IBM boosts Tivoli

TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC., Austin, Texas, has used its link to the IBM coffers to extend its systems management offerings through both internal development and acquisitions.

Two years ago, the new IBM paid almost $1 billion for Tivoli, whose revenue at the time was less than $50 million. After the merger, Tivoli executives immediately assumed responsibility for the IBM systems and network management units, based mostly in Raleigh, N.C. Though the coupling was not always smooth, IBM investments have helped Tivoli become a viable integrated systems management competitor to software giant Computer Associates International Inc., Islandia, N.Y. "The relationship with IBM is still maturing," said Tivoli President and Chief Executive Jan Lindelow. "Tivoli is now able to leverage IBM while maintaining relationships with Intel, Microsoft and 3COM among others."

The effect of the IBM bankroll is most obvious in the Tivoli acquisitions of Software Artistry and Unison Software.

The IBM tie has also led to a close relationship with the application development group, said nine-year Tivoli veteran Martin Heath, executive vice president of product development and support, and overseer of the Tivoli relationship with Big Blue. "Tivoli has a generic approach to tools," Heath said, while adding that applications built using VisualAge tools are most compatible with the flagship Tivoli Management Environment (TME). "The other [non-IBM] tools could do the same thing, but VisualAge has gone a step further."

Steve Mills, general manager of the IBM Software Solutions unit, said his unit works closely with Tivoli and other systems management vendors to build bundled solutions. "We work with anybody to try and build complete solutions," said Mills. "We can't work in a monolithic way." But he conceded that Tivoli's IBM ties allow for closer product integration.

About the Authors

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.