Climbing through the IBM clouds 3


Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. Now that I’ve rested and relaxed for a few days after such a high-intensity week of conference-related activities, I’d like to conclude my cloud-climbing trilogy of IBM Pulse posts with some intriguing observations and unexpected inspirations. For example, I didn’t expect Fiberlink MaaS360 to stick in my mind!

In the first part of the trilogy, I mentioned that “IBM TRIRIGA is offered as a Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure solution, alongside Tivoli, Maximo, Netcool, Endpoint Manager, and SmartCloud service management software”. After experiencing the second part of the trilogy, I realize now that I didn’t really know how deeply interconnected all of these different components can or should be.

MaaS360 by Fiberlink @ IBM Pulse 2014

MaaS360 by Fiberlink @ IBM Pulse 2014

One of the main attractions at IBM Pulse 2014 was MaaS360, the “mobile as a service” (MaaS) platform developed by the recently IBM-acquired Fiberlink. Since I knew the IBM Director of Endpoint Management from our old pre-acquired TRIRIGA days, I had the unique opportunity to chat with her about how MaaS360 fits into the overall endpoint management strategy.

What are MaaS360 and Endpoint Manager?

Before we touch the overall endpoint strategy, let’s take a step back to catch the broader context.

BigFix will become part of IBM Software Group– helping organizations more intelligently secure the enterprise by managing and automating security and compliance updates on thousands of computers around the globe. BigFix software is also critical to IBM’s automation portfolio that controls the ever-expanding data center, including PCs and laptops, in addition to servers, software, storage and physical assets as diverse as cellular sites, water mains and manufacturing equipment…

Organizations today are challenged with managing thousands of computers and ensuring they are running properly and that the information on them is secure and in compliance with industry and organizational policies and mandates. BigFix software has built-in intelligence that identifies which devices are not in compliance with policies and recommends security fixes and timely software updates to up to 500,000 machines in a matter of minutes.

IBM acquires BigFix, Inc.

IBM acquires BigFix, Inc. (IBM.com)

In 2007, BigFix expanded its scope to address specific IT infrastructure management solution areas: security threat suppression (BigFix Endpoint Protection), enterprise security configuration management (BigFix Security Configuration and Vulnerability Management) and enterprise systems management (BigFix Systems Lifecycle Management)…

On July 20, 2010, IBM acquired BigFix, Inc. for an undisclosed sum, and integrated the BigFix product into its Tivoli Software portfolio under the new name IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager. Since 2013, BigFix has been known as IBM Endpoint Manager (IEM).

Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure (a.k.a. Tivoli) solutions

Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure (a.k.a. Tivoli) solutions (IBM.com)

IBM Endpoint Manager

IBM Endpoint Manager (IBM.com)

The MaaS360 product will enable IBM to offer cloud-based or on-premise mobile device management (MDM), mobile content management (MCM), and mobile application management (MAM) including containerization. With MaaS360 and its approach to mobile application containers, organizations will gain the building blocks to separate personal from enterprise data and content on mobile devices. Over time, organizations can benefit from integration with solutions like IBM Worklight and IBM Security QRadar to enable the development of secure apps, which include policies that are implemented and enforced by the MaaS360 offering.

Additionally, the combination of IBM Endpoint Manager and the MaaS360 offering will allow IBM to offer Unified Device Management, supporting either SaaS or on-premise deployments for all of an organization’s endpoints – from laptop, desktop and server to mobile devices.

IBM Acquires Fiberlink

IBM Acquires Fiberlink (IBM.com)

MaaS360 by Fiberlink, an IBM company

MaaS360 by Fiberlink, an IBM company (MaaS360.com)

In other words, the BigFix product, now called the IBM Endpoint Manager, offers the on-premise enterprise management of a diverse spectrum of devices and assets, while the Fiberlink MaaS360 product, which might also be renamed, offers the cloud-based enterprise management of mobile devices and mobile applications. Both products fall under Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure solutions.

What about video explanations?

For more context, here are 4 videos to clear any cloud-climbing and endpoint-securing confusion.

IBM BigFix Animated Diagram

IBM BigFix Animated Diagram

IBM Unified Device Management

IBM Unified Device Management

MaaS360: MDM in 3 Minutes

MaaS360: MDM in 3 Minutes

MaaS360: MDM in Minutes

MaaS360: MDM in Minutes

What is the overall endpoint management strategy?

Sadly, I wasn’t familiar with this full context before I chatted with the director. But looking back, things make much more sense. In fact, the December 2013 news release captured the strategy pretty well.

Additionally, the combination of IBM Endpoint Manager and the MaaS360 offering will allow IBM to offer Unified Device Management, supporting either SaaS or on-premise deployments for all of an organization’s endpoints – from laptop, desktop and server to mobile devices.

Based on this single sentence, the IBM Director of Endpoint Management has an interesting job ahead of her. It’s logical to question whether her teams will develop a cloud-less on-premise version of the MaaS360 product, or a cloud-based SaaS version of the Endpoint Manager product, or both. Haha, yes, I asked her. But I think it’ll be more entertaining for you to guess what will happen.

Now, as a IBM TRIRIGA information developer, I’m intrigued by another level of interconnectedness. Beyond endpoint management, I remember the director’s curiosity about potential links to IBM TRIRIGA space management. Along similar lines, I’m also wondering about potential links to IBM Maximo asset management. In terms of cloud-based SaaS, it’s only beginning to get interesting. :)

Do I have an update?

Five months after climbing through the clouds, I found myself surfing through IBM Service Engage!

IBM Service Engage

IBM Service Engage

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s