IBM today announced that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, and that it is building a cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions.
IBM’s pioneering work in Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities was based on practical applications of IoT in the enterprise and led to a broad set of solutions, ranging from water management to optimizing retail and customer loyalty to alleviating traffic congestion.
With new industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools, IBM will build on that expertise to help clients and partners integrate data from an unprecedented number of IoT and traditional sources.
These resources will be made available on an open platform to provide manufacturers with the ability to design and produce a new generation of connected devices that are better optimized for the IoT, and to help business leaders across industries create systems that better fuse enterprise and IoT data to inform decision-making.
IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analyzed or acted on. As much as 60 percent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated.
To address this challenge, IBM is announcing it will offer:
- IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries: This platform will provide new analytics services that clients, partners and IBM will use to design and deliver vertical industry IoT solutions. For example, IBM will introduce a cloud-based service that helps insurance companies extract insight from connected vehicles. This will enable new, more dynamic pricing models and the delivery of services that can be highly customized to individual drivers.
- IBM Bluemix IoT Zone: New IoT services as part of IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service will enable developers to easily integrate IoT data into cloud-based development and deployment of IoT apps. Developers will be able to enrich existing business applications – such as enterprise asset management, facilities management, and software engineering design tools – by infusing more real-time data and embedded analytics to further automate and optimize mission-critical IoT processes.
- IBM IoT Ecosystem: Expansion of its ecosystem of IoT partners – from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers – such as AT&T, ARM, Semtech and newly announced The Weather Company – to ensure the secure and seamless integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s open platform.
IBM’s capabilities are illustrated in a new global strategic alliance announced today with The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division. WSI’s forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.
The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles. The two companies will help industries utilize their understanding of weather on business outcomes and take action systemically to optimize those parts of their businesses.
You can learn more about IBM’s Internet of Things efforts here.
Keeping an eye on the changing spring weather?
IBM and The Weather Company want to help.
WSI, The Weather Company’s global B2B division, today with IBM announced a groundbreaking global strategic alliance to integrate real-time weather insights into business to improve operational performance and decision-making.
As part of the alliance, The Weather Company, including WSI will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services.
Weather is perhaps the single largest external swing factor in business performance – responsible for an annual economic impact of nearly half a trillion dollars in the U.S. alone.
While weather prediction is increasingly precise and granular, business systems generally assume every day is the same. As a result, knowledge of impending extreme weather disruptions – or even routine disruptions that drive well understood behaviors and systemic reactions – don’t always trigger operational responses.
Combining weather data with traditional business data and rich data from an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled systems and devices will fundamentally transform enterprise decision-making.
The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles.
WSI’s forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.
By migrating its weather data platform to IBM Cloud, WSI will be able to accelerate the growth of one of the largest cloud-based applications in the world.
Partnering with IBM also will enable enterprise clients and industry ecosystems to more easily integrate WSI weather data – including rapidly updated forecasts – into their operations and decision-making.
Once integrated with enterprise processes, weather data can be combined with data from supply chains, customer buying patterns and other sources to create more valuable insights.
IBM and WSI will deliver new cloud services to businesses in three key ways:
- Watson Analytics for Weather: IBM and WSI will enable easy integration of historical and real-time weather data in business operations and decision making with IBM analytics platforms such as Watson Analytics. The companies will jointly develop industry solutions for insurance, energy & utilities, retail and logistics among others.
- Cloud and Mobile App Developer Tools: Entrepreneurs and software developers will be able to rapidly build mobile and web apps that take advantage of WSI data combined with data from operational systems, connected devices and sensors using advanced analytics through Bluemix, IBM’s cloud application development platform.
- Business and Operational Weather Expertise: Thousands of consultants from across IBM Global Business Services will be trained to combine WSI data with other sources to more effectively interpret industry pain points, providing clients new insights that solve business problems. By combining IBM’s cloud computing, industry consulting and analytics expertise with WSI’s precision weather data and forecasts, the two companies can now enable entire industries to utilize understanding of weather on business outcomes and take action at a local level.
Go here for more information on the new WSI and IBM partnership.
Did I mention already that I didn’t make it to SXSW Interactive this year?
That’s okay, because I heard plenty about it from the social media storm that thunders from the center of the Austin Convention Center every year, so I got gist, as they say.
I know one of the big breakout technologies was live streaming from the smartphone. Meerkat was the darling during the event, but Twitter has just responded with their own version, Periscope.
You people who laughed at YouTube when it first came on the scene and said all it would ever be good for was skateboarding bulldogs….well, tell that to the YouTube Tween stars who make a gazillion dollars a day pontificating into their laptop.
So now we’ve got the ability to do live streaming via our smartphones. Which means anybody can be that reporter in the field covering a live news…or non-news…event LIVE.
My first Periscope experience was this morning, when I watched social media guru David Armano walking down the street somewhere in Arizona talking about…what else?…Periscope, using Periscope to film himself talk about Periscope.
That alone was enough to make me laugh out loud, because it was so…”meta?”
But putting that first experience aside for a moment, just imagine the possible use cases — and I guarantee you that at first glance, there’s no way any of us are going to be able to imagine all the use cases.
But boy do I see some trouble brewing on the horizon. I remember the first toga party I went to during college. Thankfully we hardly even had portable video cameras. But to have someone live streaming from the toga party, and be able to record it for posterity’s sake out in the cloud? And you thought getting a job with your tarnished Facebook comments was tough to get through with HR?
Or how about some of the aggressive police actions we’ve seen recently, but now suddenly covered via a Kurosawa-ish stream from multiple points of view?
Or how about live from the SuperBowl, where suddenly you have 60,000+ potential POVs on how the game’s going, or who’s turn it is to cover your buddies going to get the next rounds of beer?
Or heaven help us all, teenage drivers trying to film themselves as they’re driving down the freeway.
Or how about LIVE from the streets of Sana, Yemen, where a stringer for CNN can start filming the military action taking place down the street from an iPhone.
My point is this: Keep an eye on this new portable livestreaming technology, because not very long from now, there’s a pretty good chance it’s going to be keeping an eye on you, and the entire planet could in short order become one endless episode of “The Truman Show.”
And I bet you a whole bitcoin there will be plenty of folks watching, skateboarding bulldogs and all.
New IBM Network Innovation Centers Help Clients Apply Hybrid IT Solutions to Networks, Evaluate Software Defined Networking
IBM today announced two Network Innovation Centers, where clients can explore Software Defined Networking, virtualization and analytics-driven automation technologies and services for their data and communications networks.
The growth of data driven by online transactions, mobile apps, social media and the Internet of Things is already compelling many clients to move their computing and storage systems to a cloud model for greater resiliency, more agility, higher performance and lower costs.
These same data-intensive conditions are putting pressure on networking systems, requiring the integration of cloud technologies and solutions to provide those same benefits in hybrid IT network environments.
The two centers — located in Nice, France, and Dallas, Texas — will focus primarily on solutions for large enterprise networking systems and telecommunications operators, which require resilient, high-performing and continuously available networks.
At these centers, clients can test and experience new network technologies from IBM and a variety of alliances, including Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Juniper Networks, Riverbed, and VMware, evaluating how to integrate these solutions into their current IT environments.
These solutions can help dynamically manage network resources through software programs, automatically moving networking resources to where they’re required. This enables systems operators to better manage peaks and valleys in demand, use fewer networking resources operating at higher rates of efficiency and utilization, all with fewer disruptions in service and less direct management.
This degree of automation and orchestration between different IT systems and the network provides not just an operational advantage for service providers and enterprises, but includes lower costs and the ability to provide new services and deploy new applications much more quickly and efficiently.
You can learn more about IBM networking services here.
IBM today announced a record 8,100 high school and college students around the world competed in IBM’s 2014 Master the Mainframe contest, helping equip the IT leaders of tomorrow with the skills needed for the mobile economy.
Hosted at high schools and colleges around the world, Master the Mainframe — part of the IBM’s Academic Initiative — serves as an introduction to programming and application development and requires no previous mainframe experience.
These programming skills are becoming increasingly important with the explosive growth in mobile transactions, creating even greater demands on company IT systems to quickly and reliably interact with consumers.
As students complete each part of the Master the Mainframe contest, judges evaluate their results and reward those who move on to the next step. Each phase becomes more difficult, beginning with basic mainframe navigation to finishing a project that tackles a real-world business scenario.
This year’s contest drew the largest turnout since the contest’s inception in 2005. “Master the Mainframe” started in the United States and Canada but has expanded to almost 40 countries on six continents. A total of 74,000 students worldwide have competed in the past 10 years. In 2016, the contest will holds its second World Championship, crowning global winners.
IBM announced this year’s U.S. and Canada winners among nearly 5,000 North American contestants:
First Place: Kevin Matesi, Northern Illinois University
Kevin is a second-year graduate student at Northern Illinois University and plans to graduate in May. His areas of focus are enterprise computing and databases, and he is searching for a career that affords him the opportunity to work with mainframes and/or databases.
Second Place: Joseph Bloom, Deerfield (Illinois) High School
Joseph is a senior at Deerfield High School. Next year, he plans to study computer science at a university to be determined. When he’s not at a computer, he plays trombone in the school band.
Third Place: Jeremy Krach, University of Maryland
Jeremy is a sophomore in computer science at the University of Maryland and is a member of the nation’s first cybersecurity honors college, Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students. Upon graduating in 2017, he plans a career in software engineering and cybersecurity.
Fourth Place: Hongzhe (Henry) Liu, Algonquin (Massachusetts) Regional High School
Henry will graduate in 2016 and plans on studying artificial intelligence in college.
Fifth Place: Steven Hoover, Syracuse University
Steven is a graduate student studying information management at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.
The winners will receive a new tablet computer and an expenses-paid trip to New York for a March 24 awards ceremony and tour of IBM labs in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. IBM guest speakers at the ceremony will include Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems, and Maria Boonie, vice president, IBM z Systems Operating Systems & Firmware Development.
Master the Mainframe marks its 10th year at a time when the IBM mainframe remains a linchpin of enterprise computing, relied on by 92 of the top 100 worldwide banks, every one of the 10 largest insurers, 23 of the largest 25 airlines and six of the 10 top global retailers.
To accelerate the adoption of Watson cognitive computing in healthcare, IBM today announced an investment in Modernizing Medicine, a provider of cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical records (EMR) systems and other technologies that capture structured data, track outcomes and deliver clinical decision support.
This is the latest direct investment that IBM has made through its $100 million fund to seed Watson innovations. The investment caps $20 million in Series D funding secured by Modernizing Medicine, raising its overall funding total to $49 million.
Modernizing Medicine is the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant, a specialty-specific EMR system, and provider of comprehensive specialty-specific billing, revenue and inventory management solutions.
Over 5,000 healthcare providers in the U.S., including approximately 30 percent of dermatologists, use Modernizing Medicine’s platform. According to the recent 2015 Black Book Market Research report, the company’s EMA Dermatology solution ranked first overall in the dermatology space for the second consecutive year.
The funding from IBM and other investors will help Modernizing Medicine accelerate market expansion in eight medical specialties, as well as enhance and expand its suite of solutions.
This includes further development of schEMA, the company’s mobile app accessed through EMA that leverages the cognitive computing power of Watson to give physicians rapid clinical decision support at the point of care.
schEMA is able to analyze massive amounts of published, peer-reviewed medical data and healthcare research to help physicians practice enhanced evidence-based medicine.
Available first in dermatology with future development planned for Modernizing Medicine’s other medical specialties, schEMA allows dermatologists to ask questions in natural language about possible symptoms and treatments, and within seconds receive an informed, evidence-based response — all without leaving the exam room.
This is made possible by Watson’s ability to quickly query and identify relevant information contained in thousands of medical journals, research studies and other documents.
Developed by practicing physicians, EMA is an ICD-10 ready, cloud-based native iPad application built using structured data technology plus specialty-specific medical knowledge and workflows.
The system is designed to accommodate the accelerated movement towards new quality-of-care reporting and outcome-based reimbursement. The schEMA app, which will be available on mobile devices including the iPad, will be showcased at the American Academy of Dermatology conference in San Francisco from March 21-23 at booth 5216.
The medical community has been one of the first to partner with IBM to identify and create Watson technologies. IBM has been collaborating with leading hospitals and research organizations including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and New York Genome Center, to advance Watson’s healthcare capabilities and transform how medicine is taught and practiced.
You can learn more on the IBM Watson Ecosystem site.
IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute today announced research unveiling an alarming state of mobile insecurity.
The findings show nearly 40 percent of large companies, including many in the Fortune 500, aren’t taking the right precautions to secure the mobile apps they build for customers.
The study also found organizations are poorly protecting their corporate and BYOD mobile devices against cyber-attacks — opening the door for hackers to easily access user, corporate and customer data.
The number of mobile cyber-security attacks is continuing to grow. At any given time, malicious code is infecting more than 11.6 million mobile devices.
The Ponemon Institute and IBM Security study, which researched security practices in over 400 large organizations, found that the average company tests less than half of the mobile apps they build.
Also, 33 percent of companies never test their apps — creating a plethora of entry points to tap into business data via unsecured devices. While these numbers may seem shocking, they aren’t surprising when considering that a full 50 percent of these organizations were found to devote zero budget whatsoever towards mobile security.
Hackers are now taking advantage of the popularity of insecure mobile apps, public Wi-Fi networks, and more to break into the highly valuable data often housed on BYOD and corporate mobile devices. Further, they’re also tapping mobile devices as an entry portal into an organization’s broader, highly confidential internal network.
The Ponemon Institute Unveils an Alarming State of Mobile Insecurity
The new study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute with IBM, has found major security flaws in the ways which most organizations build and deploy mobile apps for their customers.
The organizations studied, of which 40 percent are Fortune 500 companies, operate in industries which work with highly sensitive data, including financial services, health and pharmaceutical, the public sector, entertainment and retail.
Among the organizations, each spent an average of $34 million annually on mobile app development. Of this tremendous budget, however, only 5.5 percent is currently being allocated to ensuring that mobile apps are secure against cyber-attacks before they are made available to users. A full 50 percent of companies devote no budget to security.
Tending to prioritize speed-to-market and user experience, the study found that many of these organizations scan their mobile apps for security vulnerabilities infrequently and much too late — if at all — leaving entry points which hackers are increasingly exploiting.
These holes allow cyber-thieves to gain access to confidential business and personal data through BYOD or corporate mobile devices. According to IBM X-Force research, in 2014 alone, over 1 billion pieces of personally identifiable information (PII) were compromised as a result of cyber-attacks.
During the creation of mobile apps, end user convenience is trumping end user security and privacy. According to the study, 65 percent of organizations state the security of their apps is often put at risk because of customer demand or need, and 77 percent cite “rush to release” pressures as a primary reason why mobile apps contain vulnerable code.
Of the companies that actually do scan for vulnerabilities before deploying apps to the market, only 15 percent of them test their apps as frequently as needed to be effective.
As BYOD Rises, Mobile Risks Increase
BYOD has become increasingly popular, if not a necessity, for organizations. The challenge arises when employees connect to unsecured networks or download insecure apps from untrusted sources, which leave the device vulnerable to malware.
As uncovered by the Ponemon Institute’s findings, even apps from trusted organizations and available in traditional app stores can carry enormous risks.
According to the Ponemon study, though most employees are “heavy users of apps,” over half (55 percent) state their organization does not have a policy which defines the acceptable use of mobile apps in the workplace, and a large majority — 67 percent — of companies allow employees to download non-vetted apps to their work devices.
Additionally, 55 percent of organizations say employees are permitted to use and download business apps on their personal devices (BYOD).
IBM MobileFirst Protect Adds Mobile Threat Management
To defend against cyber-criminals taking advantage of this immense opportunity, IBM has introduced a new mobile threat management (MTM) technology into its IBM MobileFirst Protect offering (formerly MaaS360).
Using advanced cyber-threat and intelligence technology, IBM MobileFirst Protect Threat Management automatically detects suspicious activities on mobile endpoints, and stops malware the moment a device is breached.
Delivered through the cloud and updated over-the-air, this technology enables organizations to be well-armed at all times against rapidly evolving and sophisticated threats and attacks.
IBM MobileFirst Protect Threat Management now provides automatic and highly intuitive protection against would-be hackers, who are increasingly targeting corporate and personal mobile devices (BYOD) used for work.
Built by IBM Security, the offering’s new threat management technology integrates the flexible power of cloud, the comprehensive control of enterprise mobility management, and the most sophisticated defense tools yet created against malware and mobile fraud.
IBM and Twitter today announced the availability of industry-first cloud data services that allow business professionals and developers to extract actionable business insights from Twitter data.
With more than 100 early client engagements underway, the IBM and Twitter global partnership is already helping enterprise clients apply social data to business decisions.
Twitter is like no other data source in the world. It is a real-time, public, conversational and global information platform where voices from around the world are speaking about every topic imaginable.
But for business professionals to do more than social listening – to be able to use Twitter data to inform their organization’s most essential decisions — they must first isolate the signal from the noise. IBM does this by enriching and analyzing Twitter data in combination with millions of data points from other streams of public and business data — such as weather forecasts, sales information and product inventory stats – to uncover powerful correlations that drive more actionable insights.
“So much of business decision making relies on internal data such as sales, promotion and inventory. Now with Twitter data, customer feedback can easily be incorporated into decision making,” said Chris Moody, Vice President of Data Strategy at Twitter. “IBM’s unique capabilities can help businesses leverage this valuable data, and we expect to see rapid demand in retail, telecommunications, finance and more.”
The new IBM analytics services on the cloud will help businesses and developers:
- Create Social Data-Enabled Apps: Developers and entrepreneurs can search, quickly explore and then mine enriched Twitter content and aggregated insights through IBM’s Insights for Twitter service on Bluemix.
- Merge Sophisticated, Predictive Analytics with Twitter Data: By automating the steps of data curation, predictive analysis and visual storytelling, Watson Analytics can give business professionals the ability to immediately pull Twitter data into any project in order identify and explain hidden patterns and relationships to accelerate the understanding of why things happen and what’s likely to happen.
- More Easily Analyze Twitter Data: With select cluster configurations of BigInsights on Cloud pre-configured with access to Twitter content, clients can combine Twitter data with IBM’s full-featured Enterprise Hadoop-as-a-Service offering also available through IBM Bluemix.
More than 4,000 IBM professionals now have access to Twitter data and are trained to enrich the data with analytics capabilities from IBM industry solutions and cloud-based services.
IBM announced today it is working with the Nordic’s leading insurance provider, If Property & Casualty Insurance Ltd. (If), as part of the company’s new insurance offering, known as Data Crime.
As the first cyber-insurance product from a local provider, the offering aims to help If’s Business Area Commercial customers, headquartered in Nordic countries, to manage cyber-attack risk associated with malware, virus, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) and hacking incidents.
According to IBM’s 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, companies’ security devices and applications detected 91 million security events in 2013, an average of 1.7 million each week per company.
The average cost paid for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information has increased more than 9 percent, from $136 in 2013 to $145 in 2014, based on the Ponemon Institute’s global analysis on the cost of a data breach. The average total cost of a data breach has increased 15 percent to $3.5 million.
Together, If and IBM help businesses to prepare and defend themselves from cyber-attacks. IBM will provide If with a jointly-developed evaluation questionnaire, in order to evaluate risk potential and a potential policy holder’s overall security status.
IBM Security experts will help If’s claim agents to assess the situation of a company victimized by a cyber-attack, as well as help restore the company to its normal activities.
IBM will also be the primary partner available after an incident occurs, helping If’s customers to enhance their security controls and procedures to maintain their insurance protection. Education will also be provided by IBM experts to If’s employees, further improving their ability to assess risk potential and understand how cyber security incidents happen, and how they can be prevented.
You can learn more about IBM Security capabilities here.
For those of you who have been in Austin over the past few days for SXSW Interactive, you’ve been in for some very good weather.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the constant stream, and had lunch yesterday with some technology amigos who were in town for the event. Also veteran attendees of SXSW, their take was that SXSW has evolved (devolved?) into more of a marketing and advertising event than a technology one. They mentioned there was a lot of virtual reality technology at this year’s show.
But lest we forget, this was the same event where in 2000, just prior to the dot com bubble implosion, the Cluetrain Manifesto crew told us that “markets are conversations.”
Perhaps we were naive to think the blossoming of this idea, that people talking to other people via electronic networks (i.e., the Internet) was going to change the balance of power between individuals and institutions, whether they be governments, corporations, intelligence services, etc.
And yet the network effect did kick in, and one would quickly empower the individual to have a voice, one where in=ndividuals could “talk back” one-to-one and offset the historical dominance of the one-to-many broadcast model.
Everyone can have a voice online, and many do.
Some in the world are offered the opportunity to speak their opinions freely and without concern for consequence, while others are communicating through Tor-encrypted microphones in parts of the world where the mere speaking of their words means likely torture or even death.
Facebook yesterday released a set of “Community Standards” intended to help people “understand what is acceptable to share on Facebook” and “to create an environment where people feel motivated and empowered to treat each other with empathy and respect.” Some rules of the road, if you will, for better behavior by Facebook’s global denizens.
They also released their “Global Government Requests Report,” which includes information about the government requests that Facebook received for content removal and account data, as well as national security requests under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and through National Security Letters.
During the second half of 2014, the U.S. had the most law enforcement requests for data from Facebook than any other country in the world by a factor of three, some 14,274, with over half of those being search warrant requests and nearly a third subpoenas.
There were no requests to restrict access to content in the U.S., whilst in India there were 5,832 and 3,624 in Turkey.
China wasn’t on the list of countries included, presumably because Facebook doesn’t officially exist in China.
The boundless geography of cyber space has not necessarily transcended physical geography. Our reality is far from being completely virtual.