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IBM launches cloud services initiativweArmonk, NY, )
Businesses face a unique set of challenges as they look to grow in a globally integrated economy. A perfect storm of data deluge, a fluid regulatory environment and widening information technology (IT) skills gaps is placing additional cost pressures on top of already resource-strapped organizations. As a result, businesses are looking for new ways to drive more value out of their IT infrastructures and free up resources for strategic growth investments.
"We are moving our clients, the industry and even IBM itself to have a mixture of data and applications that live in the data center and in the cloud," said Willy Chiu, vice president, high performance on demand solutions, IBM. "IBM's cloud computing strategy was inspired by feedback from the business world's broadest IT customer base indicating a growing desire to utilize data, applications and services from any device and from any location based on open standards."
IBM has a four-pronged strategy to capture the cloud computing opportunity by: 1) delivering its own cloud services portfolio; 2) helping ISVs design, build, deliver and market cloud services; 3) helping clients integrate cloud services into their business; and 4) providing cloud computing environments to businesses.
Throughout 2008 and 2009, IBM's clients and partners will have access to cloud services specialists through its worldwide network of 13 Cloud Computing Centers and 40 IBM Innovation Centers to help test applications via cloud computing models
New IBM Cloud Services
IBM's cloud services enable ISVs and clients to collaborate, innovate and build their own cloud computing infrastructures. New offerings include:
1. "Bluehouse" -- IBM is launching a free open beta for "Bluehouse," the first Web-delivered social networking and collaboration cloud service designed to connect people from different businesses. "Bluehouse" combines social networking and online collaboration tools to help businesses of all sizes to securely work together through firewalls and beyond organizational boundaries. This suite of hosted online technologies allows individuals to share documents, contacts, engage in joint project activities, host online meetings and build social networking communities via the cloud through a Web browser. The "Bluehouse" beta is available today at (http://bluehouse.lotus.com).
An example of IBM's Tomorrow at Work (hyperlink: http://www-03.ibm.com/...) initiative to anticipate trends in work styles, "Bluehouse" can be used by anyone to collaborate with external groups, such as partners, agencies, suppliers, customers and outside experts as easily and securely work with co-workers. Small and medium-sized businesses will benefit from minimal up-front costs and maintenance of this SaaS platform, and departments in larger companies will have a quick, simple way to work with their key stakeholders within their intranet and out on the Web.
2. Lotus Sametime Unyte -- Arranges quick, easy Web conferences including the sharing of documents, presentations or applications, through any Web connection. No on-site software server deployment or support is needed. By enabling businesses to communicate in real-time with a worldwide network of employees, partners and customers, Sametime Unyte will help local companies become global trading partners. IBM has built in several enhancements to Sametime Unyte to enable global customer use through multi-language support and faster network performance. In addition, several new features make online meetings easier, including a "waiting room" for meeting participants to gather and specialized alerts and prompts for meeting hosts. Soon IBM will integrate Sametime Unyte with Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime to allow people working in email or instant messaging to join Web conferences, with a single click of a button. Sametime Unyte is available at www.sametimeunyte.com.
3. IBM Rational Policy Tester OnDemand -- Helps reduce online risks by automating Web content scanning to isolate privacy, quality and accessibility compliance issues. Available as a subscription on an annual basis, this software helps improve trust by detecting online usability and compliance-related issues before they affect Web site visitors.
4. IBM Rational AppScan OnDemand -- Scans Web applications for security bugs, allowing customers to immediately identify sources of online risk without the necessary time and investment for in-house training and resources.
5. Telelogic Focal Point -- Helps customers better manage their software investment by providing product management teams with the ability to collect, analyze and prioritize product features in line with broader organizational goals. Telelogic Focal Point enhances communication by centralizing the product information shared by product management, engineering, marketing and other stakeholders.
New Cloud Services Resources for ISVs
IBM's cloud services resources can help ISVs build new applications quickly using open standards-based technologies. New resources include:
1. A new series of white papers, on-line demos and downloadable code to help ISVs address the common challenges of designing and building cloud-enabled services, such as multi-tenant architecture. Resources include enhanced technical blueprints on IBM's developerWorks Web site and technical support through IBM's global network of 40 Innovation Centers.
2. Creating a new SaaS Enablement Network of infrastructure providers that use IBM server technology to help ISVs deliver interoperable SaaS solutions, which allow disparate applications to work together. Members include Terremark, Rackforce, and iTricity, which recently opened a new Cloud Computing Hosting Center for Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. IBM added 100 partners to its SaaS Specialty program in 2008, the largest annual increase, which nearly doubles its SaaS partner ecosystem.
3. IBM Business Partners can take advantage of a variety of new marketing resources, including free web conferencing services using the IBM Lotus Sametime Unyte service.
On October 15 and 16, IBM will host partners and customers at its Executive Briefing Center in Palisades, New York, to discuss its cloud services strategy for this rapidly growing market. For more information on this event, visit https://www-950.ibm.com/....
For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.
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