,” adding that in contrast, “With ComBrio, you can allow a trusted partner—for example, a systems integrator or a managed services provider—to remotely monitor systems, perform diagnostics, and maintain assets. Remote technical experts no longer have to travel, but instead can provide services in a simpler, more secure manner.”

Fred Yentz, president and CEO of ILS Technologies, looks forward to empowering technical experts with services that will let them perform monitoring, diagnostics, and maintenance of automation from remote locations in a simpler, more secure manner.

Yentz adds that ComBrio’s Virtual Service Infrastructure (VSI) software enables even greater access and security in remote monitoring processes and IT asset management while maintaining the integrity of corporate firewalls.

“ComBrio [gives manufacturers the tools] to do a better job with remote maintenance and diagnostics, and to effect system changes in a secure fashion,” says Craig Resnick, research director for Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group . “ComBrio provides a higher level of accessibility through ironclad firewalls that keep unauthorized users from penetrating the system. It [instills] confidence that access can be enabled without compromising the integrity of manufacturing operations.”

ComBrio also has capabilities for manufacturers looking to economize without jeopardizing performance. “As companies downsize their plants, there will be a greater need to do more monitoring, diagnostics, and maintenance of automation from remote locations,” says Resnick.

The ComBrio product enables ILS Technologies to expand its footprint in the remote product services (RPS) market, with applications for securely integrating intelligent devices in the plant and with enterprise IT assets via the Internet—without requiring dedicated connections or complex virtual private networks.

Charles O’Donnell, VP of the power group within Liebert Services , a unit of Emerson Network Power , views the ILS-ComBrio merger as a positive move. Emerson Network Power is known for its uninterrupted power supply and IT cooling products. ComBrio technologies allow Liebert to receive alarms remotely through an open connection to customers’ IT assets, leading to rapid response in terms of diagnostics and maintenance.

“ComBrio enables access for us without any modification to our customers’ firewalls,” concludes O’Donnell.