Organizations often have a patchwork quilt of management software. Some of this software addresses the need to manage the basic hardware infrastructure. Other tools are needed to address needs of the operating systems, the virtual machine software, database software, application frameworks and applications. While these tools make it possible to monitor the back end of a distributed computing workload, they don't really address the end-to-end experience staff and customers have. Knoa Software's CEO, Thad Eidman, took some time this week to discuss the problems many organizations have and how his company is addressing them.
Eidman suggests that end user performance management tools need to be able to address the following issues:
- Application performance
- Overall performance for the entire user environment
- Process optimization
- Threat management (by watching user behavior over time)
Knoa Software offers one tools that monitors the end-to-end performance for applications such as SAP, Oracle's E-Business Suite, Oracle Siebel CRM, JD Edwards, PeopleSoftware Enterprise Suite and Amdocs. Another tool tracks usage of desktop applications, web-based applications accessable by Internet Explorer, Citrix and Microsoft access virtualization-based applications and can determine utilization time per user and per application.
Eidman pointed out that all of the products are based upon the the company's "universal end-user experience and performance monitoring" technology. This technology provides the following capabilities:
- Passive monitoring of end-user experience, behavior and performance
- Sensing technology to support targeted field-level monitoring
- Data collection tools for specific enterprise solution software
- Data aggregation and modeling making it possible to easily go from raw data to useful specific understanding of what is happening — by application, user role, business process and management objective
- Data presentation console to provide views of what has been observed
- A reporting framework allowing organizations to develop their own specific reporting
- An API framework allowing organizations to integrate their own custom applications and integrate Knoa's products with application management products already in use
Knoa is already serving the needs of 200 major enterprise customers around the world.
Knoa, however, faces quite a bit of competition. I've spoken to at least 20 different suppliers of application performance management products over the last year alone. Eidman responded by telling me that Knoa's focus is different that most of the others. Knoa, he pointed out, is trying to observe and report upon actual end user experience for business-critical applications rather than trying to be everything to everyone. That focus, he said, results in highly usable, powerful products.