IBM Happenings: February 2009

IBM LogoThe month of February was frigid in my part of the world but it was red hot at IBM. There was a flurry of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The complete index of IBM Happenings (by year and month) is here. One of the major focus areas for IBM in 2009 will continue to be related to 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 is not using a metaphor — they are not talking about the “knowledge economy” or the spread of education throughout the world. The company has a vision about introducing intelligence into the way the world actually works — not into people but into the systems and processes that enable goods to be developed, manufactured, sold, bought, transported, and serviced.
The concept of making things smarter lies in pervasive instrumentation, sensors and powerful computing — enabling the control of what things do and how they work. A simple example is a garage door sensor. If a bicycle is left on the driveway, the door senses that something is in the way and stops the door closing process. A more sophisticated example would be a node on the power grid sensing that power consumption is increasing in one location and decreasing in another. As a result the node switches the delivery of power from the surplus area to the area in need thereby avoiding a brownout. Likewise a smart web server might notice an increase in demand and shift workloads to idle servers and power down servers that are idle. A hospital gurney being transported down the hall is sensed and causes a message to be posted to the patient’s electronic patient record and a message is sent to their primary care physician notifying the doctor that their patient has moved from the ER to a medical floor at the hospital. Take a look at the following YouTube video clip called “IBM Smarter Planet: Electronic Health Records for Evolving Healthcare“.
The potential is boundless. Stockholm’s intelligent traffic system, created by IBM, has resulted in 20 percent less gridlock and a 12-percent drop in emissions by sensing how many vehicles are moving in a particular part of the city. In Norway IBM built a system for the country’s largest food supplier that uses RFID technology to trace meat and poultry from the farm, through the supply chain, all the way to supermarket shelves. Smarter water? A collaboration between IBM and The Nature Conservancy is using computer modeling to simulate, monitor — and potentially manage — the behavior of river basins in the U.S., China, and Brazil.
There are countless projects of an urgent nature that can take advantage of IBM’s Smarter Planet vision to make the world more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. The result will be improved productivity, efficiency, responsiveness, profitability and huge societal benefits.
IBM is well positioned to continue delivering on large complex projects around the world. The financial results from this should be significant. Take a look at the IBM 2008 Annual Report for more insight about what they are doing.

List of Announcements for February 2009

IBM unveils Tivoli Storage Manager 6

IBM Tivoli Storage Manager 6 helps customers reduce operational costs by improving scalability and addressing the performance of their storage management assets.

IBM announces energy and environment validation program

IBM’s new technical validation program helps clients easily identify IBM Business Partner offerings that provide energy and environment benefits.

IBM to build 20 petaflop supercomputer

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has selected IBM to design and build two new supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

IBM delivers new talent management service

The Mid-Market Workforce Effectiveness service combines IBM’s human resource expertise with Lawson’s Strategic Human Capital Management suite.

Suntel selects IBM Lotus Unified Communications

Suntel is deploying Lotus Notes and Domino and Lotus Sametime for unified communications and collaboration and Lotus Symphony tools to its employees.

IBM unveils building blocks for 21st century infrastructure

The new products and services enable clients to use powerful computing systems to manage and gain insight from an increasing number of things in their physical infrastructure.

IBM advances enterprise cloud computing

IBM revealed a series of new products, services, clients and partnerships for its Blue Cloud initiative – through which IBM is collaborating to develop and test integrated cloud solutions for businesses.

IBM announces SPDE 3.0

IBM’s Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) Framework allows for the creation, delivery and management of new telecommunications, digital media and Internet-based services.

IBM to deliver software via cloud computing

IBM announced a new agreement with Amazon Web Services to deliver IBM software to clients and developers via the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud environment

1-800-FLOWERS.COM grows business with IBM

IBM announced that 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., the world’s leading florist and gift shop, has selected IBM to provide its new e-commerce platform.

IBM helps clients set CO2 reduction strategy

IBM’s Strategic Carbon Management offering assists clients in developing strategies to manage and reduce energy use and CO2 emissions.

IBM helps HFCL go green

The HFCL Group, a leading player in the telecom sector in India, has selected IBM to implement innovative blade server technology to reduce its operational costs and “Go Green”.

IBM, IBEC initiate rural broadband access

IBM and IBEC have begun to establish Broadband over Power Line networks for nearly 200,000 rural customers in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Virginia.

IBM study recommends biopartnering

A survey by IBM and Silico Research reveals that if biopharmaceutical companies fail to collaborate, they risk delays in the production of medicines, devices and diagnostics.

University of Louisville supercomputer advances research

The University of Louisville’s new IBM supercomputer will be used in areas such as cancer research, materials science, atmospheric modeling and bioinformatics.

IBM completes acquisition of ILOG

The ILOG Business Rule Management System, Optimization, Visualization, and Supply Chain Management portfolios will build upon IBM software and BPM leadership.

IBM releases “Building Smarter Retail Systems” podcast

The latest episode of the “Building a Smarter Planet” podcast series addresses changes retailers need to make in response to economic changes and empowered consumers.

Sara Lee, IBM sign services agreement

IBM has signed a seven-year agreement with Sara Lee Corporation to manage and maintain pieces of the consumer products company’s global back office operations.

IBM helps Bank of Chengdu build banking system

Bank of Chengdu has chosen the IBM POWER 595 platform to upgrade its core banking system.

IBM signs IT infrastructure deal with Kotak

IBM has signed a US$5 million IT services agreement with Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited — one of India’s leading banking and financial services providers.

IBM reports 2008 fourth-quarter and full-year results

IBM announced fourth-quarter 2008 diluted earnings of $3.28 per share from continuing operations compared with diluted earnings of $2.80 per share in the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of 17 percent as reported.

IBM announces LotusLive

IBM LotusLive, a cloud-based portfolio of social networking services, will serve as a single destination for all IBM Lotus online collaboration tools.

IBM and SAP announce Alloy

IBM and SAP AG will release their first joint software product, called Alloy, which connects IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP Business Suite.

IBM to acquire Outblaze’s e-mail service assets

The asset acquisition will accelerate IBM’s delivery of affordable, Web-based e-mail services in a software-as-a-service model.

Korea Exchange Bank migrates to IBM System z10

KEB’s migration to IBM System z10 enables the bank’s credit card business to create an advanced and smarter IT environment to improve efficiency and customer service.

BNP Paribas, IBM sign services agreement

IBM and BNP Paribas announced an agreement for their existing joint venture, BP2I, to support and manage the IT infrastructure operations of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.

Hospitals choose IBM to build electronic medical records

Capella Healthcare, Memorial Hermann Hospital System, Trillium Health Centre and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have turned to IBM to help build a smarter healthcare system.

IBM joins project to build smart grid for electric cars

IBM has joined the EDISON research consortium, a Denmark-based collaborative aimed at developing an intelligent infrastructure that will make possible the large scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy.

IBM launches health record system for Guang Dong Hospital

IBM announced the launch of a new suite of healthcare information sharing and analytics technologies at the Guang Dong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

IBM sheds light on the smart energy consumer

IBM Global Business Services’ new report, “Lighting the Way: Understanding the smart energy consumer,” shows that consumers are willing to become more involved with managing their energy use.

Scientists discover oldest words in the English language

Evolutionary language scientists from the University of Reading are using an IBM supercomputer, known as ThamesBlue, to investigate how languages evolve.
(‘I’, ‘we’, ‘who’ and the numbers ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ are amongst the oldest words.)

Pro Bono Partnership recognizes IBM as outstanding volunteer

The Pro Bono award was bestowed upon IBM in recognition of free legal assistance the company’s attorneys have provided to the Partnership’s clients.

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