Tag Archives: IBM

GE Drives into Cloud Services Market with the Roar of its Predix Engine

What is Happening?           

GE announced Predix Cloud, a new Cloud infrastructure offering for industrial data and analytics to supplement its existing Predix Platform, with plans to launch to the public in 2016. While GE already has many Cloud partners for its Predix PaaS – including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Verizon – these services are primarily aimed at development and testing. The new Predix Cloud infrastructure will be added to GE’s existing PaaS and will specialize in handling industrial and machine data, with added focus on performance with machine data, interoperability, governance, and security. The Predix Cloud is now a purpose-built platform and infrastructure offering for the Industrial Internet of Things. Predix Cloud uses Pivotal Cloud Foundry to help with application development, deployment and operations.

In its announcement, GE also asserts Cloud computing is an enabler for innovation in industry, now enabling its key customer segments – aviation, energy, healthcare and transportation – to improve their use of data, increase timeliness of analysis, and improve their asset performance. This meshes well with what we have seen in our recent 2015 Cloud Infrastructure Survey, where companies indicated a preference to purchase IT resources related to specific workloads. Meanwhile, while the market for Private Clouds is poised to grow, and businesses are increasingly looking to build their own Clouds, the opportunity to get the Private Cloud and Platform through a company like GE should greatly alleviate the complexity, especially in the high-performance and regulated industries that GE serves. Continue reading GE Drives into Cloud Services Market with the Roar of its Predix Engine

Cloud Infrastructure is On the Way

In Saugatuck’s recent IT Infrastructure survey, companies indicated a strong preference to shift their IT infrastructures to the Cloud over the next 4 years. Figure 1 shows that while few companies are currently using Cloud as their primary Infrastructure, within 4 years, the balance shifts almost entirely toward the Cloud, with significant focus on Hybrid Cloud (combination of Public and Private Cloud).

Figure 1: Future IT Infrastructure Portfolio


Source: Saugatuck Technology, Cloud Infrastructure Survey, April 2015, n=327 (global)

As a result of this shift to the Cloud, many companies are likely to change their purchasing mix of on-premises hardware to Cloud infrastructure. Currently, many companies indicate that they prefer to purchase both Cloud and On-premises infrastructure and services from Name-brand vendors like IBM, Lenovo, HP, Oracle, and Cisco. Over time, however, the shift toward more Public Cloud is likely to prove more of a boon to the current IaaS providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Rackspace. Continue reading Cloud Infrastructure is On the Way

IBM Buys Compose to Attract More Nimble Developers and Customers

Developers! Developers! Developers!

No, it’s not the infamous Steve Ballmer sweaty-shirt rant & dance this time – it’s IBM’s strategy to increase its presence, relevance, and role(s) in the increasingly Cloudy+Mobile world of software development.

IBM has announced its acquisition of (relatively) tiny, Mountain View-based Compose Inc., which offers a handful of open-source, Cloud-based, database offerings. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed; Compose is privately held, and has raised $6.4 million dollars since its founding in 2011.

Why buy Compose? The company attracts developers working on Cloud, web, and Mobile-oriented apps, APIs, and more – mostly net-new developers as regards IBM, because these developers are working with and on a agile, lightweight, small-client DBMSs like CouchDB, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Rethink and other databases. IBM purchased CouchDB-oriented, distributed-DB firm Cloudant in 2014, so the company is not bereft of Cloud/web/mobile DB presence by any means. But Compose adds to and extends IBM’s attractiveness to the generation of developers focused on the most disruptive and forward-thinking business software, apps, UIs, and methodologies.

Meanwhile, Compose and its ecosystem(s) gain massive resources and opportunity – and are likely to thrive given that Compose will be part of IBM’s Cloud Continue reading IBM Buys Compose to Attract More Nimble Developers and Customers

IBM Cloud: Transforming the Tractor into a Roadster

What is Happening?          

Saugatuck CEO and Founder, Bill McNee, and Research VP Charlie Burns recently attended IBM’s Cloud Analyst Summit at the new headquarters for the IBM Watson and Cloud business units in New York City. From the get-go, it was clear that IBM wanted to put forth a new vision and image for the company (down to the use of a new color blue) – and for the most part they succeeded. This Research Alert highlights some of the key takeaways from the event.

Robert LeBlanc (IBM SVP of Cloud) kicked the day off, emphasizing some of the key forces helping to shape the new business computing focus at IBM, and more broadly in the Cloud market. IBM called it Cloud 2.0. While we agree that the Cloud infrastructure and related markets are clearly shifting beyond their early focus on efficiency and cheap compute cycles, to a focus on business transformation and enabling innovative new data-driven business strategies – the name sounds so 1998 to us, and does an injustice to the strong and comprehensive vision that IBM unveiled.

Don Rippert, GM Cloud Strategy then provided a very insightful and practical overview of IBM’s emergent vision and strategy, which is best captured in the following 1-liner: “Our job is not to invent the future, but to integrate the future.” While follow-on speakers emphasized how innovative IBM continues to be, Rippert netted it down nicely in our opinion. At the end of the day, IBM will offer amazing choice to customers – with a wide range of Cloud Infrastructure, Integration, DevOps and Analytic offerings based on where the client is at in their journey to the Cloud. Additional speakers such as Danny Sabbah (CTO & GM, Next-Gen Platform) and Jim Comfort (GM, Cloud Services), among others, provided follow-on vision and detail that fleshed this out. Continue reading IBM Cloud: Transforming the Tractor into a Roadster

InterConnect and Investor Conference: Signposts of IBM Pulling It Together

What is Happening?

IBM’s InterConnect event this week in Las Vegas is the coalescence of multiple, previously separate IBM conferences, all of which told similar stories about parallel business, technology, channel / partner, and go-to-market efforts within IBM. InterConnect 2015 then is an apt metaphor for IBM’s own coalescence as it re-invents its business, its technology focus, and everything else in what one senior industry analyst has referred to as a “gut-wrenching” series of strategic moves toward a Cloud-first core strategy.

The announcements and sessions at InterConnect further reflected IBM’s simultaneous self-re-invention and acceleration toward addressing customers’ and partners’ Cloud-first, Digital Business-enabling IT needs. The announcements themselves can be found within IBM’s website here. These include the building of several global- and region-enabling Cloud-enabling data centers, Cloud- and BlueMix-centered services (see recent Lens 360 Blog post) and platform partnerships with global SIs CSC and Tech Mahindra, more SoftLayer-enabled Cloud services advancements, and of course, Watson.

Frankly, IBM announced little if anything this week that was truly new or unexpected. But what the company accomplished at InterConnect was an improved, more cohesive, articulation of its still-evolving goals, strategy and offerings that it hopes will get IBM to where its core customers want to be when the customers themselves get there. That place: an increasingly complex, and increasingly variable, hybridized IT and business environment that will require progressively advanced, multifaceted, and adaptable blends of Cloud-based as well as traditional IT and services to manage. Continue reading InterConnect and Investor Conference: Signposts of IBM Pulling It Together

IBM Expands BlueMix DevOps Offerings: Delivery Pipeline

IBM introduced BlueMix about a year ago in the winter of 2014, a first step toward Platform-as-a Service Cloud Development. BlueMix is a language-agnostic Cloud development platform (IBM calls it a “Composable Services Development Environment”) serving Java, Javascript, Node.js, Go, PHP, Python, Ruby, and open enough to accommodate other SDKs and API sets that developers may install there:

  • Built On Open Standards – OpenStack and CloudFoundry
  • Providing Integration via Cast Iron to Systems Of Record
  • Designed For Mobile (MobileFirst initiative)
  • Offering more than a dozen Watson cognative computing functions
  • Providing a DevOps Environment for Integrated Development and Deployment

See 1336RA, IBM’s Hard Dollar Investments in SoftLayer: BlueMix and Beyond, 27 February 2014.

Now IBM has introduced an enhanced delivery pipeline in support of DevOps on BlueMix. The delivery pipeline enhancements expand previously introduced capabilities focusing on the build-test-deploy-production end of the process, automating the build process, functional testing and deployment to one or more production environments. Everything is configurable and fully automated in this process: inputs (from Git), triggers (on push, manual or when a stage completes, and jobs (build, deploy, test). Stages now may have multiple jobs in a sequence. The delivery pipeline provides a continuous stream of feedback from job execution. Continue reading IBM Expands BlueMix DevOps Offerings: Delivery Pipeline

IBM ConnectED – Indicator of Changed IBM, ISV Digital Business Realities

What is Happening?

Changes in IBM’s ConnectED event indicate a microcosm of the scope, and pace, of evolutionary change in IBM and one of its core ecosystems of developers and partners. Established as Lotusphere and known more recently as IBMConnect, this event traditionally focused on Notes developers, with an annual fervor of discussion surrounding changes to Notes and the Notes client, and ways to adopt and adapt these into ways to build or improve business systems and operations. This year, IBM – and the event in total – stepped back toward the Notes roots, the beginnings of the event and for many, the beginnings of social business interaction architecture. The number of attendees was purposely reduced, as was the framing of the event in all of its forms (i.e., number and range of presentations, even the after-hours fun). Most significantly, the discussion focus, while still heavy on “social business,” reverted mostly toward developing and adapting within the Notes ecosystem to enable more and better ways of doing business, with “social” as an important aspect – although with more emphasis on user desires, design preferences, and utility.

The event, in sum, is an indication and celebration of business re-focus and re-invention by IBM, partners, and customers. “Social” is being subsumed into the mix, as have been Cloud and advanced analytics. And that’s changing development, partnership, and go-to-market approaches for everyone, but especially IBM. Continue reading IBM ConnectED – Indicator of Changed IBM, ISV Digital Business Realities

IBM ConnectED – Keep the Conversation Going

Wrapping up the second day of IBM’s ConnectED event – formerly Connect, neé Lotusphere – I’m struck by the conversations going on in all areas and aspects of the event.

As always, the halls and meeting rooms are populated mostly with developers, all learning or sharing knowledge about IBM Lotus, Domino, and Connections environments, capabilities, challenges, advantages, integration, and so on.

But this year’s event is, purposely, smaller than previous events in scope and focus. And this year, to quote more than one IBM Business Partner, “there’s no hot air. It’s all about making things and making them work.”

“Hot air” is probably uncharitable way of putting things. But there is a noticeable lack of hype, and of gung-ho rhetoric, particularly about Social IT and “social business.” A key theme within this year’s event is “new ways to engage,” and the sessions, demos, exhibitor stands, and hallway chats are very focused on that.

The “event conversation,” in sum, has shifted from the concept and possibilities – and hype – regarding Social IT, to a very business-like focus on development, adaptation, and application of IBM’s technologies and services into ways to engage users, buyers, sellers, supporters, and all the other Continue reading IBM ConnectED – Keep the Conversation Going

Fireside Chat with Bethann Cregg, IBM on Cloud Data and Watson (CBS14)

On November 12th, 2014, Saugatuck Technology held its 4th annual Cloud Business Summit at the Yale Club of New York City. As with prior Summits, our event brought together more than 100 large-enterprise CIOs, CTOs and senior business, marketing and finance leaders – to explore how they can and are realizing value from the Cloud.

Saugatuck Research Fellow Mike West hosted a Fireside Chat with Bethann Cregg, Vice President, Information and Analytics Group Cloud at IBM. The discussion’s theme was “Turbo-Charging Digital Business with a Cloud-First Strategy.”

The first video clip is an excerpt of their discussion about the way in which the Cloud and Cloud platforms such as BlueMix are changing how enterprises of all sizes Continue reading Fireside Chat with Bethann Cregg, IBM on Cloud Data and Watson (CBS14)

The Future of the Mainframe is Cloudy

What is Happening?

This week, IBM announced the next generation of its z Systems mainframe line, the z13. The focus of the announcement centered on four aspects: Mobile, Analytics, Security, and Cloud. As with earlier generations, the new z13 includes specialized hardware for encryption as well as data compression. Both functions are increasingly important in today’s environment of state sponsored hacking and the rising flood of data from mobile commerce and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Saugatuck finds the announcement of the z13 particularly important in light of IBM’s recent divestiture of their x86 server business to Lenovo. Over the last year, IBM has continued to increase its efforts on software and professional services. As a result, the z System is one of three server families that IBM still manufactures and sells. (The other two are the System p and the PureSystems.) Additionally, the other remaining vendors of conventional “mainframe” architecture systems (HP and Unisys) have migrated their offerings to x86-based microprocessors.

Though the primary design of new applications increasingly favors distributed compute systems (well-suited for Cloud infrastructures), the mainframe architecture is a much better match for high-performance, monolithic design. With this announcement, IBM makes the case that it is worth questioning the prevailing wisdom of using the Cloud for any and all workloads, and points specifically to ways where mainframe systems should be used, such as to support mobile device transaction processing. Continue reading The Future of the Mainframe is Cloudy