IBM Launches NYC Bluemix Garage With Former Azure Exec
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Murray announced the opening of an IBM Bluemix Garage in New York to focus on the city's developers, entrepreneurs and fintech companies with cloud and blockchain. This is IBM's seventh Bluemix Garage. IBM launched its first Bluemix Garage in San Francisco to help startups get their ideas off the ground. At the garages, IBM enables developers to tap into IBM Cloud APIs around cognitive, Internet of things (IoT), unstructured data, social media and now blockchain to create applications. "Ramping up more companies on Bluemix will be a significant addition to New York City's tech economy, as it enables financial tech companies like us to innovate with APIs such as Watson," said Prashant Bhuyan, co-founder and CEO of Alpha Modus, in a statement. The New York City location joins IBM's network of Bluemix Garages around the world, which includes locations in San Francisco, London, Toronto, Nice, Tokyo and Singapore. More Bluemix Garages are planned for later this year, Murray said. "For the New York garage specifically, we'll cover Bluemix, Watson and IoT and all the other services that are part of the Bluemix platform," Murray said. "The New York garage will actually have a focus on financial services. And we're building a practice around blockchain. So we've had a couple of clients come in to get a taste of how we would use blockchain on Bluemix, but with a financial services approach."The new Bluemix Garage is located in the Galvanize facility at 315 Hudson St. in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, where a number of the city's tech startups have set up shop. "Having IBM's Bluemix Garage in New York City, within the Galvanize community, allows our strong network of developers and startups to leverage the power of the cloud and the expertise of IBM to competitively innovate products and apps in the growing fintech and blockchain spaces," said Jim Deters, co-founder and CEO of Galvanize, in a statement. Microsoft watcher Rob Enderle, founder of the Enderle Group, said he believes IBM's blockchain ramp is best next to a major financial market. "Conceptually, both the concept of the Bluemix Garage and the initial execution appear to be well-founded," Enderle said. "An interesting addition is the hiring of the Microsoft guy to run sales. This would indicate they are willing to pay to staff this effort properly, and that is also a strong indicator that they will be successful." Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, agreed, noting that the New York City Bluemix Garage is particularly interesting because it shows how the garage model, which focuses largely on developers and related issues, can be tweaked to address the commercial concerns of local customers. "With New York City being the financial navel of the Western Hemisphere, the focus on blockchain, fintech and financial services makes great sense," King said. "The hiring of the former Azure exec could signal that IBM is planning to up the commercial reach of Bluemix Garage, and more clearly pitch its value to enterprise clients and potential customers."
A new study from IBM describes how blockchain networks can help to eliminate frictions in the economy that are inhibiting business growth. IBM said there are a number of obstacles that add costs and complexity that hamper the growth of global business and trade. Blockchain, which creates a permanent and transparent record of transactions, helps to remove these obstacles, IBM said.