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LAS VEGAS:  IBM is announcing a new era of smarter buildings, featuring technology — and associated services — that can save organizations substantial amounts of money, and make the world a little better ecologically. More significantly, IBM’s offerings are not just green vaporware or the domain of large organizations, said Al Zollar, general manager for IBM’s Tivoli Software.

"What we’re trying to do at the end of the day is work with clients to fix things before they break," said Zollar, at IBM’s Pulse 2010 event in Las Vegas this week.

Proactive fixes are where opportunity lies for IBM’s channel partners, he added. Buildings now generate more CO2 than automobiles, and the number of people living in urban areas has finally surpassed that of those living in rural areas. "We have the technology to make these buildings cleaner, and greener."

During a press briefing with Zollar, Rich Lechner, vice president of energy and environmental for IBM, said the U.S. opportunities are huge. There are 40 states and more than 800 energy utilities or regulatory bodies focused on green initiatives and incentives. According to a New York City study, buildings consume 72 percent of all electricity, of which up to half is wasted. There are real ROI and incentives, and they’re only going to get more attractive, said Lechner.

To kick-start this new era, IBM made a number of partner announcements at the Pulse 2010 conference, including new initiatives with Johnson Controls, Ricoh, Juniper Networks, charismathics GmbH, Thales, Gemalto, and BIO-key International, Inc.

Targeting smarter buildings, the IBM and Johnson Controls announcement extends an existing relationship to create energy efficient datacenters, to provide a Smart Building Solution that can improve operations and reduce energy and water consumption in buildings, said Zollar. The integration of IBM Tivoli software and Johnson Controls’ building technology solutions should optimize environmental performance and operational efficiencies across a single building or an entire portfolio of buildings. Typical users can see 10 percent to 20 percent energy savings, he said.

The next major partnership announcement was with Ricoh. Zollar said there are studies putting potential energy savings for printer/copier fleets at 30 percent. "It brings a new level of smart to offices." Under this agreement, the two companies will develop a device and printing management system which ‘infuses’ office devices with real-time tracking and monitoring.

Due out in the third quarter, Juniper’s Junos Space Fault Suite will incorporate IBM Tivoli Netcool service management software to allow customers to more easily develop new services and revenue streams while improving the operational management of their networking infrastructures.

A developer of smart card security solutions, charismathics GmbH
has had its interface validated through the Ready for IBM Tivoli Software program for integration with the IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On. This means that any USB token or smart card supported by that interface can now be used to authenticate to the IBM Single Sign-On solution as well as a large variety of other PKI enabled applications such as computer logon, VPN, disk encryption and digital signature applications.

Thales has announced it is working with IBM to integrate its Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager into Thales Encryption Manager for Storage (TEMS 2.0) to provide customers with a hardened tamper-resistant key management solution. TEMS will be expanded to address the key management requirements of the IBM storage portfolio of products, to provide important operational and security benefits to both IBM and Thales customers, including the convenience and assurance of a hardware appliance and standards-based key management controls needed to protect and store data and demonstrate compliance.

Gemalto’s Protiva smart card solution is now certified for use with IBM Tivoli Access Manager for e-business and IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On. A range of Gemalto strong authentication devices are now available and certified under the IBM Ready for Tivoli program, including Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards for U.S. federal government agencies, PIV-I for U.S. government contractors, and .NET smart cards and USB devices for enterprises in the private sector.

Also new is the availability of BIO-key’s fingerprint ID solution as part of the standard release of IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On (version 8.1). Its biometric identification gives organizations that have deployed IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On a less costly, easier to use and maintain, strong authentication alterative to tokens and passwords. 

The bottom line is the bottom line. "We know the benefits of this are substantial," said Lechner.
Smarter buildings are key to the economic and environmental sustainability of urban environments. "Together with an array of partners, we are delivering this value to clients today."