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April 25, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:15pm


By CBR Staff Writer

InfoVista SA, a six-month-old French start-up with an application for managing the quality of network performance, has followed up the announcement of its technology and marketing partnership with 3Com Corp (CI No 3,138) with the launch of its product in the US. Under the agreement, 3Com will associate InfoVista’s product of the same name as one of the modules in its TranscendWare system for information system service quality management. InfoVista has taken a a marketing- and not a technology-oriented approach to the product launch, unusual for a French company. While he was technical director at 3Com and Arche Communications SA, Alain Ries, one of InfoVista’s founders, identified a market need for a software package to manage service-level agreements for networks. With $2m in venture capital, Ries founded the company with chief product architect Loic Mathieu, software engineer Manuel Stopnicki and marketing manager David Chu. The company’s product does not compete with network management systems from Hewlett- Packard Co, IBM Corp or others, but collects data from such systems and turns it into comprehensible reports. These reports are designed to prove whether the network performance is conforming to service-level agreements. The reports are used both for external service contracts and, increasingly, between an information technology division and other divisions in the company. IT organizations are becoming profit centers, so they are entering more into that supplier-client relationship with end-users, says Chu, who has worked in marketing for Hewlett- Packard and Compaq Computer Corp. He says information technology is being increasingly challenged to offer hard and fast deliverables, according to strict service level criteria. Chu calls the product the IT equivalent of financial reporting software, which ensures financial standards conformance. A French analyst who has worked closely with the company says that, although there is nothing truly innovative in the technology, it answers a need in a market that is in total expansion. Furthermore, he said, there are very few products on the market, particularly as they have positioned it. The analyst notes that the product, which runs right now only on Windows NT, may have problems being scalable enough until the company’s promised Unix version is brought out.

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