Is IBM next?

Earlier this week we published an interview with Steve Collen of Cisco, and judging by the number of your fellow readers who have loaded this article, we really struck a chord. Interestingly enough, just a day after we published that, we got wind that IBM had acquired Internet Security Systems. Now while the ISS acquisition may seem a bit unrelated to those of you selling and working with physical security systems, a side note to the whole IBM acquisition story was that about a month ago, IBM slipped under the radar of the news media and acquired a company called MRO Software.

Now, don't be puzzled if you haven't heard much about MRO Software; neither had many in the industry. A little research into MRO explains that they are a company that creates enterprise asset management software which works for both physical assets and IT assets. IBM obviously isn't brand new to security. As IBM's Val Rahmani, general manager of infrastructure management services, the acquisition of ISS was an IBM security expansion, not a new initiative. However, now that IBM has pulled together an asset management company and a full-fledged IT security managed security services company, it's pretty clear that IBM could be well positioned to be a player in converged security. That convergence may be focused on network security and risk management and compliance, but it's interesting to see similarities to Cisco, which has gone after a converged security approach, albeit more of a hardware-focused solution.

(The above section was excerpted from my weekly column/newsletter - "The Security Week that Was" -- to read more of the column, use this link: