IBM Blogference covering major announcements
Daryl Pereira 270002AW8D firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  impact09 supplychain
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In a move to reach out to both 'traditional' press and the emerging tribe of bloggers (like me), IBM hosted a Blogference at this year's IBM Impact.
To a standing room-only crowd, Sandy Carter highlighted some of the major announcements from IBM this week. Here are some highlights:
Innov8 2.0 launched
Innov8 is IBM's virtual training platform to help teach the skills needed by BPM and SOA practitioners based on solving real-world problems. The initial version has been in use at over a 1,000 universities and colleges (as far and wide as Beijing and Manchester) since its launch in 2007.
This platform was originally launched on the back of recommendations from universities to use serious gaming for teaching business skills. The direct benefit? Schools that use these serious games have noticed much higher recall in students. Innov8 1.0 was available on a CD with a curriculum for schools and colleges. Many business partners and clients had asked to have access to this and so the new Innov8 game is open to anyone via the web. University of Farmers, Claims (which serves 11,500 Farmers Insurance Exchange employees), is piloting the game for its students at its corporate university and employees at the Farmers HelpPoint call centers. It will be using the Innov8 2.0 call center simulation for training on automotive, home and specialty lines insurance claims processing. Another partner, Prolifics, will also be using the training platform in its training programs.
Originally the game only covered one area of business: customer service. This has since been expanding to take in supply chain and traffic management. Sandy points out that ILOG supply chain experts were involved in development of the supply chain lessons. Innov8 2.0 BPM Simulator is available to play online now.
Webspan: business process automation for the extended enterprise
Another announcement this week is that IBM and Hubspan have teamed up to provide an industry-leading BPM integration platform delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS). WebSpan helps businesses reduce the cost, complexity and risk of integrating business processes across internal and external communities.
According to their website:
"Uniquely, WebSpan provides any-to-any integration, which means it works with all systems, protocols, content and applications, whether legacy, on-premise or SaaS-based. WebSpan enables companies to create affordable business community networks and to automate business processes."
A plethora of social media activities
Sandy also took this opportunity to highlight some of the social activities taking place at Impact.
There is also a social media game intended to increase attendee participation in one of a number of social media properties. Something must be working because over 700 pictures of the event posted online to date.
For the sheer number of sessions on offer at the conference, how do you keep up with them all? Boothbuzz is an application that has been built on the Websphere sMash platform and allows you to interact with the schedule on a smart phone.
Sandy talked a little about the tools they have been using to track some of this activity, particularly on Twitter. A tool has been developed on Websphere that allows you to track the activity around search terms (or hashtags, in the Twitter world) and even search on all this information.
Through the use of social media, Sandy says that the Impact has seen a 10% uptick in registrations, year over year. Pretty impressive given the current state of the economy.
More on the announcements
See Sandy herself talk about the announcements on YouTube.
News on announcements from IBM Developerworks Blog.
James Taylor has coverage on the business ecology initiative and his take on Innov8. Read more
Andy Piper talks announcements, Jeremiah Owyang's social web presentation and more.