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IBM is reaching out to small-medium businesses with online software intended to help monitor, predict and prevent IT outages. Tivoli Live Monitoring Services is being offered on a monthly subscription basis and Big Blue’s channel partners can sell it either as an agent or as a host, says IBM’s Dave Mitchell, Director of Strategy and Emerging Business, ISV & Developer Relations.

The service enables customers to access pre-configured and dedicated instances of IBM Tivoli Monitoring 6.2.1, IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Microsoft Applications 6.2 and IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Applications 6.2. It will support the monitoring of up to 500 resources, including operating systems, virtualized servers, middleware and software applications. And while the service can manage up to 500 assets, it’s cost-effective for as few as 25 units, says Mitchell. The service will offer 24×7 phone and email support, and will have self-help content.

"This is really going to be targeted at small-medium businesses or divisions or departments in larger companies," he ways. "This is really a great opportunity for us to offer these customers access to these kinds of tools."

The service comes in two flavors — the agent-less Touchless Monitoring ($44/month per resource) or the agent-based Distributed Monitoring ($58/month per resource). There is also a one-time setup fee of $6,500 per customer and an optional reporting service is also available ($15/month per resource).

The latest cloud offering reflects IBM’s focus on taking a workload approach, says Mitchell.

"What we’ve been doing there is ticking off particular workloads. The market tends to be workload driven — i.e. development and test, collaboration, backup and recovery, and monitoring — and they tend to lend themselves to this (kind of service offering)."

There are two aspects to this, says Mitchell. The first is a growing portfolio of IBM-branded services running on the IBM cloud, made available either directly to clients or via the channel, under the Smart Business Services umbrella. For those customers who want the benefits of the cloud computing model but want private solutions, IBM or its channel can sell appliances that are known as Smart Business Systems.

Initially, the new cloud offering will be available only to IBM’s global technology services partners and Tivoli partners. "There’s a great opportunity for both our reselling partners and value add services partners." Additional service offerings include customization, reports, and education and training.

There’s also a play for cloud service providers, says Mitchell. "We see the cloud as a great software distribution channel for us." Earlier this month Amazon Web Services added the Tivoli Monitoring software to monitor their environments.

Mitchell suggests it’s a good way for solution providers to try out cloud computing or software as a service and tap into a recurring revenue stream. "It’s a great opportunity for new partners that maybe haven’t worked with IBM in the past, with a truly enterprise-class solution that hasn’t been available in the cloud before."