Tag Archives: IBM

2014 Cloud Business Summit – The Journey to Digital Business

I am pleased to announce some of the details surrounding our fourth annual Cloud Business Summit, which will be held November 12, 2014 at The Yale Club in New York City.

Our conference theme this year is “Innovation, Opportunity, Risk and Reward,” with the event focusing on the journey that large enterprise CIOs, CTOs, and senior marketing and finance executives are on as they optimize their Cloud investments, and begin to remake their companies as Digital Businesses. For a short overview of the event, go to: http://cloudbusinesssummit.com/about-the-event.html.

We’ve moved the Summit to a new venue this year. The Yale Club of New York has a spectacular Grand Ballroom that we will be using, along with its elegant Rooftop Dining Room. Both will provide an optimal setting for the peer-level learning and interaction that are hallmarks of our events, fostering an intimate, C-level setting.

Our program / agenda is coming together nicely, with our keynotes and panels offering unique first-person experiences, insights, and best practices Continue reading

Five Questions about the IBM / Apple Deal

What is Happening?

On July 15, IBM and Apple announced that they would enter into a partnership that would allow IBM to procure, manage, and service Apple devices, as well as have IBM develop significant enterprise applications for the iOS platform.

Some detail of the deal include:

  • IBM will offer tools to procure Apple devices, deploy enterprise applications, and manage mobile devices
  • IBM will develop 100 industry-specific applications designed to run natively on iOS
  • Apple is creating a new extension of AppleCare called AppleCare Enterprise, which will be facilitated by Apple and IBM and which will offer extended phone support, as well as on-site device repair and replacement.
  • IBM will create and provide iOS-specific backend services designed to facilitate the development and operation of iOS business applications.

Industry reaction has been varied, but almost all agree this is positive for both Apple and IBM. Continue reading

Trip Report: Rethinking and Re-invention from HP, IBM & ServiceNow

What is Happening?

As part of our ongoing field research, Saugatuck regularly attends industry and provider conferences to gain first person insight and to get a chance to speak directly with user and provider executives alike. Last week was no exception, as we participated in three significant IT vendor events: HP’s biennial Cloud analyst briefings, IBM Impact2014, and ServiceNow’s Knowledge14 event.

For Saugatuck, these events spotlighted how three Master Brands were revamping and extending themselves to better approach – and profit from – Cloud IT and Cloud Business opportunities. This Research Alert presents highlights from our experiences at each event, and offers insight into why and how powerful Cloud adoption trends among enterprises are forcing even the most powerful Master Brands, and their customers, to revamp, retool, and re-imagine who they are and what they do – more than once. Continue reading

IBM’s Hard Dollar Investments in SoftLayer: BlueMix and Beyond

What is Happening?

Recent weeks have seen major announcements from IBM including launching a Watson business unit to “productize” cognitive computing, selling the System x (x86) Server business to Lenovo, and significant investments in expanding its focus on Cloud with SoftLayer as a key foundation. On February 18 and 19, 2014, IBM hosted analyst updates to further describe their heightened focus on Cloud. Briefings featured both the PaaS and IaaS layers of the new IBM Ecostack with BlueMix, Cast Iron and Cloudant occupying prominent positions in the PaaS layer, as well as other solutions running alongside BlueMix on top of the SoftLayer IaaS platform. IBM is now actively seeking candidates for its open beta program that will run through June 2014.

Why is it Happening?

Saugatuck sees IBM’s recent announcements as clear indication that IBM is investing heavily in Cloud, and in Softlayer as a platform, acknowledging the ever-decreasing profit in the traditional on-premises x86 server business versus the rapidly-increasing profit potential in Cloud-based offerings. Saugatuck assesses the burgeoning opportunities in Cloud in two general categories:

  • Development and Subsequent “Hosting” of New Applications in a Cloud.
  • Renovation and Migration of Applications to a Cloud. Continue reading

IBM Goes All-In on SoftLayer with Cloudant

In recent weeks, IBM has rolled out, through a series of announcements, multiple Cloud platform solutions that will run on SoftLayer, a radically different approach to enterprise software and data that may take a while to geland for the significant potential for possible synergies to manifest themselves.

Today, IBM announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudant, a privately-held company based in Boston, Massachusetts with offices in Seattle, Washington and Bristol, United Kingdom. Cloudant will remain a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Cloudant extends IBM’s Big Data and Analytics, Cloud computing, and Mobile offerings by further helping clients take advantage of these key growth initiatives, particularly for systems of engagement. Client enterprises across Continue reading

IT Takes the Lead With SaaS / Cloud Going Mainstream

What is Happening?

During IBM’s Connect user conference in Orlando this week, the company released the results of its latest global user survey regarding adoption and use of Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS). IBM classed each of the 879 IT and LOB survey participants into one of three enterprise user profiles: Pacesetters (self-characterized as having relatively high rate and pace of SaaS adoption), Challengers (self-characterized as having significant, but not widespread adoption and use of SaaS), and Chasers (self-characterized as having relatively low rates and paces of SaaS adoption and use).

While IBM has begun using the survey results overall to help position and promote SaaS as enabling powerful competitive advantages, Saugatuck sees some key aspects of the survey data as more important – and as critical elements in understanding why some firms are more advanced and successful users of SaaS (and other Cloud-based IT).

The key aspects noted: the most aggressive adopters and beneficiaries of SaaS / Cloud share some important characteristics regarding the function and relationship of IT and LOB leaders. IBM’s data and findings complement and support a position that Saugatuck has long espoused, to wit: the role(s) and attitudes/approaches of IT leaders and groups would change as SaaS / Cloud becomes more mainstream, and as it becomes more important to business success. Continue reading

IBM Launches Watson into the Technology Ecosystem

Earlier today IBM formally announced plans to invest over $1 billion in multiple initiatives, including creation of a new business group, related to Watson. Originally a “grand challenge” project within IBM Research, Watson debuted by playing and winning the TV game show “Jeopardy” in 2011.

Since that time we have become more familiar with Watson and understand it is the initial foray into a form of Artificial Intelligence that IBM has termed Cognitive Computing. Cognitive Computing is characterized by:

  • Understanding natural language and human style communication
  • Generating and evaluating evidence-based hypotheses
  • Adapting and simulating human learning from training, interaction, and outcomes.

If one maps the significant eras of computing, then IBM views Watson as the beginning of the 3rd era (1st era: tabulating equipment began circa 1900; 2nd era: stored program computing began circa 1950).

IBM today announced far more than simply an organization or a product. The announcement included Continue reading

IBM Fights to Recapture the High Ground

The Background

Fifty years ago, business computing was dominated by IBM and the Seven Dwarfs. Five of these companies made up what was known as the BUNCH group – Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data and Honeywell – and the other two were RCA and GE. But IBM so dominated computing that its market share exceeded all the others put together. IBM was the original computing Master Brand. GE soon exited, selling to Honeywell, and RCA did the same to Sperry.  Other computer companies of the period included 1-1-binary-001Scientific Data (later becoming part of Xerox), Cray Research (super computers that today would fit inside an iPhone), Digital Equipment Corporation (minicomputers), HP (minicomputers), and Amdahl (cheaper IBM-like mainframes).

Today? IBM has weathered several waves of technology innovation that have swept most of the others away. Unisys (Univac plus Burroughs) is still in the game, although much diminished. HP (absorbing Digital and its PC acquirer Compaq) remains, and vestiges of Amdahl can be found in Fujitsu.  The key to IBM’s survival has been its resilient portfolio-management style, innovating and acquiring and divesting as the market has dictated. Yet despite IBMs success, and what it continues to do in R&D and M&A, its Continue reading

IBM Software Group: Analyst Update Displays Multipronged Strategy

What is Happening?          

As readers of our Lens360 blog are aware, Saugatuck research VP Charlie Burns was in Stamford last week at the annual IBM Software Group (SWG) analyst meetings. We summarized his first impressions, and our positions, in this Lens 360 blog post immediately following the event. We feel that the vision, strategy, and actions that IBM presented at those meetings are significant enough to include and expand upon in this week’s Research Alert to our subscribers.

Overall, the strategies and directions that IBM discussed are very solid. When it comes to Cloud as a business, and Continue reading

Top Takeaways: IBM Software Group Analyst Meetings

Earlier this week, Saugatuck participated in IBM Software Group (SWG) ‘s annual analyst event held in Stamford, CT. Key takeaways from the two days of group meetings and 1-on-1 discussions are as follows:

The event provided several major impressions. Overall, the strategies and directions that IBM discussed are very solid – the company clearly understands where it needs to compete, and where it needs to create competitive advantage.  Specific ways that we see this happening include the following:

  1. IBM reinforces Cloud-centric option for enterprise software. This is not big news by itself, as IBM has been migrating toward a Cloud-centric/Cloud-leveraged software portfolio for quite some time. The presentations in this event basically reinforced that commitment Continue reading