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Motive aims to head off system glitches

Three new software management tools are designed to help businesses keep applications configured properly to avoid snarl-ups.

Motive, a vendor of diagnostic and self-help software, on Monday launched three products designed to help businesses anticipate software glitches before they happen.

Each of the new products--Motive Profile, Motive Triage and Motive Resolution--tackles a different stage in the problem identification and escalation process within organizations. Rather than help people react to application problems as they arise, the tools are meant to help automate the process of maintaining ideal software configurations, even when systems are changed or updated.

"We're essentially trying to make technology easier to manage by allowing complex products made by top-tier software companies to detect issues and change themselves before problems with performance or configuration arise," said Scott Abel, an executive vice president at Motive. "We think we can help eliminate a portion of the technology management tax that companies are paying to keep all their applications running smoothly."

Motive has traditionally marketed applications that enable people to diagnose computer problems once they have occurred. The Austin, Texas-based company launched an initial public offering of its shares in June.

Profile serves as the diagnostic engine that attempts to predict configuration issues before they crop up. The product queries and analyzes applications' configuration changes over time and aims to help end users with upgrade planning, application maintenance and policy compliance.

The Triage software promises to automate the process of defining the gravity of any problems and notifying the people responsible for resolving them. Resolution provides more sophisticated diagnostic tools for information technology managers, Motive said.

Motive also announced on Monday a deal with PeopleSoft. The enterprise applications maker will license components of Profile to enable customers to track changes and potential problems with its enterprise applications. Motive recently established a similar partnership with BEA Systems.

Profile is being made available on Monday, while the other products are expected to hit the market in early September.