Announcing it has closed the deal, barely a couple months after the announcement, IBM Corp has laid out a product roadmap for assert management provider MRO Software Inc.
There were few if any surprises surrounding yesterday’s announcement. In essence, the theme was around the notion that increasingly, enterprises are no longer distinguishing between hard assets and IT assets.
The convergence of traditional asset management and IT asset management also reflects the fact that traditional hard assets are increasingly becoming computer-controlled and networked, while mobile assets are increasingly getting tracked through RFID.
As expected, MRO will fall under the Tivoli organization. IT-related offerings will carry the Tivoli brand, while hard assets, more formally known as enterprise asset management (EAM), retaining the Maximo branding. By next year, both lines will tie into IBM’s CCMDB, the change and configuration management repository around which Tivoli products are in the process of getting anchored.
The first stage of integration will be the data for the service management layer. That reflects the fact that MRO’s Maximo has a service desk offering that fills a critical gap in the Tivoli line as it strives (like its rivals) to support the ITIL framework.
As part of the integration, the Maximo service desk, which will be rebranded Tivoli, will tie into the CCMDB. Additionally, the process management capabilities of the service desk will be subsumed under a broader IBM WebSphere Process Server workflow engine.
Among the functions falling under the new rebranded IBM Tivoli Service Desk will a service level agreement (SLA) manager that tracks the progress of trouble tickets as they are processed.
Following the usual script, IBM will blue wash the MRO products with IBM rebranding by the end of the calendar year. As noted, the IT-oriented functions will be branded Tivoli, while the EAM functions will retain the Maximo branding.
The most significant change is that later in 2007, IBM will separate out the service catalog functionality in the MRO service desk offering as a separate Tivoli product.
IBM insisted it would hardly ignore the EAM business. It promises to beef up its EAM practice in its Tivoli organization, along with the Global Services and Global Business Services units by 70% by the first half of next year. On the EAM side, IBM will enhance MRO’s asset management offerings for the electric power industry, and create new vertical offerings for public sector and outsourcing providers.