Tag Archives: IBM

A Disconnect at IBM Connect 2016

What is Happening?

Typically, the vendor/provider events that we attend and participate are easy to characterize. The message that the host wants or needs to deliver is crafted and delivered directly, clearly, and through multiple avenues on multiple fronts. The annual IBM Connect event (née Lotusphere) is usually such an event, and it is usually very easy to see/hear and follow a well-articulated, well-supported core message across all aspects of the event, from keynote to sessions to meals to hallway conversations.

This year was different. Not because IBM failed at articulating its message, but because IBM and the audience, including its partners and enterprise clients/users, were experiencing disconnects between a Connections future and the Notes reality.

On one hand, IBM showcased an emergent IT of useful, collaborative, interconnected, productive and communicative entities, linked and enabled by its Connections “social business” platform and Verse email/collaboration-as-a-service. Inspiring case studies were woven into the keynote sessions; announcements of new and improved features and interconnectivity were demonstrated, and their intent clearly explained.

On the other hand, IBM, its partners, and its customers, all expressed uncertainty regarding what was happening right now with social business in general and with Connections/Verse, and why. IBM partners at the event all supported IBM’s goals and positioning, but the vast majority did not themselves offer collaborative tools or services; they focus instead on enhancing and extending Notes platform capabilities. And outside of those selected to present on Connections or Verse, customers were much more focused on wringing the most possible utility out of legacy Lotus-based solutions. Continue reading A Disconnect at IBM Connect 2016

IBM Building ‘Blue Stack’ for Big Data Analysis

What is Happening?

IBM last week made a series of announcements around the OpenPOWER Foundation that parallel in silicon last month’s software introductions at IBM Insight 2015.

The OpenPOWER Foundation announcements are clearly designed to provide the high-level computing power that today’s increasingly important Big Data and advanced analytics demand. Among the announcements were the following: Continue reading IBM Building ‘Blue Stack’ for Big Data Analysis

IBM’s Bernie Meyerson, Moore’s Law, and Digital Business Value

Saugatuck’s Bill McNee and Charlie Burns recently had the pleasure of an extended conversation with Dr. Bernard Meyerson, IBM Fellow and Chief Innovation Officer. Bernie will be a featured speaker at Saugatuck’s Nov. 4 Cloud Business Summit, held at the Yale Club in New York City.

Two just-published Strategic Perspectives provide some of Bernie’s insightful views regarding the demise of the “real” Moore’s Law, the challenges faced by enterprise IT in a global Digital Business era, and the likely and necessary evolution of business that will be enabled by – and result from – new application architectures and the ubiquitous use of analytics and agile IT infrastructures. Highlights include the following:

On the misperception and demise of Moore’s Law:

Gordon Moore, who is a genius, called it right from a business perspective. In other words, every 18 to 24 months the number of electronic elements you would place on a die would double. However, people unfortunately construed that incorrectly. People have somehow morphed the original statement to mean things will be faster, better, cheaper on that pace. For a long time that was true, which was why that became the misconception. Continue reading IBM’s Bernie Meyerson, Moore’s Law, and Digital Business Value

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