IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire BigFix, Inc., a privately-held company based in Emeryville, Calif. The move aims to accelerate IBM's efforts to help organizations more intelligently secure the enterprise by managing and automating security and compliance updates on thousands of computers globally. Financial details were not disclosed.
Businesses today are tasked with managing thousands of computers and ensuring they remain available, secure and at their proper configurations according to policies and requirements. As the management of personal computers (PCs), servers and laptops grows even more complex, organizations are faced with higher costs and more risk to protect themselves against security threats, often with limited warning.
While many vendors broadcast security patches and updates indiscriminately, BigFix software has built-in intelligence that can identify which devices are not in compliance with corporate IT policies and recommend security fixes and timely software updates to 500,000 machines in a matter of minutes.
"BigFix automates some of the most time-intensive IT tasks across the most complex global networks, helping save organizations significant amounts of time, labor, and expense," said Al Zollar, general manager, IBM Tivoli software. "BigFix's real-time visibility and control for globally distributed computing devices will complement IBM's existing smarter data center offerings and strengthen our ability to build security into the fabric of the enterprise."
BigFix software provides a single IT management platform that gives organizations visibility, control and automation across their computing endpoints - laptops, desktops and servers - to manage critical applications for systems lifecycle, vulnerability assessment, energy-efficient computing, and configuration and security compliance.
BigFix has more than 700 customers in industries such as federal, retail, entertainment, healthcare, education and financial services that use BigFix for a simplified and automated approach to managing and securing the IT infrastructure.
For example, SunTrust Bank installed BigFix software on over 50,000 PCs, servers and mobile computers to gain real-time visibility into its IT infrastructure in a single view across nearly 1,800 branch banks. As a result, the organization can n can lt, the organization can be proactive with its security and compliance initiatives, decreasing its patch cycle times from three weeks to three days and having a 98.5 percent compliance rate throughout its enterprise.
"Organizations require tighter control of computing devices and the entire IT infrastructure including applications, storage, servers and networks," said Dave Robbins, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. "BigFix is excited about becoming part of the IBM team to deliver greater visibility and control to the computing infrastructure, backed by world-class sales, services, support and alliances organizations."
BigFix software can manage the following key functions from a single view:
* Secure by Design: BigFix will contribute to IBM's security infrastructure that is secure by design - consolidating endpoint protection, systems lifecycle management, security configuration and vulnerability management. BigFix's platform helps distribute and manage a client's anti-virus, anti-malware, firewall and network access control software.
* IT Compliance: Organizations can have a single view of thousands of computers running in the data center, get real-time reporting of compliance status and deploy new software distributions and tools to help assure compliance. BigFix manages these functions centrally across Windows, Mac, UNIX, and Linux operating systems, avoiding customized services and consultant solutions,
* Energy and Resource Consumption: Organizations can use BigFix technology to manage power consumption by being able to automatically configure and shutdown desktops overnight, helping save thousands of dollars in energy use. Clients can monitor global print usage to help reduce costs and environmental harm.
Founded in 1997, BigFix has more than 200 employees and 120 resellers. IBM's acquisition of BigFix will build upon an existing relationship between the two companies. Since 2009, IBM Global Technology Services and BigFix have been working together to incorporate BigFix solutions into IBM's services portfolio.
BigFix will be integrated into IBM Software Group, which has made approximately 60 acquisitions since 2003. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
BigFix's PC automation is an important addition to the IBM portfolio that controls the ever-expanding data center, which includes:
* The traditional data center: optimization of servers, networks, storage and security;
* IT assets: creation, delivery, and management of software; and
* Physical assets: maintenance and optimization of assets as diverse as cell towers, water mains, railway cars and manufacturing equipment.