IBM has launched SaaS-based help desk software. Is this another enterprise cloud move by Big Blue? Hardly. IBM says the IT service management platform, launched under the IBM Tivoli brand, is designed for small and midsize businesses. The big question: Has IBM really developed a small business solution or is this yet another enterprise offering force-fit into the SMB market? Here are some perspectives.

Dubbed IBM Tivoli Live - Service Manager (TLSM), the platform is delivered via IBM's cloud and leverages a subscription model. There's no hardware to install or buy. TLSM features the following services:
  • IT asset management: Lifecycle, software, hardware, servers, laptops and other devices are accounted for and scanned for compliance and security risks.
  • Service catalog: A single portal provides request aggregation for standard IT and non-IT services such as requesting a new laptop, change in benefits, resetting passwords, adding or removing an employee and more.
IBM Tivoli seems to be building a portfolio of managed services tools in the cloud. The company already offers Tivoli Live - Monitoring Service.

The big question: Will small MSPs leverage IBM Tivoli Live - Service Manager and IBM Tivoli Live - Monitoring Service. So far we haven't heard from any MSPs working with IBM on the Tivoli front. Generally speaking, small MSP software companies have been chipping away at big IT management platforms from CA Technologies, BMC, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

CA, for one, ultimately hedges its bets by acquiring a managed services platform -- Nimsoft -- in early 2010.

We'll keep watching to see if IBM partners up with smaller channel players.

Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Follow us via RSS, Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com. Read our editorial disclosure here.