IBM Acquires BigFix for Tivoli

New endpoint system management vendor acquisition will expand Tivoli division's ability to police enterprise security.

IBM has snapped up endpoint system manager BigFix in a move that will see IBM's Tivoli division gaining access to new network security and device management tools.

BigFix provides technology that enables enterprises to manage endpoint security and compliance, a business that IBM (NYSE: IBM) wants to expand.

"We're making this acquisition because we have observed and learned that BigFix can really help us fulfill a critical need for many of our clients," Al Zollar, general manager of IBM Tivoli Software, said during a press conference. "That need is dealing with the endpoints that make up the core points of access for many of them into their IT systems and services."

BigFix is privately held and financial terms of the acquisition are not being publicly disclosed.

Zollar said that the BigFix software will help IBM Tivoli offer a more complete end-to-end security platform. He explained that the BigFix technology provides endpoint visibility and control -- relying specifically on an agent that sits on endpoints and flags assets when they're not in compliance with standards and policies set by IT.

He also noted that IBM found BigFix's dashboard approach to managing endpoints to have real value.

"It's a single dashboard that makes the administration of proper fixes across environments as large as 500,000 machines happen in minutes," he said.

In addition to security management, Zollar added that BigFix can also be used to remotely shut down desktop and printing devices, helping to manage enterprise energy consumption.

IBM has been busy in recent years bolstering its security assets through acquisitions like that of ISS, Watchfire and Ounce Labs.

"IBM has been committed to innovation in the security and management space, and this is our eleventh acquisition that's related to security since 2006," Zollar said. "This is a way for us to bring value more quickly to our clients."

The company said it expects that the BigFix acquisition will close by the third quarter, at which point the firm will officially become part of IBM's Tivoli division.

During the conference call with press, Zollar declined to comment on whether the BigFix name would be retained once the company is fully integrated into IBM.

Though financial details were not disclosed, Dave Robbins, president, CEO and chairman of BigFix, did say during the call that venture capital firms have invested $33 million in BigFix, and that its investors and stakeholders are thrilled with the deal.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.




Tags: security, IBM, endpoint security, Tivoli, endpoint


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