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IBM Delivers New Software to Help Improve IP-based Services


BARCELONA, Spain.- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new software designed to help communications service providers improve the quality of their Internet Protocol television (IPTV), Internet Protocol virtual private networks (IP-VPN) and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The new offerings are modified versions of IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager -- tailored for one service, such as IPTV, and designed for easy installation while supporting a variety of IT environments.

Issues that plague these service providers and their customers can range from jagged audio, static or pixilated video, to delayed buffering of content and dropped transmissions altogether. In a recent IBM survey of more than 250 global telecom executives, 89 percent indicated that service quality is emerging as an important differentiator, yet nearly half said their organizations had no end-to-end service assurance capability.

Service quality software helps providers detect and resolve service degradations, analyze the causes of problems and identify what customers have been affected so that outages can be referred to appropriate technicians to address.

The IBM Tivoli Netcool software goes a step further by providing real-time status views, automatically generating alarms and notifications, producing historical reports on how key parameters have varied over reporting periods and delivering service level conformance reports -- all of it designed to quickly detect problems when they occur, prevent future problems and improve overall customer satisfaction. Customer care personnel use the software to monitor problem resolution and proactively notify affected customers.

IPTV is the delivery of programming content by video stream encoded as a series of IP packets that can be free or fee-based, producing either live TV (IP Broadcast Television) or stored video (Video On Demand) services. IP-VPN is a virtual private network allowing multiple locations to electronically transfer audio or video as if they were in a single location, while VoIP delivers telephone and other audio over the Internet.

IBM is also announcing today the upcoming availability of similar solutions for short messaging service (SMS) text message and voicemail services.

“Communications service providers need to launch new services quickly with the confidence that they are ready for the mass market,” said Kieran Moynihan, vice president and CTO of Telecoms, Tivoli software, IBM. “Statistics show that a poor first experience with a new service means the subscriber won’t use it again – and may shy away from other offerings. With these offerings, providers can manage the quality of their most popular services and get new offerings to market more quickly and with confidence in the quality.”

IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager is based on technology from Vallent Corporation, acquired by IBM in 2007. The new solutions are part of Tivoli Netcool’s comprehensive Service Quality Management offering that includes real-time status monitoring, SLA management, service quality monitoring and customer experience management.

The IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager service solutions are “commercial off the shelf” versions of IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager.

The IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager service solutions for IPTV, IP-VPN and VoIP are available now.

The IBM Tivoli Netcool Service Quality Manager service solutions for SMS and voicemail services will be available in the second quarter of 2008.


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