One of the trends that we are seeing today is the convergence of security management and systems management.The better job you can do managing your infrastructure, the better equipped you will be to define and enforce security policies and controls across that infrastructure.There are few places where this convergence is more evident than the endpoint.
As the notion of a perimeter disappears, and we see the continued proliferation of an increasing number of traditional and non-traditional endpoints, such as servers, desktop PCs, laptops, ATMs, point-of-sale devices, and self-service kiosks, organizations are looking for a comprehensive approach to how they best manage and secure all of their endpoints.This includes, but is not limited to, identifying all of the endpoints that you have in your environment, managing the complete lifecycle of that endpoint, providing continuous security and compliance, effectively deploying patches in a timely manner and finally, managing the power usage of that endpoint.
Tivoli Endpoint Manager, built on BigFix technology, can address all of those needs, but in this blog, I want to focus on that last piece of the conversation, because it is one that does not immediately come to mind when people are typically thinking about the most critical elements of managing an endpoint.However, we have seen that effective power management is something that can actually pay for all of the other benefits that Tivoli Endpoint Manager can provide.You can ultimately end up saving money, the environment, and in the process, deploy critical security and systems management controls across all of your endpoints (even the ones you didn’t originally know you had).
In a recent article (click here), Penn State wrote about their deployment of Big Fix (now called Tivoli Endpoint Manager) and indicated that it could save them about $800,000 annually.At a large university like Penn State, they have thousands of computers that can be included in their power management initiative, and many of these computers are only heavily used during peak hours.Tivoli Endpoint Manager allows the Penn State IT staff to automatically put these computers in sleep mode when they aren’t in use.They are anticipating not only a significant ROI (about $800,000 annually), but are also hoping to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by 60,000 tons.
One of the objections that people often bring up when it comes to power management for the endpoint is that it can interfere with the patch process.This is one of the areas where the convergence of security and systems management is so important.The policies that you create and enforce from a systems management perspective need to work hand-in-hand with the policies related to security management.For that reason, Tivoli Endpoint Manager was built on the core concepts of convergence, scalability and granular policy setting.It allows an IT staff to automatically wake computers at a designated time, apply required patches or enforce configuration policies, reboot, and then bring the endpoint back down to a hibernated, low energy state, or shut it down altogether.
The Chichester School District (click here) provides yet another great example of power management savings. This regional school district in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, manages more than 2,000 Microsoft Windows desktops and 50 Microsoft Windows servers throughout a six-school network.The Chichester School District implemented energy conservation using the power management capabilities of Tivoli Endpoint Manager to help reduce computing energy costs by 70 percent. Their IT team also uses the distributed “Wake-on-LAN” functionality to distribute and install patches to those machines that are turned off at night. This allows for a reduction of energy resources and confirms machines are securely patched—without impacting employee productivity.
The integrated patch and power management capabilities of IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager provides IT staff with real-time information on remote endpoints to simplify patch processes, conserve energy and reduce on site troubleshooting.
So, I was at Pulse this year and was the source of a pretty constant ridicule for carrying around what felt like a fifty pound laptop bag.It was horrible, and inconvenient, and not even effective.I had hard copies of schedules that were out of date about 30 seconds after I clicked print.By the end of the conference I had calluses on my fingers and I couldn’t walk more than about ten steps without having to change hands.It was really a constant reminder that I need to go to the gym more.
Anyway, interestingly enough, most vendors in the endpoint security space have basically adopted this same approach in designing their technology.Incoming attacks get blocked by signatures, and in order to keep you “prepared,” some companies just create and update these huge signature files, shoot them across the network, fold their hands and hope they get properly installed, and then get right back to work because the files they just sent are more or less immediately out of date.I can tell you from experience that lugging around a bulky bag of incomplete, outdated information is no way to do your job.It’s also no way to keep your employees, and by extension, your company, ahead of threats.
What companies need to do is focus on what a defense-in-depth of the endpoint would really look like.It means you need a lot of things.You need to have antivirus and firewall protection.You need a patch process that actually works.You need centralized policy management that is easily enforceable.And, of course, you need all of this in real-time.Until recently, that also meant you needed a lot of aspirin.
With its acquisition of BigFix last July, IBM basically invested in the convergence of security and systems management, two pieces of the operational infrastructure that will continue to become more intertwined.You can’t just write the policy, or obtain the patch, you also need to be confident that these changes and updates are continually being enforced at every single endpoint.Try automatically applying patches to computers that aren’t turned on and you’ll pretty quickly understand why convergence is so important.
Up until this week there were four offerings that were part of the Tivoli Endpoint Manager suite of products, all of which are managed under the same roof.We have solutions for lifecycle management, security and compliance, power management and patch management.This week, we were pleased to announce Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Core Protection, a solution designed to add another layer of depth to your endpoint security posture.Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Core Protection is the result of the relationship between IBM and Trend Micro, and offers the real-time, lightweight threat protection that other endpoint security solutions can’t really compete with.
I spoke earlier about how other vendors were sending these huge signature files across their network, files that were outdated before you even figured out how to install them on your PC.Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Core Protection is different because while it does employ the use of some signature files, it also leverages the cloud to reduce the amount of information that needs to be sent across the network and also provides the real-time protection that static signature files cannot.As the cloud is updated with the latest threat information, so too are all of the endpoints that are in conversation with that cloud.
This has proven to be extremely effective. In a recent third party test, the Trend Micro technology blocked 100% of all incoming malware (the second place competitive product came in at 77%) by taking a multi-layer approach. Nearly all (97.5%) of the malware was detected and blocked in the first layer (URL reputation) and the remaining pieces of malware were blocked in the two subsequent layers of defense. Now, here's where it gets even more impressive. An hour after the original test, they again tested just the malware that got through URL reputation, but this time it did not get through even that first layer of defense. This is protective technology that is updating and hardening its defenses as new threats come in.
I don't think I really need to explain the importance of endpoint security to anyone reading this. We all have different things at stake, whether it's your back accounts, your music collection, confidential information for work or even just a photo album. What I can say is that 77% isn't good enough when it comes to protecting any of those things.
The strength of Tivoli Endpoint Manager is that it combines first-rate security with the systems management capabilities needed to ensure that protection is deployed across the entire infrastructure. When it comes to endpoint management, it's about no longer looking at technology in silos, it's about understanding why and how we can integrate different complementary offerings. Tivoli Endpoint Manager is built on that philosophy.
For more information about Tivoli Endpoint Manager, please visit:
Today's post comes from Sandy Hawke, Manager IBM Security Solutions.
I recently presented to the ISACA community on a live webinar. I focused the discussion on how to leverage automation to improve endpoint security and compliance. The archived webinar is available here. Just as a brief background, ISACA is an international professional association that focuses on all aspects of IT Governance and has over 95,000 members worldwide.
The online event drew a pretty substantial audience which is good, and yet a bit surprising in two key ways. First of all, many of the recommendations I made to the audience were not radically new concepts, but basic foundational controls that all security professionals agree are critical for achieving and maintaining solid security and demonstrable compliance. So haven't they heard this story before?
Maybe not. And that's the second observation. Most of the ISACA membership is in the IT audit/Risk Management line of business. While they're not the folks who are implementing security technologies on a daily basis (i.e. "hands at keyboards")- they are keen to understand how security is implemented, how it works, how automation can be used to facilitate audits, etc. And that's the new trend we've been witnessing. While the audit team knows what the policy controls should be, they may not know if/how these controls get enforced, maintained, monitored and reported on- essentially how security is "operationalized." The more that they know what's possible with respect to security operations and automation, the better they'll be at knowing what questions to ask IT operations during audits, what technologies to recommend, etc.
Years ago, the IT Audit/Risk Manager organization and activities were kept quite separate from the IT Operations/IT Infrastructure teams. And at the time there were pretty good reasons to keep these groups as distinct as possible- you've all heard of "keeping the fox out of the hen house" analogy, right? The IT Audit/Risk Mgmt teams could set and enforce policy and conduct assessments that wouldn't be influenced by the operations staff. Well, with the advent of converging technologies, economic trends, and the increased importance of measuring security investments and compliance program- in real time, these groups are coming together. More so than ever before.
And technologies that can foster that type of trust, cooperation, and collaboration are indispensable.
The concept of Web 2.0 has brought in a great revolution
in the way the world works today. Over the years, socializing and networking has
evolved from personal gatherings to official gatherings that incorporate our
jobs and our business. Today, social-networking
platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. need no introduction to
employees in their day-to-day work.
It was in this background that the 3rd week
of October turned out to be a ‘networking’ week for me, attending a
social-networking workshop and an interactive evening gathering with my fellow IBMers.
The workshop was about social-networking through IBM Lotus® Connections, a
robust collaboration software that empowers people to connect, collaborate, and
innovate while optimizing the way they work. It was a great learning experience
and I did install some cool and faster tools which I’ve been happily using
since then :-)
Now, the icing on the cake! The networking part! Yes,
networking is very important in any job role/any business. The workshop not
only gave me the opportunity to network with my peers from various departments
but also raise the visibility of my work. Hence, with the week, just passed,
I’m feeling richer by a network of contacts which I’m sure will be a great help
in performing my job role :-)
A note for you; You can attend Pulse 2011 and network with your peers from
across your industry.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock the last couple of months, you know that Pulse 2011 is coming to Las Vegas February 27-March 2, 2011. And you know that the Premier Service Management Event will bring together 6000 attendees, focusing on the best practices, solutions and expertise needed to help organizations design, deliver and manage new, innovative business services.
Do you also know that Pulse 2011 promises to be bigger, better and more informative yet? With two days of general session keynotes and over 350 client sessions, Pulse 2011 will demonstrate how Integrated Service Management can help organizations design, deliver, and manage innovative services across business and IT boundaries. The event's five streams have carefully been designed to reflect the ongoing evolution of service management over the last year: Service Management for the Data Center, Enterprise Asset Management, Service Assurance for Service Providers, Security and Compliance and Service Management Beyond the Data Center. Learn more about the Pulse agenda by reading the article Pulse 2011: A Wealth of Service Management Insights.
Pulse 2011 provides unlimited opportunities to hear from industry experts and network with attendees to gain the techniques and insight you need to optimize your service management strategy. Get maximum value from your Pulse 2011 experience by participating in the following additional attractions:
Birds of a Feather Sessions
Business Partner Café
Business Partner Summit
Client hospitality lounge in the Solution Expo
Service Management Simulator
Meet the Experts
Pulse Expo Theaters
User Community Networking Area
Women's Networking Reception
Post Conference Sessions and Workshops
So, lest I leave you with a bland blog post...If you're a service management sage, it's thyme for you to submit your proposal to speak at Pulse. Call for speakers ends November 23rd.
You must(ard) register before December 1st to take advantage of the early bird registration rate.
Be sure to pepper your agenda with sessions that not only interest you but benefit your organization.
And remember, Pulse is held in Las Vegas, where it's sure not to be chili in February.
You'll curry the favor of your colleagues and bosses when you bring back so much service management knowledge and best practices.
Your attendance at Pulse 2011 is, therefore, mint to be.
(I know, these spice puns were bad beyond bay leaf. Ba-dum-bum...my brother would be so proud).
Signing off for now, Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
When IBM first kicked off the Dynamic Infrastructure announcement at Pulse 2009 conference, we heard some rumblings on whether Dynamic Infrastructure was just another executive buzzword or if there was real meat behind "the concept."
Doug McClure summarized the feeling well in his blog: “While this is great for executive level folks, I think we needed to drive this message into consumable and actionable things that lower level technical attendees could take back to their companies. They may be the ones who need to execute and show how previous or planned investments could help their company become smarter and more dynamic.”
After IBM’s announcement yesterday on new Dynamic Infrastructure offerings, critics will be hard-pressed to wonder whether Dynamic Infrastructure is actionable.Not only did IBM announce new products and services in the areas of Information Infrastructure, Virtualization, Service Management, and Energy Efficiency, but they also demonstrated how these solutions are helping three of our clients--the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, Tricon Geophysics and the United States Bowling Congress--build new, more dynamic infrastructures to help reduce costs, improve service and manage risk.
A key piece of the announcement is the IBM Service Management Center for Cloud Computing, which now includes new IBM Tivoli Identity and Access Assurance, IBM Tivoli Data and Application Security, and IBM Tivoli Security Management for z/OS, for Cloud environments. I don’t know about you, but all that’s more meat than this vegetarian can handle. :)
To continue driving home the Dynamic Infrastructure success, IBM is sponsoring a variety of events for the public to learn more. Register for a free, local Pulse Comes to You event to see how Service Management is a key component for enabling a DyanmicInfrastructure for a Smarter Planet.
I am at VMWorld this week, in San Francisco CA where IBM is a platinum sponsor.
With the growing adoption of Cloud implementations, private, public and hybrid, there's clearly a desire in the clients exploring solutions here to optimize and exploit their environments rather than a maintenance and steady state approach. Therefore, it is timely that Bala Rajaraman and Pratik Gupta, two IBM Distinguished Engineers, are presenting a Collaborative DevOps session at VMWorld
I sat with Pratik and Bala, and asked them what the impetus and motivation for developing this talk. The crux of the pitch, as Pratik explained to me, is that current conditions have created four drivers that a majority of customers are facing, that are making a DevOps approach an imperative.
At the heart is the desire in companies for agility. The desire in the
Line of Business leaders to create value in their offerings is resulting
in an urgent need for business agility. This in turn challenges the
development organization to take an agile development approach. As more
and more deployments move to a Cloud delivery model, it requires an
operational discipline that is not always present. Add to this the human element. If you're in an enterprise shop, you know already that this is not purely solvable by software. Cultural gaps exist between the Line of Business sponsors, the developers and the Operations team. Notions of completion, priority and quality also are different.
Right now, companies are not getting this right. 50% of the applications released into production are rolled back. As much as 51% of projects are missing critical features. Quality and end user expectation delivery are clearly an issue.
Pratik and Bala will frame this problem space and then show how adopting a continuous delivery model can help address this.
If you're debating between this session and something else at this time, it might also help to know that the first 75 attendees will receive a snappy IBM jacket. The rest will get to pick one of an assorted set of items. There's also a giveaway of an iDoodah. Come by the IBM booth on the expo floor if you want details.
When you think of the levels of innovation you are required to give to the business, cloud is the right technology to do it.
Since the Cloud lives on the Internet, which is built upon the "bricks" of open standards, it should not surprise you that there is a drive to an ubiquitous Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.
In October 2011, my neighbors to the South at Rackspace founded the OpenStack Foundation.
Today, IBM is announcing that we will be joining the OpenStack Foundation as Platinum-level sponsors along with AT&T, Canonical, HP, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE.
The OpenStack Foundation has a great blog post that covers what's happening today and what the next steps will be.
This is the start of a very exciting future for cloud computing and of course there will be more news coming from the OpenStack Foundation in the weeks to come at events like the OpenStack Design Summit & Conference in San Francisco on April 16-20 and IBM Impact in Las Vegas on April 29 - May 4.
In just a few days, members
of the energy industry will have an opportunity to come together to discuss
intelligent energy initiatives and the keys to accelerating their
Join IBM at the SPE Intelligent Energy Event, to be held in Utrecht, The
Netherlands from 27-29 March, 2012. This international event marks a milestone
on the oil and gas industry’s roadmap toward fully integrated operations and
IBM will have a strong presence showcasing a variety of capabilities for the
oil and gas industry.
In the area of Smarter Asset
Management, event attendees will have an opportunity to investigate IBM’s
innovative approach toward implementing intelligent energy initiatives such as Enterprise Asset Management and Turnaround
Optimization.Also on display will be
IBM’s Service Management for Chemicals and Petroleum which features
state-of-the-art products such as Maximo for Oil & Gas which helps companies
optimize operational intelligence through standardization, convergence,
collaboration, and the adoption of better operational practices.
Additional oil and gas
capabilities from IBM will be featured at the SPE Intelligent Energy Event in
the areas of Integrated Operations and the Value of Smarter Oil and Gas
Fields.IBM will also demonstrate its
expertise around the Health, Safety & Environment area through Asset
Tracking & Personal Safety and Integrated Environmental Monitoring solutions. IBMers will also
be presenting papers on topics such as Predictive Asset Maintenance and
Optimization of Smarter Oilfields among others.
We hope to see you at this
year’s conference and look forward to discussing these and many other areas of
mutual interest with you.
As a reminder, all of the general session keynotes (and more!) can be found on the Livestream site.
This morning was kicked off with the band Naturally 7, who were amazing. During one of the speaker changes, they did "In The Air Tonight" and rocked the drum solo.
The opening video (which was pretty awesome) started with the fact that we have 8,000 attendees from 79 countries and then talked about how one of the things that is affecting all of us is that lower cost technologies are literally changing the planet we live on.
This is leading to a Smarter Planet where infrastructure is everywhere.
Our first customer speaker from WellPoint echoed this sentiment and both he and Scott Hebner (VP of Marketing for IBM Tivoli Software) how Visibility. Control. Automation™. (VCA) is critical to turning this "infrastructure is everywhere" reality into a successful future of innovation
Robert LeBlanc (Senior Vice President, IBM Software Middleware Group) continued this conversation about VCA.
He had a great line from one of our customers, "If you can't get excited about the change and challenges of this industry, I don't know what you're doing here."
The three things driving business imperatives are dexterity, reinventing customer relationships and uncovering new profit opportunities. Analytics followed by mobility, virtualization, cloud and then security are keys to driving these technology shifts.
Achieving desired business outcomes is about VCA.
One thing that you'll hear a lot about at Pulse is that cloud is about more than virtualization. You'll hear that message a lot, because it's true.
Technology for technology's sake doesn't work. It has to impact the business. Cloud computing has the potential to add that value. As does mobile.
Mobile + Cloud (which Danny Sabbah talked in detail about) will have the biggest impact on our customers. Two statistics that Robert gave were the fact that data has surpassed voice and that last year more smartphones shipped than PCs.
How do you manage and secure all of those devices? VCA. Specific to security, it's about security and compliance; people, data, applications and infrastructure.
And, of course, assets and facilities (smarter physical infrastructures) will play a critical role as everything becomes interconnected, intelligent and instrumented.
Robert closed out with an interesting comment - data for data's sake isn't important. It's what you do with it. It's ensuring Visibility. Control. Automation.
Applying analytics is one of the ways IBM does this across VCA:
Visibility - to see and understand your business in real-time business
Control - to transform and adapt while limiting risk & cost
Automation - to achieve greater efficiency & agility by standardizing processes
Applying IT analytics to improve business outcomes. Taking an Open/integrated approach to service management and leveraging the cloud to unify the service value chain.
Next up was Dr. Danny Sabbah (General Manager, IBM Tivoli Software) and he put cloud and mobile into context.
Danny hit the ground running, talking about the three dominant transformations happening in technology; Smarter Physical Infrastructure. Mobility. Security.
The intersection of these three has caused a lot of complexity (and confusion) for our clients.
The way to tame that complexity is Visibility. Control. Automation.
The lines of business are doing what they need to so they can compete which means that our clients must simplify, standardize and automate to get this to work efficiently and add value back to the business.
It's about going beyond virtualization. It's about Mobile + Cloud. Together.
Tennis Australia built a smarter physical infrastructure capturing and using the data in real-time. This helped build out the relationship with their customers (in this case, tennis fans).
The video (included in the Livestream) with Tennis Australia is great and the nice thing about them is that what they did is applicable to any industry. In fact, the best comment they made in the video was that, "Providing information on all platforms is table stakes these days."
Danny let that sit for a minute. Table stakes. Meaning that you need to go beyond just offering up the data and provide value at levels that won't happen with just virtualization.
It's about mobile + cloud. The infrastructure must deliver value back to the business.
CIOs are the key to driving this innovation. Technology is about real outcomes and not just playing with the latest toys.
We must simplify, standardize and automate.
Danny mentioned the over 3,000 customers we have helped with this type of transformation and one of the best examples was helping an infrastructure delivery that used to take 40 days reduce to just 20 minutes.
Our customers (you) need to be resilient to velocity of change. Have security intelligence. Be able to have the choice/flexibility (mobile, hybrid) to be workload aware and utlitize analytics.
Danny took the time to talk about the Worklight acquisition and more specifically the big announcements we made with the integration of Q1 Labs and QRadar into our security portfolio (see the press release from Feb 22).
He concluded with discussion around OSLC as a specifcation to simplify integrations and increase agility. Development and Operations (Dev/Ops) continuing to be an important aspect of how we turn isolation into integration! He also mentioned the IBM SmartCloud Control Desk (mentioned in the announcement letter from Feb 28).
Danny concluded by saying that if you wanted hype and marketing. Go somewhere else. This is about cloud done right.
And with that. We're off to the stream kickoffs and a full say of sessions.
Stay tuned for a wrap-up of tomorrow's general session keynotes, right here on the blog.
In the meantime, use the links below to stay connected to everything happening at Pulse.
Well, we are well into 2012 now and we have just about got though the ‘my predictions for 2012’ phase and in to ordinary routines again. Whatever the predictions, like with most years I predict that 2012 will look a lot like an older version of 2011.
There is still talk of recession, companies that struggled for funding in 2011 are no richer, Cloud is still talked about by a lot more people than understand it.
On a personal level 2012 has already delivered some of the improvements planned in 2011 – and I hope the same will happen workwise. Next major thing on my work horizon is IBM’s big service management show – Pulse. Back again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas we are promised it will be bigger and better than ever. I understand that bigger is important in as Vegas but I am usually even keener on better. Actually though, to be fair I am delighted that ‘my bit’ at Pulse looks like being bigger this year – with not one but two chances to deliver the cloud-readiness simulator on the weekend before the show itself starts. In fact there will be a strong focus on simulator this year with our team being on the exhibition floor to explain what, why and how they can help you.
Of course – like I implied above – this isn’t exactly new, but it is proven. Of course there will be lots of new stuff available – geeks welcomed and catered for. The technologists will – of course – be well catered for with lots of ‘future possibles’ and indeed a vision of some possible futures too. But service management’s primary focus is not on what might happen next year; it has always been about delivering value this year. In fact one of my favourite aspects of service management is how it rests on widely applicable principles, even though how they are applied might alter. For example, while change management processes in a cloud environment might need different considerations to make them most effective –the basics remain. I was working in service management long before I ever touched a computer. I remain constantly delighted to discover that lessons learned 30 years ago in supply and transport are still relevant to the 21stcentury IT based services we manage today.
So, if you are going to be at Pulse come along and tell me whether you agree that old-fashioned service concepts are still valuable – or come and explain why dinosaurs like me should be swept away by the meteor strike that is cloud. Either way – at Pulse or elsewhere – I look forward to good, informed and enjoyable debates. Good to think of the new year building on the successes of the old – at home and at work.
 If you follow me on twitter - @ivormacf - you will know where and when I will be in terms of events. Useful, whether you want to know how to find or to avoid me – same thing works both ways.
Last week, I attended my first IBM Pulse conference. I really enjoyed the sights and sounds of Vegas, and met many of my Tivoli colleagues for the first time. I also probably walked the equivalent of 15 miles over the five days within the mammoth MGM facility. But what I found most valuable over the five days were my interactions with our customers and business partners.
On Day 1 of the conference, my focus was the ISM Simulator workshop that I helped coordinate. Given that the workshop was: a) taking place prior to any other Pulse activities, b) located in the bowels of the MGM hotel, and
c) three hours in duration...
...I was a bit apprehensive that all the customers and business partners who had RSVP'd would actually show up. But when people started rolling in 30 minutes before the start time, I was confident that this workshop was going to be a success.
When we got started, we had 21 participants sitting around four tables, which is all but ideal for this role playing workshop. Like other simulator workshops that I have attended, it started out a bit chaotic, as participants tried to process the firehose of information that was being thrust upon them. By the end of the three hours, they had come full circle, and were effectively working together to the tune of a $5 million profit for their hypothetical shipping company.
As I chatted with some of them after the session, and listened in on some of their video testimonials, the words I heard most often were "eye-opening", "outstanding" and "insightful".
On Monday and Tuesday, I worked on the expo floor and showed off our cool new ISM Simulator video game. The game allowed users to experience various issues affecting service management and corporate profitability in a simulated organization. At the ped, I got great feedback from customers and partners, who, by virtue of playing the game, were able to get a better grasp of the sometimes abstract concepts of service management.
You can play the IBM Service Management Mission game here.
All in all, it was a great conference, and stay tuned for the video from the workshop!
Yes, I love being one of
the ambassadors for IBM’s Client Reference Program, a structured platform that
gives our valued Clients many opportunities to promote their unique
capabilities and stand tall in the, otherwise very competitive, market. IT
revolution, ease of internet, change in consumer behavior etc have all added to
While I write this blog, the
two things that I had studied, during school days in Biology, are shouting
aloud from my mind; one, Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and two,
‘legume-rhizobial symbiosis’. Interestingly, these biological phenomenon do
have real examples in economics too. A symbiotic relationship with clients/peers,
thus, is ‘very’ crucial in surviving the Darwinian marketplace. And, what
better way than registering for IBM’s Client Reference Program? :-)
For me, it’s great being a
Client Reference Specialist for Tivoli. Working in collaboration to create
Reference Profiles for our Clients has brought in a lot of advantages. Networking
opportunities with my fellow IBMers, Business Partners and Clients from across
industries is just a ‘cake’, but the real ‘icing’ is my continuous learning
about IBM’s Tivoli software for 'Integrated Service Management' that “provides
smarter solutions and the expertise you need to design, build and manage a
dynamic infrastructure that enables you to improve service, reduce cost and
manage risk.” Yes, I’m always in an awe of how IBM’s Tivoli solutions have
helped our Clients overcome their challenges.
PS: Rebecca Wissinger in
her blog ‘IBM Client Activities at Pulse 2011’ talks about the ways IBM is
saying THANK YOU to our immensely valued, extraordinary Clients at Pulse
2011. If you are attending Pulse 2011 then you will not give her blog a
The secret's out...there's something coming to Vegas on Sunday, February 27th that you just don't want to miss!
And what could that something be? Hint: It's not the latest incarnation of the Red Piano show. But for those of you interested in how to apply service management concepts in the real world, it's even better....it's the Integrated Service Management Workshop (Cloud Version) at Pulse 2011!
Yes, Las Vegas is know for it's gaming, and the Service Management Simulator Workshop could turn out to be a game changer for you and your company! The Integrated Service Management Simulator Workshop is a hands-on simulation game which focuses on the challenges and business value of implementing Service Management best practices in the context of a realistic and exhilarating scenario. During the session, participants use gaming dynamics to mirror the real-world interaction between IT and the business, from both a strategic and operational perspective. Over the course of a few hours, you'll experience a transformation from chaos to order - in the context of a complex technical infrastructure - and learn what it takes to align key IT infrastructure resources to deliver on mission in measurable terms.
Note that seating is absolutely limited to 20 participants - seats will be filled on a first respond/first serve basis. Don't wait - reserve your spot by sending an email to email@example.com.
I’m a big fan of IBM’s mission of Smarter Planet. As
an IBMer based out of Bangalore, India, I get inspired by Big Blue’s rich history
and the impact it has been creating on the world’s business systems.
This week, India is celebrating the “Joy of Giving
Week” (JGW), a pan-India initiative started in 2009 to celebrate a “festival of
giving” to the needy and to our society, through various forms of giving: time,
skills, resources, money etc. JGW is held annually for a week, starting on a
Sunday and ending on a Saturday. These dates also contain Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on the 2nd of October.
Donation boxes are kept in IBM offices across all
the locations. Interestingly, as I was making a list of things to be donated to
bring in smiles into a few innocent faces, a thought occurred to me….. and then
my joy knew no bounds. I realized that to be associated with IBM, which works
towards giving back to our Earth with a mission of making it a Smarter Planet
through innovations in products and services, is a joy in itself. A joy of
giving to the world we live in, for our smart and sustainable living.
Further, I love my job which is working on our Tivoli Success Stories for our IBM Client References.Many of
these stories talk about the work that we are doing with our customers and
their implementation of Smarter Planet solutions.Our customers, using these solutions, are
having a significant impact on making our lives better and more fulfilling. And, YES.....I can see the ‘Joy of Giving’ being passed on from IBM to our clients and
to the world :)
What is IBM Tivoli Software? We know you want the short version. Steven Wright of Tivoli Software breaks it all down for us in less than 7 minutes on a white grease board. Check it out while you have your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or while you get your miles in on the treadmill or trail with your smart phone. Then visit ibm.com/software/tivoli for more details on how IBM Tivoli Software can help you run a smarter business. .
Take advantage of this great opportunity to share your experiences with your peers, get feedback from the most influential industry experts and promote your organization by submitting an abstract to speak at Pulse 2010.
Accepted client speakers will have high profile exposure to over 5,000 industry experts, press and analysts. Approved client submissions will receive a full conference pass ($1,995 value) and admission to our on-site VIP client lounge. In addition, to your paper may be published in the Pulse 2010 proceedings.
I talked with Pete Marshall, the lead for the Pulse 2010 Hot Topics track, and he offered the following insights and suggestions on how to submit a winning proposal.
One definition of a hot topic, is something not covered at last years conference and something that might not be covered next year. We’re looking for breaking trends—a snapshot of the industry and challenges service management professionals are facing right now. Themes like cloud computing, or serving the real-time web are good examples. Security is a perennial issue that always presents new challenges: it’s a hot topic every year, but every year there’s something different at the forefront. Things in our industry keep evolving and in the Hot Topics track, we want to look at and share information and experiences about what is really happening in the bleeding edge of service management. Some possible topics include:
Integrated Service Management
Process management and integration
The Hot Topics track is aimed at business leaders, decision makers and strategists puzzling over things like how to integrate physical and digital assets, what process models to use, and what are the best approaches to managing in a rapidly changing business and IT environment. Pete said he would encourage anyone working to solve emerging challenges—industry experts who may have a wider purview across the industry and very specialized customers who have done these projects themselves--to submit an abstract so together, we can share best practices, insights and create effective solutions as we move into uncharted territory.
Pete described two key aspects of a winning proposal—relevance and real life experience.
Is the topic relevant to where the industry is today? Is it something new and ground breaking? If the answer to these questions is yes, your abstract is a good candidate for the Hot Topics track. Going back to the security example, an overview of security might not qualify as a hot topic, but some current trend or challenge in the security landscape most certainly would.
While there is always a place for theorizing, in the Hot Topic track, we are looking for people who have been there and done that. We want presenters to share how they have solved or are working to solve a challenge.
The benefits of participating as a speaker are huge. Speaking is a very different dynamic than just listening. Not only will you have the opportunity to share your experience and get feedback from your peers, you will receive a full conference pass and get to experience the conference in a deeper, more involved way.
IBM Survey Results: Financial Services IT Service Management Strong in an Uncertain Economy
Industry Solutions: Financial Services Sector Blog By Mike Zelle, Market Segment Manager, Financial Services Sector - Tivoli Software, IBM
IBM conducted a global survey of CIOs and other IT investment owners during December 2008 and January 2009. In these ‘uncertain economic times’ the results are very interesting from a Financial Services IT point of view.
Key survey results The current economic and market conditions these organizations face have had a significant negative impact on enterprise budgets. But IBM’s survey showed the opposite to be the case for IT budgets. • The vast majority of IT decision makers (85 percent), in financial services and across all industries, reported budgets remaining flat or changing only slightly • 9 percent of those in financial services reported significant budget reductions • 21 percent indicated that they were increasing their investment in IT • 6 percent of financial services organizations indicated they would be significantly increasing their IT budgets in response to current economic and market conditions.
IBM believes that these IT investments are continuing because these companies recognize that IT services can not only help the enterprise as a whole to operate more effectively and efficiently but also provide competitive advantage. These businesses have realized that just cutting costs within IT has limited business benefit and introduces unacceptable levels of risk to the entire organization that depends on the quality and reliability of IT services for efficiency, compliance, security and even competitive differentiation. If IT is 10 percent of the operational expense of a financial services business, cutting IT by 50 percent will yield only a 5 percent reduction in business operational expense, but will most likely unacceptably expose the other 90 percent of the business to significant new problems, risks and competitive disadvantage.
Financial services organizations were also disproportionately more likely than other industries to also expect IT to be an innovator, to research and recommend enterprise strategic objectives, to identify opportunities for innovation and to develop new business areas or services.
Financial Services IT priorities to support business requirements The most commonly reported financial services priorities impacting IT investment plans were: • Improving access to and leveraging customer information • Improving efficiency / reducing costs of business activities • Increasing customer retention. Mandatory programs / projects that must take precedence: • Compliance is a more pressing concern for financial services than it is for any other industry, with 88 percent of projects in this area continuing, expanding or being initiated. • Systems management ranks as high as compliance, which is understandable given that the business infrastructure that is required to enable market survival for today's financial services company is increasingly an integrated digital platform of IT-enabled business services. • These activities also explain why technology virtualization and storage consolidation, at 78 percent and 72 percent, are also high on the list, coming only after security. A scalable and manageable IT infrastructure is required to provide the resilient basis for quality services.
IT Service Management is the key priority Smarter management of IT services is the top business-driven priority for IT. Service management builds on foundational capabilities—security, compliance, managing IT systems, and virtualizing and consolidating the physical infrastructure—that provide the basis for the reliable IT services required by the business. Service management projects continued, expanded or initiated as a consequence of the economic and business environment was 68 percent—ahead of technology areas such as server deployment, mobility and network convergence.
Conclusion and recommendations According to the results of the IBM study, IT leaders in the financial services industry are reprioritizing IT projects to focus on optimizing IT-enabled business processes. Accordingly, once they have met urgent requirements in areas such as compliance, systems management, virtualization/consolidation and security, they are investing in smarter management.
This business-driven approach to service management emphasizes the role IT services can play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization as a whole rather than on the type of cost-cutting within IT that can produce negative and unacceptable business risks.
The study results point to the following key recommendations: • Improve the quality and reliability of IT services that process financial transactions, provide integrated access to and leverage customer information, improve customer loyalty and retention, enable workforce productivity and support compliance. • Prioritize smarter ways of doing things through service management and technology consolidation. • Revise measurements and reporting to provide more visibility to process performance, quality of service, outcome metrics, costs, and business value. • Change the focus from technology and optimized subsystems to optimization of IT-enabled business activities. This includes building out the digital platform of the business and improving the ability to manage it as the new business infrastructure. • Apply some investments to tactical quick wins—but also work toward eliminating service-quality inhibitors through longer-term strategic initiatives.
Earlier today, IBM shared its point of view on the future of the data center with Smarter Computing V3 (press release). A central focus is IBM Enterprise Systems (zEnterprise EC12 and Power) and their ability to deliver exceptional value through a private Cloud. We've seen how organizations have been able to leverage IBM Enterprise Systems to achieve significant benefits. Take the City of Honolulu for example which was able to lower its licensing costs by 68% while increasing tax revenue by $1.4M USD in just three months.
By adding Tivoli software to their current IT environment, organizations can advance their enterprise-class Cloud environment while protecting their existing IT investment. How? IBM SmartCloud Foundation software is deeply rooted in openess - an open standards approach and common management tools that are platform agnostic. Essentially, you pick the platform(s) that best meets your business goals and we deliver a set of interoperable Cloud management tools across your heterogeneous environment. Of course, there are intrinsic benefits to building a Cloud management stack on top of IBM Enterprise Systems given the tight integration between hardware and software. OMEGAMON for example leverages a deep integration with zEnterprise systems to deliver advanced monitoring that reduces typical time to resolution from 90 minutes to 2 minutes.
Whether your starting to consider virtualizing your IT environment or deep into your Cloud journey, we have open Cloud management tools that help you expand your Cloud footprint without fear of vendor "lock-in". Learn more about the latest announcement and our Cloud solutions by visiting this site and attending the System z webcast on October 17.
For MSP's, IBM is providing a bundle of services and support in the way of marketing skills, technical expertise and financing options. On the marketing side, MSP's will have the ability to better target their customers and generate demand for their services through IBM education that includes topics such as developing effective marketing plans and exploiting the burgeoning social media space. Additionally, MSP's can sell IBM SmartCloud services under their own brand names. On the technical side, MSP's will have access to four new "Centers of Excellence" (located in China, Japan, Germany; and New York City) where they can collaborate with IBM technical experts to build their cloud services, and connect with other IBM ISV's. In terms of funding their efforts, IBM announced a financing offer which includes 12-month, 0% loans for IBM Systems, Storage and Software, and allows MSP's to defer payments for up to 90 days.
For end-users in the SMB space who often lack the necessary IT skills, this is a great opportunity to leverage local technology providers and take advantage of a cost effective "pay-as-you-go" model that cloud computing affords them. In addition, end-users will have the confidence of knowing that the services provided were built on an IBM platform.
Finally, for IBM, this is a great opportunity to expand its cloud ecosystem, and leverage the growing population of MSP's, who are continuing to gain traction in the cloud computing space for SMB's.