Net drives application efficiency testing

With the growth of call centres and e-commerce it's more important than ever that applications are working at peak efficiency, says Landmark CEO Katherine Clark. Landmark is a provider of performance management software. Clark says performance management is driven by heavy transaction-based applications. The growth of call centres and e-commerce, which are transaction-oriented, means performance management is needed more than ever.

With the growth of call centres and e-commerce it's more important than ever that applications are working at peak efficiency, says Landmark CEO Katherine Clark.

Landmark is a provider of performance management software.

Virginia-based Clark says performance management is driven by heavy transaction-based applications. The growth of call centres and e-commerce, which are transaction-oriented, means performance management is needed more than ever and that need is accelerating.

"People using those kinds of applications have very little patience."

She says people once accepted having to wait when computers were slow, but the Internet has increased the level of competition for everything.

She says it's hard to put a figure on how much money could be lost through poor application performance.

However, if your business takes orders over the phone, a slow application aggravates the customer on the other end of the line, and also means the operator can't get to other customers on hold.

"Studies show that people will only stay on hold for a certain amount of time before they hang up. Once they hang up they won't call back for a long time because of the bad experience."

She says the Internet is similar — people will give up if the system is slow.

Clark says problems in application performance are generally caused by: CPU capacity, file accesses, and storage/memory.

She says the problems aren't usually that complex, but in large scale systems it's hard to establish "who is using what".

Clark was in New Zealand to promote Landmark's latest version (3.0) of Per-formanceWorks for the client-server environment. Among the features of the product are planning for "what if" scenarios, to find out the impact of things like adding more users or applications.

The product also includes SmartWatch, which monitors the end-to-end response time of client-server applications.

Clark says the performance management market is worth $US2 billion to $US3 billion worldwide and is expected it to grow by 20% a year.

In New Zealand Landmark's software is distributed by CoLogic and customers include South Auckland Health which has the latest version of PerformanceWorks.

It started using a demonstration version of the software late last year and implemented a final version in January.

Its IS systems specialist, Rhys Jones, says it looked at PerformanceWorks because it enabled it to pinpoint where problems lay on servers, clients or within applications, and where it should most logically spend its money.

He says the product has been used quite extensively to track down performance -issues in its core database.

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