New Apps Help Manage IBM Lotus SameTime, QuickPlace - InformationWeek
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10/9/2006
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Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek
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New Apps Help Manage IBM Lotus SameTime, QuickPlace

Collaborative applications can deliver many benefits, most of which are detailed on this site on a regular basis. But they also add complexity to the network—and IT managers will increasingly need to get a handle on those issues in order to ensure the tools are being used as effectively and as efficiently as possible. DYS Analytics provides a solution for this.

DYS Analytics provides application management software for messaging and collaboration applications. The software supports Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and IBM Sametime, monitoring and analyzing traffic and performance of those apps across the enterprise. It tracks application usage (who, from where, how much, to do what, when, etc.), application traffic, quality of service, and the load that the application puts on the infrastructure (how much CPU, storage and bandwidth is used, and where).

The goal is to help organizations align their applications with their infrastructure - servers, storage & network – as needed, according to business usage. The technology is great for day-to-day monitoring and management, but it also can deliver operational insight around one-off IT projects such as server consolidations, database cleanups and security audits.

Most users start with e-mail monitoring, but the software has great potential for collaboration tools as well. Collaboration CONTROL! for IBM Lotus Sametime logs IM conversations, performs in-depth analyses on enterprise-wide usage, service levels, capacity utilization, cost-allocation, productivity and security. Collaboration CONTROL! for IBM Lotus QuickPlace enables enterprise-wide management of the self-service rooms. Since end-users can create, modify, add and abandon QuickPlaces as needed, the rooms can become an IT manager’s nightmare.

Over time, abandoned QuickPlaces pile up, while others become essential applications that are regularly used by employees, partners and customers. This usage (or lack thereof) is typically invisible to IT. Historically, IT managed QuickPlaces only when something went wrong. DYS lets managers identify abandoned or inactive QuickPlaces for server cleanup, and includes a database “quarantine” workflow process to tag databases for archiving and removal. The software also lets managers perform QuickPlace server load balancing, and assess which parts of the organization – and which individual users – are embracing QuickPlace, right down to specific Places and Rooms.

In the future, DYS plans to offer software that will help end users decide when to use a particular collaborative applications. So, for instance, it might pop up a message during a lengthy IM chat suggesting that the participants initiate a phone call instead, after a certain amount of time has passed; or, it might suggest a multi-party chat turn into a web collaboration session if participants are exchanging files back and forth. That would be helpful for both IT managers looking to streamline the use of their networks, ensuring that the right tools are being used from a resources perspective, and for end users, who may not realize when one collaborative app is better than another. It will certainly be handy—eventually, I’d say, necessary—as unified communications applications replace basic e-mail and IM, and users need to seamless segue from one environment to another.

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