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As the old year of 2005 fades into memory and 2006 kicks off, its is worthwhile taking a final glance at the last major IT event of the old year before taking a look at what we can expect in the next few months. In particular I shall mention IBM’s acquisition of Micromuse Inc. just four days before Christmas.
IBM has agreed to purchase Micromuse in an all cash deal valued around $865 million, some $10 a share in the publicly traded organisation. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, will bring to Big Blue the Micromuse network management tools that have frequently been deployed to support the daily administration of data traffic, especially voice and video. Such data management capabilities are becoming increasingly important as VoIP (Voice over IP) continues to proliferate over the Internet and within organisations.
Micromuse, currently headquartered in San Francisco, was originally founded back in 1989 in London, England and became a publicly listed company in 1998. During the 16 years of its independent existence Micromuse has built a suite of tools under its well recognised Netcool brand designed to diagnose the performance of complex IT environments.
At the time of the acquisition announcement Micromuse employed around 650 staff in 24 offices around the world, including a strong presence in Europe and parts of Asia Pacific in addition to North America. The company has sold to over 1,800 customers and enjoys a strong base in Government agencies, telecommunications providers and large enterprises.
In particular Netcool is recognised for its ability to automatically analyze and resolve network outages and performance problems. Netcool’s manager of managers solution for carrier-grade real-time business and service assurance and its network service solutions for the Telecommunications industry are highly regarded.
There is a clear synergy between the Micromuse offerings and IBM’s continuing development of tools to support real time IT Service Management delivery. Indeed, once the acquisition is completed, the integration of the Netcool solutions with IBM’s service management tools should add considerable value in the areas of application management, general network control and systems administration. It should also be noted that Micromuse will supplement IBM’s security management capabilities by providing near real time alerts concerning attempted network breaches.
All in all, this could be a very shrewd buy. The combination of the Tivoli systems and service management technologies with Netcool’s carrier-class network performance management capabilities will extend the scope of Tivoli allowing it to begin the delivery of virtually end to end application service management. As I have stated on many occasions, IT Service Management is the future of IT management. Tivoli and Netcool are well placed to develop the capabilities needed to turn this vision into a reality.