Axway, Systar Deal Powers Next-Gen BAM for End-To-End Business Views; Combines Flows, APIs and Analytics Engine

Axway is whipping up a new wind in the BAM sector, thanks to its acquisition of Systar, maker of the “Tornado” business-centric performance management solution. IDN speaks with Axway’s Paul French about how the deal will let users visualize how system performance impacts business activities.

Tags: analytics, APIs, Axway, BAM, dashboards, event-driven, integration, operational intelligence, performance management, SOA, Systar, Tornado, visibility,

Paul French
vice president,
strategy & markets

"Giving business users a context for how performance impacts the business gives all stakeholders a way to address these issues."

Axway is whipping up a new wind in the BAM (business activity monitor) sector, thanks to its acquisition of Systar, maker of the “Tornado” business-centric performance management solution. The deal will let users visualize how system performance impacts business activities – historically, at present and even into the future.


“This [deal] fills a real gap. Too often, the business people that had to look after an end-to-end business process or a business SLA were at the mercy of IT,” Axway’s vice president for strategy and markets, Paul French, told IDN.


Together, Axway’s data-flow-centric approach and Systar’s business-activity-centric approach combine data flow governance with business performance and capacity management, will enable IT and LOB users to more rapidly identify potential issues and take corrective action, as needed. The move will further increase Axway 5 Suite’s ability to deliver business value through real-time visibility into transactional data flows.

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By filling the gap in this way gives business users more self-sufficiency, French added. Brining Systart technology under the Axway suite, LOB users can gain faster and more accurate insights on how system performance really impacts business-critical tasks, such as sales, bookings, inventory availability and order processing, French added. “We call this operational intelligence,” he said.


This operational intelligence arises from the Axway/Systar ability to watch transactions and crucial data flows end-to-end across a company’s systems. Further, the technologies working together will product real-time visualizations of how performance metrics are effecting these business tasks, no matter how complex the path. “We will also provide predictive features to help companies see how operations will behave in the future,” French added.


Architecture, Features of
Axway’s Next-Gen BAM

While these capabilities suggest a next-gen BAM, French also thinks of it in terms of what he called ‘flows.” French said flows are “a series of transactions, where a lot of different pieces come together to solve a business problem.” Using flows, Axway can identity, monitor and correlate activities end-to-end, and that ability is what delivers visibility and operational intelligence, he added.


To deliver this business-savvy view requires a complementary combo of Axway and Systar technologies, including event-driven architecture, intuitive data models, analytics engine, business flows, governance, capacity management and analytics, French pointed out.


Now that the deal is final, Axway is combining its event-driven monitoring and governance of execution of data flows,with Systar’s technologies for assessing how business performance objectives will be met in relation to data-flow execution (delivering fully-correlated business view of the data flows), according to a formal post-acquisition statement on the Axway website.


Amon Systar’s notable technologies is the “Tornado” operational performance management platform. It embeds an active temporal engine specialized for operational analytics that gives users visibility and insight into the business impact of past, present, and future performance of enterprise operations.


Systar’s Tornado also uses an enriched data model that takes into account many performance-related attributes, such as: numeric, string duration, instant, and interval. Unlike some complicated ALM-based approaches, Systar Tornado lets users easily make changes to applications or processes -- even when they are live (in production). This avoids having to stop, interrupt or uninstall them before making changes.


Axway’s Operational Intelligence Vision
Reveals New Business Value from APIs, SOA

The Axway/Systar deal, and how the technologies will be married in Axway 5 Suite, also underscores a new dimension of power for APIs and SOA, French added.


“We’ve long said APIs are your friend. Now, we’re taking APIs to a new level,” he told IDN. Axway’s approach to a loosely-coupled approach (APIs and SOA) have long enabled it to unbundle or disaggregate discrete flows from underlying middleware. Further, this means it can work seamlessly across many middlewares and dataflow technologies.


Add Systar’s Tornado to the mix, and users get an easy-to-navigate, correlated and contextualized business view of what all these performance metrics and data flow analytics mean to day-to-day operations. Moreover, users can fine-tune apps and processes, prioritize business activity to match available system resources, send alerts to affected staff and take other actions, he said.


French explained this kind of visibility and control is becoming more important to business users who don’t want to be reliant on IT, or have to wait for them to take action. Besides, sometimes the dashboard IT uses to view system performance don’t always communicate the business urgency of a situation, he added.


“A system may be running slow at a certain time, but at 8:00 a.m. a business unit has a deadline and so they have a performance expectation,” French said. “The IT guy may be interested in that SLA because he’ll get yelled at if he doesn’t meet it. But, the business guy truly understands all the economic value of that SLA to the company.”


In other words, to IT, that SLA may be a red line on a gauge; but to business it could mean millions of dollars don’t get booked – and maybe somebody even gets fired or the stock might drop. “Giving business users a context for how performance impacts the business gives all stakeholders a way to address these issues,” he added.


French shared another customer example. “We have a customer, for example, who told us ‘I have a fast-close accounting process and it is very broken. There is a lot of value if we can help them fix that. And frankly, that fix will be a little bit architectural and a little bit cultural – bringing business and IT together,” he said.

To assist with this piece, Axway offers “get started” help with a set of defined process for helping IT and LOB work together to best leverage these new technologies and insights. The company also has an Operational Intelligence Maturity Model, where its work with the customer on a special project.


Axway’s purchase of Systar officially closed in June. The company reportedly had 150 employees at the time of acquisition.