IBM's enterprise management software subsidiary Tivoli is to work with other vendors to improve the integration of business systems across multiple platforms.

IBM said that the plans would improve the ability to correlate events from business, application and IT systems on one console.

The company said that it was going to develop a Common Event Infrastructure (CEI) across its WebSphere, Tivoli and DB2 brand. CEI is based on the IBM-developed Common Base Event (CBE) specification and will define a standard format for event logs, which devices and software use to keep track of transactions and other activity.

IBM said 34 of its partners have signed up to work with IBM standards and CEI developer kits, even though they won't be out for a couple of months. Web services management software maker Amberpoint has already signed on to sell CEI to customers.

CEI would enable business process events from WebSphere and network device events from Tivoli monitoring products, for example, to be integrated on to one screen for IT managers. The goal is to more quickly show the IT cause for a business process slowdown.

Although it's a step in the right direction, IBM could still improve its offering by adopting a more standardised set of best practices, such as those from the Information Technology Infrastructure Library. However, analysts think the company is heading in the right direction. "CEI proposes to normalise the information from disparate systems so it has some standard format or semantic to what it all means," says Paul Mason, group vice president for infrastructure software research at IDC. "It's easier to create integration than it is to make sure there is consistency around what all the data means and what to do with it."

IBM has also its Orchestration and Provisioning Automation Library (OPAL). OPAL enables IBM partners to create workflows that would help end users automate business processes across their companies.