IBM Launches Bluemix Garage in Toronto

IBM extended its Bluemix Garage strategy by opening its third physical workspace for developers building apps with IBM's Bluemix PaaS.

Bluemix Garage launch

IBM recently opened a new Bluemix Garage in Toronto, the first in Canada.

The company’s Bluemix Garage strategy is meant to meet developers on their home turf and to help enterprises of all sizes accelerate their development of cloud applications by using IBM Cloud technologies with design thinking methodology and agile development capabilities.

The Bluemix Garages create a bridge between the scale of enterprises and the culture of startups, by establishing physical collaboration spaces housed in the heart of thriving entrepreneurial communities around the world. Toronto marks the third Bluemix Garage, building on successful implementations in San Francisco and London. Further expansion is planned with the additions of Nice, France and Melbourne, Australia later this year, IBM said.

"Bluemix Garages help enterprises harness the spirit and pace of startups while pouring back into the local community with mentorship and skills development on the latest cloud technologies," said Steve Robinson, general manager of Cloud Platform Services at IBM, in a statement. "Today's rapid app development cycles require developers to use new tools and methodologies from across the ecosystem to quickly turn new ideas into enterprise-class cloud applications at consumer scale and innovate at the speed of cloud."

The Toronto Bluemix Garage will be located at the DMZ at Ryerson University, a university-based incubator in Canada. By combining IBM's cloud ecosystem with DMZ's network of international partners and in-house expertise, the Toronto Bluemix Garage experts will mentor the rising numbers of developers and startups in the region to create of the next generation of cloud apps and services using IBM's platform-as-a-service, Bluemix.

Last year, IBM pledged to invest $1 billion to create a market around Bluemix, and the company is putting its money where its mouth is. The developer-friendly, open-standards-based Bluemix catalog includes more than 100 tools and services—including prominent open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services—to enable developers to rapidly build cloud applications by tapping into a growing ecosystem of runtime frameworks and services.

Members of the Toronto Bluemix Garage include Tangerine, a direct everyday bank based in Canada that is using Bluemix to implement its mobile strategy. Using the IBM Mobile Quality Assurance for Bluemix service, Tangerine gathers customer feedback and actionable insight on its mobile banking app by streamlining its implementation and development processes.

"Tangerine's goal is to change the status quo in banking by offering simple, relevant products to our clients," said Charaka Kithulegoda, CIO of Tangerine, in a statement. "Bluemix provides the advanced tools and technologies we need to streamline our infrastructure, become more agile and improve the customer experience. Now with IBM's Toronto Bluemix Garage, Tangerine can be part of a physical environment to learn quickly, collaborate and create the next generation of mobile banking technology to further enhance our business."

The Bluemix Garages provide enterprises with access to developers and in turn opens the door for entrepreneurs and startups to IBM's extensive base of enterprise partners.

"This new partnership will provide IBM with an opportunity to work with some of our country's top tech talent to explore new ideas and methodologies," said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ at Ryerson University. "Our entrepreneurs will also greatly benefit from access to IBM's expertise and vast business network."

Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ and Ryerson Futures Inc.—its affiliated accelerator program—have incubated and accelerated 209 startups that have collectively raised more than $110 million in funding and fostered more than 1,879 jobs, IBM said.

At the IBM Impact 2014 conference, IBM announced the launch of the first Bluemix Garage, a physical location where developers, product managers and designers can collaborate with IBM experts to rapidly innovate and deliver new cloud apps deployed onto Bluemix.

Located in San Francisco, the first IBM Bluemix Garage became operational in June of last year to help developers with modern cloud technologies and disciplined Agile processes. Centered in dense startup communities, Bluemix Garages help redefine how developers use the cloud to turn new ideas into initial products, evolve them based on market feedback, and deliver scale and integration with client systems.