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IBM, Cisco alliance expands

The two companies announce an expanded partnership, focusing on telecom carriers and improvements to monitoring and maintaining networks.

IBM and Cisco Systems are sitting down at the table again. And this time the table is bigger.

The two technology behemoths are expanding their near-decade-old alliance, enhancing the focus on telecom carriers and their customers. As part of the expanded alliance, announced Thursday, the duo will offer a centralized service to identify, manage and reroute network traffic when trouble arises.

Cisco will combine its Network Management Platform with IBM's Tivoli Software for Service Assurance and Fault Management. That, in essence, strives to help carriers manage IP-based services and reduce implementation and maintenance costs.

Next month, Cisco plans to dish up a new offering that's a result of this expanded relationship with IBM. The Cisco Assurance Management Solution is designed to aid carriers with deploying and managing a range of network equipment for existing and advanced services. Carriers, for example, will receive a single view of multivendor, multiservice networks.

The alliance between the two tech giants has spanned nearly a decade and has included industries such as emergency services.

And for their next trick...