IBM Corp is adding help desk support to its Tivoli systems management suite with the acquisition of Indianapolis, Indiana- based Software Artistry Inc. IBM will shortly announce a cash tender offer for all outstanding Software Artistry shares at $24.50 per share, having persuaded the company’s chairman, chief executive, largest shareholder and certain other executives to part with their shares, which represent around 20% of the outstanding shares. The net cost of the transaction to IBM is expected to be approximately $200m. IBM senior vice president John M Thompson says the company recognized the importance of systems management several years ago, and bought Tivoli as a result. The acquisition of Software Artistry will add consolidated service desk services distributed across the network, with the company’s SA-Expertise for Enterprise Support Management and SA-Expertise for Customer Relationship Managment. Thompson described these as a significant addition to Tivoli’s TME, and said it underscores IBM’s commitment to systems management. In the short term, Tivoli says it will offer customers a consolidated service desk solution integrated across network, systems and applications management disciplines to automate change, request and configuration management. In the longer term, its vision is to offer an automated service level management offering, which it says should not only enable problems to be solved quickly, but also actually prevent them happening. Software Artistry will be integrated into Tivoli, and its president and chief executive Scott Webber will report directly to Tivoli chief executive Jan Lindelow.