IBM Launches New IoT Software, Services, Ecosystem

IBM announced a slew of new software and services to help foster an ecosystem around its recently announced Internet of Things (IoT) play.

Internet of Things

Adding some detail to its plan to invest $3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, IBM announced new software and services to enable an ecosystem of partners and customers to build and manage the connected products and systems at the heart of the IoT.

At the end of March, IBM announced the establishment of a new IoT business unit where more than 2,000 IBM consultants, researchers and developers will support the new initiative and help enterprise clients gain new insights. Today IBM added new software and services, including IBM IoT Industry Solutions, the IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform and Bluemix IoT Zone, and the IBM IoT Ecosystem.

"The IoT is generating massive amounts of data -- data from mobile phones, automobiles, appliances and industrial appliances -- that can be captured, analyzed and transformed into actionable insights, in a secure manner," said Chris O'Connor, general manager of offerings for IBM Internet of Things, in a statement. "IBM is helping innovators who design and produce the next generation of connected devices and those who operate and maintain those devices deal with the increasing complexity of creating products and solutions quickly to meet the needs of consumers."

IBM is offering two new IoT industry solutions. The first is IBM Aviation Maintenance to optimize the availability and extend the life of complex, safety- critical aviation components. The second, IBM Product Line Engineering (PLE) has capabilities to help engineers more efficiently customize product designs for specific markets.

The IBM Aviation Maintenance solution will enable commercial and government aviation organizations to more effectively schedule and manage complex maintenance tasks, and reduce the time to return expensive components to productive use, IBM said.

It builds on the IBM Maximo Asset Management solution, and adds new capability for hardware and software configuration management, work scheduling, and management of depreciation and warranty costs for components shared among service organizations. The new software can be used with other IBM Maximo offerings.

The IBM PLE software enables companies to more efficiently customize product designs for specific markets without encountering the exponential design complexity typically associated with this challenge, the company said.

Companies deploying PLE have been able to significantly increase their number of product variations (while reducing associated design expense), meeting ever- increasing consumer demands for individualized product experiences. IBM said the new capabilities can help reduce development costs by as much as 80 percent. The new IBM PLE will be available in the second quarter of this year. Early versions of these capabilities are available in public beta now here.

The IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform and Bluemix IoT Zone feature three new IBM IoT Cloud solutions and eight new I0T consulting services. The features include a real-time asset management offering, managed continuous engineering capabilities that help speed the development of IoT products and devices by enabling real-time feedback to engineers, and a new IoT Workbench service for modeling the design and impact of IoT systems.

IBM Managed CE for the IoT, delivered as a private single tenant environment, enables engineers to access continuous engineering capabilities from the cloud. Organizations can accumulate and access data from all deployed products and use that data to quickly change engineering directions and habits based on insights received from analysis. The offering includes IBM Continuous Engineering components, IBM MessageSight and IBM Bluemix running Hadoop services. IBM partner CloudOne provides management services, including virtual private clouds, flexible licensing management and visualization, performance monitoring, support, daily backups, upgrades, patching, and more.

The new IBM IoT Workbench (IoTWB) is designed to boost productivity and insight by allowing engineers to rapidly design, verify, test and deploy end-to-end IoT applications in a cloud-based environment. Based on Bluemix, IoTWB can take advantage of other services to help engineers better understand how their designs are performing once they are delivered to end users.