Industry News: Aspera enhances simulation capabilities

SAM specialist Aspera has announced the release of a new simulation feature.

Leading SAM tools are trending towards simulation and what-if analysis features, taking SAM beyond compliance and efficient IT spend to help organizations optimize or re-architect their infrastructure.

Mathias KnopsMathias Knops of Aspera said:

“At the heart of the simulation is the new topology designer, through which the licences and contracts of all device types can be planned, optimized and compared on all platforms and for every infrastructure. Unlimited “what if?” licence scenarios are created real-time in a sandbox, and managed without any impact on the production environment through a unique, intuitive interface. For instance, product consolidations and the effects of rollouts can be calculated in a few seconds.”

The Aspera Optimization and Simulation module is to accompany Aspera’s flagship offering, SmartTrack. Further information at www.aspera.com

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Industry News: Eracent Appoints New President and Head of Sales

Eracent, a leading provider of IT Asset Management and Software Asset Management solutions, has announced two significant changes to its senior management team.

William Choppa has been promoted to President and added to the Board of Directors, and Scott Van Giezen has been named Senior Vice President of Sales and Consulting Services.

Mr. Choppa, who joined Eracent in 2004, has extensive industry experience from his hands-on roles in pre-sales engineering, best practices consulting, and product management. “Based on his breadth of experience and his passion for expanding and improving Eracent’s product line to meet customer needs, William is poised to lead Eracent into a new phase of growth”, stated Eracent Chairman and co-founder Walter Szablowski. “He will be instrumental in guiding Eracent’s vision and communicating it within the company, to current and future customers, and to the larger ITAM community.”

Prior to joining Eracent, William was President of MCSI, a management consulting practice offering deployment and customization services. He has held positions with IBM and a number of technology companies as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. William holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Mr. Van Giezen has over 17 years of consulting and ITAM experience. In his prior role as Vice President of Consulting Services, he launched Eracent’s professional services team to ensure successful solution delivery and implementation. Feedback from this team is instrumental in guiding product enhancements. Prior to joining Eracent, Mr. Van Giezen was on the management team at IT asset management provider Maincontrol (now part of IBM) and held positions at highly respected management consulting firms. He holds a BS in Economics with a minor in Finance.

 

About Eracent

Eracent provides IT Asset Management and Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions for enterprise customers. With its unique SOAR™ methodology, customers can establish savings goals and optimization targets for hardware assets and software licenses, and then monitor progress as they successfully meet milestones along the way. Eracent’s solutions help to reduce publisher audit risk, maximize the use of all IT assets and licenses, and minimize expenditures throughout the lifecycle of these assets. Learn more at www.eracent.com.

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Zelda Lord Of The Rings & The Service Desk: TOPdesk Spotlight Article

How did this article come about?

We’ve become very serious in the world of ITSM so when I heard the TOPdesk mission statement of better support and happier customers I was all ears. All too often, we focus on measurements, metrics and statistics, but if we don’t have happy customers what’s the point? One quick trip to TOPdesk towers in London followed and here’s what I learned:

TOPdesk 101

TOPdesk was founded by Frank Droogsma and Wolter Smit in 1992. It’s a privately owned company and TOPdesk version 1 was a command line service based on MS DOS. Today,  TOPdesk is a fully web based product with a regular update cycle and the organisation has gone from being based in a small student room to having offices across the world; everywhere from Manchester to Denmark.

TOPdesk is available as both on premise and SAAS solutions and is available with professional and enterprise level licence types. It can be used as a multi department tool, embracing the move to Enterprise Service Management and can be used from everything from IT support to HR and Marketing. TOPdesk has been deployed to over 50 countries and over 5,000 implementations and employs over 430 people across the globe; one third of these working in development.

The product is designed to be customer centric and was designed to integrate with other services including Active Directory, Novel, Bomgar and Skype. The tool can be used to align with the ITIL framework or more structured standards such as COBIT or ISO 20000.

The TOPdesk ethos is partners not suppliers – they’re all people who we work with. This was really apparent when I went to visit their office in central London; everyone was smiling, there were pictures of Link (the hero from the Zelda series) on the wall from a recent initiative to reduce the post it note / paper nightmare and there was beer ready for Friday post work drinks. From spending time with the team it became clear that people are at the centre of the TOPdesk ethos.

The TOPdesk Self Service Portal

When I asked to look at TOPdesk in more detail we started at the front line; the self service portal. Customers are greeted with a clear, portal with customisable tiles listing major service offerings such as hardware / software support. The right hand side of the screen contains broadcast messages such as ongoing Major Incidents.

Incidents can be logged as parent / child tickets and the fields are customisable so that users can expand, collapse or add their details to an on going Incident. This “I’m Affected” functionality works brilliantly for two reasons;

  1. It empowers the end user, they don’t need to ring the Service Desk, run a gauntlet of automated menus then be put on hold for ten minutes before being put through to a Service Desk analyst who logs their Incident; using Self Service means that they can log their own Incident in a process that takes mere seconds
  2. If the Service Desk is dealing with Major Incidents left right and centre, they’re not being hit with hundreds of calls with users wanting to report the same Incident

TOPdesk was designed with the shift left approach in mind; if you type in printer error into the dynamic, Google esque search bar that recognises spelling errors (handy if it’s first thing on a Monday morning and you’ve not had your first cup of coffee yet) you get a list of related services, Incidents and Service Requests. Not only that you get links to relevant information and pictures including step by step guide with pictures on how to solve simple issues such as paper jams or replacing ink cartridges.

In a move to support Enterprise Service Management; TOPdesk have used the Lord Of The Rings approach, one portal to rule them all. One example of this is TOPdesk can be used as a meeting room management system, taking care of booking meeting room and related assets such as projectors and lunch, to pushing the update to the Outlook / Exchange calendar. Search views can be customised and multiple views are available for difference services so you can send broadcast messages to particular sites or departments.

TOPdesk are continuing to expand globally with offices recently opening in Brazil, the US and Canada and are becoming well established in the ITSM sector. Their typical customer (if there is such a thing) tends to be the public sector; higher education and councils who are trying to do more with less. If you’re looking for a Service Desk tool designed to be easy and fun to use check them out!

Differentiators:

  1. Culture ethos is partner rather than supplier; licence model designed to empower customers rather than restrict them
  2. Shared ITSM, one tool for all
  3. Modular solution, big bang doesn’t always work so this give customers the ability to build up the tool over time

Image Credit

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Industry News: Taking proactivity to the next level – Nexthink Raises $40 Million Gearing up for IPO

Capital earmarked to further innovation in End-user IT Analytics and open US headquarters in Boston

After an impressive best in class win for innovation as part of The ITAM Review’s Incident Management group test, Nexthink® announced it has raised $40 million in new investment, led by Highland Europe, a leading global venture capital firm. This is the largest round of funding to date for Nexthink and includes participation from the Bertarelli family’s Waypoint Capital and existing investors Auriga Partners and Galeo Ventures.

IM Best For Proactivity 2016_Nexthink (3)

The official word from Nexthink

This latest round brings the total capital raised by Nexthink to $65 million since the Company was founded from a research project in artificial intelligence at the prestigious EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland in 2004.

Nexthink reported record quarterly growth in 2015 for the ninth consecutive year and annual growth of over 50% – 157% in North America, 170% in Northern Europe and over 60% in the DACH region.

Today the Company has over 600 customers worldwide, representing more than 2.4 million endpoints under management. Nexthink’s technology uniquely addresses a growing need of providing IT departments with real-time visibility of their end-user infrastructure. With Nexthink analytics IT operations teams can decrease end-user disruption by 30% while detecting security incidents in seconds across thousands of computers.

Equipped with the latest round of funding, Nexthink plans to further invest in innovation and expand its global presence, including the recent opening of its US sales headquarters in Boston.

“There is universal pain and a big need to have end-user visibility for any IT team world-wide. This latest round enables us to expand in key markets and add new modules to our product roadmap. Many new surprises are coming up very soon.” said Pedro Bados, CEO/President and Co-founder of Nexthink. “We had multiple investment proposals for this round and the team at Highland Europe was the perfect fit for us. We were convinced by their proximity, strong international network and proven track-record in this space.”

“At Highland Europe, we aim to back entrepreneurs with uncapped ambition and technology companies with global market potential,” said Fergal Mullen, Founding Partner at Highland Europe. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Nexthink’s founders in the journey ahead with a view to consolidating the Company’s leadership position in the end-user IT analytics market and building a very valuable business.”

Nexthink’s End-user IT Analytics has received numerous awards including the “Innovation of the Year” by the ITAM Review, the “Endpoint Security Award” at the Computing Vendor Excellence Awards, and “Best Security Project of the Year” by ComputerWeekly. Since its launch three years ago, Nexthink’s global partner program has received a 5-star rating by CRN.

With the new funding, Nexthink looks to increase hiring across all roles and functions, especially sales and engineering. Qualified candidates can apply online at: https://www.nexthink.com/careers/.

Additional resources:

Nexthink V6 Product Review

Nexthink Video

Request a Demo

@Nexthink News

About Nexthink

Nexthink is the innovator of End-user IT Analytics for security, ITSM and transformation. Our software uniquely provides enterprise-wide, real-time: analytics covering all endpoints, users, applications and network connections; and visualization of IT infrastructure and service delivery. Nexthink helps IT departments connect, communicate and collaborate to achieve their major goals and to optimize endpoint security, operations, support and workplace transformation projects. Nexthink’s real-time analytics and visualization extend help desk, server monitoring, APM (application performance management) and PCLM (PC lifecycle management) tools and provide essential visibility for IT governance.

Nexthink serves the Global 5000 utilizing a leveraged partner model. Nexthink is a private company headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Nexthink® is a registered trademark of Nexthink S.A. To learn more, visit http://www.nexthink.com.

About Highland Europe

Highland Europe (www.highlandeurope.com) was launched in 2012 and closely collaborates with Highland Capital Partners, an independent global venture capital firm with three decades of investment experience and offices in Boston, Palo Alto and Shanghai. Highland Europe, based in Geneva and London, is a tight-knit group of partners with years of technology and Internet focused investment experience built up across Europe and the US. The team is exclusively focused on growth-stage investing and has previously backed notable companies such as Vistaprint, PhotoBox, CSR, Mathletics and Moleskine. Current portfolio IT and SaaS companies include NewVoiceMedia, Malwarebytes, TalentSoft, Brandwatch, Adjust, AMCS and Oro.

Industry Impact

For my money, this is fantastic news. When reviewing Nexthink for the group test, it was clear just how important both customer experience and “having the Service Desk Agent’s back” was to the entire product team. It’s great to see a company that not only supports best practice but also challenges established ways of thinking expand in this way.

The Service Desk is changing. We live in the world of Amazon, Facebook and Google; it’s no longer acceptable to wait for our customers to ring in and tell us when something goes wrong. The Nexthink ethos is to be a proactive force for Incident Management; the tool can notify users and work on a fix without a single inbound call to the Service Desk. The planned expansion will shake up existing functionality within the market space as competitors will scramble to catch up. Lets face it in this age of IT failures becoming high profile, headline news, anything that helps Service Desks move away from constantly fire fighting can only be a good thing.

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 InRule announces ‘first & only’ BRMS that can execute natively in JavaScript

InRule Technology, a provider of business rules management system (BRMS) software has announced the availability of is core product for JavaScript.

 InRule for JavaScript, the first and only business rules management system (BRMS) that can execute natively in JavaScript, regardless of whether or not a user is connected to a server.

InRule for JavaScript, the first and only business rules management system (BRMS) that can execute natively in JavaScript, regardless of whether or not a user is connected to a server.

The firms claims that it has produced the ‘first and only’ BRMS that can execute natively in JavaScript.

Packaged up rules

InRule for JavaScript packages rules authored by business users into executable JavaScript via a service, allowing business logic developed by analysts to be run on the client-side, server-side or both.

“The technology saves enterprises time and money by providing an alternative to writing business rules in code,” said the firm, in a press statement.

From web applications to mobile applications, InRule for JavaScript facilitates an enhanced experience for end users.

Complex validations

InRule for JavaScript allows complex validations, calculations, and messages to be instantly provided to web app users, while allowing field personnel to run rules in connected or disconnected environments with mobile apps.

“From on-premise, to the cloud and via mobile, InRule Technology is committed to empowering enterprises to leverage the power of rules anywhere,” said InRule Technology President and COO Rik Chomko. “InRule for JavaScript highlights our product innovation and underscores our focus on empowering customers to ‘pick a platform’ with the confidence that InRule will meet them there to help them manage the decisions that powers their businesses.”

In addition, InRule for JavaScript enables complex business rules to be run client-side in Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms or in the tablet app in connected or disconnected environments.

To request a free, 30-day trial of InRule, visit InRule’s web pages.

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Progress Rollbase 4.0 — it’s a radical RAD (platform)

Progress (pronounced proh-gress, not pro-gress) has announced the latest release of its rapid application development platform, Progress Rollbase with UI enhancements and other goodies.

The new UI is redesigned using Telerik Kendo UI widgets, allowing applications to run unchanged on a wide range of devices.

Latest version of leading rapid application development platform includes new, responsive UI and seamless Telerik portfolio integration, as well as access to brand new Rollbase Marketplace

Latest version of leading rapid application development platform includes new, responsive UI and seamless Telerik portfolio integration, as well as access to brand new Rollbase Marketplace

In addition, application developers who want to customize an application UI now have access to the full Telerik Kendo UI Professional Edition library.

15 themes, sounds like a dream

Users can select from any one of 15 built-in application themes, including two sets of complementary light and dark themes, to provide flexibility and individuality in the appearance of an application.

“Progress has a long-standing reputation for providing customers with technology solutions that deliver competitive advantages to drive businesses forward. But with the age of digital business transformation upon us, it’s important that applications not only work well, but offer an engaging user experience, too,” said Brandon Satrom, general manager for developer platforms and tools, Progress. “The latest Rollbase release brings together a nexus of forces–the reliable ‘system of record’ application development platform of Progress, with the ability to create a modern UI using Kendo UI framework–and deliver the beautiful mobile apps Telerik is known for. It’s clear proof of an acquisition strategy done right.”

New in Rollbase 4.0:

Integration with Telerik Platform: The offering gives developers access to Rollbase data and user authentication, for use in building mobile applications–without downloading SDKs or learning a new language.

Specifically, Progress Rollbase platform now integrates with Telerik® AppBuilder via a Progress Data Catalog file (.json) and Telerik® ScreenBuilder via the Progress Data Service (JSDO). Customers can build web-based business applications integrated with mobile apps in a fraction of the time it would take using other tools.

Rollbase Marketplace: Progress also announced the Progress Rollbase Marketplace, an online storefront where customers can post, share and download Progress Rollbase applications. The Marketplace is customizable and “brandable” to meet the needs of specific customer segments, and offers three categories of applications:

  • Application templates provided by Progress (royalty-free)
  • Open source applications provided by Progress customers and partners (royalty-free)
  • Listing information for Progress Rollbase applications, from Progress partners (for purchase)

“For our customers and partners, this is exciting news,” said Satrom. “The cloud-based mobile application development capabilities in Telerik Platform strongly complement the rapid application development capabilities of Progress Rollbase platform. Progress is now able to create a powerful developer experience, not only by offering tools to build highly customized user interfaces, but by enabling digital transformation with the integration of two truly modern application development platforms.”

Quick Start Tutorial and Fast Track Page: To help new users get up to speed quickly, Progress created a Fast Track page, featuring a Quick Start Tutorial to guide users through creating an application. The page also includes links to user assistance videos and documentation.

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3scale aims to enrich the API economy

The numerically named 3scale has released enhanced engagement metrics for APIs, applications and developer activity to give API program managers better visibility into their API program traffic, developer engagement, customer service and upgrade situations.

Dashboard Features Provide Valuable Insight Into API Services, Traffic, Developer Engagement and Upgrade Opportunities for Enhanced API Program Management

Dashboard Features Provide Valuable Insight Into API Services, Traffic, Developer Engagement and Upgrade Opportunities for Enhanced API Program Management

The Dashboard, part of the Admin Portal, gives API providers quick and central visibility into opportunities or issues with their APIs in terms of traffic and customer engagement.

The Dashboard is available now on all 3scale API Management Platform plans, from free through enterprise.

We love APIs

The firm reminds us that APIs have fast become a critical element of modern business, directly influencing customer success, stickiness and revenues for many companies. As this business value increases, API programs require increasingly detailed levels of insight into which applications, customers and partners are succeeding with the API, and those that need help.

3scale’s new Dashboard features include:

Daily Signups: A graphic display of daily and total signups over 30 days and percentage progression compared to the previous 30 days.

Potential Upgrades: Shows accounts that have exceeded usage limits for the period who should be contacted for upgrade to a higher plan.

Daily API Hits: Displays the number of daily and total API hits or calls to the API over 30 days and percentage progression compared to the previous 30 days.

Top Applications: Displays top applications based on total traffic for the last 30 days.

Latest Messages Stream: Displays all system notifications and messages.

“APIs are becoming the primary business interface for many organizations across use cases, and it’s critical that API managers have complete control and visibility,” said Steven Willmott, CEO of 3scale. “These metrics are incredibly valuable for API program managers and owners, project and partner managers – and even sales teams – to ensure API adoption is increasing, customers are happy and upgrade opportunities are identified.”

3scale account administrators determine which internal members see data based on roles/permissions in their particular product configuration. Single-user accounts and account admin/program managers see all the data features.

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Is Java at a crossroads?

The big question is, is Java at a crossroads?

The Tiobe programming language popularity index for October 2015 shows increasing popularity for Java — although we note that programming purists at the now mothballed Dr Dobb’s Journal were never convinced by the validity of the Tiobe index.

Cup 'o Joe anyone? While it's still hot, that is.

Cup ‘o Joe anyone? While it’s still hot, that is.

InfoWorld slammer

But as InfoWorld’s Paul Krill is not convinced, he writes below from this link.

“Oracle is not interested in empowering its competitors and doesn’t want to share innovation, the email further alleges. The company is slimming down Java EE (Enterprise Edition), but it also doesn’t want anyone else to work on Java or Java EE and is sidelining the JCP (Java Community Process). ‘They have a winner-take-all mentality and they are not interested in collaborating,’ said the email. ‘Proprietary product work will be done on WebLogic, and there’ll be a proprietary microservices platform.’”

On the up?

At the same, we read news on Developer.com stating that Java’s rating increased to 20.403 percent; it was the first time it reached above the 20 percent mark since July 2009.

“The Java language is changing nowadays, after having been at the same level for many years,” Tiobe Managing Director Paul Jansen said. “It’s closing the gap with functional programming languages — e.g. with Java Streams — thus making life much easier.”

Oracle meanwhile continues to extol the virtues of Java, it’s own Java Magazine home page reads as below.

Staunch stewardship

Although there are other publications that bring you news from the world of Java, there are no other examples that combine the voice of the Java “steward” (Oracle) with the voices of the rest of the community (developers, ISVs, device manufacturers, users, and students) in an innovative, all-digital package.

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SmartBear Improves Continuous Delivery of High-Performance APIs

SmartBear Software has updated Ready! API to include new options for one-click deployment of cloud-based load tests in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), improving continuous delivery of high performance APIs for developers and testers.

Agile software teams are increasingly being required to perform more complex testing earlier on in the delivery lifecycle.

While API performance is paramount to a seamless consumer experience, it is often overlooked due to the skills and time traditionally required to perform pre-production load testing.

As organizations build out their API strategy, they need simple and fast ways to resolve speed and scalability issues in the APIs they develop, and they need tools that fit within their budgetary and time constraints.

“Load testing in Ready! API is by far the easiest way to know how well your API scales in response to large volumes of traffic,” said Paul Bruce, API Product Manager at SmartBear. “Pulling in the power of Amazon EC2 cloud resources into a load test is a fast and inexpensive way for anyone on a software team, developers or testers, to be confident that their API will handle high demand situations gracefully.”

Ready! API 1.5 includes updates to LoadUI NG Pro to make it easy for developers and testers to tap into the power of cloud computing to execute large-scale, distributed performance tests from a single interface.

With minimal configuration, software teams can load test their APIs from a variety of locations around the world, managing cost and complexity with the freedom to choose what types of cloud-based resources to use for different testing scenarios.

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QASymphony launches JIRA plugin on Atlassian Marketplace

Industry developments at the Atlassian Summit last month saw QASymphony launche qTest Scenario.

Developers can use Use qTest's interface to set up projects and manage requirements.

Developers can use Use qTest’s interface to set up projects and manage requirements.

This is a new JIRA plugin for development shops to manage lifecycles using the most popular ‘test-first’ methods.

What this means is that qTest Scenario  manages everything from test creation, execution and results through to defect resolution, all within Atlassian’s JIRA software.

NOTE: qTest Scenario is currently in controlled release and will be available for general release in the Atlassian Marketplace in December 2015.

x3 key TEST-FIRST methodologies for developers:

Press materials released in line with this product launch would have us believe that Agile organizations are increasingly leveraging test-first methodologies including:

  • # Behaviour Driven Development,
  • Test Driven Development and,
  • Acceptance Test Driven Development,

These practices exist (so says QASymphony) in an effort to move testing further up in the development process and deliver software more rapidly.

The major roadblock (so says QASymphony) to widespread adoption of these techniques is the lack of enterprise-grade solutions to track progress, as well as flexible solutions to combine results with more traditionally managed projects.

Here’s your ease-of-use part

“For the first time, developers can build features and scenarios directly in the JIRA plugin and then query them through out-of-the-box integrations and APIs,” says Kevin Dunne, vice president of strategy and business development at QASymphony. “Developers can use their existing set-ups to easily import and export feature files. Meanwhile, powerful, easy-to-use reports allow users to share testing progress within each sprint or release with the entire organization. User stories, tests, results and defects are automatically connected, resulting in better traceability, real-time problem solving and increased productivity, at all times.”

qTest Scenario is the first solution  on the Atlassian Marketplace to address this need (so says QASymphony), allowing development teams to optimize and scale a test-first approach across their organizations. qTest Scenario¹s primary features include:

  • Gherkin editor for feature and scenario development
  • Ability to import/export existing feature files
  • Robust reporting with end-to-end traceability (including execution results)
  • Option to manually track test results with multiple runs
  • Out-of-the box integration to Cucumber via Maven for automated test results
  • API for building custom integrations for automated test result submission

“We received feedback from hundreds of customers who use qTest and JIRA together, about the challenges scaling BDD, TDD and ATDD,” says Dave Keil, CEO at QASymphony. “As a result, we see a huge gap in the market that qTest Scenario fills. We believe qTest Scenario will elevate testing inside devops organizations, allowing them to work faster and focus more on the end user. We¹re very excited to share this technology with the JIRA community.”

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