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Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g to offer SAP support

Oracle honchos answer questions about the new version of Oracle Enterprise Manger 10g, which will soon support SAP through a third party.

The new version of Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Release 3, giving customers the ability to monitor and manage SAP applications. Oracle officials said the new plug-in should be available later this year.

In addition, the new version of Enterprise Manager supports BMC Remedy Service Desk and IBM WebSphere MQ versions 5.3 and 6.0 through plug-ins that are currently available.

Oracle president Charles Phillips and Richard Sarwal, Oracle's newly appointed senior vice president of systems management, were on hand this week answering reporters' questions about the new Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Release 3. Here are some excerpts from that conversation:

What's new in Enterprise Manager 10g?

Richard Sarwal: There are a couple of key [new] things in 10g Release 3. One is more enhanced provisioning capabilities down the stack -- all the way from the application so we can provision complete application stacks for E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and Siebel. [That allows us to] surface the business metrics from PeopleSoft, Siebel and E-Business Suite up to service dashboards and then drill down into the infrastructure with deep diagnostics at the middle tier level and obviously at the database, which we've always had. The other key part is we just announced a partnership with Nimsoft which allows us to do management for the SAP application stack.

More on Oracle Enterprise Manager:

Oracle Enterprise Manager gets a makeover

Oracle to preview Enterprise Manager 10g upgrades at OpenWorld

Oracle obviously wants the world to pay more attention to Enterprise Manager. What are you doing organizationally to really elevate this to become Oracle's next major product line?

Charles Phillips: That's a good question. We've probably undersold this product [in the past]. It's been selling on its own just kind of on the back of other deals, and it did very well, but we have a lot of options in addition to the base product because you get some of this with our applications when you buy them. A lot of the management packs and connectors, we just had not focused on them. So what we're doing now is, one, there will be some people in the sales force who only get paid on Enterprise Manager, and two, extensive training for existing [database representatives and application server representatives] in particular to get them focused on some of these newer areas. A lot of these other [competing management] tools can give you information -- I call them viewers, you can view information -- but what we have is the viewer and the doer. We can actually change the system and provision it based on a decision you make by looking at the performance or looking at some other aspect. Because we own the underlying systems, we can actually provision and make a change to the physical software. That is what people have been asking us for, and we actually delivered that with this release. It goes from viewing all the way through doing. Now that we have this, in the customer's mind, that's a reason to standardize on the Oracle stack. Not only can all of these things integrate in terms of functional integration, but when it comes to managing them and patching them and upgrading them, I can do that from a single place, and the system will change from a viewer console. That's why we're putting the focus on [Enterprise Manager] and building a small specialized salesforce behind it.

Are you looking toward moving this product to support more COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology), these are all pieces that we have pieces of and that we are going to expand going forward to have the complete runbook automation type picture.

Is Enterprise Manager available through your technology and apps sales partners?

Sarwal: We'll have some specialized people who will sell to the entire systems and applications management picture, but the individual packs will also be available through the middleware and the tech reps as well. We will be able to supply from both ends, in effect. We've built out a whole suite of partner integration technologies. You'll be able to go to our Web site or in fact the partner's Web site and download these connectors and plug-ins which will plug into the Enterprise Manager console.

With Enterprise Manager, would you say the emphasis is on monitoring systems and giving feedback on how well they're running, or is the focus on troubleshooting systems and identifying and pinpointing causes of problems?

Sarwal: It's actually both and more. We own the stack, so we can deliver deep diagnostics, monitoring, and as Charles said, we can actually make changes from a single point in the console. We've been able to do monitoring, diagnostics and, more importantly, we've been able to surface some of the business metrics that are available through the enterprise applications that we own, and then use those metrics from the top down to drill down back into the infrastructure as necessary and remediate from a single point.

Oracle Enterprise Manager supports SAP's and other companies' applications through partnership deals. Are there any limits to the level of support you provide for these third parties?

Sarwal: Obviously, for the applications we own, we can do performance monitoring, diagnostics and remediation. For products that we don't own, products that we can plug in and connect to, we can certainly do diagnostics and monitoring [but] we cannot supply patches. We couldn't supply patches for an SAP system, for example. Only SAP could supply that.

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