What Does the Future

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2006-04-04 Print this article Print

Hold for Tivoli?"> How would you characterize how Tivoli is viewed today by IBM upper management and by customers and the market? I think weve certainly been viewed as a key brand within our software business by IBM and probably more significantly by our customers in coping with complexity. Technologies like virtualization, servers, storage and networks—we help them with that, but the logical complexity remains. That complexity is a big issue.
Compliance is a huge issue we hear. The rate of change is a big issue too. We see customers seeking better solutions to manage IT deployments in much more business-oriented fashion, rather than an ad hoc fashion. You have to be linked to the overall business goals. Thats what our IT Service Management strategy is about.
Speaking of your ITSM strategy, some detractors believe Tivoli is at a disadvantage because it has no service desk offering—despite the fact that it is a key part of ITIL. What exactly is Tivolis service desk strategy and how can Tivoli communicate that clearly to customers? Our strategy in a word is integration. We think service desk is a component of IT Service Management, but you cant tell customers to take the one they have out. Our strategy is simply integration. Our change and configuration management database [CCMDB] is an open structure that lets us federate information from [multiple sources]. Anyone who creates a service desk knows it has to make an interface available to [different] data structures. Thats been very effective for us. Weve had two years of double digit growth. Thats a proof point to the effectiveness of our strategy. How is work progressing on the Tivoli CMDB effort? Weve been working on this before we launched our IT Service Management strategy in May of 2005. We had a number of early customer design partners like Ford that have been giving us feedback and we are moving software into deployment. General availability is in June and everything is on track. CMDBs have become a huge topic. Everyone in some part of the management market has one now. How do you differentiate as everyone talks about CMDB? Everyone is requiring that their database is it. But the CMDB really is a federated source of configuration items about end-to-end infrastructure—not data specific to one management application. With point products there are conflicting data on things like servers, storage devices, networks, incidents. These configuration items are all over the place. One database specific to asset management as the one CMDB is false. It has to be based on open standards and mask the management of master data. There are other differentiators: we package core processes. Change management process and configuration management process is packaged with our products. Theres no proprietary workflow engine. What is the most significant effort underway at Tivoli now? We recently introduced a full line of [Tivoli] Express products aimed at the midmarket. We worked for a year and a half to really build the packaging and pricing needed to be more consumable through the channel by midmarket customers. Thats going to be a substantial improvement to address the market and gain market-share. Also theres the acquisition of MicroMuse. We found that the NetCool team at MicroMuse are the worlds deepest specialists in managing the most demanding networking environments on the planet. They are present in all major telcos, high-end financial services organizations and within [the Department of] Defense in war fighting functions where mission critical takes on a whole new meaning. To read more about Tivolis MicroMuse acquisition, click here. Theyve given us a measure of technology and skill in the most demanding networks well integrate into the Tivoli portfolio. Whats the roadmap for integration of MicroMuse into Tivoli? Weve talked to clients individually to describe it and get their input. When we announced the MicroMuse acquisition, we said within the first few months we will have incredible levels of integration at a visual level and a data level. Because of our collation acquisition, the ability to bring data in is really already there. Weve also integrated Netcool Omnibus into the Tivoli Enterprise Portal, so data integration and visualization is there. The key point to make is this: were approaching this the same way we did with [IBMs acquisition of] Candle. Every step should be a release upgrade, like upgrading to a new release of software that just happens to have a blend of software we and MicroMuse built. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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