• United States

Taking the SLM plunge? Tell us what you think

Feb 24, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Call for input on service-level management

Last year Enterprise Management Associates completed a book (now available at called “SLM Solutions: A Buyer’s Guide.” In it EMA details a number of guidelines for purchasing, evaluating and deploying products for service-level management, and we include a profile of more than 70 vendors – which, as it turned out, produced some interesting data in itself.

For instance, it’s good to see the degree to which the market has matured, with a full 57% of vendors supporting both internal and external data collection, vs. 34% supporting internal-only and 9% supporting external-only.

We see products spanning WAN, LAN, systems, applications, edge devices, security and storage (with the dominant support for systems and applications, near 90% of products). More than 45% of SLM products are more than three years old; 36% are two years old and 19% are less than a year old. Most integration (60%) is now at the database level, compared to 35% at the display level and 40% at the command level.

That’s progress from an era, only five years ago, when most data was siloed and integration then was merely “launchable from the same console” – often within the same brand.

But what about you? Is all this seeming progress something you really care about? Do you think it’s really progress at all?

We see tremendous ambivalence about SLM – profound overall interest, mixed with a high level of fear and confusion. With the average deployment for enterprisewide SLM in the vicinity of $500,000, it’s a nontrivial investment. On the other hand, once you make the decision to be proactive in running your IT organization as a service organization, SLM becomes a fundamental need. If you believe that your product is services, how can you optimize your business without some metrics in place to measure your services?

We’re seeking your input on your concerns with SLM, to help us get insights into where you are with SLM today. We’re doing a survey on our Web site:

We would greatly value your input. How seriously are you looking at SLM? Has it become more or less important to you in the current economic climate? Are you ready to take the plunge? Or have you already? If so, do you regret it? Or are you bullish about SLM? And what about processes like ITIL – are you a believer? What products are you using now? Are you looking primarily for point products, frameworks or suites?

Help us to try to push, just a little, where you want to see the industry move. Taking that first step to doing meaningful (vs. narrowly technical) SLM can be like diving off a 40-foot tower into cold water. Maybe just filling out our survey can be a way for you to put your toe in the water from that awesome height.

Once again, the URL is

Or e-mail me at