FireScope greenlights developers to pursue BSM

Gear can quickly outlive its usefulness. FireScope plans on maintaining long-term viability with its new software development kit (SDK) for its business service management (BSM) appliance.

“This is JSR 168 compliant, so anyone can hot-deploy onto our portal,” says FireScope’s marketing director Ryan Counts, who promotes the Java-based kit as an easy way to extend the solution.

This is a decent bit of news to coincide with the company’s first anniversary. However, to say that FireScope is in the BSM space may be a bit of a stretch.

Lisa Erickson-Harris, research director for Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), doesn’t see FireScope as delivering on business services management. EMA has been tracking Service Level Management (SLM) for over seven years, and is now in its second year of tracking SLM and BSM as one. This is because, in effect, SLM and BSM have the same goal in that they look beyond infrastructure silos to get at broader customer and end-user experience.

“SLM might be aligned with a WAN connection or e-mail, whereas BSM addresses issues such as effectiveness from an LOB’s perspective,” she says. “BSM sits above application management and can map file performance and business data to line managers. FireScope is more of a network management device.”

FireScope does have some BSM applicability. Lines-of-business in a variety of segments, particularly financial services, can use its device to gain visibility. And the dashboard is typical of a BSM GUI.

“Once we have the data it loads into the dashboard,” says Counts. “A user can then synch IT operations with job rules. A C-level executive can have a 30,000 foot view, or a systems administrator can be looking at individual events.”

Erickson-Harris expects the BSM market to experience steady growth, but acknowledges that many enterprises are slow to move away from a silo approach. ITIL and COBIT are pushing business-oriented IT standards, but investments in these practices have a long way to go. As well, she reiterates that vendors have differing ideas as to what BSM is, and that the vendor space is quite crowded. FireScope is definitely a niche player.

“HP is an important player, especially with its Mercury acquisition,” she says. “BMC has been in the space for a long time. Business Objects and Oblicore are smaller, but they are innovative and successful in their own right. CA is also an important company to add to that list.”

From FireScope’s perspective, financial services is the segment with the greatest opportunity. Partnerships with Actuate, A10, and Symantec help fill out the offering. FireScope’s specific play within security is based on aggregation: the appliance can help reduce false positives by correlating information from numerous assets, with the information pulled together on the dashboard.

Collecting raw information and rolling it into business metrics will be helped by the SDK, given that individual businesses would like to have input into report design.

“The advantage of the SDK is that not only partners but also clients can write portlets and extend as they go,” says Counts, adding that pricing is exclusive to the appliance. “People don’t need to pick and choose their assets.”

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