Tango/04 Boosts IT-Business Alignment Capabilities
November 4, 2015 Dan Burger
Much of the alignment of IT and business processes can be better served with automated monitoring and management. In the IBM midrange community, systems management is a highly desirable and sometimes implemented capability. But automation has moved beyond the parameters that were set when the AS/400 and iSeries environments were the workhorses in the stable. There are new frontiers being explored by companies such as Tango/04 and its Alignia lineup of infrastructure, middleware, and application monitoring software.
Tango takes the approach of managing infrastructure according to business needs. The company calls it business service management. It can be explained by an example of what happens when a subsystem goes down. It affects one or several applications, which affects specific business services, which delays certain business processes and functions.
Rather than monitoring the infrastructure alone, Tango takes its monitoring to the business level.
“This has changed the equation, because the conversation within the IT departments is now about business and business impacts and the reasons for failure of business elements,” says Raul Cristian Aguirre, CEO of Tango/04.
“At the core of Alignia is a dependency model, a dependency tree. Gartner calls it the real time service model. Added to that are monitors for performance, availability, subsystems, job queues, and templates for determining the dependencies for many applications. Adding more knowledge to these templates and our modules is the purpose of our updates, like 3.0, which we just introduced,” he says.
Tango recently introduced Alignia 3.0, the latest upgrade of its digital service management suite of modules that include monitoring capabilities for applications, security, online business services, and business processes. The most popular is the module that monitors business applications. It has the connection for all the IT infrastructure, including the databases. It needs to be used to deploy business processes, business services, or security.
Some customers buy the applications module alone. This is more often the case when the decision to monitor is done on the IT side. When the decision includes the business personnel, the business services and business processes alignment is added the business applications module.
Alignia covers the monitoring of technical metrics, performance, and events from the IBM i, AIX, Linux and other OSes, middleware, and commercial applications.
The enhancements to Tango’s flagship software include:
As organizations connect with customers, clients, business partners, suppliers, and other external organizations, the goal of making business transactions more efficient receives additional attention. The direction this takes is defined by increased computerization, greater system-to-system automation, and a higher degree of integration with the online services and individual company-defined business processes.
As this occurs, complexity increases and failure points are extended to third parties. Keeping a lid on that is the problem Tango has set out to solve. Its focus goes beyond individual enterprises to the domino effect that can impact customers and business partners from a business process and security perspective. The end users rely on dashboards, reports, and alerts to avoid trouble and, when trouble is unavoidable, to resolve the issue and re-establish the correct business process.
Although management and monitoring tools are familiar to IT personnel, Tango designed Alignia to be useful to the business-minded folks as well.
The IT staff gets the technical information it needs pertaining to infrastructure, middleware, and security, but Alignia also provides a view of how incidents impact services and processes, while prioritizing according to the business needs.
Tango/04 introduced Alignia just over a year ago. The company, which is based in Barcelona, Spain, has been building IT- and business-monitoring and management software for more than 15 years. It’s North American offices are located in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
IBM i shops account for more than 80 percent of Tango’s business, according to Aguirre.
“For us, it’s our roots, our history, our expertise,” he says. “We have a strong relationship with IBM. For instance, IBM created APIs for us when it created IBM i 7.1.”
Banking and insurance are Tango’s strongest vertical markets. Business service management resonates very well in those segments, Aguirre says.
“Any company that has a complex process is a good candidate for being a customer,” he says.” We have companies like Nike, Bayer, Dannon, and McDonald’s as customers. They have a lot of logistic processes that need to run efficiently.”
Aguirre describes the pricing of Alignia as a pay as you go formula. It’s based on the number of processes or services a company wants to monitor. It also takes into account the degree of simplicity or complexity involved in the processes or services. A complex deployment, for instance, would have multiple, channels (Web, mobile, green screen), functions, and consumers and contains a higher degree of granularity.
In other words, paying for what you use. “That’s what the customers were asking for,” he says.