With pervasive computing, organizations can extract value from every device that can be built around a chip

–Jan Lindelow, chairman and CEO, Tivoli Systems

Many of the things that we take for granted in the ‘IT hierarchy’ today will exist in the pervasive marketplace in the near future, and that’s where we see immense opportunity.Tivoliis now adding products for the remote management of mobile devices. At PlanetTivoli, the recently concluded customer technology conference in Sydney,Lindelow explained Tivoli’s new focus to Meghla Kathju of CNS (Cyber NewsService). Excerpts:

How significant is this new focus announced at PlanetTivoli?
Very significant. Our announcements [at Planet Tivoli] dealt with the new e-biz,e-zone, service provider and pervasive marketplaces. This is sort of outside ourtraditional business model. And announcement on software distribution is alsosignificant, because it will give our customers best-of-breed applications.

Can you explain your pervasive computing initiative?
We entered into an alliance with 3Com in March, where Tivoli technology could beused to manage the Palm Pilot. This new announcement outlines toolsets foranybody who wants to do similar things–whether it’s a mobile-phonemanufacturer or an ATM manufacturer. They can use Tivoli’s tools to updatesoftware in ATM machines, or to link the ATM software to a Web page. These arejust a few examples of what can be done with Tivoli technology. In fact, withpervasive technologies, we can help organizations extract the maximum value fromnot only traditional IT assets, but virtually every device that can be builtaround a digital chip.

So are you venturing into the consumer arena–for biggergrowth?
Yes and no. We as a company still sell to other businesses, but we are nowselling to businesses that deal directly with the consumer. But we are notselling to you as a consumer. We’re just selling to someone who serves youdirectly. That’s the way we’ll see technology go.

In Japan, it has been predicted that each user will havethree mobile devices, on an average, in the future. One of these is probably aphone, another might be a device that you will use to access the Web, and thethird could be anything else. That’s a lot of devices to manage. Someone needsto keep track of all of that. So, the business opportunity for companies likeours is phenomenal.

What after pervasive computing, for Tivoli?
Today, a company manages a hundred thousand desktops. We call these desktopsend-points. Now, a company like AT&T or NTT in Japan might have to manage 10million end-points, and in the future there could be mobile phones, palmtops, orother mobile devices. That number will keep growing, and we would also get newarchitectures later. That would then raise the complexity line, because eachtime you include a new architecture, you raise the complexity of the system.This creates the need for databases and networks that also need systemsmanagement. So what you will see is that, in the pervasive marketplace, many ofthe things that we take for granted in the ‘IT hierarchy’ today will existthere, which will need to be taken care of.

CA, your closest competitor, has also stepped into thisarea.
Well, yes, they have made some announcements of technologies that I don’tthink seem to do as much as we can. Unicenter versus Tivoli is a situation wherewe think we have a superior product. It is also probably why you don’t seethem growing so much any more.

Do you have technology competing with CA’s Neugents(neural network agents)?
I don’t assume being similar to be good. But we do have the Tivoli Agentstechnology that is capable of doing what we needed it to do. CA has come up witha word and then added a lot of marketing around it. That doesn’t make it anybetter technology. I think you should see which one has been more successful inthe marketplace, which one has the most end-points implemented.

Where does Tivoli stand against products from BMC Softwareand HP?
There are huge differences. BMC has focused on applications management andalso on availability management. Their major customers are in the mid-range ofthe market. HP has focused on network management. So, we compete with HP innetwork management, and with BMC in availability and database management. Butneither of the two covers the entire spectrum, as Tivoli does.

How important is the ASP market for you?
Very important. We need to have good relationships with the serviceproviders, because it’s not only a market in itself, it’s also a routingmarket for our mid-sized and small customers. We, unlike CA, are not going tobecome a provider ourselves, but we will sell the tools to the providers. CA isdirectly in the business, which is something we would never do, because we don’twant to compete with our partners.

What potential do you see for the Indian market?
That’s a market we must grow in and do much more than we have in the past.There will be quite a few initiatives in that market in the next couple ofyears. We will put in place more development relationships with people in India.

Why does Tivoli work under the IBM banner in countrieslike India?
Outside the United States, we have a policy to be a dedicated Tivoliorganization, but within the IBM legal structure. So, unless we have a uniquereason to do it differently, we will not change that philosophy. We do have adedicated Tivoli team in each country, but we want that team to operate in theTivoli way, so to speak. The fact that the team members are both Tivoli and IBMemployees doesn’t bother me and I don’t think it bothers them either, but atthe end of the day it’s the success of the marketplace that counts. 

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