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Tool Watch

The Hurwitz Group Benchmark on Mission Critical Software's OnePoint

OVERALL RATING
8.9
(Rating 1-10, 10 highest)

OVERVIEW Mission Critical Software's OnePoint product suite combines a variety of capabilities into a single offering meant to help customers manage all NT-related systems and applications. Riding on the success of OnePoint and its ability to help customers manage highly distributed NT environments, Mission Critical has launched another product within the same family. The new OnePoint Operations Manager product bundles Windows NT and Windows 2000 event management, applications management and service-level management into a single offering.

!Comprehensiveness: With the combination of both event and applications management, the product provides a good, comprehensive view of NT activity. (Rating: 9 out of a possible 10) $Ease of use: This is one area where customers were most pleased. One customer said that because this product was so easy to use, it decreased training time and was therefore up and running faster. (Rating: 10) %Adherence to standards and integration with other products: Mission Critical currently provides basic SNMP integration, but plans are currently in place to tie the information from OnePoint Operations Manager to one or more higher level management offerings. (Rating: 7) QModularity: With this product being only one of many that make up the entire OnePoint suite, customers can easily mix-and-match capabilities as the need arises. (Rating: 9) WScalability: It can be hard to determine the scalability of new products, but if the existing OnePoint family is any indication, Mission Critical boasts at least one customer with 3,500 servers. (Rating: 8) ECross-platform support: OnePoint Operations Manager is staying NT-focused, and customers seem to want it that way. (No rating) RManagement and administrative support: The product's automated capabilities are key to eliminating the need to manage the management system. (Rating: 9) TVendor support: Mission Critical's customers have stated that the company is responsive and open to suggestions. (Rating: 10)

Conclusion: Mission Critical has the right idea in managing the business process, rather than the network or applications themselves. This company has gone from providing a tool that helps customers administer NT and migrate to Windows 2000, to offering a complete NT-based system and applications management product. On one hand, customers say Mission Critical is not necessarily the most technically advanced of all its competitors, even though this release is a large technological step forward for the company. On the other hand, these same customers say that the support is exceptional and they are confident Mission Critical will follow through with its stated directions, such as integrating with additional management systems and managing additional applications. Hurwitz Group believes that Mission Critical should consider adding another business focus to its lineup. With the capabilities provided through OnePoint Operations Manager, the company is poised to begin moving its products into the Web management space. As more companies use NT servers for Web hosting, Mission Critical will have a significant advantage in providing a key piece of management in the fast-growing e-business management arena.

Mission Critical Software's OnePoint

VENDOR STRATEGY:
Mission Critical plans to stay ahead of its competition by focusing on:

  • Windows NT and Windows 2000
  • ActiveAgent technology that automatically discovers servers and workstations, then proactively monitors availability, performance and security events
  • Quick Return On Opportunity (ROO) through more than 8,000 predefined ActiveKnowledge rules

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY:
One of the key benefits of OnePoint Operations Manager is out-of-the-box management. The product is built on Microsoft's COM and COM+, and uses Microsoft's DNA architecture. With this foundation, Operations Manager requires a single agent for multiple systems that automatically updates rules and policies, as well as notes and resolves workflow exceptions. It then saves all the information in a central SQL Server knowledge base.

RISK ASSESSMENT:
OnePoint has been available for several years — certainly enough time to get the kinks out. However, the product has only recently been completely rewritten to take advantage of COM and COM+, and Operations Manager is the newest piece in the family. Because Mission Critical's Sentry Enterprise Event Manager (the name of the product before it was rewritten) is currently being used in critical production environments worldwide, taking a wait-and-see stance may be a bit harsh. However, customers still need to be aware that they are buying into a newly rewritten architecture.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE:
When Mission Critical introduced its first product, NT management was a new concept. Now OnePoint competes with products such as BMC's Patrol and NetIQ's AppManager. The advantage of OnePoint Operations Manager is the combination of application, event and service-level management — providing the ability to manage a business process rather than different technology needs. Another advantage of the OnePoint suite, according to customers, is its ability to integrate this business process with other products in the suite that may already be in place.

Tool Watch is compiled from The Hurwitz Report research newsletter from Hurwitz Group Inc., 111 Speen Street, Framingham, Mass., 01701; E-mail hurwitz_report@hurwitz.com; http://www. hurwitz.com.

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