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Junisphere rounds out team

Otto Bischof (left), Oliver Zemp (middle) and Markus Schmid (right) of Junisphere Systems

Junisphere Systems AG has increased its capital and added Rainer Rueppel, a cryptographer and entrepreneurial consultant, to its board.

The Baar-based company raised an undisclosed amount of capital from business investors to fund expansion and power more research and development.

The 18-month old enterprise-oriented software company employs 8 people and plans to hire two more by the end of the year.

Revenues cover "most costs" today, according to Oliver Zemp, responsible for marketing and sales and co-founder of the company. The young enterprise develops and markets web-based performance management or "Service Level Management" application suite.

Today Junisphere is building its business on selling a web-based tool that gathers performance information, such as data throughput and response times, from the various components in a computing network.

It sees as competitors firms such as Mercury Interactive and Compuware. Executives at the larger, more established firms claim to be unaware of the activities of Junisphere.

That could be because Junisphere only provides one component at the moment. It would have to add a lot more features and tools to its package in order to compete with the range of products that its competitors Compuware and Mercury offer.

"SLM [service level management] is just one aspect of optimising an organisation's investment in networking equipment and technology," says Christian Tabernig, a senior product marketing manager of Mercury Interactive in the German town of Munich. He says that it is a subcategory of performance management, which is a subcategory of Business Technology Optimisation (a buzzword used by his company).

Mercury helped the Berlin public library network return more than €1.5 million in equipment to vendors that it no longer needed once Mercury "optimised" its network.

Consultants in the enterprise networking market contacted by this reporter had not heard of the young company either, which means the start-up has some marketing work to do. Maybe it will get some help in this respect from its new board member, Rainer Rueppel.

Rueppel is well-known in the information technology and venture capital community in Switzerland. He sold his start-up R3 Security in 1998 to Entrust, a Nortel Networks spinoff, and made a tidy profit. He stayed with the firm for a while and then began to act as an advisor for high tech investment funds. He is on the board of Workstation AG, a venture funded software company. He was not available for comment for this story.

Network applications availability

The response time or availability of computing applications says a lot about how well a network has been configured and implemented. The term "services" in this context typically means an application, such as email.

Most users are not aware that email messages typically pass through a range of computing and networking systems, from local area network, to the Microsoft Exchange server, the domain name server, and outside the organization to routers to get to their destination.

Responsibility for the management of these various nodes in the email network normally lies in the hands of different managers, each with her own monitoring and performance software. So that when an IT manager is told by an end user that his email is "not working", she has to sometimes contact four different people within a company to find out what went wrong.

Junisphere's software extracts the monitoring and performance data from the Exchange server, the routers and so on and delivers the data to the IT manager in a format that is easy to understand.

The founders of Junisphere, Markus Schmid, Otto Bischof and Oliver Zemp, former employees of Cisco Systems Switzerland, have been funding the company to this point. The company is getting support from the Swiss Federal Office of Professional Education and Technology's start-up programme run by Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI STARTUP).

It received two scholarships from KTI STARTUP for the entrepreneurial management-training program offered at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and the University of Geneva. It also received business "coaching" funded by KTI.

by Valerie Thompson

Key facts

New board member is Rainer Rueppel, entrepreneur.
Junisphere Systems was founded 18 months ago.
Baar-based software start-up offers enterprise IT management software.
Business angels are funding the start-up.

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