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Serena Engineers Process-Driven Human Workflow

Serena Software continues its application "orchestration" theme this week with enhancements to its core product line focused on programmers and those who cross over into the DevOps divide. Serena defines orchestrated IT as technology management systems that tie together existing tools into a "process-driven human workflow" system.

The company says that this empathy for human workflow rejects the rip-and-replace practices used in some application deployment scenarios. Essentially, Serena is advocating an approach to application management that directs effort towards improving the performance of the end-to-end IT supply chain as it stands, without throwing out what is working.

"Maximizing the value of Orchestrated IT often involves deploying new functional tools where none currently exists or upgrading from cumbersome or expensive legacy tools, though this is optional," said John Nugent, president and CEO at Serena Software. "Our solutions now also extend into IT front office functions such as service catalog, demand management, and IT management dashboarding."

Additions to the company's portfolio include Serena Demand Manager, Requirements Manager, and the firm's Orchestrated IT Dashboard. Major new releases of Service Manager, Release Manager, Request Center, Development Manager, and the Business Manager platform are also listed.

The new Orchestrated IT Dashboard brings so-called "actionable intelligence" to a development shop's leader and also to the operations chief, plus the CIO. The dashboard provides around two-dozen predefined metrics like cycle times, queue sizes, wait times, and SLA performance.

The new Demand Manager provides a facility for prioritizing all IT work, presenting alternative portfolio scenarios, and optimizing resources to fulfill IT demand. The product offers an approval process function to streamline prioritization, scoring, and resource estimation of all IT requests — as well as automated time capture to help increase IT productivity and improve the accuracy of IT costs.

Also part of this week's announcement is Serena Requirements Manager, a product which debuts as an integrated suite and provides development teams with capabilities to define and manage requirements, from initial prototype to production release, reducing rework, accelerating development, and ensuring complete requirements traceability.

True DevOps collaboration may be some way off at this stage and even Serena labels the discipline itself as "still burgeoning". While the operations and development functions can benefit from interconnectivity tools from any number of vendors, the market for release management and automation itself is becoming increasingly crowded. Whether Serena will weather the storm better than others by virtue of its reasonably lengthy track record in this space remains to be seen.

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