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By Steven Russman
IBM has got to be happy with the optimistic buzz and surging crowds at this year's successful Pulse conference that just wrapped up in Las Vegas. With more than 400 sessions to choose from I was most interested in the sessions conducted by IBM customers because these tell stories about real-life approaches to IT management challenges and how the products are used and perform. Of course, the sessions soft sell IBM products and services but the examples are real and the strategies presented by WellPoint, Nationwide Insurance and TSYS were illuminating. These companies are well outfitted with the latest tooling, but for advanced license management they'll need to look elsewhere. More on this point in a moment.
Angel Diaz, Vice President, IBM Software Standards & Cloud, led a panel discussion on cloud computing standards. This topic was a hit in 2012 and again this year. Speaking to a packed room, the discussion revealed IBM's support and involvement, as well as the progress in development and adoption of cloud interoperability standards in the public-cloud marketplace. It was encouraging to see IBM rally support and money for an cloud-computing industry building effort, plus in other sessions I heard first-hand accounts of progress on developing and adopting standards.
I spoke with product managers and learned that IBM SmartCloud Control Desk, the IT service desk and asset management product, has grown steadily and is used by more than 800 companies worldwide. Some of the largest and most license-management savvy IT organizations use this product and customers will be glad to know that more functions will be added to the software license management module to support new software license models, mobile devices and integration with IBM products to track software usage, along with functions to manage software license use in cloud environments.
I also heard that IBM is a member of the DMTF software entitlement working group (see Distributed Management Task Force) and is looking at ways to incorporate standardized software identification tags in its products. When compared to the hype and effort devoted to cloud standards, IBM is taking a subdued approach here. Representatives didn't share details and it's premature to assess the company's commitment.
IBM is doing (and saying) the right things to keep up and excel in the fast-paced growth markets it views as key to revenue and profit growth. IBSMA.com members will be glad to know that IBM will continue to enhance its license management tools, although today leading-edge customers will need to look at specialty tool providers in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. for for state-of-the-art capabilities. As cloud computing evolves and license models change to accommodate the modern world, we could see IBM emerge as a leader in this area, with a toolset based on open standards and built-in cloud-license-management functions.
Steven Russman is the director of IBSMA and publisher of ECPweb.com. He reports on industry events, license management and standards development for IBSMA members worldwide.
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