TechWeb's Internet Evolution Debuts 'Digital-Physical Convergence' Video Tutorial

IBM's Doug Brown describes how to integrate IT networks with electrical systems, HVAC & surveillance/security systems for more 'intelligent, instrumented, interconnected' operations

Jun 22, 2009

Converging IT networks and assets with other in-house systems will give companies a profound new level of visibility, control, and automation, says Doug Brown, Vice President of Marketing for the Tivoli brand of the Software Group at IBM. And this "digital-physical convergence" will accelerate service delivery and execution of key business processes, Brown adds, in a video tutorial posted today on the Internet Evolution Website.

  Click here to view the tutorial:

"We're accustomed to thinking about how to instrument our IT systems and assets, but we need to be equally adept in thinking about how we instrument and extract insight from our physical assets," Brown advises. Organizations like city governments, overnight delivery services, and manufacturers are already reaping the benefits of networked traffic signals, bar-coded inventory, and GPS devices that feed data back for analysis and fast action.

So if heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, lighting, fire alarms, and video surveillance (to name a few) get networked with servers in the data center, does this mean everything is now IT's responsibility? No, says Brown, but it does imply the need for a much deeper level of partnership and collaboration between IT and the operating sides of any organization. Line-of-business leadership and operations managers should be asking themselves questions like, "Have we instrumented our operating assets sufficiently to maximize their value? Have we considered ways to manage these assets more cost-effectively or in ways that could dramatically improve service delivery? And how can IT potentially help us to achieve these goals?" Brown notes in the tutorial.

Brown encourages enterprises to consider these issues as they work toward digital-physical convergence:

  --  Rather than get bogged down in what it's going to cost to integrate
      all these systems, consider what it will cost if you don't converge
      the management of business and IT infrastructure. Cost savings and
      improving services are the two biggest reasons to integrate IT and
      physical infrastructure, according to Brown.

  --  IT professionals must consider new "asset types" outside the data
      center they might be asked to help manage someday, as well as what new
      skills, processes, and infrastructures they'll need to make that
      happen. "This is what visionary business leaders are doing to build
      21st century businesses with efficient, differentiated services."

  --  Digital-physical convergence can help enterprises achieve strategic
      "green" objectives. Richer oversight of all assets means that when
      service crews are deployed, for example, their routes are optimized to
      reduce travel time, fuel costs, and carbon footprint.

"Aggregating intelligence from across the entire business allows you to store, virtualize, replicate, and secure enterprise intelligence in ways that you couldn't if all the data were maintained in individual, disconnected silos and repositories," Brown says. "Convergence means bringing all of your assets into a modernized, 21st century management construct that can better withstand disruptive circumstances like service outages, security breaches, and labor skills deficits, among other challenges."

About Internet Evolution

Internet Evolution ( is part of TechWeb, and hosts more than 180 world-famous Internet experts - such as Kevin Mitnick, once the most-wanted computer hacker in the world; Dr. Lawrence Roberts, inventor of packet switching, and one of the world's foremost authorities on telecom network architectures; Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; and Craig Newmark, the founder of - all of whom are addressing today's critical socio-economic issues within its ThinkerNet blogosphere. In March 2009, Internet Evolution won three prestigious Min's Best-of-Web awards, including Digital Team of the Year, Best Community/Social Networking Site, and Best B2B Magazine-Branded Video.

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TechWeb (, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events, Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat, and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise,,, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, and Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services including next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

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  Amy Averbook
  TechWeb's Internet Evolution
  (212) 600-3373

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SOURCE: Internet Evolution

CONTACT: Amy Averbook, TechWeb's Internet Evolution, +1-212-600-3373,

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