Can Enterprise Software Aid IT Management?

Change is constant but budgets are flat, leading to a tight crunch in the datacenter. Is enterprise software coming to the rescue?

Enterprise software companies understand that IT managers have too much to do and too little to do it with and are eager to sell software to solve the problem. They are highlighting ease of deployment and management as a key a feature of their latest releases.

For example, enterprise Web 2.0 provider Socialtext today announced an appliance designed to make it easier to deploy social networking and microblogging software in the enterprise.

The Socialtext Microblogging Appliance is intended to deliver "rapid secure intranet deployment of microblogging and social networking at a low cost," the company said.

The product is currently priced at $1 per user per month plus a $1,000 fee for the appliance. An upgrade that includes Socialtext Workspace, Dashboard and SocialCalc costs an additional $5 per user per month.

Firewalls

Even technologies that aren't new may not be simple to deploy. Enterprise IT managers have known since at least the year 2000 that personal firewalls need to be buttressed by enterprise firewalls.

Enterprise firewalls aren't easy to manage, however.

"Pressures to keep network traffic flowing through firewalls combined with fear and anxiety over causing interruptions to business processes has created a situation where firewall administrators are quick to add rules but hesitant to remove any. As a result, in many cases firewalls have gone from being security and compliance devices to nothing more than access devices, bloated with permissive policies that grant access more often than they deny it," said firewall management vendor Secure Passage.

Secure Passage announced its FireMon eVolution 5.0, a firewall management application to ease the burden on IT departments. The product combines reporting about firewall rules with tools to aid in compliance as well as a detailed analysis of real traffic that can be used to help write rules that truly permit only what's intended.

The product supports Check Point, Cisco, McAfee, and Juniper firewalls. It is available now and priced based on the number of devices managed, starting at $15,000 for five devices, plus $995 per additional device. Volume discounts are available.

Policy management

Many companies are offering products aimed at providing a complete view of an enterprise's security posture. McAfee is touting its ePO product as the glue that connects all the pieces. CA touts its security software as a key part of a strategy to ease business/IT alignment.

Meanwhile, Symark announced the launch of PowerSeries Management Console (PSMC) 1.0, with general availability scheduled for September 25.

The product is designed to help IT managers track power users. Studies have shown that poorly administered rights cause the most security holes.

"The release of the PowerSeries Management Console solves a critical customer need for simple and cost-effective management of privileged user controls in complex environments, specifically through the integration with Symark's PowerBroker 6.0," said John Mutch, CEO of Symark, in a statement.

The software runs on Linux, Unix, and Microsoft operating systems. "It's been designed to work in any large heterogeneous IT environment regardless of OS platform," a Symark representative told InternetNews.com in an e-mail.

Pricing is currently set at $10,000 per installation, but that pricing is not final. A 30-day free trial will be available.

Data in ERP systems

As data permeates every aspect of the enterprise, companies need to ensure that the data is accurate.

Workforce management software vendor Kronos released a report (available here in PDF format) from Nucleus Research that said that its products deliver better ROI than Oracle's "because they can deploy faster, better reduce their payroll error rate, and reduce application costs."

Kronos focuses on the accurate measurement of and accounting for the hours worked by employees.

Oracle spokespeople did not return a request for comment by press time.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com.




Tags: Windows, Microsoft, enterprise software


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