Charting the future of network monitoring

OpenNMS and New Kind energize a brand that helps enterprises navigate their networks


Enterprise networks are vast—and prone to hidden vulnerabilities as they scale. But with a complete view, IT leaders can minimize risk, adapt performance, and anticipate trends.

The OpenNMS monitoring platform helps companies navigate even the most complex and heterogeneous enterprise networks. Its product suite works in the background at organizations ranging from local hospitals to global streaming services. Users can manage signals and events across their network, spot when and where issues happen, and quickly resolve them. This clearer vision leads to new insights and informed decisions about network health.

Industries: B2B Technology, Network Monitoring

Services: Brand Architecture, Company Messaging, Identity System, Positioning, Storytelling

Why New Kind?

The rebranding brought new life to the company and the project. Even our highly technical stakeholders found the process engaging, enjoyable, and approachable. We consider New Kind an extension of our team. They really “get it” when it comes to working collaboratively and the open source way.

Jessica Hustace

Sr. Director of Marketing

The Opportunity



Founded in 2004, OpenNMS invested years of work and care into strengthening their platform and innovating for the future. Now they needed messaging that demonstrated the market leadership they worked so hard to build.

Developing technology that quietly and effectively does its job had resulted in a surprising challenge. Even as it transformed their businesses, customers would forget the platform was there. The OpenNMS team asked, “Why are some of the biggest companies in the world using our software, yet no one really knows about it?”

They trusted that New Kind’s open source background gave us the experience to produce an exceptional outcome. Upcoming product launches meant we collectively prioritized refreshing the logo and identity system first, before crystallizing the brand architecture, and bridging it all with a memorable story and message.

Visual Identity



To create an iconic new identity that signaled maturity and momentum ahead of the imminent product updates, we needed to learn quickly. We analyzed their business, brand, and vision and held an insights workshop to get us up to speed on their situation, market, and desired future.

Our team looked at how OpenNMS helps users navigate and balance their networks, keeping systems in equilibrium. Data is often seen as seas and pools, and large enterprise networks as oceans. Companies change course on these depths and need a dependable tool to guide them. The choice of visual mark became clear: A navigational tool that reliably helped sailors traverse the seven seas and turn risk into reward. The gyroscope.

The new visual system and guidelines instill maturity and vibrancy throughout the organization. Fresh colors communicate the openness and welcoming nature of the open source project. Intentional use of gradients ties into the platform’s flexibility: it fits into its environment, scales up and down, and shifts and flows as needed.

Ecosystem Naming Architecture



OpenNMS had a big vision for the company and their open source project. They wanted to ensure users understood the distinction between the commercial and open source entities and tasked us with clarifying their ecosystem by creating a scalable naming architecture. That way, prospects and customers would have a clear understanding of their options and purchasing decisions.

Working together to assess the current state of the brand ecosystem and where OpenNMS hopes to grow, we developed a naming architecture and strategy for their three core offerings—services brands, product brands, and project/community brands.

With the new architecture in place, they can better explain what they do, define the value of their paid products and services, and accelerate their business development efforts.

Positioning, Story, and Messaging



The story of the gyroscope and the structure of the ecosystem naming architecture gave OpenNMS the start of a narrative. We were ready to bring everything together with crystallized positioning, story, and messaging.

We crafted a story evoking how OpenNMS helps customers navigate their networks and chart their future. We expressed how monitoring network health is mission-critical, how risks grow with network size, and how OpenNMS handles those risks through visibility, scalability, and a trusted, open platform.

Our messaging architecture dove even deeper. Pillars showed how customers can Discover, Calibrate, and Predict using OpenNMS to handle crises and control their futures.

While OpenNMS excelled at reaching IT experts, they saw a growing opportunity to convey what it makes possible for CIOs and beyond. We helped their team create messaging for both practitioners and CIOs, so they can move up the decision-making chain to executives and make a powerful case for the value of their technology.

The Outcomes



We’re proud to say our work made an immediate impact for the OpenNMS team. The new logo and visual identity was rolled out almost immediately internally and externally. In their words, “it was love at first sight with our new logo—the New Kind team was able to capture the visual ethos of two decades of community culture with visual movement, dynamism, and creative design.”

The messaging and pillars have informed new content from the entire website to touchpoints like sales decks, stakeholder updates, and employee onboarding. And the visual system has brought it all to life. In their words “Anyone can use the modular graphics system to create something that proudly represents the brand, and they sing in the hands of a designer. Our employees keep asking for more and more branded swag, which is the real vote of confidence!”

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