I was up in New York visiting one of our large enterprise customers. Some interesting topics came up that I think apply to most customers. I thought I would post a blog on the key points of the discussion.
Many customers struggle with the challenge of deciding between a single enterprise solution vs. best of breed solutions for each application/infrastructure domain. In addition, I often see customers that want centralized control of all servers, but that conflicts with the desires of the lines of business and subject matter experts. In this particular case, we had a customer with an enterprise solution using IBM’s Tivoli Monitoring Agents in Autonomous mode, but a PowerVM team that wanted to use IBM’s SmartCloud Monitoring product in a more traditional deployment to monitor their PowerVM systems. We also had discussions of possibly using a SaaS solution to monitor their PowerVM systems.
Customers have several options when dealing with this type of problem. Up-line management can mandate a single solution and force all teams to use the centralized solution. But, that usually doesn’t work well except in small organizations. Customers can certainly choose best of breed for each domain, but that’s extremely costly. First, the operations team must be trained. Second, customers must negotiate contracts with 10 or 15 different vendors. Often times, customers underestimate the cost of contract negotiations. Purchasing departments and legal teams are quite expensive. Negotiating with one vendor is certainly much cheaper than initiating 10 or 15 unique negotiations.
In this case, IBM was able to offer the customer a solution that provided multiple monitoring options for the different teams. At the enterprise level, they chose autonomous monitoring without a monitoring framework/infrastructure. This solution can be easily integrated with either IBM’s upcoming SaaS offering or IBM SmartCloud Monitoring solution. Essentially, the customer can use the same set of monitoring agents in different ways depending on the desires of each team. This allows the customer to deploy a single set of monitoring agents, negotiate with one vendor, and reduce the training costs for the operations team.
There will always be the need for 1-off solutions that can be integrated at the Event Management or Service Desk. But, it’s much more efficient if customers can deploy a solution from a single vendor that can provide all of their monitoring needs.