IBM hopes to gain the trust of ISVs and clear a path for their embrace of its technologies through a troika of new application development and integration tools, vertical-specific offerings, and an expanded partner ecosystem.
The company plans to unveil these initiatives at its PartnerWorld conference in Las Vegas this week. If it can sell ISVs and resellers on the plan, the result for customers could be more third-party applications built on IBMs middleware stack and tailored to specific vertical industries.
The company will start this week by introducing its IBM Integrated Runtime tool kit.
When choosing a technology partner, ISVs must often decide between using Java and IBMs middleware tools or using Microsoft Corp.s .Net stack. IBM hopes Integrated Runtime will tilt the balance in its favor.
Built using components from the Armonk, N.Y., companys DB2 Universal Database Express and WebSphere Application Server Express, the tool kit is a preconfigured infrastructure on which ISVs can deploy Windows, Linux or OS/400 applications.
ISVs can then “glue” the Integrated Runtime technology to applications to create a single installation package, thanks to IBMs autonomic capabilities, IBM officials said.
Integrated Runtime beta tester Don Imhoff, vice president at Pittsburgh-based LogicLibrary Inc., said his company wanted to create a channel-ready, turnkey version of its Logidex software development asset-mapping product. Imhoff discovered that Integrated Runtime shortened enterprise customer installation from 8 hours to 21 minutes.
“The results were amazing,” Imhoff said. “What that allows us to do is redeploy our professional service resources on higher-margin services such as assets, assessments and a quick-start program to help customers through a pilot project.”
IBM will add a portal-enabling capability in future Integrated Runtime versions, officials said. Also at PartnerWorld, IBM will announce its Developer Works Migration Station, a portal offering geared toward helping ISVs migrate from a .Net to a WebSphere development environment. While there are no new tools in Migration Station, the portal aggregates technology design patterns, utility specifications and the like to help developers migrate Microsoft applications, databases, communications and operating systems to a platform that includes Web services and the Linux operating system.
IBMs Migration Station fits particularly well with the companys fundamental shift in how it goes to market with ISVs—with a vertical-industry approach. To this end, IBM will announce an initiative called PartnerWorld Industry Networks that will initially include portals for ISVs in five verticals: telecommunications, health care, life sciences, retail and banking. IBM will eventually address seven more industries.
As part of the program, ISVs will have access to several components for doing business with IBM, including business insight and IBM intellectual property around business issues and requirements. Another component, enablement blueprints, will act as references for solving specific vertical-industry issues with an IBM on-demand architecture. IBM is also offering marketing and sales support.
IBM will launch a second new-partner program at the conference. The program is centered on extensible workflow engines in its Tivoli Intelligent ThinkDynamic Orchestrator and Tivoli Provisioning Manager for automation. At the core of the program is the new Orchestration and Provisioning Automation Library, which provides methodologies and analysis for usage models to determine how to allocate resources to meet service-level agreements. “They are putting together a complete developers kit and documentation about the interfaces [in the tools] and making them accessible to anyone who wants to use them,” said one source familiar with IBMs plans.
Paula Musich contributed to this report.