Turbo Todd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM Cloud Spurs Business Growth for Central, Eastern Europe Companies

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Startups and emerging businesses throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are increasingly turning to IBM to accelerate cloud-based business models and deliver innovative services.

According to International Monetary Fund, across much of the CEE region, the economy has begun to recover at a relatively solid pace. With a strengthening business climate, organizations are committed to investing in technologies like cloud, mobile and analytics, which can speed growth and transformation.

By adopting IBM Cloud’s Bluemix and SoftLayer platforms, companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, gaming and public safety, are growing their businesses in CEE and beyond.

"In Central and Eastern Europe, spending on cloud services, which includes public, private and hybrid cloud, is on the rise and is far exceeding the growth rates of traditional technology delivery models. Cloud delivery—along with other modern technologies and delivery models such as mobility, big data/analytics and social media—is becoming a de-facto business model and requires a new sourcing approach and a transformation of services management", said Vladimir Kroa, Associate Vice President, IT Services, IDC CEMA.

"Consequently, the integration of internal and external resources is becoming more frequent as end users are opting for a hybrid cloud model that, on one hand, solves some of the legislative concerns about data privacy, and, at the same time, enables more flexibility, price transparency and acceleration of go-to-market strategies", he added.

A number of organizations across CEE have recently adopted IBM Cloud, which provides them with the tools and experience necessary to extend their businesses to the cloud and reach new markets through a variety of deployment models, including hybrid cloud.

Clients also benefit from access to Bluemix, IBM Cloud’s development platform, which enables developers to create interactive mobile and analytics-based applications that can be hosted on SoftLayer infrastructure. These businesses include:

  • In Poland, CI Games, a computer-gaming developer, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment products with sales in more than 40 countries worldwide. To improve the quality of its multiplayer online gaming service, CI Games migrated its multiplayer game services to SoftLayer. With IBM Cloud, CI Games has improved service quality for its customers, reduced IT costs, increased service availability and increased agility to deliver new multiplayer games.
  • In Poland, fast growing startup Telemedi.co used IBM Cloud to deploy a secure platform to store data and enable consultations with doctors via web or mobile device. With Bluemix and SoftLayer, Telemedi.co gained greater scalability and reliability for its platform, enabling it to grow traction by 10x in just one year, and increase customer satisfaction and trust by 20 percent.
  • In Czech Republic, Kodarna relied on IBM Cloud to develop and host a mobile video app called "Silent Line" that enables deaf people to communicate with a call center using sign language or plain text to request emergency services from any mobile device. Based in part on its adoption of Bluemix and SoftLayer, Kodarna’s business grew 30 percent over the past year.
  • In Russia, Navigine relied on IBM Cloud to roll out its advanced indoor navigation platform for a fire department customer in less than two days. For fire fighters, the platform collects and analyzes data from multiple sources within buildings where GPS navigation isn’t reliable in order to improve public safety. With SoftLayer, Navigine can rapidly scale server capacity, improve confidence about uptime, and easily integrate their services with Bluemix.
  • In Slovenia, Acceleration Business City (ABC), the country’s first private business accelerator, selected IBM Cloud as its main platform to provide students, researchers and entrepreneurs with a place for networking, gaining business expertise and developing go-to-market strategies. ABC transitioned to the IBM Cloud to build a platform to provide small businesses and start-ups with access to mobile, big data and Watson services that accelerate the creation of new solutions.
  • “We are now expanding our operations to other European markets. By using IBM Cloud we can do it seamlessly and make sure our customers get the best service no matter in which country they operate“ – said Pawel Sieczkiewicz, CTO Telemedi.co. – “We probably would not have attempted such a large move without relying on IBM Cloud.”

IBM launched Bluemix with a $1 billion investment in 2014, maturing quickly to become the largest Cloud Foundry deployment in the world. Its developer-friendly catalog provides access to over 100 tools and services of the most prominent open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services that let developers focus all of their energy on the creation of enterprise class cloud applications at consumer scale.

For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud and follow on Twitter @IBMcloud.

Written by TurboTodd

June 30th, 2015 at 4:33 pm

IBM, Box Forge Global Partnership to Transform Work in the Cloud

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IBM and Box today announced a global partnership that will combine the best-in-class technologies and resources of both companies to transform work in the cloud.

Together, the companies plan to integrate their existing products and services and develop new, innovative solutions targeted across industries and professions ranging from medical teams working on complex cases to individuals negotiating consumer loans by mobile phone to engineers and researchers identifying patterns in patents, reports and academic journals.

As companies increasingly seek simple, secure collaboration solutions that tap into local data and have global reach, this strategic alliance brings together Box’s industry-leading cloud content collaboration platform with IBM Analytics and Social solutions, IBM Security technologies and the global footprint of the IBM Cloud.

The two companies will jointly deliver these solutions to market internationally, and IBM will also enable builders and developers to integrate Box APIs into enterprise apps and web services.

“Today’s digital enterprises demand world-class technologies that transform how their organizations operate both internally and externally,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box. “This extensive alliance between Box and IBM opens up an exciting opportunity for both companies to reach new markets and deliver unified solutions and services that can redefine industries, advance secure collaboration and revolutionize enterprise mobility.”

IBM and Box will partner in three key areas:

Transformation of Enterprise Work

  • Content Management: Box will integrate IBM industry-leading enterprise content managementincluding content capture, extraction, analytics, case management and governance.
  • Watson Analytics: IBM and Box will collaborate to bring in-depth enterprise insights using IBM Watson Analytics to content stored in Box.
  • Social Collaboration Solutions: IBM and Box will collaborate to integrate Box capabilities intoIBM Verse and IBM Connections, the company’s business email solution and social collaboration platform.

International Reach and Security

  • Enterprise Cloud: Box will enable joint customers to store their content on the IBM Cloud. The IBM Cloud provides data resiliency, data privacy and data localization, a key consideration for international customers who want the option to keep their data in country.
  • Specialized Enterprise Consulting: The partnership will draw upon the specialized Enterprise Content Management skills of IBM Global Business Services professionals to help clients connect or integrate Box capabilities with existing data and systems.
  • Enterprise Security: Box will expand on its enterprise security offerings with IBM security technologies for threat detection, anomaly identification, mobile device management and identity protection.

New Content Rich Apps and Solutions

  • Mobile Apps for Industries: Box and IBM will jointly develop content management solutions and incorporate Box technology into select IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps.
  • Custom App Development: IBM will enable enterprise developers to integrate Box APIs on theIBM Bluemix developer cloud to help build content rich web and mobile apps.

By leveraging the power of the cloud, this comprehensive partnership will transform collaboration and the ability to gain actionable insights across a variety of industries. For example, IBM and Box can offer more streamlined collaboration between patients and physicians for hospitals and healthcare providers in a security-rich environment. A hospital can share test results with patients, while maintaining a formal review with the physicians and nurses coordinating patient care.

IBM and Box also plan to help the world’s leading retailers manage their omni channel experiences. For example, a fashion retailer will be able to deliver a consistent brand experience that extends to all physical and e-commerce stores by sharing advertising images, promotional materials and product lines easily through any device, while maintaining control of merchandising consistency, pricing and packaging across all channels.

An insurance underwriter will be able to capture and review inspection reports while mobile, to expedite the approval process; a field worker can access up-to-date manuals to solve problems in real time, while documenting work in a central location to drive collaborative scheduling and planning.

For more information please visit www.ibm.com/ibmandbox or www.box.com/ibm.

Written by TurboTodd

June 24th, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Posted in ibm,partnerships,storage

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IBM Readies Brands to Capture New Sales Opportunities Driven By Unexpected Spikes in Traffic

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IBM today announced a new Event Readiness services offering that will enable businesses in industries including retail, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing to prepare for unexpected surges in online traffic and sales.

Many consumer purchases today are driven by emotions, which often occur in the spur of the moment. The ability to quickly respond to these events, no matter what channel — online, smartphone, store — has been a challenge.

With this new services capability, brands can now turn unexpected spikes in demand into sales opportunities, better engaging with the consumer and building brand loyalty.

For example, a young celebrity makes a statement at a red carpet event by wearing an affordable dress. The item is an overnight sensation, and the retailers that sell it face a dramatic surge in traffic and orders. As fans turn to their smartphones, tablets and PCs to buy that dress, can retailers handle too much of a good thing?

To date, brands have prepared themselves for events that are already on their radar. With this new capability, for the first time, brands will be able to tap into the expertise from IBM consultants, designers and analytics experts to make the most of unexpected opportunities.

IBM experts will work closely with clients through a series of questions that analyze the capacity of the current infrastructure in place and the potential impediments. Using these insights, teams will quickly identify specific areas of risk, concern and exposure, including potential security vulnerabilities, and then deliver the hands-on services and support needed to enable the client to tackle unexpected events.

According to the Ponemon Institute, online outages or site crashes can cost a business $5,600 per minute. With incident lengths averaging 90 minutes, a single event can drive away loyal customers, tarnish the brand’s reputation and threaten critical revenue streams.

"Today, the customer is in control, which means every experience that a brand delivers matters. Just one misstep can result in the loss of a loyal customer," said Tom Blaisdell, senior marketing manager for eCommerce, Hanesbrands Inc., a clothing and apparel company. "Hanesbrands is committed to delivering customers the items they want, when they want. With this new offering, IBM is helping brands ensure their infrastructure can meet the higher expectations of today’s customers.”

Now, with these capabilities, brands can proactively identify areas of vulnerability and prevent a crisis caused by unexpected, high-volume traffic events. For example, a website crash caused by a surge in new mortgage applications due to a drop in interest rates or a spike in orders for the latest smartphone can now become an opportunity for a brand to transform what would have been an angry customer into a loyal one by delivering what they expect — a flawless and personalized experience.

IBM Event Readiness also gives brands additional assurances that they are prepared for the surges in activity that come around all key retail holidays, from Back to School, Cyber Monday and Father’s Day.

In regard to Father’s Day, IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark data as well as data from partner Northpage revealed some interested details on consumer shopping trends as well as tactics that brands used to ensure they were prepared to meet the needs of customers over the holiday.

  • Smartphones are becoming the mobile device of choice for consumers, driving 35.3 percent of all online traffic compared to tablets at 12.5 percent while nearly closing the gap when it comes to online sales.
  • 83 percent of Sports Apparel and Gear and 75 percent of Home Goods retailers presented customers with large, high-resolution images as they browsed for gifts which more effectively engaged shoppers, improved product identification and increased sales conversion rates.
  • 38 Percent of Home Goods and 31 percent of Sports Apparel and Gear Retailers increased conversion rates by highlighting savings details on the items in the customer’s buy box including the percentage discount off the original price and the dollar amount they will be saving.

The offering will be made available to clients to help alleviate concerns or risk on their initial deployment or peak period. For more information, please click here. For more details on the online shopping trends around the Father’s Day holiday please click here.

Written by TurboTodd

June 23rd, 2015 at 2:29 pm

IBM Delivers Docker Based Container Services for Enterprise Cloud Application Developers

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Today IBM is announcing the delivery of industry leading enterprise class containers, that make it easier for clients to deliver production applications across their hybrid environments.

Containers give developers flexibility to build once and move applications without the need to rewrite or redeploy their code.

IBM Containers, based on Docker and built on Bluemix, IBM’s platform-as-a-service, provide a more efficient environment that enables faster integration and access to analytics, big data and security services.

Enterprises will now be able to use the combination of IBM, Docker, Cloud Foundry and OpenStack to create a new generation of portable distributed applications.

Also announced today, IBM has become a founding member of a coalition of partners and users to create the Open Container Platform (OCP) that will ensure that containers are interoperable.

The creation of the OCP will produce a collaborative environment that fosters the rapid growth of container-based solutions, offering developers a single industry agreed upon approach and direction.

“Our ongoing partnership with IBM has been a great win for the rapidly growing number of enterprises and startups alike that see Docker as the foundation for a new generation of business critical distributed applications,” Nick Stinemates, VP, business development & technical alliances for Docker. “By making a production ready, Docker-based container service, available for developers, IBM is emphasizing a faster time to value and inspiring millions of developers to leverage the growing opportunity of innovating in the cloud.”

Modern developers need more than basic execution of containers in the cloud. Containers should be empowered with advanced capabilities allowing production applications to be deployed and managed with ease, giving developers the freedom to focus on innovation.

The IBM Container service provides significant business benefits to the enterprise that centers on a faster time to market, seamless application portability, higher confidence and reliability for enterprise applications; resulting in an overall reduced development time and cost through a more efficient configuration management across the DevOps value chain.

IBM Containers accomplish this through:

  • Integrated Tools such as log analytics, performance monitoring and delivery pipeline simplifying life cycle management
  • Elastic Scaling and Auto Recovery providing resources when needed them most
  • Zero Downtime Deployments utilizing Active Deploy ensuring users are never impacted by application enhancements
  • Private Overlays, Load Balancing and Automated Routing enabling capabilities to address even the most complex business requirements
  • Support for Persistent Storage allowing data-centric application creation
  • Automated Image Security and Vulnerability Scanning with Vulnerability Advisor alerts to security weaknesses before deployment
  • Access to Bluemix Services, a powerful catalog of over 100 cloud services including Watson, Analytics, IoT and Mobile

Additionally, IBM has demonstrated Industry’s best performance of Java on Docker. IBM Java is optimized to be two times faster and occupies half the memory when used with the IBM Containers Service.

Moreover, as a Docker based service, IBM Containers include open features and interfaces such as the new Docker Compose orchestration services.

As a unique reseller of the Docker Trusted Registry, IBM is the first to fully integrate the on-premise Docker Trusted Registry software with its flagship DevOPs and Cloud offerings, beginning with IBM UrbanCode and IBM Pure Application Systems.

Through this relationship, IBM is again enabling containers for enterprise production workloads in hybrid cloud deployment.

The DevOps support of IBM Containers enable enterprises to build, automate and orchestrate the deployment of multi-platform, multi-container and traditional workloads together in application environments.

Regardless of the phases of the application or delivery pipeline—development, test, staging, production—IBM Containers help move these workloads across various cloud environments with enterprise-class management and security.

By working across hybrid clouds and integrating with both on-premises Docker Trusted Registry and cloud-based IBM Container services, developers can easily navigate any cloud development need.

World class support of Docker-based containers is a high priority for enterprise clients who want to leverage containers with production applications. Containers have proved to be effective in a number of enterprises in industries such as financial services, hospitality, retail, healthcare, cloud service providers and others.

Many of these large enterprises worked side-by-side with IBM on the creation of IBM Containers by building and deploying real-world scenarios, which prove containers can be leveraged for enterprise production applications.

Written by TurboTodd

June 22nd, 2015 at 7:01 pm

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay

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The 115th U.S. Open Golf Championship teed up this morning at the Robert Trent Jones-designed Chambers Bay just outside Tacoma, Washington.

For golf fans and the golf media, Chambers Bay has generated much ado since it was first announced in 2008 that the 115th U.S. Open would be played there, but it remains to be seen if the course will play as difficultly as anticipated.

Chambers Bay was once-upon-a-time a sand-and-gravel quarry, and was quite popular with off-road four-wheelers and dirt bikers — former motocross rider-turned-pro golfer Ricky Fowler ought to be right at home there.

Then again, Bubba Watson’s opening double bogey on hole number one in this morning’s first round may be an early omen the course may well be taking it to the players and not the other way around.

Which, if you are a devout golf fan, is just the way you want it for a U.S. Open. If some or even many of the players aren’t complaining about the course layout and setup, then something’s wrong with the setup.

That’s what U.S. Opens are for, to force the best golfers in the world to step up their game to the highest levels, and also to reveal the weakness in both imagination and execution of those who struggle to adapt to a new and challenging golf environment like Chambers Bay.

IBM has partnered with the United States Golf Association for the past seven years to bring the U.S. Open’s excitement via www.usopen.com and, now, via mobile apps to golf fans around the world.

As for making my own projections for this year’s U.S. Open, this course is too much of a wild card to go too far out on that limb (being mindful, of course, that there’s only a single tree that comes into play on the entirety of the Chambers Bay golf course).

But if I were, world ranked players like Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and a few others come to mind, but I also wouldn’t rule out veteran players like Angel Cabrera and Phil Mickelson (remembering that Phil is more eager than ever to take the one major trophy he doesn’t have, that of a U.S. Open).

For those who want to follow the action on Twitter, follow @USOpenGolf and @USGA.

Written by TurboTodd

June 18th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Node.js Foundation Advances Community Collaboration, Announces New Members and Ratified Technical Governance

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The Node.js and io.js developer communities yesterday announced a collaboration to merge their respective code bases and continue their work in a neutral forum, the Node.js Foundation, hosted by The Linux Foundation.

The intent to form the Node.js Foundation was announced earlier this year with the purpose of supporting the ongoing growth and evolution of the Node.js platform, while maintaining a collaborative environment to benefit all.

Founding and new members include Platinum members Famous, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Microsoft and PayPal. Gold members include GoDaddy, NodeSource and Progress Software, and Silver members include Codefresh, DigitalOcean, Fidelity, Groupon, nearForm, npm, Sauce Labs, SAP, StrongLoop and YLD!.

Node.js today is used by tens of thousands of organizations in more than 200 countries and amasses more than 2 million downloads per month. Node.js is the runtime of choice for high-performance, low latency applications, powering everything from enterprise applications to robots to API engines to cloud stacks, IoT, and mobile websites.

Over the last two years, more large enterprises, including IBM, PayPal, Fidelity and Microsoft have adopted Node.js as part of their enterprise fabric.

“The Node.js Foundation provides a neutral structure to balance the needs of all constituents in the community: the users, vendors and contributors. As projects grow to the size of Node.js, they benefit from the neutrality, open governance and community that only a foundation can provide,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “By tapping into the strength of an empowered, unified community, the Node.js Foundation will advance this rapidly growing platform that supports millions of users around the world.”

“An independent Node.js Foundation built on open governance is a major industry wide event as it ensures the continued adoption and growth of one of the world’s most ubiquitous programming languages. The Node.js foundation will provide developers with a top development platform that when combined with the power of IBM Cloud and Mobile will accelerate time to application concept, deployment, and refinement. As a platinum member of the foundation, IBM looks forward to continued partnership in developing and promoting Node.js and the inevitable expansion of this vibrant community,” said Angel Diaz, Vice President, Cloud Architecture & Technology, IBM.

The Node.js Foundation today is also announcing its ratified open governance structure. The open, technical governance model that will guide the project was determined with input from the public, including contributors from both the Node.js and io.js communities.

The model includes a Technical Steering Committee that will direct technical decisions, oversee working group projects and manage contributions to the node code base, and a Board of Directors to guide business decisions. The Node.js and io.js Technical Committees are merging to form the Node.js Foundation Technical Steering Committee, demonstrating the formal collaboration these communities will pursue to advance the code bases. Additionally, there will be an individual membership class, which will have representation on the board.

For more information about Node Foundation, please visit: http://nodejs.org.

[categories ibm, nodejs, javascript, linux foundation, developers]

Written by TurboTodd

June 17th, 2015 at 4:22 pm

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Center in Italy

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Continuing to strengthen its global cloud presence in the European market, IBM has opened its first cloud data center in Italy.

Located in Cornaredo, a municipality in the Province of Milan, the new facility provides the fast-growing Italian cloud market with a local IBM Cloud presence, allowing customers to deploy their workloads in the country and benefit from a low-latency connection into IBM Cloud’s global platform, which securely integrates data and applications for clients around the world.

The new IBM Cloud center, powered by SoftLayer infrastructure, allows customers and partners adopting cloud computing to more easily manage, run, and store data and workloads Italy, key for many local clients in regulated industries. Global customers can also use the new facility to reach local end users, create data redundancy, and achieve geographic diversity.

The Milan location supports an emerging cloud-computing market in Italy, which, according to The Polytechnic University of Milan’s Observatory of Cloud and ICT as a Service, saw 31 percent year-over-year growth in 2014, with a total market spend of more than €1.18 billion (US$1.33 billion).

The IBM Cloud data center in Milan joins existing SoftLayer EMEA cloud centers in London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam and connects to IBM Cloud’s growing network of facilities around the world.

These existing points of presence and data centers already provide low-latency connections across the EMEA region, but with the addition of the Milan data center, local customers and end users will see even better performance.

From the new location, connections to SoftLayer services within Europe are less than 30 milliseconds, which means data can be transmitted quickly—key for a wide range of computing needs, including real-time bidding (RTB), big data, and analytics applications.

With capacity for up to 11,000 servers, a power rating of 2.8 megawatts, and a Tier III design, the Milan facility offers the full range of IBM Cloud infrastructure services, including bare metal and virtual servers, storage, security services, and networking.

These services can be deployed on demand with full remote access and control through a customer Web portal or API, allowing customers to create their ideal public, private, or hybrid cloud environments.

Part of IBM’s $1.2 billion investment in 2014 to expand its global cloud footprint, the Milan data center expands the total number of IBM Cloud data centers to more than 40 worldwide, which includes 24 SoftLayer data centers.

You can learn more about the IBM Milan data center here.

Written by TurboTodd

June 16th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

IBM Announces Major Commitment to Advance Apache Spark Analytics Technology

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IBM today announced a major commitment to Apache Spark, potentially the most important new open source project in a decade that is being defined by data. At the core of this commitment, IBM plans to embed Spark into its industry-leading Analytics and Commerce platforms, and to offer Spark as a service on IBM Cloud.

IBM will also put more than 3,500 IBM researchers and developers to work on Spark-related projects at more than a dozen labs worldwide; donate its breakthrough IBM SystemML machine learning technology to the Spark open source ecosystem; and educate more than one million data scientists and data engineers on Spark.

As data and analytics are embedded into the fabric of business and society –from popular apps to the Internet of Things (IoT) –Spark brings essential advances to large-scale data processing. It dramatically improves the performance of data dependent apps and radically simplifies the process of developing intelligent apps.

To further accelerate open source innovation for the Spark ecosystem, IBM is taking the following actions:

  • IBM will build Spark into the core of the company’s analytics and commerce platforms.
  • IBM’s Watson Health Cloud will leverage Spark as a key underpinning for its insight platform, helping to deliver faster time to value for medical providers and researchers as they access new analytics around population health data.
  • IBM will open source its breakthrough IBM SystemML machine learning technology and collaborate with Databricks to advance Spark’s machine learning capabilities.
  • IBM will offer Spark as a Cloud service on IBM Bluemix to make it possible for app developers to quickly load data, model it, and derive the predictive artifact to use in their app.
  • IBM will commit more than 3,500 researchers and developers to work on Spark-related projects at more than a dozen labs worldwide, and open a Spark Technology Center in San Francisco for the Data Science and Developer community to foster design-led innovation in intelligent applications.
  • IBM will educate more than 1 million data scientists and data engineers on Spark through extensive partnerships with AMPLab, DataCamp, MetiStream, Galvanize and Big Data University MOOC.

Spark has grown quickly in popularity among developers and data scientists as an essential platform for helping organizations more easily integrate Big Data into applications.

IBM is one of four founding members of the UC Berkeley AMPLab, where Spark was first invented in 2009, and as a result participates in multi-day research retreats, provides advice and real-world insight, and interacts closely with AMPLab researchers on projects of mutual interest.

Spark is agile, fast and easy to use. And because it is open source, it is improved continuously by a worldwide community.

Over the course of the next few months, IBM scientists and engineers will work with the Apache Spark open community to rapidly accelerate access to advanced machine learning capabilities and help drive speed-to-innovation in the development of smart business apps.

By contributing SystemML, IBM will help data scientists iterate faster to address the changing needs of business and to enable a growing ecosystem of app developers to apply deep intelligence into every thing.

You can learn more about IBM analytics and Spark here.

Written by TurboTodd

June 15th, 2015 at 2:15 pm

IBM Acquires Blue Box to Accelerate Open Hybrid Clouds

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IBM today announced it has acquired Blue Box Group, Inc., a managed private cloud provider built on OpenStack.

Blue Box is a privately held company based in Seattle that provides businesses with a simple, private cloud as a service platform, based on OpenStack.

Customers benefit from the ability to more easily deploy workloads across hybrid cloud environments. Financial details were not disclosed.

Enterprises are seeking ways to embrace all types of cloud to address a wide range of workloads. Today’s announcement reinforces IBM’s commitment to deliver flexible cloud computing models that make it easier for customers to move to data and applications across clouds and meets their needs across public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

With Gartner forecasting that 72 percent of enterprises will be pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy this year, it is increasingly important for companies to leverage multiple models while maintaining consistent management across their cloud platforms.

Through Blue Box, IBM will help businesses rapidly integrate their cloud-based applications and on-premises systems into OpenStack-based managed cloud. Blue Box also strengthens IBM Cloud’s existing OpenStack portfolio, with the introduction of a remotely managed OpenStack offering to provide clients with a local cloud and increased visibility, control and security.

This move further accelerates IBM’s commitment to open technologies and OpenStack. IBM has 500 developers dedicated to working on open cloud projects to bring new cloud innovations to market. With Forrester Research recently finding that more than twice as many firms use or plan to use IBM Cloud as their primary hosted private cloud platform than the next closest vendor, Blue Box is a strategic fit into the IBM Cloud portfolio.

Blue Box can enhance and complement developer productivity by:

  • Speeding delivery of applications and data through simplified and consistent access to public, dedicated and local cloud infrastructures
  • Supporting managed infrastructure services across hybrid cloud environments and IBM’s digital innovation platform, Bluemix
  • Offering a single management tool for OpenStack-based private clouds regardless of location

This acquisition will enable IBM to deliver a public cloud-like experience within the client’s own data center, relieving organizations of the burden of traditional private cloud deployments.

“No brand is more respected in IT than IBM,” said Blue Box Founder and CTO Jesse Proudman. “Blue Box is building a similarly respected brand in OpenStack. Together, we will deliver the technology and products businesses need to give their application developers an agile, responsive infrastructure across public and private clouds. This acquisition signals the beginning of new OpenStack options delivered by IBM. Now is the time to arm customers with more efficient development, delivery and lower cost solutions than they’ve seen thus far in the market.”

IBM currently plans to continue to support Blue Box clients and enhance their technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

Written by TurboTodd

June 3rd, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Tata Sky Turns to IBM to Launch New Mobile Solutions to Help Accelerate Growth

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Tata Sky, the leading broadcast satellite television provider in India, has selected IBM to launch new mobile solutions that enable it to reach new markets, and improve customer service and responsiveness for its 14 million subscribers across the country.

With the IBM MobileFirst Platform, Tata Sky can securely integrate customer and enterprise data and launch new apps to spur growth, especially in rural markets.

For example, the new mSales app helps dealers and distributors quickly respond to customer inquiries, track existing accounts and onboard new subscribers. Access to mobile capabilities that enable more efficient customer service is especially important in rural areas where there is often limited access to laptops or reliable Internet connectivity.

According to a market study by Hong Kong-based research firm Media Partners Asia, the direct-to-home active subscriber base in India will increase from 37 million in 2013 to 60 million by 2018 and 70 million by 2023.

By launching mobile solutions for its 300,000 dealers, Tata Sky will be better able to add subscribers and gain market share.

With more than 50,000 downloads since its launch, the mSales app creates new cost efficiencies by decreasing help desk calls to manage existing customer needs, and streamlines processes for establishing new accounts.

With simplified access to customer analytics, dealers and distributors can better engage customers with more targeted, personalized products and services.

“With IBM’s deep mobile and industry expertise we have gained a trusted partner for mobile solutions. The Tata Sky mSales app is one of the few examples of how mobile handsets can help us overcome business challenges thereby opening new markets and creating more valuable customer interactions.” said Ravishanker, Chief Information Officer, Tata Sky.

Advancing clients’ digital transformation strategies, the IBM MobileFirst portfolio of solutions can be integrated as part of a hybrid cloud solution that combines public and private cloud elements with the flexibility to choose and change environments, data and services as needed.

The IBM MobileFirst Platform is available from Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform, or via on-premises deployment. The IBM MobileFirst Platform helps create apps that integrate data from enterprise systems, are contextual and personalized, continuously improving, and as secure as they are convenient.

Written by TurboTodd

June 1st, 2015 at 9:47 pm

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