Managing the e-marketplace

With e-marketplaces gearing to become the model of choice for on-line trading, Tivoli has announced a suite of system management tools aimmed at helping to maintain the integrity, performance and security of those marketplacves.
Written by Thomas Chen, Contributor

For years, Tivoli Systems Inc. has been providing solutions to link and manage disparate systems and parts that make up the IT system of any large enterprise. Now, with its launch of the world's first comprehensive e-marketplace management solution, it hopes to provide the same kind of system managing tools to e-marketplaces.

Providing solutions for disparate IT systems is not new for Tivoli, in fact, that's how it all started. Back in 1989, when client-server was all the rage, a group of IBM workers saw that the big blue's approach to system management was too "whole-centric," i.e. they were designed with a centralized, single system in mind. The workers decided to start something new, and the result was Tivoli.

In 1996, IBM did a look around and realized themselves that they had too many "whole-centric" products, and to make up for that lack, they bought over Tivoli. But instead of taking over the software company, IBM basically left it running as it is.

Since then, the company has grown into a US$ 2 billion a year enterprise with offices all over the globe.

Any enterprise can buy a piece of software or product to add functionality to their existing IT systems, be it an ERP functionality or CRM capability. However, to ensure that they do as they are supposed to, and not creating any conflict with existing systems is quite another thing. This is where Tivoli comes in. Through its system management tools, it is able to ensure that a company's e-business capabilities remain viable and accessible, humming along at the level that it is supposed to.

Now, the same kind of expertise is being brought to the e-marketplace by the company's new offering, the e-Marketplace Manager.
Management of e-marketplaces is, to say the least, a complex task. And the cost of failure is high. Several customer accounts were closed, for instance, after an Internet bank owned by Prudential was accused of building insufficient security. The Charles Schwab & Co. site suffered four outages and performance problems between February 24 and April 21st last year and was forced into a US$70 million investment into a new infrastructure.

As Richard L Ptak, vice president, systems and applications management at Hurwits Group, Inc., said, "The cost of inadequate service and security in the e-marketplace extends far beyond any immediate monetary damage to include tarnishing company reputation and loyalty. Growth of e-Marketplaces will be slowed until the appearance of a reliable supplier of managed services that can address availability, performance and security in an integrated manner for all participants."

With e-Marketplace Manager, Tivoli says that it can provide services along those lines.

"We believe Tivoli's e-Marketplace Manager, with its complete, integrated, end-to-end solution, will provide the critical management and security functionality needed in e2open", said Mark Holman CEO of e2Open, the premier electronics e-marketplace. "In order to maintain the integrity of our e-marketplace we know that we must implement a fitting solution to allow our customers to have the most positive service experience. Tivoli's e-Marketplace Manager supports this experience by providing service availability, performance, security and user management all in one integrated package."

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