IBM Targets Three Verticals

Big Blue offers Middleware modules for the energy and utilities, government and consumer products markets.

IBM has capped the first phase of its effort to offer integration solutions for targeted vertical industries with 15 new Middleware Solution applicable to three industries.

Each solution packages IBM middleware components to address a problem or process specific to the energy and utilities, government, and consumer products vertical markets.

The IBM Middleware Solution for Energy & Utilities Trading & Settlements, for example, gathers information from IBMs data management, WebSphere Business Integration and Tivoli systems management software suites to provide energy traders with risk-related information.

"For each solution, we looked at a problem and then looked across the five categories [that WebSphere middleware encompasses] to see which [ones] need to come together," said Doug Brown, vice president of IBM Industry Solutions, during a media briefing last week at IBMs office here. "[They are] a representation of the categories of middleware that customers can choose from."

The 15 new solutions address four areas: business efficiency, people productivity, people collaboration and regulatory compliance, according to Brown.

The software for energy and utilities includes modules for regulatory compliance, asset operations, mobile work force management, trading and settlement, and contact center optimization. The middleware for government agencies includes modules that facilitate citizen and business access to government services, government employee access to information, e-forms and record management, government collaboration, and public safety.

IBMs consumer products suite addresses item management with an eye toward managing data produced by radio-frequency identification technologies, customer management, consumer information management, brand management, and risk and compliance management.

The industry solutions are part of plans IBM first articulated late last year to accelerate software sales by using an industry-specific approach. These plans include training more than half its sales force with technical and industry expertise, putting more money into its partner program to speed application development for small and midsize companies, and offering vertically oriented software for all its brands.

The latest middleware offerings bring the number of IBM industry solutions to more than 60. These span 12 areas: banking, financial markets, insurance, automotive, electronics, retail, telecommunications, energy and utilities, government, health care, life sciences, and consumer products.

The next phase of IBMs efforts to target specific industries will focus on customer adoption of its industry solutions, Brown said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions.
Be sure to add our enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page: