IBM InterConnect Summarized in Four Words: Cloud, IoT, Swift, and Watson
By Jim Lundy
We attended IBM’s annual InterConnect Customer Event in Las Vegas this week. The event had over 25,000 attendees and twelve different announcements in a number of Cloud related product areas. One of the more interesting parts of the event was how many customers IBM had on stage talking about how they use IBM products. It was a strong, bold move and everyone spend most of Monday talking about the keynote. This Blog post summarizes some of the key take aways from IBM InterConnect.
All Cloud All the Time – from IBM
After a great opening by IBM Customers, IBM SVP Robert LeBlanc threw down a gauntlet of announcements on Cloud – including new Partnerships with VMWare and an expansion of the IBM and Apple Partnership.
More than anything, we saw IBM throwing down proof points of its commitment to Cloud – with heavy emphasis on Hybrid Cloud – an area that other providers do not do as well in. One announcement that jumped out was IBM’s partnership with VMWare. VMWare’s offerings VMware vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN will now all run on the IBM Cloud. VMWare is a popular hybrid cloud option for enterprises. The IBM and VMWare partnership will put others, such as Citrix, on notice.
IBM also announced that Bitly and Gigster are moving to the IBM Cloud. More significantly, IBM and Github announced that Github enterprise will be available on IBM BlueMix for both cloud and hybrid cloud application development. Given those announcements and the new Watson Cloud capabilities, what we saw at Interconnect was IBM’s all out shift in focus to all things Cloud.
IBM and Video – IBM Doubles Down
One of the most visible demonstrations of IBM’s focus on Cloud applications was its short talk about its new Cloud Video Platform. In the last two years, IBM has purchased Aspera, ClearLeap, and most recently UStream. These moves, two of which were in the last six months, make IBM a major player in Enterprise Video with a focus on Streaming and Content Management. We expect to hear more from IBM in this area in 2016.
Internet of Things and Smarter Buildings
When it comes to IoT, having Siemens partner with you on Industrial IoT for Commercial Buildings is something that shows proof of intent. Getting Boeing to come to the event and talk about how they work with IoT and are doing IOT for Boeing Planes was compelling.
Siemens was onstage on Day 1 and announced its Building Division was partnering with IBM’s IoT Division to maximize the potential of connected buildings and the data they create. Kone Elevators also announced a similar intent to work with IBM on Smart Buildings. Based on this, we expect others to partner with IBM for other IoT market opportunities. Overall, this demonstrates that the shift to IoT and Smart Buildings is happening faster than many anticipated.
Swift – Apple and IBM Partner on Swift for Linux
The Apple and IBM Partnership is alive and well. There is no better example than Apple’s move to make its new Mobile Language Swift, which it announced in 2014 (See Aragon Blog), fully Open Source last December. IBM announced that it was not only committing to Swift in its Mobile First IoS App Development Services, but that it was going to support the porting of Swift to Linux.
This means that enterprises will have both a front end Mobile App Development Platform and a Server Class Platform to build high performing apps – all with one language. This gives Apple a bigger launch pad into the enterprise and it helps IBM’s Cloud plan immensely against Amazon.
Watson – It is all about Watson APIs
IBM announced three new APIs and a commitment to Watson and IoT in a number of its keynote addresses. The three APIs are:
Tone Analyzer – Think of Tone Analyzer as Sentiment Analysis. IBM showed some interesting demos of this. The interesting part of Sentiment analysis is that people used to pay a lot to get access to a Sentiment analysis engine.
Emotion Analysis which is part of the Alchemy Suite of APIs, can help determine how a user is feeling based on analysis of related text. IBM claims that it can go further than normal sentiment analysis and analyze joy, fear, sadness, disgust, and more.
Visual Recognition, which is in beta, will allow Watson applications to recognize and tag images. The new capabilities will allow Watson to be trained for specific and unique Visual cues for images.
These announcements, in addition to the Security and IoT news, make it clear that IBM’s biggest investments continue to be in Cloud and Cognitive Computing. Given the breadth of customers who did the talking at InterConnect, IBM is a growing force to be reckoned with in Cloud, IoT, Video and Cognitive.