The new offering, which is the foundation for Singlesteps event management offering—now called Unity Availability Manager—gathers and normalizes event and other network management data from a range of different EMSes (enterprise management systems).
"With [Unity Data Exchange Manager], weve taken the core of our original product and created a robust data broker that sits in the infrastructure just ahead of some other vendors framework, business process offering or any console, and uses data from eight different network management and performance [management[ vendors," said Chris Noble, CEO of the Seattle firm.
Unity Data Exchange Manager will initially gather data from the IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console, Hewlett-Packards OpenView and the CA (formerly Concord Communications) eHealth performance reporting software.
Later in the second and third quarters of 2006, Singlestep will add support for CAs Unicenter, Microsofts Microsoft Operations Manager, BMC Softwares Patrol and Mercury Interactives SiteScope.
The offering, which Singlestep hopes to OEM to large EMS providers, addresses the problem of silo management of different IT elements that do not provide an end-to-end view of applications and services delivered over IT infrastructure.
"This is the first time theres been a product to make these systems work together," declared Noble.
"[EMS] vendors will have adapters for integration and claim they can bring information in from competitors, but in practice that takes six to eight weeks of work to make the connector work on the data in a way that it drops easily into the target framework. Our server is up in a couple of hours, and it takes two to three hours per stream of data to configure," he said.
Existing Unity Availability Manager users at Computer Assets, which used it to combine data from Whats Up Gold and IBMs Director offerings, find the integration "very valuable," according to Cynthia Norris, Director of Monitoring Services at the Avaya reseller in Espanola, N.M.
Especially when youre dealing with multiple sites, I can see everything all at once. Before, I had to go to each site and look at it separately," she said.
But whether Singlestep can attract large EMS vendors is an open question.
"What they really need to do is get guys like IBM and HP and the big software guys to play with them. If they can get one of them, they might get more of them," said Amy Wohl, principal at Wohl Associates in Narburth, Pa.
"The other play is to get one of them to love them, partner with them and then get bought," she added, referring to a practice typical of IBM.
Noble hinted that Singlestep has already signed up one large player, but he would not reveal who it is.
Singlestep earlier this week signed a strategic partnership deal with Techalt Security Technologies.
Unity Data Exchange Manager, made up of a Data Exchange Manager Server, Data Exchange Manager Connectors and a Data Exchange Manager Automation Center, is due March 15.