Serena Adds Project Management Solution to ALM

Serena Software has expanded its application lifecycle management (ALM) suite with a project and portfolio management (PPM) solution. The company's new integrated Serena Mariner 6.2 solution helps IT executives make decisions about how best to manage and support software infrastructure across an enterprise.

Mariner was acquired from Pacific Edge late last year. The acquisition fits with a general trend seen over the last three-and-a-half years where ALM companies have been acquiring PPM technology, according to Melinda Ballou, who is program director for ALM management at analyst firm IDC.

Integrating PPM capability into an ALM solution enables better business prioritization, and, at its best, provides quantitative data for executives to make qualitative decisions, she added.

Serena's Mariner PPM solution is now integrated with other Serena products, including Dimensions, which manages the source code, and TeamTrack, which manages application development processes. Essentially, though, Mariner is Serena's first PPM product, according to Nathan Rawlins, Serena's senior director of product marketing.

"Mariner provides dashboards for Dimensions and TeamTrack so that IT executives can have visibility into the system," Rawlins explained. "They can see which projects are on schedule and which will slip."

Mariner's tie-in to Dimensions and TeamTrack allows for automatic reporting, which makes the information more accurate and complete, Rawlins added.

An overall view of a company's projects via an ALM system can help estimate IT costs and help executives make decisions about resources, which isn't easy to do, according to Rawlins.

"The average enterprise is spending about 30 percent of its IT budget on developing applications," Rawlins said. "About 70 percent of it is being spent on custom applications. But that's where companies can really innovate. Companies need to ask fundamental questions [about IT infrastructure] that turn out to be incredibly challenging. It becomes more complex when deciding between outsourcing and in-house application development," Rawlins explained.

He added that CIOs can track the maintenance costs of their applications using Serena's system and that tracking becomes vital when applications become interdependent.

Serena Mariner 6.2 is currently available, starting at $75,000, with prices varying based on the size of the organization, Rawlins said. Serena's solutions are designed for distributed and mainframe systems.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.