Enterprise software management company Micro Focus has upgraded its application portfolio management (APM) product which allows IT managers to better understand their core enterprise infrastructure.

Micro Focus feels that APM is becoming increasingly important as IT departments come under increasing management scrutiny and budgetary pressure. IT managers recognise they must show management where their funding is spent, and the benefits it provides to the business as a whole.

This is where applications such as Enterprise View can help, says Micro Focus, as it provides a consolidated view of the business and technical intelligence across an organisation's portfolio of applications. Micro Focus says this allows system administrators to make more informed decisions especially as it allows them to pinpoint bottlenecks and free up under-utilised resources.

"Enterprise View is effectively a business decision support system," said Jeremy Spencer, Product Solutions Director at Micro Focus. "This is especially critical for large enterprises, which can have thousands of applications supporting the business."

"How on earth do you know that the money you spend to manage and support those applications are providing value for money?" asks Spencer. "How do you know which apps are nearing the end of their life span and which ones to outsource?"

Enterprise View builds up an in-depth knowledge of each application. It allows the administrator to set thresholds, so if defect levels for example hit a particular point, it raises a flag for attention. It also allows for impact analysis.

"If organisations want to change the application, they must be aware of the repercussions," said Spencer. "This APM tool carries out an impact analysis of the million lines of code and looks at the resulting change and how many areas of the application will be affected. It also estimates the effort needed to make that change, using industry standard costing models."

Spencer laments the fact that currently there is a lot of focus on tools that help IT departments manage new tasks and projects (ie new stuff). "This is missing out that 80 percent of the IT budget is geared around maintaining existing systems," said Spencer.

"Only now are people waking up to the fact they can drive more cost saving from managing their existing infrastructure," he added. "A lot of CIOs have not woken up to the fact that this software will allow them to turn to CFO and say they are exploiting all the resources to the maximum. They can look at the product portfolio and see how many resources are supporting a particular application and then reassign them."

The new version (5.6) of Enterprise View is an incremental rather than a major upgrade, but it has a range of enhancements, including language improvements, as well as environment and platforms updates. Technical analysis capabilities have improved, as have outsource management support as it is now possible to link applications to service providers or teams. A new enterprise view portal has been added to "increase reporting flexibility and enhance the user experience."

Other changes include enhanced product documentation, and Micro Focus is claiming a 10 to 15 percent performance improvement with the Oracle connection layer. Product instalment capabilities, security, and product APIs have also been tweaked.

The upgrade also includes the addition of graphic dashboards that provides (in real-time) an accurate snapshot of the entire product portfolio. This includes information on dynamic inventory, software quality, and outsource management.

Pricing is not readily available, but readers are advised to contact Micro Focus directly.