Start-up tackles service-level management

Network managers looking to track service levels across their global networks may want to check out the latest offering from a company that says its software can help customers better define and deliver on service-level agreements.

Eccord Systems Ltd. recently released its Eccord Enterprise 2.0 software designed to use data from existing network management tools to ensure service levels are met. The first iteration of the software worked with Aprisma Management Technologies Inc.’s Spectrum, BMC Software Inc.’s Patrol and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s OpenView products, but this release includes a new interface that can tap into any net management tool, according to Eccord.

The application monitors the network components critical in the delivery of service to customers and collects data that can help companies improve service levels, the company claims. The software is designed to prevent network failures, prioritize staff response to failures, track vendor compliance to service agreements and identify the root cause of failures.

Eccord Enterprise runs on a Web server and requires that plug-in adapters are installed on the network devices and components to be monitored. Net managers can view service reports using Java applets and their customers can see reports specific to their company via a Web portal. Users can install the software – in days or weeks depending on the size of the network – and define the components that constitute a service using the software’s management console. Net managers create a tree-like representation of the service and the components ensuring its delivery and drill down to determine the source of failure.

Current Analysis Inc.’s Ron Westfall said the product has yet to prove itself, but it may find success in the “enterprise help desk, service monitoring and CRM crowd.” The company currently has five beta customers for this product that have not yet signed on for full adoption. Right now, he said, Eccord has established a niche with another start-up Mantra doing something similar. The true competition will come from the network management vendors, such as HP, BMC and Aprisma, extending their current products to perform service-level management.

Available now, Eccord Enterprise costs US$15,000 per month, per site.