IBM Integrates Telelogic Tools into Rational Fold

In just a little more than six months after completing its acquisition of Telelogic, IBM has integrated the Telelogic tools into the IBM Rational portfolio. The combined portfolio gives IBM perhaps the most complete arsenal of tools for developers to attack the entire application development lifecycle, with application lifecycle management solutions for IT systems as well as large complex systems, scientific and engineering applications, and embedded systems.

IBM completed its $845 million acquisition of Telelogic AB, a Swedish development tool maker, in April. Now, a little more than seven months later, IBM officials say the integration of Telelogic's products into the IBM Rational portfolio is moving forward smoothly.

IBM announced its intent to acquire Telelogic in June of 2007, but the deal took a long time to gain approval from both U.S. and European regulators -- perhaps partly because there was a great deal of overlap between the Telelogic product line and that of IBM's Rational division. Indeed, prior to IBM acquiring Rational in 2003, Rational and Telelogic were competitors, particularly in the scientific and engineering, complex systems development and embedded systems spaces, where Telelogic specializes. In fact, when IBM announced plans to acquire Telelogic, the company said the move would help IBM in those very markets, as well as in the automotive market.

In an interview with eWEEK, Dominic Tavassoli, program director, systems marketing, IBM Rational, said that together, IBM and Telelogic provide a comprehensive offering for defining, modeling, building, testing and delivering the software used in systems in the aerospace and defense, telecommunications, electronics, automotive and other industries.

"We have a joint portfolio, there will be no forced migrations from one product line to another, and we're leveraging a common back end with the [IBM] Jazz server," Tavassoli said. Moreover, Tavassoli said IBM would be upgrading the user interface and web interfaces of the Telelogic software. Tavassoli was vice president of marketing at Telelogic when IBM bought the company.

Commenting after IBM finalized the Telelogic acquisition, Tony Baer, an analyst with Ovum, said:

""This is the biggest and by far most complex acquisition in the ALM [Application Lifecycle Management] space in easily a decade. Since 2000, most major acquisitions have generally consisted of gap-fillers, such as adding a testing or requirements management product to fill out a product line. For IBM/Rational and Telelogic, it was more the equivalent of bringing together a couple ERP companies, each of whom had products geared to different markets. For instance, Telelogic Doors and rational RequisitePro each manage requirements, but the Telelogic product is focused on far more complex software projects and organizations. Aside from offerings like Telelogic [Focal Point] or Systems Architect, which were gap fillers, most offerings duplicated, but did not overlap Rational because the products were geared to different markets and use cases. ""

Baer also said: "Add to the fact that as go-to-market organizations, Telelogic and Rational were organized completely differently -- Telelogic has always been more product -siloed,' whereas Rational had teams that cross-sold products. The result is that IBM's recently announced product roadmap for Telelogic is simply the first step of what will be a very long, and complicated process."

"The systems space is exploding with the number of devices being developed" and IBM is able to help developers create the software to make those devices and embedded systems run, Tavassoli said.

He said everyday products such as treadmills, smartphones and car navigation systems and even more complex items such as space telescopes, satellite radar systems and airplanes increasingly run on software. Software is driving product differentiation and increasing competition in retail, automotive, healthcare, aerospace and defense, electronics and other industries. The systems development market is nearly $51 billion and IBM sees the next big software battle being fought in this space, IBM officials said.

As Tavassoli stated, IBM's Jazz technology provides an open and extensible platform on top of which IBM, partners and clients are building new software and systems delivery tools. Jazz technology will serve as a platform for many Rational and Telelogic products integrations as well as new products including Rational Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer and Telelogic Team Webtop.

"There was actually a lot of common technology and common components [between Rational and Telelogic] we could share," Tavassoli said. "We found a lot of similar initiatives in both Rational and Telelogic." So the product integration has not been difficult. However, "we don't want to integrate every single product in my portfolio just for the sake of it," he said.

With the Telelogic tools in place, Rational can offer a complete solution across the development lifecycle, Tavassoli said. And the system architecture space just might have the most growth potential, he said.

A well-developed enterprise architecture solution enables organizations to respond rapidly to opportunities and challenges presented by market changes, industry consolidations, and technological advances. Developing an enterprise architecture produces an organizational blueprint that can help improve business quality, efficiency and accountability. Tavassoli said IBM will continue to enhance Telelogic System Architect and also develop integrations with other solutions across the complete IBM portfolio including Rational, WebSphere and Tivoli.

"We see an opportunity to expand our solution and enrich the Rational brand, but also to reach into the WebSphere and Tivoli brands and enrich those as well," Tavassoli said.