IBM Announces New Software for Automating Complex IT Processes

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ARMONK, NY - 24 May 2006: IBM today announced new software and services that automate IT processes across a multi-platform environment -- such as managing storage devices, addressing IT failures, and deploying new software releases and patches. The software can help customers fight rising IT costs and manage constant change brought on by security threats and the demand to stay competitive in the marketplace.

The products -- the IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database and three types of IBM Tivoli Process Manager software -- automate some of the most challenging processes associated with managing a complex IT environment, such as rolling out a new application across software, hardware, storage and network environments that span separate departments within an enterprise.

With this new software, customers no longer have to manually design and integrate these processes individually. Instead, they can design IT processes once and automate their integration across all areas of operation, saving time and money, which is a key benefit of IT service management.

"IBM is focused on helping customers make data about IT systems more accessible so it's easier to manage and share across an infrastructure," said Al Zollar, general manager, IBM Tivoli software. "This new software, built on open standards, allows customers to improve efficiency and cut the cost of managing technology."

According to a Forrester report, 77 percent of firms rated improving IT efficiency as a critical operational priority in 2006.(1)

The new software, which will be available on June 30, includes:

-- IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database -- Serves as the platform for integrating an IT service management solution. It automatically discovers and federates IT information spread across the enterprise -- including details about servers, storage devices, networks, middleware, applications and data -- and helps the IT staff understand the relationships and dependencies among these various components. The CCMDB also includes a "workflow engine" that puts IBM Process Managers into action and allows companies to create customized processes to fit their specific needs. -- IBM Tivoli Availability Process Manager -- Helps customers understand how outages and performance issues will impact the business, and ensures that in the event of an IT service failure, the service can be reinstated to enable normal business operations to resume as quickly as possible. The product identifies failing components, and dynamically launches the appropriate diagnostic tools. -- IBM Tivoli Release Process Manager -- Automates the process of deploying software releases, updates and patches, ensuring that all steps are completed in the right order by the right people. It also helps customers understand the impact of deploying new releases on existing IT resources. -- IBM Tivoli Storage Process Manager -- Allows customers to implement storage management processes faster with a set customizable automated workflows, and discovers key configuration items in the storage environment to give customers a better understanding of their storage environments in relation to the rest of the IT infrastructure. In addition, it delivers specific automated workflows to help customers perform provisioning, data cleanup and backup incident prioritization with existing Tivoli storage products.

A Process Manager for capacity management will follow in the second half of 2006, and future Process Managers will address areas such as security, compliance, and IT financial assessment, among others.

The Process Managers and CCMDB are built on an open, service-oriented architecture (SOA), which allows organizations to re-use their existing technology investments. They are closely aligned with the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a set of best practices for managing IT operations. The Process Managers can be customized to a particular industry, such as healthcare or retail, which provides VARs, resellers and ISVs with the opportunity to develop specialized solutions to fit customers' unique business needs.

In parallel to its product efforts, IBM is working on the standards front to improve the way IT information is shared and used. IBM is teaming with other industry leaders to create a new interoperability specification to federate and access information across complex, multi-vendor IT infrastructures using a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Working together, they are developing an open, industry-wide specification for sharing information between CMDBs and other data repositories and plan to submit a draft specification to an industry standards organization later this year.

New Services and Online Tools

IBM's IT service management products are complemented by new customized services from IBM Global Technology Services and IBM Business Partners. These services combine software code, intellectual property, and best practices accumulated from thousands of IBM software and Global Technology Services customer engagements.

In addition, IBM provides online tools to help customers deploy IT service management capabilities. This includes the IBM Tivoli Unified Process (ITUP), a free, downloadable navigational tool that provides the "how-to" for customizing and implementing ITIL best practices; and the Open Process Automation Library (OPAL) catalog, which contains hundreds of IBM and IBM Business Partner product extensions.

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1 (1) North America's 2006 Enterprise IT Spending Outlook, Forrester Research, Inc., February 2006

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