Skip to content

IBM buys BigFix – Quick Analysis

Tivoli’s acquisition of device management vendor BigFix helps fix a hole that Tivoli’s had for sometime: managing the software on all those little “end-points” outside of the data center. IBM’s Tivoli portfolio is known for managing servers and other “big” aspects in the data center. Of course, their offerings and services scope all the way up to managing the processes that IT uses in its daily job – in addition to monitoring and managing infrastructure.

Managing “End-Points”

Tivoli hasn’t had the most stellar reputation when it comes to desktop management: computers and devices used by employees. BigFix built its reputation in doing just this and has been extending into both the “enterprise”/server area and mobile. Hence, you’ll hear the term “end-point” mentioned in this context more than a specific device. There’s just too many “computers” hooked up to corporate networks now-a-days to list them: desktops, laptops (including Macs, which is new), smart phones, and other “it’s really just a small computer” type devices.

Much of the focus here is one some classic enterprise-y desires: compliance, security, and asset management/discovery. The first two tend to boil down to “make sure devices don’t run rouge software that can get the company in trouble” while the second revolves around the difficult task of keeping track of thousands of devices spread globally attached to the corporate network.

SaaS Angle – “BigFix Live”?

BigFix has been involved in some SaaS (or “SaaS-style” as they put i) scenarios of late, mostly selling their platform for use by managed service providers like BT and Mitsubishi. IBM has been looking towards SaaS to (once again) have a go at selling to the mid-market with it’s Tivoli Live offering (interview and demo, initial coverage), a SaaS hosted version of Tivoli monitoring and reporting.

Through Twitter (and thanks to IBM AR for picking it up) I ended up asking what the SaaS plans were for BigFix. Tivoli’s head, Al Zollar, said there was no specific announcement right now, but that there’d be more on how BigFix fits in there in the future, esp. as relates to working with managed service providers.


I must admit, I haven’t really followed BigFix extremely closely, but even from my shallow coverage I know they have a good reputation. From what I’m seeing, it looks like a nice fill-in buy for Tivoli.


Disclosure: IBM is a client.

Categories: Quick Analysis, Systems Management.

Tags: , , , ,

Comment Feed

2 Responses

  1. Cote,
    I think this deal made sense 3 years ago. Today it is just a bit too little too late. Look at the marriages at Altiris, LANDesk, Novell Zen, they all looked good until people realized that ITSM only smells like ITAM and CMBD is just a marketing dream for where ITSM and ITAM meet.

    p.s. I LOVE your “quick analysis” usually much better than the “thought out” ones.

Continuing the Discussion