'Angel' watches over Web sites

Agencies interested in judging the performance of online transactions from the public's perspective now have SiteAngel from BMC Software Inc. to watch over their Web sites.

"Customer experience is key to the success of a Web site — how easy it is to do things — and that's measured in click time," said Mary Nugent, BMC's director of corporate development.

BMC announced today that it has integrated SiteAngel with its Patrol solution, enabling organizations to measure click time from outside the firewall and couple that with data obtained by Patrol from inside the firewall. Patrol measures online service in terms of response time on a transaction.

"SiteAngel is service, not a product," said Brandon Whichard, product marketing manager for Houston-based BMC. It measures online customer satisfaction as it simulates transactions end-to-end at a Web site. "SiteAngel makes requests, sees how long it takes and knows where the errors happen."

Nugent cited the Internal Revenue Service as an example of an agency that could benefit from the solution because of the large number of online transactions the IRS makes with the public. Users currently experience a lag time on IRS sites, she said.

Agencies and companies who use the service can teach "angels" what to monitor by clicking through their Web sites' business-critical paths and setting performance and availability goals at every path.

SiteAngel produces reports and report cards for administrators to see exactly when and where errors or network spikes occur and how to remedy them. The new tool can be integrated into Patrol for free on a one-month trial, and then the cost is determined by the number and frequency of transactions being monitored, Wichard said.

Patrol is currently available on the General Services Administration schedule and is deployed at numerous federal agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NASA, the U.S. Postal Service and throughout the Defense Department.

The free trial version of SiteAngel can be downloaded at www.bmc.com/siteangel.

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