Live@Impact: Business. In Motion. Highlights from Monday's General Session
Mary Forlenza 270001BN8C MARYF@US.IBM.COM | | Tags:  impact2013 websphere_application_ser... messagesight cloud social_business ibmimpact mobilefirst mobile integration_bus big_data api_management
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Reporting from Las Vegas, Stephanie Hlavin, IBM WebSphere Communications.
Like any good Vegas show, Impact’s Monday opening session did not disappoint. There were no white tigers, but there was a club-worthy soundtrack and an 18-member marching band replete with drumline, brass and dancing color guards. Not to be outdone, Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Middleware, emerged from the driver’s seat of a 2013 Ford Fusion rising from a fog-covered dais with Vijay Sankaran, director of Application Development Services, Ford Motor Company, sitting shotgun.
Billed as a rolling data center, with 16 million lines of code, the Fusion offered a compelling illustration of how a storied, 150-year-old company is responding to the demands of business in motion. “We as a company have had to move our focus in terms of design and engineering leadership from just automotive leadership to software leadership,” said Sankaran.
This evolution is leading to a new breed of automobile, a new way of meeting customer expectations – and a new way of doing business. For Ford, this shift meant building a service delivery network (SDN) that lets them leverage many partners for real-time information and services. “We want to build a personalized connection with our customers,” Sankaran noted.
Vijay Sankaran and Robert LeBlanc
IBM WebSphere products provide the foundation that lets Ford deliver high-quality connectivity and services to customers on the road, securely and safely. Sankaran depends on WebSphere technology for running and integrating their internal systems of record and connecting to service partners. Sankaran adds, “Rational products are used to help ensure we build the right services with the right quality to support the connected vehicle.” It’s a win-win for all: customers get the personalized experience they expect; Ford gets the insights they need to deliver vehicles that keep car buyers coming back.
Life’s a moving target on a smarter planet
Marie Wieck next took the stage and explained to attendees how the combined forces of new technologies – social, cloud, big data and mobile – are giving rise to new systems of interaction among people, information and the physical world.
Wieck explained how IBM client, Rohde & Schwarz, is using IBM Worklight to securely integrate back-end data and deliver new, tablet-based content and apps for their sales team with just-in-time product information. Faster and better weren’t the only payoffs. Using Worklight, the company cut mobile development costs by 60 percent relative to the cost of doing native development across five platforms.
IBM Worklight was just one of the many new releases and enhancements unveiled at the General Session. By the end of the conference, IBM will announce 50 new capabilities. Read the press releases about driving enterprise adoption of big data, cloud, mobile and social business technologies and new technology to connect a Smarter Planet. You can also read our view about how "Mobile isn't a device. It's data." in today’s Wall Street Journal.
Just as new business systems require seamless integration, consumers also expect personal and engaging experiences. Comparing their legacy systems to an estate built over 38 years with more than 950 doors, Kim Skanson, Target Corporation’s senior director of Technology Services, shared how they respond to customer expectations while providing a differentiated guest experience online, in the store and on a mobile device.
With information in multiple systems, Target found it difficult to provide consistency of data or a consistent guest experience. “In response to this point-to-point dilemma,” Keith Tanski, Target’s director of Enterprise Architecture, said, “we put in place reusable, technology solutions that are responsive, stable and flexible. We partnered with IBM and IBM Business Partner Perficient to drive this agenda forward.”
With IBM WebSphere Commerce providing the foundational capability for Target.com, the company has created the reusability and flexibility to unlock its core back-end legacy systems. Tanski concluded, “By putting our business in motion, we are now able to provide the consistent experience that guests are demanding . . . and we are extending engagement to them in entirely new ways.”
Continuing with new product news, Wieck announced the IBM Integration Bus, the new consolidated enterprise service bus (ESB) offering that incorporates the best of IBM WebSphere Message Broker and IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus. IBM MessageSight is the new messaging appliance specifically engineered to handle the massive scale of the Internet of Things.
An oasis of insights in the desert
Making sense of information and using it to improve operations and uncover new insights is a big challenge – and one not limited to the private sector. Dr. Stephen Wells, president of Desert Research Institute (DRI), is pursuing an innovative public/private sector partnership that takes knowledge gleaned from scientific discovery and turns it into opportunities for economic development.
Currently, the non-profit has 300 research projects on all continents and employs more than 550 scientists, engineers and technicians. With so much data, DRI needed a reliable, easy-to-use solution for migrating to a centralized infrastructure.
The organization chose IBM PureSystems to “future-proof our investment”, Wells said, “adopting integrated systems as our strategic bet on the future direction of information systems.” With PureSystems as the building blocks of DRI’s new IT infrastructure, DRI is accomplishing things that they couldn’t before, like solving problems in 3D, 10 times faster; mapping agricultural consumptive water use from space using U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellite imagery; and processing satellite images in hours, instead of days. Wells left the audience with this endorsement, “Having capabilities like Pure to collect, process, understand and deliver the data that drives our world will not only make us smarter, better scientists, it will fundamentally change the way we do business in Nevada and around the world.”
Before bringing on the final guest speaker, Wieck took the stage a final time to share with the crowd details about the new, smaller IBM PureApplication System also known as the “mini,” along with another new family member, the IBM PureApplication System on IBM POWER7+ for high-end transactional workloads.
Wieck also announced the newest PureApplication System with simplified disaster recovery, increased security, advanced encryption options, and broadened application support for Linux and Microsoft Windows applications; more than 325 new partner patterns; and the newest member of the IBM PureData family, the IBM PureData System for Hadoop.
Other announcements include the new IBM database solutions using the ground-breaking BLU Acceleration with memory capabilities that can deliver up to 25 times faster reporting and analytics.
Forest Whitaker: Bring peace to the planet using technology
Distinguished artist and humanist, Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker sat down with Kristen Lauria, vice president of IBM Mobile Solutions and WebSphere Marketing, to discuss how his organization, PeaceEarth Foundation, is using technology to bring peace to the planet.
Focusing on teaching conflict resolution, life skills education and leadership skills throughout the world, Whitaker said he believes if we can integrate technology, people and ecosystems, and then step into that place on both sides of the computer, we can make peace happen and embrace a concept of oneness.