Nov 11, 2010

IBM unveils new industry-specific software platforms and solutions

BARCELONA, Spain - At the IBM Smarter Industry Symposium in Barcelona, IBM unveiled new industry-specific software platforms and solutions designed to help organizations deliver a better customer experience to their clients, while slashing the costs and time associated with bringing new products and services to market.

IBM industry product solutions are designed to tackle some of the toughest business challenges in sectors such as banking, insurance, finance, health care, oil and gas, telecommunications and retail, helping businesses avoid complex and costly software installations and configuration while reducing planning time.

Based on thousands of client successes among the largest enterprise IT customer base in the world, the new offerings are designed to help clients quickly adopt and benefit from new business analytics, security and mobile computing solutions to make their businesses more profitable, more flexible and provide a competitive advantage to help them become leaders in their industry.

A New Framework for High Tech and Manufacturing Industries

The latest addition to the framework portfolio, the IBM Product and Service Framework will cover such industries as aerospace and defense, automotive and electronics. This framework spans the entire enterprise for companies that define products, design, manufacture, ship, market, sell and service goods. It is designed to allow businesses to create and deploy new products and services for their customers. Additionally, businesses will be able to enhance their relationships with vendors and partners to design and deliver products in a more efficient and cost effective way.

The Product and Service Framework provides capabilities in three areas that are critical to most industrial companies:

* Insight and Product Innovation helps to reduce the cost and time of product development by up to five times through the integration of software, mechanical and electronics tools and processes;
* Operations and Supply Chain Optimization helps clients to predict and react to variability in supply and demand to meet customer expectations and maximize the return on assets (ROA);
* Marketing, Sales and Service Differentiation helps clients to capture new growth markets, increase revenues and support new business and service models.

New Software for Real-Time Visibility

IBM is also expanding the capabilities of its existing frameworks with new software solution products that help organizations aggregate information across the enterprise in one single view.

The IBM Integrated Information Core speeds and simplifies access to information pertaining to operations and provides a real-time view of business information and the ability to manage the enormous streams of data coming from sensors, instruments and equipment.

This increased visibility allows companies to speed decision making, cut costs and avoid unplanned shutdowns and increase production while streamlining operations. It extends the client's ability to manage enormous streams of data with a reference model which can integrate information from multiple systems – no matter where they are in the world – and share the data collected.

Made in IBM Labs: New Software that tracks and monitors vital assets

IBM Real-Time Asset Locator tracks and monitors assets such as capital equipment like computers, machinery or medical technology, in real-time to provide visibility of resources, and improve asset management processes. It proactively monitors state, condition, and utilization of assets to improve usage while improving employee productivity by minimizing the time they spend searching for critical tools and equipment.

IBM Real-Time Asset Locator software is one of many offerings IBM provides to help clients create networks of sensors to bring intelligence to the "Internet of things," a world in which interconnected sensors communicate an item's identity, inventory and location, as well as information on its environmental conditions -- such as temperature and humidity.

Technology Insights Gained from Thousands of Client Engagements

Each of these new technologies announced today will be incorporated into IBM's industry framework portfolio. Frameworks, consisting of products from IBM's entire software portfolio, utilize server, storage and networking products as well as the industry specific offerings and consulting expertise of IBM Global Business and Global Technology Services. The result is a repeatable platform upon which industry specific solutions can be developed, deployed and managed.

These frameworks act as a type of universal translator for the customized requirements and regulations of each industry that can be bundled together and facilitate the adoption of new technology such as business analytics or security. These technologies/solutions are designed to help customers realize these key capabilities through private, public and hybrid cloud delivery methods.

The new software industry solutions are pre-integrated products based on industry specific use patterns gleaned from thousands of Smarter Planet engagements, IBM Research, services assets, and IBM Software technologies. These fully integrated solutions eliminate the need to configure, install, and maintain multiple disparate applications. As a result, clients are able to more rapidly create and deploy new products and services for their customers that can result in increased revenue and profit margins.

Since their introduction in 2001, IBM frameworks have helped thousands of clients representing various industries become smarter and more interconnected. These latest offerings from IBM are backed by the new Industry Framework Business Partner Validation Program, which will oversee and support partner activity in generating additional software solutions. Under this program, third-party software application developers will have open access to the base platform contained in the Framework, allowing them to customize their own software to work with this technology. Numerous partners, including Siemens PLM and Parametric Technology Company, have already begun developing applications for the new Product and Service Framework. In all, IBM has more than 42,000 registered independent software vendors, many of whom develop applications that fit specific industry needs.