IBM Unveils New Version Of Compliance Software

IBM today took the wraps off version 2.5.1 of the IBM Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting regulatory compliance software with deeper integration with IBM's WebSphere portal software and enhancements for Federal agencies addressing government compliance standards.

To help Federal agencies manage internal controls and compliance responsibilities, IBM decided to "Federalize" the software by adding a dedicated deployment option with specific reports and attributes that address government regulations such as the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-123. The OMB regulation requires controls similar to those in regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley for public companies, but the language used and the financial statements are different, according to Jennie Dymacek, IBM product manager for IBM Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting.

One of the main differences, Dymacek explained, is that the government standards do not utilize the widely adopted COSO framework, developed by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.

IBM Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting 2.5.1 sits atop the new version 5.1 of IBM's WebSphere portal software and many of the new features are result of that integration. For instance, organizations can now embed analytic reports into existing business processes and makes information available to a wide spectrum of users and applications, since information can be aggregated into a common interface under WebSphere.

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By the same token, business processes can be choreographed under WebSphere, enabling the automation of different tasks from different compliance applications to be managed under IBM Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting. Virtual applications managing multiple regulations can then be distributed across an organization, according to Dymacek.

For reporting, organizations can continue to use their existing reporting tools, but with the new version, IBM is including a reporting program.

IBM Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting 2.5.1 will be available by the end of the month for a retail price of $28,750 per 25 users. It will be also be available as a hosted service next week priced at $65 - $100 per user per month, with an initial set-up fee starting at $5,000.

With version 2.5.1, IBM. is also rolling out a test drive program which offers a free trial in a five-user configuration for five days in the hosted environment.