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Sandy Carter

General ManagerEcosystem Development

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Startups and ISVs: Get started easily with IBM Bluemix and SoftLayer

June 2014 

Develop quickly: IBM Bluemix and IBM Bluemix Days

I recently saw Cody Burleson's video and blog about his IBM Bluemix experience. He succinctly addresses all of my favorite elements about IBM Bluemix: the ease, the speed, the flexibility. He compares them to Legos, building blocks that are easy to assemble the way that you want and to remix into something else. At the end he says, "That's why we all became developers. We're action artists." That's a beautiful description.

Every developer I've know has been an action-oriented individual who wanted to create a solution. IBM Bluemix removes many of the obstacles that slow down that action. As the 200 IBM Bluemix Days continue around the world, I continue to be astonished at how removing those obstacles translates into a blinding speed of execution. This goes so far beyond tooling or style. It is a fundamental change in how we will create applications in the cloud for the future.

Brian Droessler, from Connected, says in his video, that they are not an IT company, not a cloud company. Yet, working through IBM Bluemix they are able to take advantage of those capabilities and remain focused on their core competencies, making vehicles safer and more efficient. Other disciplines who might not think of themselves as IT people are starting to see potential for their own ideas.

The data scientist's guide to IBM Bluemix demonstrates how this technology helps those who come from a different disciplines. The English alphabet has only 26 letters, yet those are combined into millions of thoughts every day—some serious, some profound, some entertaining. IBM Bluemix is becoming a technological alphabet that will allow people who never thought of themselves as developers to have a voice in the future of technology. I can't wait to see what those voices say next!

IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator

I also just watched the IBM Alpha Zone Launch video, showing the highlights of the event introducing this incredible new program for startups. IBM worked with ZionTech Blue Initiatives to offer a six month professional and deep immersion program to help entrepreneurs develop solutions for the enterprise market. The program is located at the IBM Israel offices and has several areas of focus: big data, analytics, cloud, mobile, security, Internet of Things, and Smarter Commerce. Startups will have access to top-notch mentorships, technical training and support, and IBM infrastructure.

The IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator includes office space and resources of the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative as well as business and technological mentorship. What I really like about this program is that it approaches both technical and business development. A lot of great ideas never get off the ground because they don't have a solid business to support their technology. Many issues that seem unimportant—such as correctly approaching industries, dealing with legal issues, taxation issues, intellectual property, and many more—can catch a startup by surprise.

This is a fantastic opportunity to tap into IBM's 100+ years of experience as well as the collected experience of our Business Partners. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with investors who can make all the difference to having a successful venture. Find out more and how to get involved at the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator.  

IBM Bluemix, Watson and Connections at Tiecon

I was very excited to be at Tiecon 2014. Tiecon is one of the largest entrepreneur events in the world. I was with over 4,000 entrepreneurs and saw the Tie50, 50 top entrepreneurs that were honored for their outstanding achievements. It was especially exciting to be representing IBM because innovation and the core technologies that drive the innovation were all highlighted here.

The Grand Keynote that kicked off the entire conference featured Mike Rhodin, our senior vice president of Watson, with Manoj Saxena, a top business capital investor in the Watson area. In addition, the tracks were all around big data where we played a major role with not just participants on the panel but also a workshop around big data for entrepreneurs. We also saw a big focus around the whole area of cloud, and in addition to being on the solution panel, we also had a cloud workshop that that focused on, not just IBM Bluemix, but SoftLayer and the new Internet of Things cloud.

Speaking of the Internet of Things, we had a blowout keynote on the Internet of Things, resulting in hundreds of people requesting more information and working with IBM.  So, I'm excited to have participated in Tiecon as part of the overall IBM family, bringing into our family and our ecosystem more innovators, more entrepreneurs, and more startups.  

Deliver with speed at IBM Innovate

Innovate 2014 is happening in Orlando, Florida. Just a glance at the keynote speaker page gives a taste of the diversity of ideas that will be available to attendees. That's not surprising when you gather 4000+ IBM clients, Business Partners, and IBM subject matter experts and leaders from over 57 countries.

This year's event will be all about speedy delivery of technology, with special tracks for Continuous Engineering, DevOps and Innovation. There will be special activities for executives, managers and developers, because none of us really work in isolation. It's the perfect event to rekindle the fire and find how you can make your vision a reality, faster than you imagined. Expect some great things to come out of this.

Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments: My Twitter ID is @sandy_carter and my blog is

Continued success!

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Sandy Carter
General Manager - Ecosystem Development

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