Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thinking of deploying TBSM 3.1 - here are some questions you need to answer.

Tivoli Business Systems Manager has gotten a bad reputation over the years, too complicated - too many servers - fill in the blank. Part of the problem is the understanding of what a business systems management software package is suppose to do. So here are some questions you should have answers to before you begin.

Do you want an event console or an abstracted representation of IT? An event console shows raw events with little hierarchy. An abstract view, at its most basic layer, can show you IT objects in a location based view (like State, City, etc...). At a more complex level, the IT objects like servers and routers are buried several layers deep under business process views. The views are labeled things like "Email Service", "Loan Processing".

Do you know your data sources? TEC, HPOC, SMARTS, Netview or other? All events/alerts have to be normalized for TBSM - the primary interface is TEC, although through the use of event enablement or the common listener you can get by without TEC - but is more difficult.

Are your customers ready to answer questions? You will have to ask your customers how they work, how do they want to see data that is meaningful to them, not you.

Remember, the focus of a Business Systems Management tool is BUSINESS - not IT. It's about representing IT so business decision makers know that they can conduct business - it's that simple. Implementation is not that simple, discovery of how people work can easily weeks or months depending on how deep you have to go. I've recently spent 4 weeks working on an implementation groups IT resources by location and function - that time was all spent customizing TBSM and TEC to format and send the data how the customer wanted to see it and attempting to automate as much as possible.

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