IBM announced that—based on Gartner’s definition of the application infrastructure and middleware market—the technology company has been named the overall market share leader for 2012.
This marks the 12th year in a row that IBM has taken the leading spot for middleware. According to the Gartner report: Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2012, IBM was the leading software vendor, with 30.9 percent market share, nearly double that of its closest competitor. The worldwide application infrastructure and middleware software market grew five percent to $20 billion, according to Gartner.
“We believe the latest Gartner report underscores IBM’s continued software leadership and shift to higher-value business areas that meet our clients’ most pressing long-term business initiatives,” Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software & Systems, said in a statement. “This news further demonstrates the success of this strategy and how IBM is helping usher its clients into the next era of computing.”
Besides its overall lead, the Gartner report also recognizes that IBM is growing in the major initiatives that serve as key underpinnings to the company’s higher-value growth initiatives, including Smarter Planet, big data, security, mobility and cloud.
For example, IBM was named the No. 1 vendor in Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) software with 28.6 percent share; almost triple that of its closest competitor. BPMS software enables companies to develop and implement processes that help their businesses integrate their business operations and data to be more agile and grow.
Gartner also reported that IBM continues to be No. 1 in other growing and key areas, including security information and event management, data integration tools, enterprise content management, enterprise asset management and IT operational management.
In addition, the report also noted strong growth by IBM in key segments of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, including e-commerce and marketing automation. IBM Smarter Commerce is focused on helping organizations transform their business operations to meet the rising demands of today’s digital consumers and reach new clients, including chief marketing officers.
IBM said its continued market share leadership in application infrastructure and middleware has been a key reason for the company’s strong growth and profits. Over the past decade, IBM’s Software has doubled its revenue and tripled its profits—driving more than $11 billion in profits in 2012 alone, and these numbers continue to grow. Contributing more than 44 percent of IBM’s business profits, IBM Software has become the profit driver for IBM, and a significant reason behind the company’s ongoing transformation.
One of the prime examples is IBM Smarter Commerce. Through a mix of R&D and acquisitions, IBM has positioned itself to help organizations address the digital consumer while at the same time reaching a new industry of buyers of IT, including the chief marketing officer (CMO) and the chief procurement officer (CPO), among others.
Smarter Commerce generated 200 percent growth in services signings and 55 percent growth in software as a service (SaaS) wins, IBM said. A key driver of IBM’s higher-value strategy, Smarter Commerce helps line-of-business leaders harness big data insights, often in the cloud, to better serve mobile and social consumers. As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said in a recent letter to shareholders, the most active of these new buyers in embracing higher-value technology have been chief marketing officers. CMOs are looking to reinvent the practice of marketing—for example, by understanding and enabling customers as individuals, rather than “segments.”
IBM Tops Middleware Market 12 Years in a Row
IBM recently announced that ING DIRECT Canada is applying a Smarter Commerce approach to consumer banking with IBM’s help in meeting the rising expectations of its 1.8 million digital customers. IBM is working with the online bank to deliver innovative, mobile financial services that improve ING DIRECT’s customer experience, including simplified account access across mobile and social media, voice recognition and advanced security.
Based on IBM software and services, these innovations support ING DIRECT’s Orange Snapshot initiative, designed to give its clients greater control to manage their accounts within their increasingly mobile and social lifestyles. Orange Snapshot gives mobile consumers a complete and simplified view of all their accounts, as well as bill payment and email money transfers, in two clicks. This allows consumers to sign on once from their mobile device, saving time and aggravation from multiple log-ins, a leading pain point identified in customer surveys.
“There is a seismic shift in what is happening in financial services,” ING DIRECT Canada CIO Charaka Kithulegoda, said in a statement. “Mobile banking is changing not only how people bank, but also what they expect from their banks and, ultimately, whom they choose to bank with. ING DIRECT, with IBM’s help, is committed to making banking simpler, more engaging and more relevant by giving customers the easy tools they need to bank whenever, wherever and however they want.”
Working with IBM, the bank’s latest mobile innovation allows clients to easily and securely access their ING DIRECT account information from within Facebook’s social networking site. Clients who opt-in to this app are able to view their account balances, history and pending transactions as well as receive account notifications—real-time messages automatically pushed to them within Facebook. With security and privacy top of mind, ING DIRECT plans to expand this application further to include transactions such as transfers, bill payments and email money transfers.
Furthermore, ING DIRECT allows clients to share their experiences through Facebook and Twitter to make saving money more intriguing. In a recent survey, ING DIRECT learned that 52 percent of consumers were able to forgo nonessential purchases when they could better visualize the impact their spending habits had.
“From online to mobile to social banking, ING DIRECT Canada has led the Canadian financial services industry in connecting with clients through new channels,” Kevin Custis, IBM’s global leader for mobility services, said in a statement. “IBM has become an essential partner in helping ING DIRECT build a flexible and scalable online and mobile infrastructure that enables the bank to support new devices and other digital channels while responding to changing customer demands.”
Meanwhile, in March, IBM and Coupa Software today announced that Rent-A-Center has achieved millions in savings by optimizing and centralizing its purchasing process in the cloud. With approximately 4,000 locations and 20,000 employees, Rent-A-Center was challenged with a highly decentralized and manual purchasing process with low employee adoption. In addition, signing up suppliers was time-consuming and complicated. As a result, the company was not efficient at consolidating purchasing to influence pricing or optimizing its contract, invoicing and supplier management processes.
IBM Tops Middleware Market 12 Years in a Row
Tasked with revamping the entire procurement process for greater efficiency and savings, Rent-A-Center relied on the combined power of procurement solutions offered by IBM Smarter Commerce and Coupa to streamline its spending. As a result, between 2010 and 2012, the $3 billion rent-to-own retailer increased visibility into its spending by automating how it sources—or finds and secures materials—for 90 indirect spend categories. From 2011 to 2012, the company reduced its supply base by 10 percent and decreased the number of invoices by 5 percent. Rent-A-Center is currently saving, on average, 10 percent on the indirect spend categories it has automated.
“The IBM and Coupa integration has been fundamental in driving our positive results as we revamped our procurement efforts,” Mike Wilding, senior vice president of accounting, global controller and CPO for Rent-A-Center, said in a statement. “A major part of our transformation focused on increasing productivity by automating manual processes like invoicing and contracts. We are very pleased with our savings to date, and we are on track to achieve our savings targets over the next few years.”
Using IBM Emptoris capabilities delivered via a SaaS model, Rent-A-Center quickly reduced sourcing costs and cycle times and increased accounts payable productivity. By subscribing to a SaaS model, the company was able to accelerate its cost savings and return on investment, and easily increase capacity for large sourcing events and peaks in activity.
The IBM Emptoris procurement suite is part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, which is designed to help companies manage their supply and demand processes through intelligent automation. The solutions, which can be deployed either on premise or via SaaS or Cloud delivery, are components of IBM’s growing SmartCloud portfolio of more than 70 SaaS and business process as a service (BPaaS) solutions.
“IBM and Coupa have helped Rent-A-Center streamline and control supplier management and reporting in one central solution,” said Pat Quirk, vice president, IBM procurement solutions. “Rent-A-Center is an example of how SaaS can speed delivery of services and eliminate technical complexity found with other solutions.”
“Our No. 1 focus is customer success,” Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of Coupa, in a statement. “The results that Rent-A-Center achieved are concrete examples of what can be done when there is a common vision between our customers, our partners and ourselves. Rent-A-Center reached all the goals we collectively hoped for—better visibility into indirect spend, substantial cost savings and increased business efficiencies. We look forward to seeing more customers unlock the value of spend optimization with IBM and Coupa.”
Rent-A-Center is expanding into other countries and has opened 90 new stores in Mexico between 2010 and 2012. The company uses Coupa and IBM’s procurement software for local supplier sourcing and procurement in Mexico as well, which helps minimize costs.