IBM Spurs NYC Tech Ecosystem With Bluemix PaaS
Demonstrating its continued commitment to New York's tech industry and the cultivation of "Silicon Alley," IBM will soon open the doors of its new Astor Place offices. Home to the IBM Watson Group, the Astor Place offices will also offer an innovation lab for NYC startups interested in learning how to power their innovations with IBM Watson. "IBM is proud to have a strong partnership with the city of New York, and we are especially honored to help NYC power its digital economy with IBM Cloud and Bluemix," Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of Software and Cloud Solutions at IBM, said in a statement. "Adding to New York's status as the media and financial center of the world, Digital.NYC is designed to bring the city's dynamic and creative business culture into the cloud, and will help to unleash new innovations which will solidify New York's status as one of the world's greatest technology hubs." Digital.NYC, which will be available to the general public on Oct. 8, builds on the city's original New York Digital Map created in 2013 by Internet Week New York, and the city's We Are Made in NY campaign, which was expanded to incorporate digital companies in 2013. Earlier this year, NYCEDC convened a series of roundtables with key tech companies, community-based organizations, business improvement districts and other stakeholders to solicit feedback on how the site could best serve its users and New Yorkers in general. The site will be maintained by Gust.com and optimized for mobile use within 60 days. Meanwhile, IBM said Silicon Alley startups are relying on Bluemix to build mobile and Web apps quickly. For instance, Measurence, based in NYC's Flatiron District, uses IBM's SoftLayer cloud and Bluemix to power its analytics and intelligence platform so that brick-and-mortar retailers can quickly gauge metrics just by sensing the smart devices customers carry, providing insight into customer foot traffic, loyalty, time spent in the store, frequency of customer visits and more. Another example is data science startup 8 Path Solutions, which is based on New York's Upper West Side, and uses IBM's technology to create unique data analytics and data science solutions for its clients.IBM has sponsored Bluemix Garage events to help spur startups in other cities such as San Francisco. For example, the San Francisco BART public transit system developed a prototype mobile app in 15 days with Bluemix, a process that normally would have taken six months. IBM also is taking Bluemix to the seat of power. To spur innovations for government, IBM is launching a Bluemix developer challenge in the Washington, D.C., area that will leverage open data sources in creating new citizen-engaging apps.
Moreover, Digital.NYC further supports IBM's strategy of nurturing, investing and providing support to entrepreneurs, startups, venture capitalists and other members of tech ecosystems, who tap into Big Blue's expertise and innovations to fuel new ideas. As the first major dedicated hub created for the digital industry in New York City, Digital.NYC will serve as a model for other tech and startup economies around the world.