While tooling around central MA on my little red motorcycle earlier last week, I came across two motorcycle enthusiasts (until recently they were riders too) who were also technology innovators and startup founders. We had coffee together and chatted about the prospects for their business. Since I got there early, I saved a table and they provided the coffee. Thanks.
My coffee meeting was with Ermis Sfakiyanudis and Alan Schunemann, CEO and CTO respectively of eTelemetry, the Annapolis MD startup. Founded in 2004, the company's innovations came from Alan's experience as a LAN manager for the Goddard Space Center. His experience in not being able to easily or automatically associate different layers of the environment (layer 2 to layer 3 is well serviced, but layer 3 to layer 7 is not) with human identities was a source of considerable frustration….
… and opportunity. The core technology of the company is an algorithm that passively correlates a users' login identity (Active Directory login for example) with IP address at a specific time. Furthermore, the core scope of the deployment is packaged as an appliance to make it an easy installation with plug and play functionality and as a repository for the crawler which does all the heavy lifting and pinging. The eTelemetry Locate product is available through leading resellers or direct from the company.
Enterprise IP Phone Mapping for E911
Tuned for IP phone MAC addresses (manufacturers of IP phones have standardized the MAC addresses in particular ways, so knowing this MAC address means it has to be an IP phone) the Locate appliance is transformed into the Locate911 platform. Leveraging a recently signed (March 21, 2007) interworking and resell relationship with 911Enable (a division of Connexon Telecom of Montreal PQ), eTelemetry can position itself as part of a larger solution set requiring automated IP phone to physical location mapping for the enterprise-to-Public Safety Point integration.
I would expect eTelemetry to associate itself in future with the solution programs of the major unified communications equipment manufacturers, who are being asked to provide this functionality by their enterprise customers as they remove the E911-compliant digital PBX systems and replace them with IP-based unified communications products.
Metron delivers LAN Forensics
Who's operating a P2P music sharing service? What's the bandwidth consumption for each workgroup? department? division? Is this employee doing an inordinate amount of inappropriate activities online? Clearly enabling bandwidth accounting and providing an person-by-person and department-by-department understanding of network usage – by service, by user, by organizational grouping – are the core value proposition of the Metron product and the services it delivers to IT managers.
Appliances. LAN forensics. Enterprise accounting. Mapping people with IP addresses, MAC addresses and ultimately physical location are worthwhile market spaces for large enterprises, government and educational institutions that have large campuses and diverse user communities.
In the coming months, I would expect the team to rollout packaging options that expand the addressable market and leverages other buyers and other applications that need to be sensitivie to whom is behind which IP address. I'm thinking of hosted options, smaller packages, rental options for the diagnostic VAR service. Maybe there are other partnering opportunities available with LAN analytical specialists too?
— UPDATE May 15, 2007
eTelemetry announced a deal to license their technology to SourceFire, a deep packet inspection vendor in the MD area. This IP-to-People technology expands SourceFire's differentiation and gives their customers more effective access to the persons responsible for bad PC hygiene. Knowing the name of the person responsible for a quarantined computer is hugely valuable in the development and operation of effective information security practices. Utlimately users have to take responsibility for their role in protecting the company's information assets and this deal goes a long way towards faciliating that initiative.