IBM Drives Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, Social Adoption for Enterprises

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-04-30

IBM Drives Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, Social Adoption for Enterprises

LAS VEGAS—IBM unveiled new business process and integration software and services that will enable enterprise organizations to accelerate adoption of core technologies of the day, including big data, cloud, mobile and social business technologies.

In addition to announcing the MessageSight, an appliance designed to help organizations manage and communicate with the billions of mobile devices and sensors found in systems such as automobiles, traffic management systems, smart buildings and household appliances, IBM also announced it is extending its business process management (BPM) and operational decision management (ODM) products to integrate with the IBM MobileFirst portfolio. With access to these MobileFirst capabilities, users can now infuse their processes and operational decision making into custom mobile apps, accelerating the delivery of mobile BPM applications and tapping into location, camera and notification features, IBM said. IBM made the announcements at its IBM Impact 2013 conference (April 28-May 2) here.

Indeed, for organizations seeking a fast, easy and cost-effective way to manage business operations, IBM is making both BPM and ODM products available on the SmartCloud as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. These advances in cloud options for business processes complement a new release of IBM Blueworks Live, a SaaS-based cloud offering that enables clients to capture, document and understand the decisions that businesses use to run their operations.

With this announcement, IBM is also bringing together its consulting expertise to enable clients to make their business operations more agile and customer-centric. As industries rapidly transform and customer demands increase, businesses are under pressure to aggressively stay in touch with—and even ahead of—their customers' needs. To help business leaders design their operations for change, IBM is announcing new BPM products that combine IBM Global Business Services' deep industry and process expertise with IBM software to enable clients to be proactive and respond rapidly. These products will initially target the banking, insurance and financial markets, and health care industries.

"The technology shifts created by big data, cloud, mobile and social business are drastically changing the business landscape, driving an intelligent, interconnected and instrumented world that is smarter than ever before," Marie Wieck, general manager of WebSphere at IBM, said in a statement. "To be competitive on today's Smarter Planet, successful businesses must find ways to extend and connect their existing infrastructures to the billions of mobile devices and M2M [machine-to-machine] technologies that now exist. IBM's new offerings, being rolled out today, will simplify this process drastically."

IBM also said that on a Smarter Planet, business processes must be instant, seamless and insightful. Whether an insurance agent in the field needs to process a claim or a doctor requires immediate test results to seamlessly route patients through a hospital, these tasks are expected to be simple and immediate.

WestJet Airlines, a low-cost carrier based in Canada, is using IBM ODM software to enrich the travel experience for the more than 50,000 customers it serves daily. To better meet the needs of today's always-connected traveler, WestJet is using IBM technology to provide customers with notifications, from the moment they decide to take a trip to the day they return. Using IBM software, WestJet is integrating its notification capabilities with customer identity to provide customers with critical information at the right time through various channels. For instance, if an aircraft has changed to an alternate gate, travelers are now sent a real-time notification containing the new gate information.

IBM Drives Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, Social Adoption for Enterprises

"At WestJet, one of our priorities is to create a stress-free, enjoyable experience for our guests across the travel continuum," said Bill Souliere, WestJet architect and senior technical advisor, said in a statement. "Clearly, the mobility of individuals and the accessibility of information on-demand are very important factors for travelers today. By working with IBM technologies, we have been able to enhance our communications with our guests and gain competitive advantages by integrating intelligent solutions in the travel experience."

Matthew Key, a senior technologist at WestJet, said, "We built our airline on a great guest experience and we used technology to do that," noting that IBM accounted for much of that technology.

IBM announced other software to help users integrate front- and back-office systems and reinvent their business operations, including IBM API Management. IBM unveiled a product to help organizations securely create, manage and socialize APIs in an effort to extend their products and services to various mobile channels. Users also can access a collaboration portal to view operational metrics and gain business insights into how apps are performing in the market. For instance, a pharmaceutical company can give third-party developers access to online health care portals to create new and innovative apps with drug pricing, FDA information and provider data so pharmacists can instantly help patients.

Also, building on 15 years of experience, IBM announced its WebSphere Application Server (WAS) now supports several open-standards protocols and integrates with the MobileFirst platform and MessageSight to help organizations quickly build and run new Web applications that embrace big data, cloud, mobile and social business technologies. A large retailer can now provide customers with an enhanced shopping experience by quickly deploying a lightweight app, such as a digital storefront, that seamlessly connects and immediately analyzes data captured from social media sites and credit card companies. With real-time insights, retailers can determine the right products to offer customers at the right time.

The IBM Integration Bus also has been enhanced. With access to MobileFirst capabilities, organizations can now extend critical data to mobile devices in real time to improve business operations. Additionally, new traffic-shaping capabilities of the bus enable organizations to monitor and interpret massive amounts of data flowing into the enterprise from mobile devices. Now, a hospital can notify a doctor's mobile device automatically if a patient's vitals drastically drop, and retail companies can adjust inventory instantly by analyzing data coming in from mobile devices and apps, IBM said.

Delivering these technologies on an open architecture is imperative to allow clients to quickly and easily bridge the gap between their infrastructure and front-office systems, such as mobile devices. Through work with the OpenStack community to make its cloud services and software open-source-based, and the recently announced proposal to standardize Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), IBM continues to drive an open architecture approach to help simplify this process, said Angel Diaz, vice president of software standards and cloud at IBM. Further enhancing this effort is IBM's leadership in HTML5 and Apache Cordova, he added.

These new capabilities were on display at this year's IMPACT 2013 conference, which features more than 8,000 attendees and hundreds of client testimonials, presentations, workshops and product demos.

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