The FINANCIAL — IBM (NYSE: IBM) on February 9 announced an integrated approach for companies in major industries around the globe to manage their converging business processes, physical and IT infrastructures, networks and assets, and deliver new and improved services known as service management.
New IBM Service Management Industry Solutions help companies manage their dynamic infrastructures using a common platform to get the most out of their smart assets, expand their businesses, and improve customer service.
According to IBM, the lines between IT, network operations and business operations are blurring. The physical infrastructure is becoming more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. Companies are integrating their IT, operations, and business infrastructures to deliver new services and products to their customers, like smart heath care, smart energy grids, and integrated voice and data communications services. While other vendors focus on delivering IT services to users, IBM’s combined service management and industry expertise helps organizations manage the collective sum of their IT, networks, physical assets, enterprise operations, and respective business services within an integrated platform. This approach helps businesses better deliver new services to market while balancing cost pressures with customer demands.
Rising operating expenses, increasing competition, infrastructure complexity and declining budgets strain an organization’s ability to deliver products and services on time and against defined business goals. The cost of a missed software delivery deadline or downtime to business services, such as a retail website that crashes during a peak time or poor video quality of a major sporting event, can be detrimental in terms of competitive advantage and profit loss. IBM’s new service management industry solutions integrate IT and operational assets such as manufacturing robotic equipment, smart meters, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, point of sale devices, and telecommunications networks to improve business performance and service delivery.
“Increasing reliance on computing power to manage physical assets like manufacturing facilities, parts in a supply chain, power plants, billions of mobile phones and other tangible entities, along with the need to deliver better, more intelligent services to customers, is prompting organizations to adopt more dynamic infrastructures,” said Al Zollar, general manager, IBM Tivoli software. “IBM Service Management Industry solutions help organizations use technology to intelligently respond to the global trends and disruptions affecting businesses, while also achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.”
The financial market crisis and low consumer confidence in major retail markets has created the most challenging environment that retailers have seen in decades. Retailers are focusing on the customer experience to grow and compete in the industry, but their current systems and processes are unable to support business growth or a seamless customer experience. IBM Service Management solutions help retailers establish a platform for fast delivery of new capabilities and customer-focused services, provide a secure multi-channel customer experience, monitor and protect their assets to minimize disruptions, and comply with industry regulations.
Mergers and acquisitions, expanded regulations, and combining disparate business systems and IT infrastructures that put security and operations at risk are causing banks and financial services firms to adopt IBM Service Management solutions to consolidate operations, improve payment systems monitoring, and better manage security and compliance while improving efficiency in their data centers.
Communications Services Providers (CSPs) are transforming their businesses to deliver a broader set of services after a century of dominance by voice services. With the number of text messages sent and received every day exceeding the world’s population, and wireless applications expected to grow by 17% annually through 2011, IBM is helping CSPs integrate people, business processes, services and technology to become more efficient and improve the customer experience.
In Energy and Utilities, the power infrastructure and the information infrastructure are converging. Devices on the grid are becoming more like IT assets, with Smart Grid initiatives requiring standards for operations and IT to function effectively while there is an increasing demand for availability along with rising environmental regulatory pressures. IBM Service Management solutions for Utilities helps providers manage all types of assets including Generation (fossil, nuclear, hydro), Transmission & Distribution, facilities, vehicles and IT assets on a common platform, while managing the assets and operation of the Smart Grid and meeting cyber security standards for the Smart Grid, such as the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) requirements in the U.S.
IBM customer CenterPoint Energy is composed of an electric transmission and distribution utility serving the Houston metropolitan area, local natural gas distribution businesses in six states, and a large pipeline business.
“CenterPoint is working with IBM on our Intelligent Utility Network, providing new technology to monitor our network and track assets,” said Pat Graham, CIO, CenterPoint Energy. “Reliable energy is not a luxury and it is up to us to keep the lights on and to provide clean natural gas for homes, factories and businesses. With the help of IBM technology, we expect fewer, shorter outages and lower operational costs.”
IBM Service Management Industry solutions are comprised of IBM Service Management software, IBM Global Business Services, IBM Global Technology Services and specialized IBM business partner capabilities. The seven new offerings include:
IBM Service Management for Banking helps financial institutions prevent fraud while improving the flow of payments, controlling access across integrated payment systems, and monitoring the combination of IT and business payment processes.
IBM Service Management for Chemicals & Petroleum helps gas and petrochemical companies to manage operations more efficiently by using an Information Integration Framework that incorporates a Reference Semantic Model that provides tighter integration across the organization, preserving existing application and infrastructure investments, safeguarding knowledge and expertise, and more effectively managing risk and compliance.
IBM Service Management for Communication Service Providers improves the delivery of next generation content and application-based services, while managing the risks introduced when Service Providers expose their networks to third parties, new customers and technologies.
IBM Service Management for Electronics helps electronics companies bring new technologies to market sooner at reduced costs by improving the infrastructure used for the simulation of electronic components and management of assets. The solution also improves the management of end products with embedded self-management capabilities to detect and manage energy consumption and overall product health.
IBM Service Management for Retail helps retailers deliver a superior shopping experience by securing and optimizing all store systems including kiosks, POS, handheld scanners, store applications, and providing visibility across the enterprise infrastructure.
IBM Service Management for Utilities helps utilities establish ‘smart utility grids’ with a common management platform enabling advanced meter management (AMM), transmission and distribution device automation and analytics and enterprise asset management (EAM).
IBM Service Management for Product Lifecycle Management (Manufacturing) provides manufacturing companies with an integrated approach to support major business services processes of all phases of the asset, product and service lifecycle, helping organizations to deliver high-quality products, efficient services and business models to integrate operations.