How IBM's focus on IT service management paid off in 2009

Big Blue software exec reports Tivoli technology evolved to meet customer needs and helped IBM win accounts and grow business.

Al Zollar, general manager at IBM Tivoli, sheds some light into Big Blue's IT service management product focus and new delivery model that could help customers take advantage of management technology in 2010.

It’s been more than a decade since IBM acquired Tivoli Systems in 1996 to bolster Big Blue’s distributed systems management capabilities and become an immovable presence on the IT management software landscape. And it’s been a few years since IBM added to its management software arm with the acquisition of MRO Software and its Maximo enterprise asset management technology. Now IBM executives report the company’s management business moves of the past are paying off in the present and promise a strong future for Big Blue.

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“Our focus has been on IT service management and integrating the silos of technology our clients need for service delivery,” says Al Zollar, general manager at IBM Tivoli. “Today people are transforming data centers and looking to the benefits of cloud, which in a way is industrializing the way IT is consumed by self-service portals and request-driven demand. That has driven us to evolve our delivery model.”

For instance, IBM this month announced Tivoli Live Monitoring Services, which provide monitoring technology hosted via IBM’s cloud computing environment. This delivery model enables IBM to provide customers of various sizes enterprise-scale monitoring without the big payment upfront or the software implementation time or hassle. And providing monitoring capabilities as a service will help customers consume software in new ways and enable them to adopt cloud computing technologies in a more easily digestible manner, Zollar says.

“Tivoli Live gives customers the ability to have hybrid service delivery models with one integrated console,” he explains. “On-premise or off-premise, the person working in the operations center is looking at the same dashboard. We wanted to be able to deliver the same service management software through flexible service delivery models and enable customers to adopt hybrid scenarios.”

IBM software and IT services competitor HP recently announced it extended its automation software capabilities to Amazon’s cloud computing environment. And BMC put service management into the cloud via a partnership with Salesforce.com. Despite competition from these and others dipping their toes into the heterogeneous management software market including Microsoft, Cisco and EMC, Zollar says IBM’s management software business is growing. He says IBM Tivoli displaced HP software in 180 implementations, contributing to a 240% increase in revenue over last year. And offerings such as Tivoli Live and enterprise asset management capabilities in Maximo will continue to advance Big Blue ahead of competition into 2010.

“We have really been able to produce and work at the speed of integration and innovation to deliver client value,” Zollar adds.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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