Lucent Technologies has launched a software product that allows application service providers and their customers to measure the success of service level agreements.The new programme, VitalSuite 8, incorporates a number of applications that provide real time alerts to problems, differentiate between network and application errors and analyse long term customer performance to pre-empt future problems. End users can access data through a personalised web portal, or receive emailed real time performance reports - depending on the level of agreement with their service provider. Michael Simonsen, product manager for VitalSuite, said: "Traditionally if a customer had a problem with slow transaction time the telco gave them more bandwidth. The customers don't always need more bandwidth, maybe they just need a new router, or to retune the network, or a new service level agreement. This use of data allows the problem to be identified, and it shows the client where they should be investing their next layer of cash." Paul Whittle, UK director of business development at Lucent, said performance management will become a crucial differentiator as service providers strive to distinguish between themselves and the incumbent telcos who supply their bandwidth requirements. "New broadband carriers need to protect customers and themselves. They want to differentiate themselves from incumbent telcos. Incumbent performance was all about protecting yourself. New performance is profit centric. It's about spotting the problem before you get that phone call from the customer" The software integrates earlier performance management technology from Lucent, which targeted enterprise servers. However, with service providers accounting for 40 per cent of the company's current projects, and a majority of their revenue stream, service providers are proving a valuable market for Lucent. The new software rolls out worldwide from the start of November. According to Lucent they are already in talks with BT, NTL, and most major UK ISPs.