Steve Giles and Luke Rindfuss, the brain trust behind the launch of network management firm Oculan, are teaming up for a new venture.
Giles and Rindfuss brought their newest venture, SnowFin Corporation, out of stealth mode on Wednesday.
SnowFin already is selling its IT outsourcing solution called “Lighthouse Support” and has signed on several customers, including Brand Fuel Promotions and the North Carolina Technological Development Authority.
The “pain point” Giles and Rindfuss want to address is providing a complete set of IT support tools for businesses which have between five and 75 employees. SnowFin wants to “guide” firms through IT troubles — just as a legendary albino dolphin “SnowFin” guided ships through a hazardous Outer Banks passage in the 1790s, thus the name.
It’s largely the same market Giles and Rindfuss went after with Oculan, but with a focus on IT services rather than hardware.
“Small businesses outsource their payroll, benefits and accounting. IT should be no different,” Rindfuss said. “The available options that small businesses have to solve their IT issues, paying by the hour for reactive, ad hoc IT services or hiring a full-time IT administrator, just don’t make economic sense, SnowFin is the IT department for our customers.”
For a monthly fee, Lighthouse Support includes operating system updates, disaster recovery, router reconfiguration and on-call support. The package also includes scheduled onsite engineering time, remote management and automation services.
In a statement, Robert Fiveash, co-owner of Brain Fuel, said picking SnowFin was “a no-brainer — SnowFin is always available to solve problems, and our partnership with SnowFin has resulted in a cost-savings for Brand Fuel.”
Giles, a former executive with Hewlett-Packard, and Rindfuss also co-founded Onion Peel Software. They launched Oculan in January 1999 with a team of 10 engineers. Known then as OpenNMS, the company spent two years developing an appliance that allows firms to manage their entire network infrastructure remotely, from desktops to network devices to security, and to receive a variety of network reports to help identify and correct any problems.
Under the new Oculan name, the company unveiled its appliance, called OpticNerve, in July 2001.
Giles resigned as CEO of Oculan in November. At the time the company said it needed a new management team to drive further growth. OpticNerve won several industry awards, and Oculan signed on more than 150 resellers.
Oculan named Robert Davis III as its new CEO in April. He had served as CEO on an interim basis since December.
SnowFin is based at the First Flight Center and has three employees.