Pulse 2011: IBM Spotlights Innovative Solutions,

Pulse 2011: IBM Spotlights Innovative Solutions, Services

SERVICE MANAGEMENT IN ACTION Pulse 2011 was billed as the premier service management event of the year. And judging by the wealth of new announcements coming out of the event, that description was right on the money.

At Pulse, IBM pulled back the curtain on an incredible range of new solutions and services collectively aimed at making service management easier, faster, simpler, more innovative, and more cost-effective—in short, smarter—than ever before.

Consider, for instance, the official launch of IBM's new Smarter Computing initiative. Today, IT is not just the central nervous systems of organizations; it's the central nervous system of the entire planet. And when we find new ways to connect previously separate domains, we can create new intelligence and new value. How can we accomplish this? New analytical approaches that transcend traditional data warehousing. Newly optimized solutions. New service delivery architectures, such as cloud computing. All can play a key role going forward.

The story coming out of Pulse isn't just about future possibilities, though. It's also about current realities.

As a reflection of the unpredictable economy we face today, the new IBM announcements directly acknowledge near-term business concerns. Infrastructural affordability, simplicity, and flexibility, for example, are all close to the heart of budget-challenged IT managers and CFOs. For this reason, IBM now offers new solutions designed to centralize management, and maximize business value, in areas from virtualization to cloud management to network endpoints.

Another key aspect of service management is product and service innovation, to create new value in new ways. Helpful in this department: innovative, new offerings from IBM related to smart building management, end-to-end management of utility infrastructures, and real-time asset location. And because it's important to be able to predict (and improve) the business outcome of services, IBM also unveiled new offerings such as analytics tools, service desk solutions, and improved security systems—all of which reduce risk by helping to identify and resolve emerging problems of many kinds (or prevent them from occurring in the first place).

Together, these new announcements clearly illustrate IBM's vision of Integrated Service Management: a better outcome via smarter services and smarter management of them. And IBM offers three basic ways to pursue that goal.

Integrated Service Management for Data Centers

“At Pulse, IBM pulled back the curtain on an incredible range of new solutions and services collectively aimed at making service management easier, faster, simpler, more innovative, and more cost-effective—in short, smarter—than ever before.”

Data centers are the heart of IT operations and the basic engine of internal and external services. Integrated Service Management for Data Centers improves service quality and integrity via better visibility (seeing the business), control (making real-time adjustments to how business strategies are pursued), and automation (accelerated, standardized execution of everyday tasks).

Pulse announcements in this category address key IT domains such as:

Finally, IBM now offers new information protection services delivered via IBM-managed clouds. The first provides analysis of how well an organization's data is backed up and archived, as well as specific recommendations in the event changes are needed. The second is essentially a software-as-a-service version of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, IBM's flagship solution for data backup, now offered online from IBM's Global Technology Services group.

Integrated Service Management for Design and Delivery

The historical walls between IT development and IT operations teams are coming down. And IBM is playing a major role in making that happen via Integrated Service Management for Design and Delivery solutions.

New integrations, spanning its Tivoli service management portfolio and Rational software development portfolio, not only make for better software and a better business outcome—they also make for a more collaborative environment, in which everyone is on the same page and pertinent information is available when and where it's needed.

At Pulse, two new integrations make the case for that claim. The first links IBM Rational Team Concert with IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager. This means that when issues emerge with collaborative, Jazz-based services, IT operations team members can enter and track problem tickets using their own service desk solution...and as changes in IT development occur, service desk personnel can stay apprised, and manage end-user expectations appropriately.

The second new integration links IBM Rational System Architect and IBM Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager. For members of the development team (specifically, software architects), it is now possible to understand the nature and interaction of production environments more clearly than ever by using the Tivoli solution's topology and visualization features (previously only available to members of the IT operations team).

Beyond solution integrations, IBM is also offering new consulting services—specifically, IBM Workplace Strategy and Design Services—to help clients assess and develop the software-driven services they need more accurately, quickly, and cost-effectively.

Integrated Service Management for Industries

Service management means different things in different industries; what applies to healthcare may not apply to banking or aerospace or utilities. Improving service management will therefore require a tailored, industry-savvy approach, one that acknowledges and resolves the most pressing complexities and challenges in any given case.

At Pulse, a smorgasbord of new and updated solutions and services were rolled out to help organizations in a variety of industries. Among other Integrated Service Management for Industries solutions:

Rounding out this group of announcements: an intelligent site operations solution to help communications providers improve end-to-end service assurance and overall infrastructural ROI; and a cloud software solution for service providers, to serve as a scalable, accelerated platform for cloud-based services of all kinds.

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