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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

IBM Pulse 2014 – Cloud benefits for all, Enterprise Dev/Ops, Execs and IT

By Bill Moran





IBM made a number of cloud-related announcements at Pulse 2014 (#ibmpulse). IBM believes that cloud changes the way that businesses operate and people work. IBM identified three groups in the enterprise to address their needs in the cloud environment. They are the developers, line of business executives, and IT management. We highlight offerings to each group.

Developers

We review BlueMix in a separate blog[1] on our website.  Here we’ll simply point out that BlueMix provides developers with access to a rich set of capabilities, many for free. Although not a new announcement, IBM justifiably points to SoftLayer as an important tool for developers. IBM will open more data centers worldwide that support it. This investment makes it easier for customers to track their data and keep it within certain geographic boundaries.

IBM announced a beta version of its Pure Application Service running on SoftLayer. This helps customers run applications with minimal set-up time. They can create software patterns and test them in the Cloud. Customers have the choice of running in the Cloud or on their premises with the Pure Application System. We think that this will be welcomed by customers who want to test and develop applications, while enjoying the favorable economics of the Cloud.

IBM is offering its full suite of Platform Computing software on SoftLayer. Customers can scale cluster capacity up and down. Pricing is usage-based, so they pay only for what they need. SoftLayer supports bare metal in its cloud for users desiring maximum performance.

The final developer offering is the IBM Mobile Quality Assurance service. This is a Beta offering that allows tracking of mobile app quality. Developers can easily access reports on bugs and crashes. It also allows analysis of customer reviews so that developers get a good picture of what users like and dislike about the new app.

LOB executives

The goal here is to enable business units to access key software without requiring any programmer assistance. They will be able to exercise actions (like analytics) in the cloud without installing any software. For example, for massive amounts of collected documentation, the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor will intelligently search and analyze the documents for insights. With IBM BLU acceleration for Cloud, customers can set up data warehouse access and analytics capability in less than one hour. The IBM Maximo Inventory Insights product targets customers with the IBM Maximo products already installed; it applies predictive analytics to data on existing inventory.

IBM offers two products for the Human Resources function.The IBM Kenexa Talent Suite provides insight into the workforce helping to predict outcomes of possible changes. IBM Connections makes set-up of cloud-based meetings and chats easier. 

 The IBM Mobile Push & Engage tool allows marketing to notify customers of new offerings and promotions in near real–time. 

IT Managers

There are a number of offerings for IT managers. IBM Service Engage refers to three Software-as-a-Service offerings, IBM Application Performance Management, IBM Workload Automation and IBM SmartCloud Control Desk which can be accessed and on a trial basis free of charge  for 30 days. All of these functions can be explored at:  https://www.ibmserviceengage.com/.

IT managers will welcome IBM Smart Cloud Virtual Storage Center Entry and the IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize Family. Both are v5.2. These allow intelligent data placement in the cloud along with analytics for processing it. Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recover v7.1 protects key data.
IBM SmartCloud Analytics analyzes how the IT infrastructure is interrelated. It pulls together all performance data to help in detecting developing problems. IBM Mobile Device Management and Security protects mobile transactions between the company and its employees or customers.

IBM enhanced the Maas360 suite developed by Fiberlink, to provide it as an on-premise software appliance. They also added Windows Phone 8 to existing Android and IOS support. Further enhancements help secure email, calendar and contact data.

Summary

IBM is positioning Pulse as its key venue for Cloud announcements. They are definitely accomplishing that. In addition, they made clear that IBM is undergoing significant internal change to assure it will be leading the way as the use and delivery of IT services changes both IT and the enterprises and businesses they support.  Read our other blogs about Pulse for more details. While Las Vegas airport signs make clear that what happens in Las Vegas, stays there, IBM obviously believes their announcements will change that  and these happenings in Las Vegas will not just stay in Las Vegas. We tend to agree.

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