eHealth Console Does IT Checkups

Concord Communications' Business Service Console provides an aggregated view of network, systems and application performance, as well as user response-time data.

It performance reporting provider Concord Communications Inc. is making a play for CIOs and line-of-business managers looking for a quick status check on the health of their IT services with its new eHealth Business Service Console.

BSC, which draws its data and analysis from Concords eHealth suite, provides an aggregated view of network, systems and application performance, as well as user response-time data, from the same source.

The Marlboro, Mass., company has created a simple console with red, yellow and green icons that display "the end-user experience" of an IT service to ensure that component-level failures that dont affect users are not highlighted, company officials said.

BSC features a stock-ticker-like format for displaying specified IT services, which IT executives or line-of-business managers can click to drill down for more details.

"Im not sure if the ticker is useful, but its sexy. Ill periodically look at it. Probably as sexy as it is, the data below it is more useful," said beta tester George Tillmann, CIO at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., in McLean, Va.

What Tillmann finds more useful is that each view provided by the console and the eHealth series of reporting tools comes from the same "definitive database" so that "you have the same data driving strategic decisions as [operational and management decisions]," he said.

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Concords BSC is unique in that it can aggregate data from third-party tools, as well as from eHealth components that focus on the network, systems and applications without requiring extensive integration work, according to Concord officials.

But some find the price a bit steep. "All these tools are expensive. Is it worth it? My guys think it is. Maybe Im cheaper than they are," Tillmann said.

Concord is a bit late to market with such a capability, but its a natural move for the company, said Stephen Elliott, an analyst with IDC, in Framingham, Mass.

"If youre in infrastructure management and you dont have a business console, youre behind the times," Elliott said. "Now with that said, this is a no-brainer for a company with a big installed base where they have strong [customer] relationships. They are also making sure they dont miss out on deals because they dont have a business portal."

BSC, a browser-based console, works with eHealth servers running on Windows Server 2000/2003, as well as Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris and Hewlett-Packard Co.s HP-UX. It is due next month, and pricing starts at $100,000.

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