Computer Associates International Inc. this week will increase IT managers ability to automate services with a new workflow engine the company is adding to its IT Service Management Suite.
The workflow engine, which will enable IT to horizontally integrate management functions, will be added to five of CAs eight IT Service Management Suite components, and the data generated will be available with the suites IT services cataloging, fulfillment, metering, assurance and accounting modules.
The engine will automate the processes of ordering, delivering and measuring IT services as well as provide a streamlined way to charge for the services based on usage, officials said.
"When you select something from the service catalog, the selection kicks off the processes that deliver that service," said Jacob Lamm, CAs senior vice president of Unicenter Operations Management, in Islandia, N.Y.
The suite is designed to better align technical operations management with the business. Toward that end, the new workflow engine also creates linkages between service delivery and Unicenter infrastructure management systems, CA officials said.
"To the extent you can connect the metering application to the actual network and system management and actual applications that are running," Lamm said, "you can get quicker and better measurement of whether you are making the SLA [service-level agreement] commitment."
The workflow engine is common across a range of CA products, and it is intended to ease the integration of CA offerings. It can also be used with CAs eTrust security tools.
"If you want to deliver security services, it can connect directly to security services [applications] through this workflow engine," Lamm said.
While the new workflow engine may enhance the ability of IT to horizontally integrate its management functions, how flexible it is remains to be seen, said industry analyst Rick Ptak, of Ptak & Associates, in Amherst, N.H.
"The risk in there is how easy it is to change and modify the workflow once youve defined a process. How adaptable is it? Processes can change over time," Ptak said.
Version 2.2 of Unicenter Service Catalog, Unicenter Service Fulfillment, Unicenter Service Assure, Unicenter Meter and Unicenter Accounting are available now.