Q&A: Microsoft to Unveil Vision for End-to-End Enterprise Management Solutions

REDMOND, Wash., March 11, 2003 — In the eight months since he joined Microsoft, Kirill Tatarinov has spent a lot of time on the road. As corporate vice president for the Enterprise Management Division, Tatarinov is in charge of management solutions for Microsoft’s Windows platform. He has spent his recent weeks visiting customers and Microsoft partners, listening to their concerns and engaging their feedback to provide the foundation for building management applications that address customers’ real-life business needs. His group’s attention to these needs is reflected in the recently released Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Operations Manager, which contains new features and updates that were largely guided by customer feedback.

An industry veteran with nearly 15 years experience in enterprise management, Tatarinov co-founded Australian-based Patrol Software and pioneered the development of the PATROL family of management applications. He later served as chief technology officer and senior vice president for BMC Software, a management systems software vendor. In advance of the Microsoft Management Summit, to be held March 18-21 in Las Vegas, PressPass asked Tatarinov to provide an overview of what he’s heard from customers and to describe Microsoft’s vision for enterprise management solutions.

PressPass: What are your key responsibilities in the Microsoft Enterprise Management Division?

Tatarinov: My group is responsible for development, marketing, and business development of management solutions for the Microsoft platform. Reflecting on the broad importance of management across the company and our focus on enterprise management applications, our group was recently renamed the Enterprise Management Division. We are delivering software to enterprise customers to help them manage computer networks, systems and applications. Currently this includes three families of products: Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) helps IT professionals monitor, manage and report on events and performance for Windows–based server systems; Systems Management Server (SMS) contains software deployment, diagnostic and patch-management tools to help IT administrators configure and maintain Windows–based desktop and server systems, and Application Center, Microsoft’s deployment and management tool, reduces the complexity of managing Web-based applications.

PressPass: What challenges face the enterprise management industry, and what general trends have you noticed?

Tatarinov: I have been involved in systems management since the late 1980s. And I certainly have a few scars from trying to solve management issues and deliver on the promise of management software. While there are many useful products and technologies in the marketplace, I don’t think any vendor has yet delivered on the
“management promise.”

Today, management products are mostly an
type of investment for customers. Because the majority of the systems and applications are not properly instrumented and managed out-of-the-box, customers are forced to layer third-party management software on top of the already deployed environment to ease the administration and management pain. There are multiple issues with this approach. Essentially, it fails to address the complexity of the enterprise infrastructure, making the management nightmare even worse. Microsoft’s goal is to address this issue and help our customers solve the
“crisis in the datacenter.”
We will do this by delivering an elegant system architecture that will include a comprehensive management infrastructure. This will enable Microsoft and our partners to build management capabilities into the applications and development tools, so the systems and applications become fully manageable out-of-the-box. We will also deliver a comprehensive enterprise management system to take advantage of this built-in manageability and to provide a complete end-to-end management solution for complex enterprises. This approach will enable developers to create fully managed applications from the ground up as they design their products. As a result, these applications will be easier to deploy and manage across computer networks, and the IT professionals will have much greater visibility into the enterprise. With this approach, everything you lay into the underlying management fabric — data, transactions, processes — immediately become visible, manageable, and part of the overall enterprise management system.

PressPass: In your talks with many of the company’s enterprise customers, what types of feedback have you received regarding enterprise management solutions?

Tatarinov: Our customers tell us that a comprehensive enterprise management solution is essential for running their business. They want Microsoft to deliver that solution for Windows-based platforms because we have the unique knowledge necessary to ensure effective management. Many of these customers already rely on Microsoft to run their mission-critical applications and databases, so it is natural for them to ask Microsoft to also deliver a comprehensive management system.

Customers often view systems management as the last line of defense for enterprise IT systems and the data and processes they contain. If the system fails, due to unforeseen hardware, software or security problems, enterprise management systems can automatically bring it back into the desired state, or indicate what the IT professional must do to recover.

PressPass: What role does customer feedback play in the development of Microsoft management solutions?

Tatarinov: We incorporate customer feedback to make sure we continue to deliver solutions that directly address our customers’ needs. For example, we involved the field and support staff directly in the development of Service Pack 1 for MOM, which was released in January. In the last two months, we created a
“customer touch”
program that puts our product people who are involved in building the management solutions in direct contact with the customer. As a result, we are seeing tremendous interest in MOM and our other management solutions. This is the payoff that tells us we are using the right approach for our customers.

PressPass: What are Microsoft’s top goals for its Enterprise Management group in the coming months?

Tatarinov: Our No. 1 goal is to make the Windows platform the best-managed computing environment. Customers shouldn’t have to spend significant time trying to get the platform running and manageable. It all has to be in the box, ready to perform. The platform has to work as soon as it is installed, and management has to be an integral part of it. This is what will help our customers achieve operational efficiency.

PressPass: What can customers expect to learn at the upcoming Microsoft Management Summit?

Tatarinov: The summit is an opportunity for our customers to learn more about the innovations in management from Microsoft and hear our vision for management and our execution roadmap. This is the most important thing we will be presenting. We expect over 1,500 IT professional from around the globe to attend this event.

We are also hosting more than 60 technical sessions in which industry experts will discuss our current and upcoming products. People will have a chance to try out many of these technologies for themselves in a variety of hands-on labs. They’ll have opportunities to visit with our product developers as well as representatives of partner companies extending Microsoft management solutions. Most importantly, attendees can meet and learn from other IT professionals who also face the challenges of enterprise management.

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