New IBM Middleware Targets Three Verticals

Fifteen new integration solutions, geared toward the energy and utilities, government and consumer products verticals, bolster the company's drive toward an industry-specific approach.

Hawthorne, NEW YORK—Culminating the first phase of its effort to verticalize integration solutions for targeted industries, IBM on Monday announced 15 new middleware solutions across three industries.

The software announced Monday is geared toward the energy and utilities, government and consumer products verticals. The solutions—specific to an industry problem or process—look to solve an issue by providing functionality through applicable IBM technology.

The launches bring IBMs industry solutions to a total of 60 offerings spanning 12 industries: banking, financial markets, insurance, automotive, electronics, retail, telecommunications, energy and utilities, government, health care, life sciences and consumer products.

The IBM Middleware Solution for Energy and Utilities Trading and Settlements, for example, gathers information from IBMs Data Management, WebSphere Business Integration and Tivoli suites to bring risk-related information directly to energy traders desktops.

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

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

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 government suite includes modules that facilitate government access, an on-demand workplace, e-forms and record management, government collaboration and public safety.

The consumer products suite addresses item management—which calls on RFID (radio frequency identification) technology—customer management, consumer information management, brand management, and risk and compliance management.

The industry solutions are part of IBMs overall push to broaden its ISV program and provide better avenues for going to market with partners.

/zimages/5/28571.gifDoes Microsoft have designs on vertical markets? Click here to read more.

Late last year, IBM talked about its plans to accelerate software sales with an industry-specific approach that included training more than half of its sales force with technical and industry expertise, putting more money into its partner program to speed application development for small and midsized companies and offering vertically-oriented software for all of its brands.

The next phase of IBMs efforts will focus on customer adoption of its industry solutions.

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