New IBM Software Automates Systems, Storage and Security Management for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

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ARMONK, NY - 24 Feb 2006: IBM today announced new software to help small and mid-sized companies automate the management of PCs, servers, storage and security technology across their entire infrastructures. IBM's new Tivoli Express software enables mid-sized companies, such as online retailers, hospitals and local banks, to manage their information technology (IT) with the same integrated capabilities that larger companies rely on -- but with software that is more affordable and easier to deploy.

Since mid-sized businesses typically have smaller IT budgets and fewer employees with the skills to handle IT management problems, they often find it challenging to protect data, guarantee system availability and ensure security. With IBM's new Tivoli Express software, smaller businesses have a simple, cost-effective and secure way to view and integrate hardware, software, storage, networks and computer systems throughout their organizations.

For example, a school district or community hospital that may not have IT experts on hand could now rely on automated management capabilities to correct service problems such as failed email systems, server outages or employees accessing confidential information. Also, a local bank could use this software to monitor its applications, servers and authorized users, ensuring continuous uptime for tellers processing loan applications for customers.

IBM developed the software by working with nearly 45 of its business partners at IBM development labs in Dallas, Texas, Tucson, Ariz. and Raleigh, N.C. to fine-tune features in the software. Customer feedback was also crucial to the software's development, with hundreds of IBM customers involved in the testing process. Such intensive beta testing ensures that the software incorporates features considered essential by mid-sized companies, such as managing server workloads, monitoring applications, protecting information and verifying passwords.

Mike Todd, chief technology officer of Northwind, an IBM business partner that provides system management and security solutions, said, "By broadening the solutions we can offer customers, we expect to see a 20 percent increase in sales resulting from these new Tivoli Express products. Before, customers in the midmarket were underserved, but these are the kind of products they need to solve their problems."

IBM is equipping its business partners with programs, incentives and sales materials to help build their technical and sales skills and generate customer demand. These efforts are being conducted through IBM's Virtual Innovation Center (VIC), an online knowledge and enablement portal designed to help partners build industry applications for clients. The center provides educational course work, live mentoring, online technical support, solution roadmaps, client simulations, FAQs, case studies and discussion forums.

"Without effective, cost-efficient management tools, mid-sized businesses can quickly become overwhelmed by the growing complexity of technology," said Michael Gerentine, director, IBM Tivoli channel strategy and development. "This new software is designed to help smaller, growing businesses manage IT issues while also providing the flexibility to meet their expanding needs."

IBM Tivoli new Express software includes:

-- IBM Tivoli Identity Manager Express -- This helps small businesses thwart insider attacks by removing accounts and privileges when employees leave a company, blocking others from misusing accounts that a company has neglected to cancel. It also simplifies compliance efforts by cutting down the time it takes to compile information and prepare reports from days to minutes. The software enables new employees or contractors to request and receive a new user account in minutes -- a process that often takes up to 12 days, especially for technically-challenged smaller businesses. IBM Tivoli Identity Manager Express will be available on February 28, 2006.

-- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Express -- Data loss risks such as viruses, file corruption and hardware failure can hit smaller businesses the hardest. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Express gives smaller businesses an inexpensive backup and recovery solution that is easy to install and use. It allows them to ensure availability of important business information, such as a clothing retailer's entire inventory tracking information housed in an Excel spreadsheet. With a few simple installation steps, the software can start performing automated backups in less than one hour. For additional data protection, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Express can be coupled with IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files to provide ongoing, automatic back up of important data on desktop PCs and laptops. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Express will be available on March 17, 2006.

-- IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager Express -- This affordable inventory management and software distribution software collects, stores and maintains hardware, software and asset information. It can automatically distribute software applications and patches to help keep PCs up-to-date and secure, reducing end-user downtime and minimizing the need for costly help desk support. IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager Express will be available on March 31, 2006.

-- IBM Tivoli Monitoring Express -- This software brings IBM's self-managing autonomic capabilities to mid-sized businesses. It allows smaller companies to manage online applications, such as email or bill paying systems, by automatically "healing itself" and correcting IT service problems such as "hung" applications across a company's servers, operating systems and databases. It can also detect the need for specific procedures -- such as bringing on additional servers when capacity overload approaches. Installation and deployment are simple and can be completed in two hours. IBM Tivoli Monitoring Express will be available on April 7, 2006.

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