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Big Blue, GE Interlogix Team on Building Security

IBM and electronic security system provider GE Interlogix are teaming up on an alliance that will link a company's enterprise network with security systems in the office building where it is housed.

The deal calls for GE Interlogix to integrate its own security software with IBM's enterprise management and application server software. The idea, the companies said, is to create a platform designed to help customers address physical and IT security needs of customers. IBM and GE are planning to market the combined software platform together and will be offering the system this fall.

The alliance between Big Blue and GE Interlogix comes to market in an era of heightened security in office buildings after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Some of the services the companies are planning include human resource systems and facilities management applications, with physical security assets (such as badge readers, intrusion and surveillance systems) and logical security capabilities (such as smart card single sign-on protection).

GE Interlogix, which is a subsidiary of General Electric , said it plans to integrate Facility Commander, its security system integration software, with IBM's Tivoli enterprise management software, including Tivoli Risk Manager and Tivoli Enterprise Console; and WebSphere server software. GE Interlogix will also support IBM Directory Integrator and IBM DB2 database.

IBM's role in the alliance is to be responsible for IT security services, application integration and solution deployment. It will also be the point person for working with other partner companies in order to help customers integrate their IT infrastructure and back-office systems.

IBM said it also plans to integrate its own Tivoli Access Manager and Tivoli Identity Manager with GE solutions to integrate and automate core identity management businesses processes with physical security practices.

GE's building monitoring product, Interlogix' Facility Commander, is an alarm management system that provides building security with graphical maps and video clips in a command and control interface to digital video recorders. In order to provide building access control, the Facility Commander system interfaces with GE Interlogix Picture Perfect, which performs all physical access control, alarming and reporting tasks.

GE's system will interact with IBM Tivoli Risk Manager, the companies said, which correlates IT security and network events from security software products such as firewall intrusion detection systems and other technologies across the network that affect security. For example, if an alert is triggered by GE Interlogix' Facility Commander, Tivoli Risk Manager can automatically alert a facilities coordinator or security personnel by pager, cell phone or email, and use automated tasks to help curb threats.

"The IBM-GE relationship will help companies dramatically improve efficiency and effectiveness of security across the enterprise," said Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair, a vice president of marketing, operations and strategy for IBM Global Services. "By integrating physical and logical security systems and automating the workflow around those systems, we will enable customers to gain efficiencies in managing and deploying security assets and employees."