IBM software enables consolidation of hundreds of applications to SAP

New application and infrastructure management capabilities drive business system visibility

Published on 30-Apr-2013

"BPAM allows companies to integrate monitoring and availability management of any application and systems infrastructure and their related business process infrastructure using largely Tivoli tools." - Derek Jennings, Monitoring and Performance Team Lead - Blue Harmony Program, IBM

IBM - Blue Harmony Initiative

Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States


IBM is a multinational technology and consulting corporation. The company manufactures and markets computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services.

Business need:
A massive migration of existing applications to SAP software across multiple IBM geographies and business units produced an unprecedented need to optimize process availability and service level management.

An IBM® Tivoli® software solution provides visibility into the effects of application, infrastructure and component availability on critical business processes.

IBM can now prioritize planned downtime globally to minimize business process impact. Technical teams can monitor systems to quickly rectify issues and avoid unplanned outages.

Case Study

IBM is a multinational technology and consulting corporation. The company manufactures and markets computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services.

Supporting massive process reengineering and consolidation
Derek Jennings, Monitoring and Performance Team Lead - Blue Harmony Program at IBM, calls the IBM Blue Harmony initiative “the largest systems and process reengineering and consolidation project IBM has ever undertaken.” At the project’s conclusion it will be the most highly available and scalable business application ever deployed, supporting over 150 countries and 250,000 users on a single, global instance of SAP applications and sun-setting over 1,000 IBM applications; all to simplify business processes worldwide.

Blue Harmony, the technical centerpiece of the IBM roadmap to 2015, enables and advances the company’s evolution into a globally integrated enterprise. “All of our divisions and all of our geographies will reside on one massive mega-infrastructure of systems running standardized processes,” says Jennings, who acts as the performance engineering lead for the Blue Harmony project.

“As an example, consider all the finance and order-processing applications that exist within IBM in all of its geographies. Blue Harmony brings those and many other applications into one shared infrastructure,” explains Jennings. “Merging previously discrete environments means we’re no longer able to draw a direct correlation between a particular application or server’s availability and the availability of a specific business process.”

The organization realized, however, that Blue Harmony’s requirement for a single dashboard view of the real-time status, health and performance of applications, infrastructure and business processes across the entire IBM enterprise was unattainable with the company’s existing monitoring and management capabilities. “We couldn’t scale our capabilities to a project this vast, with the complex, consolidated and virtualized application and systems architecture it requires,” recalls Jennings. “We needed a step-function increase in our ability to monitor and manage business process service levels and availability.”

Optimizing business process availability worldwide
To provide process visibility and supportability on the massive scale envisioned for the Blue Harmony project, a small Blue Harmony team that included Jennings, engineers and leaders from IBM Software Services group, IBM Research and IBM Global Technology Services® personnel developed a solution called “business process and availability management” (BPAM).

“Knowing that we’re going to have to have planned downtime for multiple components of this mega-infrastructure at any given time, we will use BPAM to analyze the business processes each infrastructure and application component supports,” says Rick Fricchione, IBM GBS Technology Partner, Blue Harmony PMO, who also points out that development of BPAM’s planned outage capabilities, downtime scheduling and maintenance optimization, is still in the pre-pilot stage. “We’ll be able to look at the cost of an outage for every business process, both relative to the other thousands of business processes running concurrently and to geography. BPAM will optimize the availability of the entire process network.”

IBM Tivoli® Application Dependency Discovery Manager software is the core of the BPAM solution, automating the tasks of maintaining and deepening relationships between business processes and the applications and systems upon which they depend. This allows developers to create application maps which can be updated with near real-time status, offering
a dynamic view into the complexity of integrated applications and partial availability.

Providing an integrated view of infrastructure, applications and processes
Not all downtime is planned, and with between 85 percent and 90 percent of IBM revenue flow being managed through the order processing or financial management processes encompassed by the Blue Harmony project, any downtime in these processes will come at significant cost: tens of millions of dollars in deferred revenue per hour.

To minimize that likelihood, a suite of IBM Tivoli tools, including IBM SmartCloud Monitoring and IBM SmartCloud Control Desk were deployed to monitor the health and status of systems and applications in near real-time, helping technical teams resolve issues before they lead to outages.

The BPAM solution breaks down organizational silos by structuring Tivoli system monitoring and management solutions to provide an integrated operations view of the infrastructure, application and process layers. If one machine-level component experiences an outage, technicians see how that affects IBM from an application perspective and how it ultimately affects particular business processes.

“When the development and testing of planned outage capabilities is complete we will be able to create maps of servers and business processes to prioritize our planned downtime,” explains Fricchione. “If I need a five-hour window every month for database maintenance, there’s never going to be a time period that aligns with everybody’s process needs across the globe, but with those capabilities in BPAM we’ll determine the optimal time.”

Jennings stresses that the BPAM solution is not exclusively a tool for IBM or for migrating applications to SAP application frameworks; it is a solution that IBM envisions will enjoy wide acceptance among its enterprise customers. “BPAM allows companies to integrate any application and systems infrastructure and business process infrastructure using largely Tivoli tools. If somebody already has SmartCloud Monitoring software and Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager, then they already have unplanned outage management capabilities, so they’re
halfway to having BPAM. Why not implement planned outage management also?”

Solution components
● IBM SmartCloud Control Desk
● IBM SmartCloud Monitoring
● IBM Tivoli® Application Dependency Discovery Manager
● IBM Tivoli Business Service Manager

● IBM Global Business Services
● IBM Software Services
● IBM Global Technology Services
● IBM Research

For more information
To learn more about IBM Tivoli software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:

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Products and services used

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America April 2013 IBM, the IBM logo,, IBM SmartCloud, and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.