IBM Pushes Mobility — And MobileFirst — At Impact 2013

LAS VEGAS: The theme for this year’s IBM Impact WebSphere-based event is “Business. In Motion.”, and Big Blue’s MobileFirst strategy really stood out in both the opening keynotes and the 50 or so product introductions and enhancements announced on Monday. “Business is anyone, anytime, anywhere, and it is always in motion,” said Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, Middleware Software, IBM Software Group, to the more than 9.000 attendees.

MobileFirst is a collection of mobile enterprise software, services, cloud and analytics capabilities that help customers design, deploy, secure and manage mobile strategies and apps. According to IDC, the market for mobile enterprise infrastructure software and services was $14.5 billion in 2012, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3%. IDC expects this market to reach $30.9 billion in 2016.

Building on the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) technology, IBM MessageSight is an appliance capable of supporting one million concurrent sensors or smart devices and can scale up to thirteen million messages per second. It is designed to help organizations manage and communicate with the billions of mobile devices and sensors found in systems such as automobiles, traffic management systems, smart buildings and household appliances, and enables large volumes of events to be processed in near real time, allowing organizations to consolidate all of the information in one place and more easily glean insights to make better business decisions.

The MobileFirst platform now includes geo-location services for developers. With the new toolkit, developers can more efficiently monitor battery and network bandwidth, and newly integrated mobile app testing capabilities enable organizations to improve app quality while reducing the effort needed to test across different mobile platforms.

While mobile was the focus, IBM also managed to give a little love for its PureSystems family of expert integrated systems which just celebrated its first anniversary, more than 4,000 systems sales, and the creation of over 375 patterns of excellence. The systems combine server, storage, networking and platform middleware resources into a secure, simple-to-deploy and manage system.

One of the new capabilities announced at the event involved an enhanced PureApplication, which can now get a disaster recovery service up and running in just 5 clicks, said Savio Rodrigues, Program Director, PureApplication System Product Management, IBM. “We’ve taken all the expertise that would be required to set up DR across a large distance… there is no one else on the planet who can say this. Even with 10 clicks or 100 clicks, it would take tons of manual work.”

Other enhancements include increased security capabilities with advanced encryption options, greater system scalability significantly reduced application response times during unplanned spikes in demand, and new support for Microsoft Windows applications.

Nancy Pearson, VP, PureSystems Marketing, said the sales ramp up has been pretty good, but IBM recognized early that would be a journey, and one of the things they’ve learned in year one, what she called a little speed bump, requires IT organizations to rethink the roles they have today. Expert systems really challenge the traditional IT framework, and IBM worked very closely with customers on how organizations need to evolve.

“It takes time,” she said. “It needs to fit into the existing infrastructure. This is an extension, not a rip and replace. We do believe this is the model of the future”, or at least one of the models of the future, she added.

Other announcements include:

-enhancements to Business Process Management (BPM) and Operational Decision Management (ODM) solutions to integrate with the IBM MobileFirst portfolio;

-both BPM and ODM solutions are now available on the IBM SmartCloud as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering;

-a new release of Blueworks Live, a fully SaaS-based cloud offering that enables clients to capture, document and understand the decisions that businesses use to run their operations;

-BPM Industry Solutions combine IBM Global Business Services’ industry and process expertise with IBM software to enable clients to be proactive and respond rapidly; initially these solutions will target the banking, insurance and financial markets, and healthcare industries;

-IBM API Management helps organizations securely create, manage and socialize APIs and extend their products and services to various mobile channels;

-IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) now supports several open standards protocols; and,

-IBM Integration Bus provides access to MobileFirst capabilities, and new traffic shaping capabilities allow organizations to monitor and interpret massive amounts of data flowing into the enterprise from mobile devices


Author: Steve Wexler

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