Mercury Offers New Project Options to CIOs

Officials at business technology optimization (BTO) software maker
Mercury Interactive announced Monday an upgrade to its Portfolio Management offering, in a bid to give CIOs more options when tracking IT projects.

Portfolio Management 5.5 expands on a product first introduced last
June when the Sunnyvale, Calif., acquired
IT governance software vendor Kintana. The software tracks, manages
and gives IT managers a top-down view of projects within the company.

The software component is one of eight packages bundled in the IT
Governance Center, a key element in the company’s BTO
strategy
that covers IT projects from conception to completion.

Sue Barsamian, Mercury vice president of strategic marketing, said
company
executives are realizing the difficulties in using Excel
spreadsheets in order to manage elaborate software projects.

“We find that companies just don’t have a handle on what their project
portfolio is and where they’re spending time and money,” she told
internetnews.com.

The enhancements boil down into two areas: monitoring IT projects and
providing best-practices examples for out-of-the-box software installs.

To increase the effectiveness of its software monitoring, Mercury
developers
enhanced project dashboards, scorecards, metrics and ratings to expand
the
flexibility of the program. With Portfolio Management 5.5, IT
departments
can parse projects by expense, resources or importance, giving managers
the
ability to check on the status of projects using the metric they find
most
effective.

Alex Lobba, Mercury’s vice president of
product management for IT governance, said using such metrics can help not just within the IT department, but
throughout the enterprise. “It’s not just the savings of hard dollars, it’s also the way of doing
business between IT and the lines of business themselves,” he said.
“Because now you have a true partnership, there is visibility across
the
board, and (IT managers) can sit with his CFO and CIO across the table
looking at a real-time dashboard and make decisions on priorities.”

To woo new customers, Mercury also included best practices from other
customers to speed up integration of the software within the company,
and
supplying “what if” scenarios to see how other companies handled
similar
projects.

The company also introduced the Fast Start Program for Portfolio
Management
5.5, which gives new customers a portfolio view of the top projects
within
the company in two weeks. What makes the software unique, said Zeus
Kerrevala, vice president of enterprise infrastructure research at the
Yankee Group, is the fact Fast Start is geared for IT departments with
existing projects.

“Mercury is the only one that’s taken, through the Kintana acquisition
that
has a product that focuses on projects underway as well as new
projects,” he
told internetnews.com. “It’s Fast Start program is fairly
unique,
the time it takes to install IT governance software can be pretty
daunting,
but it’s got a relatively low price point and gives companies very
little
excuse not to do it.”

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