Today the SecureStore framework from IBM was announced...a new solution to help retailers reduce losses caused each year by physical theft, electronic data breaches and compliance violations.
According to a 2008 National Retail Federation Organized Retail Crime Survey, 85 percent of retailers surveyed indicated they had been victims of organized retail crime in the last 12 months! That translates to $30 billion in losses per year, according to the FBI.
The SecureStore framework is a converged security and compliance framework for protecting against online and physical risks that can help retailers reduce losses from theft, prevent brand and financial damage from data breaches and help reduce the cost and complexity of complying with PCI and other regulations.
We were part of the SecureStore team that insured that the right features from the Tivoli portfolio were leveraged. For example, among the many features, SecureStore pulls together security offerings from ISS, Rational and Tivoli product line to help protect databases and applications from network-based threats. That means less work, less loss, and more value for our customers.
Hannaford, the large grocery chain based in Maine(where we often shop) had 4,200,000 credit card numbersintercepted as they were being transmitted last month from store point-of-sale systems to their payments systems. The credit and debit numbers were intercepted and then transmitted in batches to a location overseas.
Hannaford claims to be PCI(Payment Card security standard) compliant, although, that has not been independently validated. For sure, PCI is critically important and goes a long way to protect card details but to insure protection of transit and payment systems, where hackers apparently are now focusing, you have to go beyond PCI! To Hannaford's credit they are now doing just that!
I was with a number of large banks in a financial security conference in Milan, Italy this month to study this issue. Our Tivoli architects have teamed with IBM ISS (internet security) to cover the 12 major areas of PCI compliance. More importantly we have products that go beyond PCI to provide more holistic protection. We are also developing this capability with companies such as ACI that providebanking applications.
After all, a supermarket 'chain' is only as strong as its weakest link, and it only takes one unmonitored port, for example, to destroy the credibility and trust of an enterprise.
Reducing dependence on polluting fuels over the next quarter century
is a goal that many industries today are pursuing — from auto makers
investing in electric vehicles to startups and mature companies exploring alternative energy sources in wind, wave and solar power.
But one major area that often gets overlooked is closer to home–or,
should I say, where you work and live. In the U.S., buildings account
for 40 percent of our total energy use, and up to which 50 percent is
wasted. By 2025, buildings worldwide will become the top consumers of
The potential to cut energy usage while improving our buildings’
performance is tremendous. When IT and communication technology is
wired into building management systems, organizations can manage energy
usage scientifically by tapping analytics, sensor technologies and
For instance, using predictive analytics, tied to things like badge
readers or elevator usage, facilities managers can tell which
percentage of floor space will be occupied on any given day, and adjust
lights and heating to correspond to what is really needed at the moment.
Sensors can flag when a heater and air conditioning unit are
concurrently running—wasting undue energy. Smarter building technologies
can help organizations save up to 30 percent of water usage along with
lower energy costs resulting from reductions in the amount of energy
used to pump and heat water.
By using these kinds of technology in IBM’s Rochester, Minnesota
manufacturing facility, we were able to cut energy use by 8 percent, on
top of the 6 percent reduction already being driven through aggressive
energy improvement programs. That resulted in 14 percent total
IBM is not alone. When organizations come together to tackle our
building problem, we’ve seen amazing outcomes. At Bryant University in
what began as an IT initiative to create an energy-efficient data center
has resulted in a unique partnership between the IT and facilities
teams to reduce the university’s carbon footprint across the campus
buildings. The results are astounding—Bryant University has reduced
operational expenses by 21 percent and reduced the number of physical
servers in its data center almost in half, enabling staff to turn nearly
50 percent of its IT floor space back into classrooms.
This example underscores the point that technology innovation is not
enough. We also need leadership that requires a new set of skills to
bring together groups that have operated independently. This kind of
big thinking requires a cultural leap—in this case bringing IT and
facilities managers together.
Opportunities for these new skills and new roles are already being
embraced by top universities as they create new cross-discipline majors.
Tulane University is a great example as they work to rebuild not only
the campus and city that was devastated by hurricane Katrina, but also
degree programs that will be relevant as we move forward. Tulane is
working to combine engineering and life sciences in new ways and rise to
the challenge of reinventing their school of architecture to include
smarter building management.
Making our new and existing buildings smarter is a befitting ambition
not only to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels but also to drive
business results. More efficient buildings are also more profitable,
giving those organizations a competitive advantage.
The challenge is clear but the good news is so is the path. We can
get started today to rebuild our cities and communities, one smarter
building at a time. We can accelerate this with new skills and roles
for our workforce and become a more sustainable society.
When seconds count, public safety officials rely on communication via private mobile radio and mobile devices...and Tivoli Netcool software is behind the scenes managing the vital signs of the communications network, not only making sure the network is up and running, but proactively monitoring to prevent any network outages from occurring.
IBM Tivoli Netcool software is used by more than 1,000 service providers world-side to manage service quality and reduce operational costs and time to market. We are also helping service providers address emerging opportunities in next-generation network transformation, fixed/mobile convergence, and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) deployment.
EADS Defence & Security -- a systems solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide -- recently signed a deal with IBM to embed IBM Tivoli Netcool software into the EADS service management platform for multi-technology PMR (private mobile radio) solutions, which include TETRA, TETRAPOL and P25 radio networks, IP core, transmission equipments and application platforms.
How can you take advantage of this capability along with a growing number of partners embedding IBM middleware into their own products to deliver richer solutions at a lower cost? An easy way to do this is by 'OEMing'
A significant part of our growth strategy with our software business are OEM (original equipment manufacturing) agreements, through which you can embed IBM software inside your products to develop new solutions to better meet specific customer needs. IBM's software OEM strategy offers a non-traditional approach to generating revenue for both ISVs as well as IBM.
When seconds count, make sure you have the right technology in place!
This years Pulse is destined to be a smash hit. In addition to hearing smash hits from Smash Mouth, you will see smash hits from our many industry focused sessions including:
12 Breakout Sessions with a focus on key Industries: Banking, Utilities, Retail, DefenseCommunication Service ProvidersAerospace, Automotive, Chem & Petroleum, andElectronics. Customer speakers include: Bank of Tokyo, Harley Davidson, Ricoh, Cobb EMC, Telecom Italia, US Centcom, Casas Bahia
And that's not all check out the Demo zone ( ISM for your industry ) on the expo floor
Numerous Industry focused Roundtable Luncheons
and our new ISM for your industry web site where you will find our most recent publications
Today, more than ever, the top priority is to figure out ways to preserve capital and cut operational expenses.
By attending Pulse, you can learn from your peers new ways of deploying service management solutions which could have an ROI benefit 10 times higher than the conference cost. Learn about best practices and avoid pitfalls, and improve time to value.
Our Software Group architecture represents the careful coordination and combined wisdom of our industry Sector organization, Websphere and Tivoli organizations. We have working on combining fault and performance management for our Next Gen service assurance architecture. We always have to care about fault but the high availability, cross function and cross vendor integration requirements, and emerging technologies involved in creating a NexGen service mean that performance issues are critical to delivering NexGen services. Thanks to our involvement in the Service Model workgroup and the creation of some service models, we’ve been able to inform some of the work that has come out of that group and move us a little more rapidly toward the delivery of software that combines and correlates fault and performance for network management.
Another important thread that goes through this architecture is the convergence of system and network management. In the process of working with Service Providers we were able to see two things, one; carriers want to treat general purpose hosts running general purpose operating systems and specific applications as network devices performing specific tasks that use SNMP for events and counters related to the performance of those tasks, two; that there are some obvious problems with an approach to managing systems that doesn’t treat them as systems and leverage what we know about managing systems.
We also discovered pretty early on that security is a critical part of NexGen service assurance, first; because Denial of Service attacks have critical effects on device and system performance, and second, because these are income generating services and revenues that ride on being able to deliver services to paying customers and deny services to those who don’t pay or aren’t customers.
As we face the question of how to converge our systems and network management styles and capabilities, our customers are facing the same challenges. What is exciting for us is that we, as a solutions group, get to participate in the cross product/cross platform/cross customer convergence efforts and if we get it right enough soon enough, we’ll be able to help our customers with the same problems.[Read More]
A new $787 billion stimulus package by the U.S. government to spend $11 billion to help upgrade the nation's electrical system is on the way.This will help new "smart grids" or "intelligent utility networks" to bring the U.S. power delivery system into the 21st century got a major boost in the stimulus bill that was signed into law this week.
Tivoli Industry Solutions is switched on to this big time with a host of 'entry points' that can put utilities well on the path of en'light'enment. In fact I am in Australia this week speaking to a number of utilities about the same thing. This is a global event that is gaining incredible momentum. Earlier this week I was at an Australian Center for Innovation, complete with intelligent meters, automated switching gear on the poles, portal based control of intelligent homes with supplemental solar and electrical transport that capable of giving back to the grid. The vision is well in place. And we have the strategy and practical starting points to make smart grids a reality.
When you look at it, it is so much more...
IBM Service Management from IBM Tivoli® software is an integrated approach to service management, offering comprehensive tools and processes that can help drive competitive innovation. To find out more check out our industry solutions website.
If you haven't done so already, you should consider signing up for Pulse.
We will be demoing our industry solutions and holding breakout sessions. Every member of my team will be presenting their work by industry along with customers we are working with.
I hope to see you there!
Gartner has positioned Tivoli in the leader's quadrant in three of its reports: Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Asset Management for Manufacturing, Transmission and Distribution Enterprise Asset Management, and Power-Generation Enterprise Asset Management Software. It speaks to our ability to deliver value to specific industries and meet a wide variety of EAM requirements.
EAM, according to Gartner "...includes work order creation, planned maintenance, maintenance history, MRO inventory and procurement, as well as equipment, component and asset tracking for equipment. In its most-evolved form, the functionality is extended by the addition of basic financial management modules, such as accounts payable, cost recording in ledgers, and human resource management for rostering and skill recording."
Gartner evaluates completeness of vision and ability to execute, a global presence, a large installed base in manufacturing, strong viability and a combination of rich features including: functionality, interfaces to many different ERP (and supporting EAM) applications, and a capable and global implementation partner community.
Thomas M. Kostigen, author of "You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet", wrote an article
that challenges us (rightly so) to move forward.[Read More
This Tuesday we will see who will gets the power in the primaries. Last Tuesday we saw who lost the power: 584,000 customers in Florida! Not a pretty sight. The good news? 66% had power restored within an hour, 90% within two hours, and virtually all power restored in time for dinner. Most importantly, the nuclear reactors did what they were supposed to and protected themselves. All-in-all very significant when you consider that the outage involved 3,400 megawatts of generating capacity: 26 transmission lines, 38 substations, and three major generation plants including Turkey Point. You have to give credit to Florida Power & Light Company. Its' reputation as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven utility company was unfortunately put through quite a the test that, upon reflection, I think many people in Florida should feel fortunate about them passing. It could have been so much worse.
So what happened? Who turned out the lights? Well, apparently this was caused by a single individual(not a terrorist) but rather an employee. Chalk it down to human error! Looks like a field engineer, fixing a switch, went a bit too far disabling relays. In most of the industry's I work with, human induced problems now accounts for the largest and fastest growing percentage of errors companies face. We all know that part of the human experience is we do make mistakes. "To err is human..." "If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough...", etc... Of course, when it comes to critical systems such as power, we have to see this as an opportunity to learn and to apply more automation or (autonomic) responses and procedures for faults thus reducing the opportunity for this kind of human error to repeat itself. That is very relevant to the solution architecture we are working on. For example, the ability to combine recently acquired Maximo technology with fault and topology knowledge provided by Tivoli discovery and monitoring enables us to drive more intelligent automation based on these types of learning.
You know, it is only a matter of time before it happens again. Remember the last massive power outage in 2003, when about 50 million people were left without power across the northeastern United States and Canada? I do!(I lost a whole freezer full of food in that one) This is indeed a critical area we continue to focus on. We have a ways to go but it is encouraging that we are making progress in continually improving management systems to learn, to better protect and to reduce response time to such events.
In any profit-making enterprise, minimizing the time between the moment the goods have been sold to the time payment is collected is crucial for maintaining good cash flow. The importance of keeping accounts receivables to a minimum is more sensitive in industries which depend on volume-sales with razor-thin profit margins. Let's consider Supply-chain-management in such environments.
A PC manufacturer is in the business of assembling "custom" built PCs receiving customized orders on the web. The firm buys PC components from hundreds of vendors using a 'Just-in-Time' inventory model. Because vendors sell in small batches, they need payment on delivery - no long accounts receivable credit cycles. Payments flow continuously between the PC maker and hundreds of global vendors. In a modern-day efficient supply chain management environments, Straight-Through-Processing between buyers and sellers, commonly abbreviated in payments parlance as STP, are a prerequisite for the chain to function efficiently. No human interactions are expected as invoices and payments exchanges transact between parties.
Consider payment transactions between the PC manufacturer and a hard drive manufacturer, assuming invoices are paid through bank-to-bank automated payment transactions.
When payments get lost or delayed, the originating bank (buyer) and the receiving bank (seller) respectively have to probe deeply where payments are stuck and where the delays occurred. The problem doesn't end there- bedlam occurs all over. When payments are delayed, the hard drive maker runs into negative cash flow situations, and is then subject to angst from its own vendors, stopping hard drive supplies to the PC maker. On the other end, the PC manufacturer shop floor comes to a grinding halt for want of hard drives. Production managers, buyers, accounting and shipping personnel spar with each other, pointing fingers. Repeated occurrences of such supply-chain payment malfunctions ultimately bring loss of revenue and loss of reputation for the banks.
Banks can alleviate such situations by deploying a robust monitoring solution across the enterprise. Tivoli Monitoring comes in many flavors and its abstraction of data being monitored caters to the needs of the observer.
An operational IT admin may want to monitor CPU utilization, memory usage, disk usage across the swath of heterogeneous platforms and technologies in the banking data center.An application developer or performance analyst may want to understand the decomposition of a payment functions into transactions the application memory usage pattern and the response times of individual requests. A SOA architect may want to analyze relationships between payment service requests and the implementation artifacts such as J2EE beans, CICS calls, and database requests.. A business analyst may want to monitor payment processes to spot payment bottlenecks, inefficiencies and duplication of functions
Tivoli Monitoring solutions address them all!
Lack of monitoring increases operational risk for banks. This can cause delays in payments, that, if left unchecked, indirectly increases intraday-credit risk for the banks. Delays in payments can affect the buyer's bank, seller's bank, the buyer and the seller. Payment services monitoring becomes crucial here. Tivoli Monitoring tools allow integrated payment solutions to function smoothly by overseeing their operations. This lowers payment costs- a huge profit eater. Monitoring provides a higher service quality to banking payment services and results in more productive, efficient STP throughputs. Faster payments become a key differentiator to the bank.
Verizon Wireless announced last year that it would open up its network for any company to leverage!
Industry watchers anticipated market leading, high profile features around low cost international calls and Google applications.
It it interesting to note that the first to take advantage of the open network was a machine-to-machine device and automated system. Is this the next evolutionary phase of devices on the open network?
What was this device and who made it?
A wireless device from SupplyNet Communications, a 21-employee firm in Schaumburg, Ill., which certified under Verizon's Open Development Initiative.
Their battery-powered modem connects to a sensor that dips into large storage containers, like construction-site diesel tanks or tanks of shortening at a food factory. When a tank runs low, the modem zips off a text message to SupplyNet, which alerts the customer that it needs a refill.
I recently had the opportunity to attend an Autonomic Computing(AC) summit with customers and business partners at the IBM Amagi Homestead
in Naka-Izu-cho, Japan. I was looking forward to the weekend retreat, not just because of the great sashimi (and the chance to wear a yukata
;), but because a number of business partners would be presenting how IBM AC technologies are helping to differentiate their products. Bright and early Saturday morning before the meeting began , we had the customary group photo
in front of one of the putting greens with Fuji, which was unfortunately obscured in the process of scanning this picture, as a backdrop. (I am seated in the center, front row)
We arrived at Amagi early Friday afternoon after taking a train down the coast from Tokyo followed by a bus ride up the mountain where the business retreat would take place. As our bus emerged from mandarin groves along the narrow coastal plains and began the steep climb to the Amagi homestead 2500 feet in elevation we all strained to see the first glimpse of Mount Fuji through the mist and forest...
Suddenly to searching eyes
Startling like the first chord struck from celestial amps
Proudly peaked with white
Humbly hushing all
Inspired by Fuji and inspired to be on a mission in Amagi, a mission with a grand challenge! The challenge? To truly work together as an industry, setting a new precedent of cooperation, in the battle to reduce IT complexity. Its all about finding new common ground as the way to move forward...and Amagi was all about demonstrating how we are finally beginning to take that journey together.
The Manifesto of Autonomic Computing
maintains that the information technology boom can only expand for so long before it collapses under the weight of its own complexity. A complexity fueled by the ever increasing availability of disparate technologies coupled with global expansion, mergers and acquisitions. We need a different model if we are to move to the next generation of business enabled by information technology. The human body's autonomic nervous system presents a very interesting model. The autonomic nervous system is a part of the peripheral nervous system that functions to regulate the basic visceral processes needed for the maintenance of normal bodily functions. It operates independently of voluntary control, freeing humans from complex management tasks that could distract from higher physical or intellectual tasks. Let's face it - if we approached the management of our body the way we approach the management of IT, everyone on our bus would have missed that first poetry inspiring view of Fuji! We would have been so distracted with consulting manuals and contacting experts (to reconfigure breathing, heart rate, skin temperature and pupil dilation to insure optimum performance in an environment that was undergoing a rapid altitude change) that we would have missed the more important view.
So what is Autonomic Computing? It's an enabler for focusing on the higher level business view without the distraction of managing the technology. AC is also all about a challenge to the IT industry to work together to reduce complexity and create self managing systems. The ability to cross technology barriers imposed by complexity is critical if we are to advance to the next generation of business.(ie: on demand)
The Amagi retreat was a deep dive into Japanese culture for me. The meetings and activities had a sincere openness and inclusiveness to them which I greatly appreciated. It was also an honest immersion into how Japanese companies are making significant progress with the challenge of AC. There is a lot of momentum in Japan led by IBM-J and a number of innovative business partners.
In Amagi, companies such as Toshiba, a true autonomic leader, described how the incorporation of AC technologies from the AC Toolkit
such as the Autonomic Management Engine(AME) and the Log Trace Analyzer(L/TA) as well as the Common Base Event (CBE) XML schema have helped to deliver real value. The autonomic architecture, standards, and technologies have provided a common ground for business partners to start to work together on this shared journey towards self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing, and self-protecting systems.
I have been working with a number of business partners who will be joining me at PartnerWorld
in Las Vegas in the beginning of March to demonstrate how they are moving forward with Autonomic Computing technologies. I am really excited about this years event and can already feel the AC spirit. But more on that later... (My autonomic system is telling me to take a break and watch some autonomic nervous system in action - AC-C basketball.)
Verizon sold landline operations earlier this year in largely rural regions of New England so it could concentrate on faster-growing parts of its business like Verizon Wireless and its FiOS high-speed broadband service. Verizon now owns 700 mhz band spectrum across the country. This is a spectrum that has very good propagation and penetration characteristics, a great option for rural areas. Not that towers are cheap, but they're certainly less expensive to own than a network of copper wires that go from a building in every single town to every single house in that town along poles or in trenches. As an aside, the universal service fund, the couple bucks you pay every month that seems to be tacked on to every phone line and every phone bill, goes to fund, in part, cell tower construction in rural areas(ie: sections of the interstates that have trees around them.)[Read More