The month of April was another busy one at IBM with a flurry of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The complete index of IBM Happenings (by year and month) is here. The major focus area continues to be a "smarter planet". (See Sam Palmisano’s letter to investors for the full story on why the company is so optimistic). The Internet has made the world much smaller and "flatter” and now the next turn of the crank will make the world "smarter". IBM has a vision about introducing intelligence into the way the world actually works — into the systems and processes that enable goods to be developed, manufactured, sold, bought, transported, and serviced.
In the "transportation" category, IBM sees increasing demand on rail systems in the U.S. and around the world that will dramatically strain existing rail infrastructure. IBM has released a new study, "The Smarter Railroad," that analyzes new approaches to modernize and build high-speed rail networks around the world. Findings from the report show that there are significant challenges including capacity and congestion; operational efficiency, reliability, safety and security. Otherwise things are fine!
The report highlights emerging technologies that will help rail companies instrument, analyze and manage rail networks and equipment in real-time. By putting sensors on train locomotives, freight and tank cars, at train stations and on the tracks, it is possible to build a new rail infrastructure that can meet dramatically increasing demand for rail transportation. Even meeting current demand is a challenge — forty cents of every revenue dollar is spent maintaining the rail system. IBM plans to kindle collaboration among the many different stakeholders, including the rail companies, shippers, car owners, travel agents, municipalities, and the various intermodal carriers and customers. IBM is putting a lot of muscle behind the rail infrastructure and is getting good results already For example, Netherlands Railways, one of the busiest national railway networks in Europe, is using IBM software to manage more than 5,000 trains in the Netherlands through a network of 390 stations and 2,800 kilometers of track. The "smart" transportation system is improving the on-time performance for more than one million passengers per day by more accurately matching the number of trains in service to expected user traffic.
List of Announcements for April 2009
IBM to help Parma become a smarter city
IBM delivers LotusLive Engage
Sainsbury’s to transform supply chain with IBM
OMRON, IBM collaborate on green transportation
EnergyAustralia, IBM unite for smart grid
IBM unveils prototype of fastest financial analysis system
IBM announces Sustainable Procurement offering
IBM introduces new analytics and optimization services
IBM expands SOA partner offerings
IBM establishes cloud computing lab in Hong Kong
IBM study explores demand for smarter rail systems
IBM helps drive curriculum change for a smarter planet
IBM system to challenge humans on Jeopardy!
New IBM appliance delivers enterprise cloud services
IBM to open network of advanced analytics centers
IBM financing accelerates infrastructure initiatives
IBM to help combat drug counterfeiting
IBM partners gain dynamic infrastructure accreditation