IBM SaaS Offering: Service Management from
the Cloud

Tivoli power solves IT challenges for organizations of all sizes

SERVICE MANAGEMENT IN ACTION While IBM Tivoli is best known as a leader in enterprise-class IT software, Tivoli offerings are also often an excellent match for IT in mid-market, growing organizations.

That comes as no surprise when you consider that in many instances, the basic goals and concerns are the same in both cases. For example:

(1) Cost pressures mean that IT return on investment is more important than ever—and pay-as-you-go options are particularly attractive.

(2) Identical trends of centralizing and simplifying apply in both cases, emphasizing the need for a leaner, meaner infrastructure to get a faster, more agile response to an unpredictable business climate.

(3) Outsourced, cloud-hosted services are attracting more and more attention because of their incredible efficiency and cost-efficiency.

IBM Tivoli Live - service manager: Cloud-run IBM solutions

“With Tivoli Live - service manager, clients can select any service combination, creating a custom package that closely fits their specific needs, then pay accordingly. Following an initial fee to participate in the service, pricing is based on ITIL-defined user roles and a subscription model—a great example of a pay-as-you-go cloud service that minimizes waste and maximizes ROI.”

All three of those trends make IBM Tivoli Live - service manager (TLSM) a particularly compelling solution.

This suite of five integrated services, based on leading IBM Tivoli technologies, is hosted by IBM in an IBM cloud—an arrangement that spares organizations the time, costs and complexities of creating and managing their own private cloud. Similarly, it gives them a straightforward way to tap the full power of best-in-class IBM Tivoli solutions without actually having to buy, deploy, or oversee those solutions themselves.

What, specifically, are the services available via Tivoli Live - service manager? This list is bound to look appealing to anyone with an IT background:

Not all clients will need all five services of course. That's why TLSM has been created with flexibility in mind.

Clients can select any service combination, creating a custom package that closely fits their specific needs, then pay accordingly. Following an initial fee to participate in the service, pricing is based on ITIL-defined user roles and a subscription model—a great example of a pay-as-you-go cloud service that minimizes waste and maximizes ROI.

Another element of the TLSM story sure to appeal to the IT decision maker is management. Management of the service is a simple matter, achieved inside any standard Web browser—and new services can be added at will.

Simplify the infrastructure for more agile IT

Really understanding the business case for Tivoli Live - service manager, though, means going beyond the technical capabilities, the cloud architecture, and the pricing system to see how this service can significantly ease IT pressures facing organizations today.

For instance, the growing complexity of IT infrastructures tends to make it difficult and slow to get best business outcomes from them. And over time, as IT takes on more roles and responsibilities via new applications and services, that problem tends to get worse—not better.

Helpful in this regard are TLSM capabilities specifically aimed at reducing complexity. These functions make it much easier to visualize and track how IT works, carry out everyday tasks faster and more easily, or in some cases, bypass the need for IT to handle tasks at all.

Consider the Service Catalog option, which empowers end users to help themselves. If they already know which service they need, there's no reason to burden a busy service desk with yet another call. Users can instead simply request that service directly over the Web. Even more appealing: users can research certain common technical issues themselves, often discovering and applying solutions without requesting IT's help in any sense.

IT also benefits directly from TLSM's strengths in this area. A new and more intuitive user interface makes it a simpler matter for IT to use TLSM services to perform any given task. That means faster solutions to problems and reduced business impact as well.

And because workflow in TLSM is informed by proven Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices, the specific sequence of events involved in many common IT tasks is baked into the services already; there's no need for IT to worry about orchestrating it.

Flexible delivery models: Avoid unwanted lock-in

Key to a really effective Software as a Service (SaaS) offering such as Tivoli Live - service manager is flexibility in delivery models.

While clients want to create a tailored package of services that meet their specific needs, they also want to be able to adjust that package over time as their circumstances change.

Perhaps, for instance, they will grow enough that they'd like to bring certain IT services in-house—deploying and managing Tivoli solutions themselves with their own IT staff—while continuing to use TLSM for others. Ideally, a SaaS offering would be flexible enough to support any such modification over time.

TLSM does. Instead of locking IBM clients into one model, it enables clients to adapt dynamically, based on their needs, by utilizing managed services or on-premise software deployments as they see fit over time.

It's also possible to use TLSM as a de facto try-before-you-buy service. Having clearly determined the value they're getting from a given IBM service via TLSM, clients can then migrate to a local instance of the corresponding software in a straightforward manner if they wish.

Few competitors offer this flexibility. And in the cases where that claim is made, it sometimes means introducing a third party of which customers may not be aware (that is, the service provider is actually outsourcing some functionality instead of providing it directly themselves).

Service desks and the silo effect

One of the more attractive aspects of Tivoli Live - service manager is the way it helps resolve not just technical issues, but organizational ones as well.

Consider the historical way IT has often evolved via logical silos, each created and maintained almost as a separate world. This segregated design makes it exceptionally difficult to track and resolve problems that span domains. Multiple managers must be consulted; problem response is slowed; the business impact those problems generate is increased.

In contrast, TLSM empowers organizations with problem-tracking and resolution that spans domains. Managers can address infrastructural complexities in a swift, consistent manner regardless of which silos they might involve—a smart response to a particularly knotty challenge.

Powered by enterprise-class software

Among IT managers and CIOs, IBM Tivoli solutions are well understood to offer the best range of capabilities available today. But those solutions aren't always available in a practical sense because of budget constraints.

Tivoli Live - service manager offers a compelling alternative option. Businesses can, for the first time, experience the complete set of features and capabilities of the Tivoli suite at an attractive price—then continue paying based on immediate needs, as opposed to anticipated future needs.

Also worth pointing out is that as organizations grow, there's no question Tivoli solutions can grow right along with them. Since the same solutions have already been deployed and are in daily use in the world's largest IT infrastructures, they're clearly proven to offer all the scalability required by future business expansion.

Additional value stems from the fact that this solution has already been independently certified as fulfilling the terms of ITIL guidelines and Pink Elephant. ITIL v.3 is the best-known, most widely utilized best practices framework in the world today and by becoming TLSM customers, IBM clients can immediately start receiving the business benefits those best practices yield—without a complex implementation or consultation process required.

The argument for TLSM, in short, is this: Top-end power with low-level costs and risk—an almost unbeatable combination.

Two tutorials and a live demo

If you'd like to see how Tivoli Live - service manager can create business value in your particular case, IBM has made it exceptionally easy to do so via a pair of compelling Flash tutorials and a live demo of the service.

The tutorials explore how TLSM capitalizes on IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager—a double-win solution that boasts both traditional service desk trouble-ticket reporting and a service catalog aimed at empowering users to help themselves.

And the live demo should give curious IT managers a clear idea of what it's like to use TLSM themselves—whatever their actual IT roles may be. That's because they can log in as asset managers, change managers, user managers, or service desk agents. In fact, they can even log in as end users, to explore the self-service concepts and features addressed in the first Flash tutorial.

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