Tivoli jumps into service provider business

IBM's network management software arm Tivoli Systems has laid out plans for how it will deal with the exploding demand for telecommunications and Internet applications services, announcing new products, partners and a new business unit.

Tivoli's launch follows similar announcements by competitors such as Compaq and Sun Microsystems, all of whom are jumping into what they see as a fast-growing market for providers of services and applications over IP (Internet protocol) networks.

The Tivoli strategy, dubbed the Net Generation initiative, includes a half-dozen new Tivoli Service Provider software packages. The packages integrate new Tivoli-developed technology, existing Tivoli network management software such as Tivoli Enterprise and NetView, as well as products from business partners.

The initiative will be steered by a new 400-employee Tivoli Service Provider Business Unit, whose expansion is being funded with $US50 million this year, $100 million next year, and $350 million over the next three years, according to David Murphy, senior vice president of corporate development at Tivoli.

The charter of the new business unit is to help telecom and internet service and applications providers "build, deliver and manage new revenue producing services on next-generation networks," said Robert Davis, general manager of the new unit, who spoke here today at a press conference with Murphy and other IBM and Tivoli executives.

The new Tivoli unit wants to provide "end-to-end" software management packages, designed to manage backbone infrastructure, end-user company networks, data storage technology and applications.

As an example, Davis said a customer could use Tivoli software to schedule a transfer of data every four hours, or every time $1 million in transactions occurs - whichever comes first. When the data is transferred, the Tivoli management software is capable of increasing network bandwidth capacity to speed the data flow, he said.

The new software packages are: Tivoli for Managed Network Services; Tivoli for Managed Computing Services; Tivoli for Managed Applications Services; Tivoli for Hosted Business Services; Tivoli Subscription Manager; and Tivoli Premium Support Service. These software and service packages are available in limited distribution now, and will be released for general availability early next year, when pricing will be announced.

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