IBM this week said it's integrating its Telelogic acquisition into its Rational Software unit, and some observers have wondered whether Telelogic's tool lineup would survive the merger.
In buying Telelogic for $745 million last June, IBM was not just looking to acquire a customer base or eliminate a competitor. Instead, it was eager to expand into the embedded software space. And that's a good sign for Telelogic tool users.
If the U.S. automotive industry retools, IBM knows that a lot of software is going to be written to control automotive manufacturing robots and processes, with more software going into the vehicles themselves. One of the biggest players in real-time manufacturing software and software embedded in the vehicle itself is Telelogic.
Likewise, the same is true when it comes to aerospace, defense, and telecommunications. Telelogic, with its origins in Sweden and U.S. headquarters in Irvine, Calif., was a major player in these embedded software markets as well.
As IBM sees it, according to John Carrillo, head of strategic program direction for the Rational Software division, "Rational wanted to grow into these areas," and admittedly the real-time and embedded space had a different set of requirements than the enterprise software that Rational tools were created to produce.
In addition, "IBM is trying to follow a rule: No forced migrations" when it comes to Telelogic customers, Carrillo said in an interview.
In a rapidly changing world, IBM knows that software will play a new role on many fronts. "Telelogic fits in with the green movement. It fits wherever you are looking to have a more intelligent interaction with the environment," he said.
That means putting software into new machines, such as wind turbines, that must translate sensor information into electromechanical action -- fine-tuning blades and gears to capture the strength of the wind. Carrillo said Telelogic has many small and medium-sized customers, some of them pioneers in producing greener technologies, which IBM would like to engage with software tools.
Likewise, Carrillo said Telelogic's expertise could be applied to generating embedded mobile phone applications, with life-cycle management built into the software. That would make it easier to reuse parts of phone applications as models changed or rely on a model of the application to get a head start on producing the next generation. Medical devices are another growing area for embedded software.
So IBM is looking to use its Jazz platform as a way to integrate related Telelogic and Rational tools, Carrillo said. Jazz is a shared repository and collaboration tools enabling joint development processes. Jazz can serve as an integration point for Telelogic Doors, a requirements capture tool, and Rational's Requirements Composer, Carrillo said. With Jazz, Doors can serve less as a high-level software analyst's tool and more of a business user's tool, with line-of-business knowledge helping to set the future system's requirements.
Future releases of Doors and Requirements Composer that will become available in the second quarter of 2009 will make use of Jazz as a means for the two tools to share information.
Carrillo sees a similar integration between Telelogic's Rhapsody TestConductor and Rational's Test RealTime tools. Information used to compose tests in one would be shareable and useable in the other, he said.
IBM won't try to do this uniformly across the two product lines, but Carrillo added, "Where it makes sense, we will create points of integration and leverage. ... We plan to help our customers who have invested in both to leverage their investment."
This article was edited on 11/21 to correct John Carrillo's title.