Concord's Jack Blaeser describes e-business management strategy |  Networking

HEWLETT-PACKARD, Computer Associates, BMC, and Tivoli are widely considered to be the leading providers of network management applications, but the truth is, there is an equally strong fifth player. Concord Communications has emerged as a significant force in performance analysis tools. In October, Concord further enhanced the position with a deal to acquire Empire Technologies, which provides tools that can be used to analyze network-aware e-business applications. Jack Blaeser, CEO of Concord, talked with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard about what's next for Concord.

InfoWorld: What drove the merger?

Blaeser: It's the first of several you'll see us making as we implement our vision. We have to take advantage of a paradigm shift we see taking place in the industry, which will open up an opportunity for us to create a very large software company. With the advent of e-business, downtime of any length of time is not tolerable. So what's required is performance-management software. We want to provide the next generation of management software that enables e-business. To do that, you have to span systems, applications, networks, and network services -- and in order to do that, we have to expand.

InfoWorld: How big are you today?

Blaeser: We have over 3,000 customers using our product to manage their information technology infrastructure. It gives us a nice, strong base to go from, but it's not enough. If we want to supply an e-business solution, we have to move into the applications, business-process, ... and systems arena. That's what Empire does. In a space of a few years, they've accumulated over 200 customers such as Morgan Stanley, Cisco, Alcatel, US Web, and Bank of America.

InfoWorld: What do they provide?

Blaeser: Their real technology is an auton-omous agent that sits on a server that's running an application. It monitors the performance of the server and the application. It can send information back to a platform like HP Open View to alarm it if something bad is happening out there. It can also send data back through a product like Concord that does historical reporting and planning based on the trends. And by itself, it can be programmed to take corrective action on-site. So if an application or process stops, it can automatically restart it. It's almost the start of a self-healing network, although it's a self-healing server. This is a tremendous technology. We think we found a jewel in the rough that we can polish and take advantage of. Customers can't afford to wait for the network to fail before they take action, because if the network is down for any length of time, they're losing millions and millions of dollars of revenue.

InfoWorld: What comes next?

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