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IBM Expands Software Interoperability Program For Tivoli Netcool Software


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ARMONK, N.Y. - 25 Nov 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an expansion of its Tivoli Netcool Technology Program, continuing proactive efforts to help communications service providers and enterprise customers lower implementation costs and speed time to market by providing software which manages their network infrastructure and software applications. With more than 30 network equipment vendors and ISVs currently in the program, IBM has plans to double the number of participants in 2009.

IBM Tivoli Netcool products interoperate with more than 1,000 network elements, management systems and software applications. Launched last year, the Tivoli Netcool Technology Program has set a precedent in the Operations Support Systems (OSS) market by providing a framework for the initial development and ongoing maintenance of such off-the-shelf integrations by IBM. Unlike competitors, which pass the cumbersome integration work on to the customer or business partner, IBM does the legwork, building software modules to connect vendor solutions with IBM software.

"IBM's proactive approach to working with vendors on interoperability will assist customers like us resolve the integration issue as we roll out new network devices and plan upgrades to our network in the future," said DI Josef Weber, head of Service and Network Operation, Telekom Austria TA AG. "Having this relationship between equipment and technology vendors makes the process smoother for us."

IBM strives to provide a broad library of integration modules to customers off-the-shelf, which not only helps Tivoli Netcool customers reduce costs but also achieve faster deployment of new services. Working with vendors through the program enables IBM to do this more effectively.

"Customers are telling us that IBM has set the standard in ensuring interoperability and that the time has come for other vendors to follow IBM's lead in helping to smoothly facilitate the integration of critical pieces of the network infrastructure and network management software in this space," said Kieran Moynihan, vice president and CTO of Telecoms, Tivoli software, IBM.

As part of the Tivoli Netcool Technology Program, IBM develops the software modules with partner vendors’ cooperation – which includes technical information and assistance, roadmap visibility and joint testing where practical. The program offers a different approach since the modules are IBM-developed, and the relationship with vendor partners is focused on interoperability.

Juniper Networks and Tektronix are among the 30-plus technology vendors who have joined the program.

“IBM Tivoli’s Netcool Software helps to ensure quality, reduce operational costs and speed time to market for customers,” said Domenic Perri, director, Business Development and Alliances, Juniper Networks. “With the combination of interoperable solutions from IBM and Juniper, customers are able to deploy a high-performance network that is fast, reliable and secure.”

"IBM's ability to develop, test and validate seamless integrations between our respective products is of strategic value for us and our operator customers. The combined solution delivered to a customer is ‘de-risked’ as the integration has already been developed and verified,” said Samir Marwaha, Director of Worldwide Channel Sales at Tektronix Communications. “We joined the Tivoli Netcool Technology Program in February this year; the integration between our GeoProbe application and Netcool/OMNIbus was developed, tested and released by June 2008. As a result of that positive collaboration, we are also working with IBM to expand the interoperability between the Tektronix Unified Assurance portfolio and the Tivoli Netcool suite of products which will be of strategic value to our joint customers.”

IBM has dedicatedresources to support interoperability with third party vendors. Each partner is assigned a program manager to oversee the relationship and coordinate interaction with IBM's product management, development, test and technical teams.

The program is an example of IBM’s software interoperability leadership in helping customers who have often suffered from the disjointed way in which software vendors typically work together, bloating costs and slowing time to market. The IBM program was adopted from a successful business partner program at Micromuse Inc., acquired by IBM in 2006.

“Integration has been key to the success of the IBM Tivoli Netcool software and helped it become the number one fault management, performance management and service assurance offering,” said Moynihan. “To support our commitment to providing out-of-the-box functionality, IBM works closely with other vendors to offer interoperability both now and in the future. Our aim is to develop integrations that can be made available to all customers. We recognize the critical need of service providers to rapidly incorporate new technologies and services. In today's hyper-competitive service provider marketplace, IBM Tivoli Netcool software sets the standard for integration of network infrastructure and OSS systems.”

IBM's Tivoli Netcool Technology Program builds upon a vendor’s existing membership in the IBM PartnerWorld Business Partner program. Like the Ready for Tivoli Software Technical Validation Program, it focuses on interoperability of third party products with IBM Tivoli Software. The Tivoli Netcool Technology Program is targeted towards vendors where IBM develops the integration module, whereas the Ready for Tivoli Software Technical Validation Program relates to partner-developed integrations. Both of these programs feed information into the Tivoli Open Process Automation Library (OPAL), an online catalog of Tivoli integrations and solutions developed by IBM and IBM partners.

IBM Tivoli Netcool software has been selected by more than 1,000 service providers globally. The software helps service providers manage service quality and reduce operational costs and time to market. IBM software helps service providers address emerging opportunities in next-generation network transformation, fixed/mobile convergence, and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) deployment.

For more information about IBM’s Tivoli Netcool Technology Program, click here.

For more information about OPAL, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/opal/

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