Enhanced Suites to Help IT Run More Efficiently

NewScale, Peregrine and Lawson target internal company services.

Developers NewScale Inc., Peregrine Systems Inc. and Lawson Software Inc. are rolling out enhancements to their respective corporate services management software suites.

Each vendor says the enhancements will help departments that deliver internal corporate services, such as IT support or facilities management, operate with the efficiency promised by outsourced providers of similar services.

NewScale last week began shipping RequestCenter 2003, a portal that lets employees order internal services, such as IT, and also enables the service provider to shepherd the delivery of that service through to completion.

RequestCenter 2003 also features new embedded best-practices service processes and new feedback mechanisms including enhanced management score cards to provide views into service utilization and adherence to service-level agreements. The NewScale MyServices portal features a services catalog of more than 500 preconfigured customized services. The ServiceDesigner enables nontechnical service people to define and publish new service offerings.

The update adds Web services integration and support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition application servers. Its ServiceLink feature lets companies integrate RequestCenter 2003 with enterprise applications or other systems that have trouble-ticket logging, according to NewScale officials, in Foster City, Calif.

Separately, Peregrine is taking a similar tack. Next month the San Diego-based company will make generally available ServiceCenter Essentials, a software suite that bundles the core software and best practices for running a consolidated service desk. Also shipping next month will be new versions of Peregrines employee self-service offerings: Get-Resources 4.0, Get-Services 4.0 and Get-Answers 4.0.

The goal with these is to provide a single Web-based point of contact for employees to request services and check on the status of those requests. The upgrades will also help companies enforce policies, such as in what order services are delivered, according to Peregrine officials.

The company has also begun shipping AssetCenter 4.2, software for managing a broad portfolio of assets that includes an extensible application environment, enhanced financial management features and integrated cable management tracking.

Peregrine has struggled in the past year. But officials said Peregrine is now focused on its core strength of providing asset and service management. The company last week laid out a product road map for the coming year and has fostered the doubling of local user groups.

For its part, Lawson, of St. Paul, Minn., last month rolled out Version 5.1 of the Services Automation suite with a new Portfolio Management application that is designed to help IT organizations track projects, investments and assets and then prioritize them for the best financial return, officials said.

Over the next two quarters, Lawson will enhance Services Automations ability to let employees enter time and expense information. Later, it will add threaded discussion capabilities and add guidance for services managers who are prioritizing IT projects, officials said.