© 2020 by Francisco Perez van der Oord

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  • Francisco Perez

EUPSCO


EUPSCO. What was the deal with that, you ask me? I will tell you. First, let me explain the name: it stands for End User portal for System Center Orchestrator. The idea for EUPSCO originated from a combination of things, like many great ideas 😉

At ITQ, we developed quite a bit of knowledge regarding End User Portals, mainly gained by the development of Provisior. To extend this knowledge, we were in search for something new; something to test and explore new technologies. Also, we wanted to experiment with a new business model, especially a business model better suited to our community insights. Who came up with the idea is somewhat lost in translation, but let’s say it was Flores Eken. I think that’s the closest to the truth; all I know, it wasn’t my idea to begin with J.

What’s EUPSCO?

It’s a free, web-based product allowing end users (based on user permissions) to start System Center Orchestrator runbooks, without the intervention of the IT department. Runbooks, designed and suitable for execution by end users, are presented in an End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator, hence EUPSCO, and can be started directly from this ‘IT Services Catalogue’.

What was the business driver?

Well, this is where things went wrong.. We didn’t have any business ideas… We just wanted to make something cool for the community. We would figure out afterwards how we could start making money of this. Naïve, that’s what we were…

The marketing costs were substantial, but not the main problem. Of course, the biggest investment was the development, maintenance and support of the product. To add to our list of mistakes, we had the idea the product had to be easy to download and use, so we kept no user registration whatsoever.

After 15.000 downloads in a short period of time, we had no clue: was EUPSCO being used? By whom? What did they think of it? Did they miss any features? Was the installation easy? We did, however, have a forum with a couple of hundred active users. And many subscriptions to our newsletter. And roughly 10.000 downloads. But. We failed to get in contact with the users or gather information about them. In the end, we decided to cease further investments and EUPSCO became a first for ITQ: we sold it.

The good news is: EUPSCO still exists. It’s currently owned an Austrian entrepreneur and, to my knowledge, it’s quite successful. He rebranded the product to SCOOSP and has invented a profitable and sustaining way to exploit it.

What did EUPSCO bring us?

Well, quite a lot actually: we gained more insights in both the community and the technical market, which in turn aided the development of Provisior, benefitting our clients and some of our other products. Also, going through the journey of creating something entirely new with a team of enthusiastic colleagues was a blast. Going to different events, meeting new people, examining cutting edge techniques, feeling the insecurity: I loved it.

EUPSCO. In the end, I’m happy with the adventure. It took some investments. It gained a few things. It’s just another nice story to tell when I’m old and wise 😉