Managed Services: How IBM Tivoli Optimizes Outsourced IT

Offer attractive services to clients

Tivoli Beat. A weekly IBM service management perspective.

It's clear that the IBM Tivoli portfolio is established as a first-caliber service management solution for organizations of all kinds—a great way to ensure IT operations services create as much business value as possible. What's also true—and deserves more attention—is how applicable the Tivoli portfolio is to managed services.

These have become more attractive in recent years, due both to the turbulent business climate and advances in IT infrastructure such as cloud and mobile technologies. As organizations increasingly focus on their core competencies, it's logical they should outsource certain operations services to a third party (whose own core competency happens to be those services).

And in that department, the basic Tivoli value proposition—enhanced visibility, control, and automation, to understand and resolve technical complexities as quickly and cost-effectively as possible—applies to managed services very naturally:

Furthermore, the Tivoli solution portfolio is so broad and deep that it can be used to support an exceptionally diverse range of managed services. That means everything from completely outsourced data centers to much more specific capabilities like telecommunications-grade service assurance, managed service desks, or improved business resilience through best-in-class data protection and storage management.

By leveraging Tivoli capabilities in this way, you can deliver, manage, and monetize services to clients much more effectively—generating a direct boost to the business bottom line and distinguishing your organization with a stronger competitive edge in an exceptionally competitive marketplace.

Service assurance: Manage services that span complex communications networks

Interested in helping clients assure quality of service over unusually large infrastructures? You'll find that IBM Tivoli Netcool solutions are directly on point—in fact, they're central to the way services are monitored, managed, and optimized for highest business value and customer satisfaction.

"By drilling down logically into the infrastructure, you can establish and address the root cause of failures—or even, in some cases, predict future failures, and then take rapid and effective action to preclude those failures from taking place."

These solutions give you a bird's eye view into client networks, however large and diverse they may be, establishing how services are routed and helping you pinpoint emerging technical issues at any necessary level of detail. By drilling down logically into the infrastructure, you can establish and address the root cause of failures—or even, in some cases, predict future failures, and then take rapid and effective action to preclude those failures from taking place.

Furthermore, all of this is achievable from a "single pane of glass"—a centralized point of command to visualize the complete infrastructure and orchestrate tasks. Despite constantly changing hardware, software, and network technology, future-proofed Netcool solutions will continue to support service assurance strategies without missing a beat. And Netcool solutions are also remarkably scalable—so much so that they are currently used by more than a thousand communications service providers worldwide, to manage over 50 billion network events every day.

Endpoint management: Track, optimize and secure all endpoints, everywhere

For many clients, endpoint management is a problem in desperate need of a solution.

Imagine tens of thousands of endpoints, each with their own complex stack of software, security posture, and total state of configuration; that is an incredibly difficult infrastructure to understand and optimize over time for business goals.

The IBM Endpoint Management family, fortunately, is specifically designed for just this purpose. It features a single, exceptionally intelligent agent that works on all endpoints, and that uses those endpoints' own resources to handle most management tasks such as configuring software, installing new software packages or patches, reducing power usage, and enhancing security. And because the endpoints do most of the work, a single management server will typically suffice to handle up to a quarter-million endpoints.

That means you can utilize the solution to support not just any given client's endpoint infrastructure, but many such clients—even for multi-tenant models, in which multiple customers may be sharing a single system or server. You can, in fact, offer clients a variety of different endpoint management services and let clients pick whichever are best suited to their needs. And regardless of the client's choice, their endpoint management costs will fall, and their endpoints will deliver more business value through proper, timely software provisioning and up-to-the-minute configuration.

Application Performance Management : Taking a Proactive Approach

Continuous software delivery in the cloud allows customers to continuously and automatically deliver changes across the enterprise software delivery lifecycle, spanning development, application testing and operations. IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Management solutions, a comprehensive portfolio of products, provide leading capabilities and enable new best practices for delivering, managing and ensuring the operation of critical business services and applications. Gain visibility to cloud health, performance analytics and health dashboards to optimize cloud performance. Enhance service availability and performance which are based foundation of application and service life cycle management capabilities.

Virtualized backup and recovery: Safeguard critical data assets

Data is the lifeblood of most organizations—the critical central resource needed to conduct all operations, implement and evaluate business strategies, and provide services. It follows that the better protected that data is, the more successful the organization is likely to be.

With the help of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), you can offer top-tier, enterprise-class data backup and recovery capabilities to clients—whatever their specific requirements may be.

How does this happen? Consider that TSM has traditionally backed up data across the complete enterprise infrastructure, from all repositories, in an automated fashion driven by scripts and business policies. Essentially the same approach applies as a managed service—it's just that in this case, the infrastructure being backed up is a client's, it's accessed over the Internet, and client data is being backed up to your cloud. The same process, in reverse, applies to data restoration.

Particularly for smaller or mid-market clients, this can be positioned as a vastly superior and accelerated alternative to the tape-based solutions and processes they may currently be using—helping to safeguard critical data to whatever extent they require via configurable backup frequency, while also reducing the associated costs. And those clients won't have to think about the specifics of the implementation; they'll only need to know that in the event of an outage, they can bring back services and data faster and more easily than ever before.

Basic service management: Core functionality for everyday needs

Finally, IBM's SmartCloud Control Desk is a great platform you can use to offer a variety of key service management capabilities to clients. These include:

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