Oblicore Raises the Bar on IT Service Level Management
Service level management provider Oblicore on Jan. 16 will seek to capitalize on the growing interest in IT Business Service Management with the release of its Oblicore Guarantee 4.0.
The privately held 5-year-old company hopes to carve out a place among HP, CA and BMC as well as smaller BSM competitors such as Managed Objects. The latest release of Oblicore Guarantee focuses on presenting the impact of service delivery on the business as well as helping IT and end-user departments better understand the costs associated with specific service levels.
The Cambridge, Mass., company markets its software to service providers, telcos and enterprise IT shops. For enterprises, Oblicore Guarantee helps IT standardize the services delivered to business units and create operational level agreements between IT and business units.
Version 4.0 adds a new financial management module that provides financial metrics such as service deliver total price list, unit price list and incentive models. The module also provides service revenue projection, allowing customers to track forecasted costs and revenue against real performance.
"A business unit may say they want 99.95 percent availability for a banking application. IT can say this is how much that will cost you," said Bernd Leger, vice president of marketing at Oblicore in Cambridge, Mass. "IT can estimate what it would cost [to provide that level of availability] and what gains the business unit would get. IT can constantly fine-tune the amount of services being offered [with the new financial management module]," he added.
Oblicore Guarantee is unique in the level of automation it provides, according to Leger. It includes a data adapter that allows the software to gather performance data from other management tools provided by InfoVista, IBM Tivoli or the BMC Remedy help desk software. That data is added to the Oblicore Aggregation and Correlation Engine to determine whether contracted services were provided.
"A lot of automation goes on through our application so IT doesnt have to go to different silos and individually compile data from each," he said.
Version 4.0 also adds a new service deliver configuration management database. The CMDB allows the product to model configuration items such as location, cost and usage data. It is not intended to be a full-blown enterprise CMDB, but rather is focused on service delivery.
"Key projects start with a top-down view. Were a federated source for infrastructure elements and contracts, but we can still pull information from other sources," said Leger.
The intent of the CMDB is to reduce the time it takes to configure infrastructure and map it to services. The CMDB includes links to the IBM Tivoli CMDB, and Oblicore intends to add a link to the BMC CMDB.
A new Service Delivery Navigator portal provides a graphical view of interdependencies between different parties involved in the delivery of a given service.
"IT allows organizations to visualize end-to-end relationships and interdependencies between the enterprise, service providers, their customers and so on. It shows the end-to-end service delivery chain as well as top down and bottom up views of customers, services, contracts and infrastructure elements," said Leger.
End users, service level managers and end customers can see graphically what the services are, how they are being measured and what infrastructure elements support the services being delivered.
The new release is available Jan. 16.
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