IBM Happenings: July 2007

IBM LogoThe month of July at IBM was filled with a slew of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The announcements included excellent earnings for the first quarter, continued moves with the company patent portfolio, some very large contract signings, the establishment of a Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power in France, a “Global Citizen’s Portfolio” for IBM employees, and a project which will enable the company to consolidate about 3,900 computer servers onto about 30 System Z mainframes running Linux. On the people side of IBM a significant change occurred this month when Dr. Paul Horn, senior vice president, IBM Research announced his retirement from IBM after 28 years.  Succeeding him is Dr. John Kelly, III, most recently senior vice president, Technology and Intellectual Property.
I first met Paul Horn in 1994 when we were both members of what was then called the senior management group. Paul was head of IBM’s Almaden Research Center and I was just beginning some grass roots efforts around the Internet. Two years later Paul took the helm at IBM Research and began a series of changes that were as profound as the evolution of the Internet. As had been the case for decades there continued to be major breakthroughs for IBM and society but Paul’s major impact was transforming IBM’s R&D and innovation model. IBM Research was already world renowned but Paul took it to the next level by increasing the focus on customer problems and speeding innovations to market that mattered to them. He also integrated exploratory work with more mature research, launched new strategic areas of huge importance such as computational biology and nanotechnology. Paul also opened up the labs to external influence and partnering with newly acquired companies and with clients.
Part of Paul’s legacy will surely be the defeat of a chess grandmaster by the famous Deep Blue chess playing supercomputer, but the more important move was placing a big bet on a totally new kind of machine called Blue Gene that could solve previously unsolvable problems. The deep computing programs that Paul developed have had a profound effect on IBM’s bottom-line while driving society-changing research programs in exploratory systems biology — work that is aiming to tackle some of the toughest problems in healthcare, like battling cancer or understanding how drugs interact with the molecules inside the human body. One of the side benefits was IBM’s entry into a multi-billion dollar life sciences business.
The best known business created by IBM Research has been around chips — prior to Paul’s reign, mostly used internally. The many advances of IBM scientists in chip design have lead to leaps in power, energy efficiency, and performance. The radical new design processes and exotic new materials pushed the limits of technology and made it possible for IBM PowerPC technology to be chosen by all of the top three game makers for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation 3. .
Paul is a big thinker and introduced many new research disciplines including Autonomic Computing, an entire new academic discipline called Services Science, and the Global Innovation Outlook. He also built two new IBM Research labs in the emerging markets of India and China — now the two fastest growing labs in IBM.
In short, Paul Horn has turned IBM Research into an engine of growth for IBM’s software, services and hardware businesses. As Paul moves into e-tirement I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute a lot to the greater good. He has already taken up the position of Distinguished Scientist in Residence at New York University, where he plans to lecture, do research and explore book ideas.
All the other announcements made by IBM during the month are below, and the complete Index of IBM Happenings (by year and month) is here.

List of Announcements for July 2007

IBM launches new storage solutions

IBM announced the next generation of tape solutions for IBM mainframe customers, with significant enhancements to the IBM Virtualization Engine TS7740.

IBM expands R&D expertise in Europe

IBM has launched a new IBM Innovation Center in Ireland and announced plans to open four new IBM Innovation Centers in Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Denmark.

IBM pledges free access to patents

IBM is granting universal and perpetual access to certain intellectual property needed to implement more than 150 standards designed to make software interoperable.

Gruppo Monte Paschi Siena signs services contract

IBM and Gruppo Monte Paschi Siena announced a 260 million euro IT Services agreement for IBM to improve efficiencies for the Italian bank’s Operational Consortium.

Iberdrola signs $84.4 million innovation agreement

Iberdrola, one of the world’s leading private energy groups, has entered into an US$84.4 million agreement that will promote IT innovation in Spain.

IBM establishes Center of Excellence for Nuclear Power

IBM is establishing the center in La Gaude, France, to support safe, reliable and efficient electricity generation by energy companies worldwide.

IDEA Cellular extends relationship with IBM

IDEA Cellular Ltd. and IBM announced a ten-year, $53 million contract to transform IDEA’s interactive voice response self-service infrastructure and processes.

IBM reports 2007 second-quarter results

IBM announced second-quarter 2007 diluted earnings of $1.55 per share from continuing operations, an increase of 19 percent as reported, compared with diluted earnings of $1.30 per share in the second quarter of 2006.

IBM to acquire DataMirror

DataMirror is a provider of technology that allows data changes to be delivered in real time to processes, applications and databases, ensuring accurate and trusted information.

IBM signs $1.4 billion agreement with AstraZeneca

The $1.4 billion, seven-year global strategic outsourcing agreement with AstraZeneca expands on the scope of an existing contract and covers the provision of IT infrastructure services to 60 countries.

Study reveals India’s automotive industry challenges

A study by IBM and the University of Michigan reveals that India still needs to overcome significant challenges to continue its rapid growth in the automotive industry.

Head of IBM Research Paul Horn retires

Dr. Paul Horn, senior vice president, IBM Research announced his retirement from IBM after 28 years. Succeeding him is Dr. John Kelly, III, most recently senior vice president, Technology and Intellectual Property.

IBM, IFC launch a small business toolkit

IBM and IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, launched a new version of a free small business toolkit specifically for small business owners in emerging markets.

IBM announces “Global Citizen’s Portfolio”

IBM’s Global Citizen’s Portfolio is a suite of investments and programs to help IBM employees enhance their skills and expertise.

IBM enhances integrated operating system

IBM’s i5/OS Version 6 will feature significant new security, Web services and virtualization capabilities to help businesses get the most out of their IT operations.

Keio University chooses IBM search software

Keio University has selected IBM enterprise search software to make it easier to intuitively search and access the university’s collection of research information.

IBM launches enhanced Maximo industry solution

IBM Maximo for Oil and Gas help companies meet reserve and production targets, while reducing costs and maintaining safety and environmental standards.

Bank selects IBM for information on demand initiative

The Bank of Beirut and the Arab Countries SAL has selected IBM software, hardware and industry expertise to create a business intelligence infrastructure.

IBM completes acquisition of Watchfire

IBM has completed its acquisition of Watchfire, a leading provider of web application vulnerability assessment and compliance solutions.

IBM announces server consolidation project

IBM will consolidate about 3,900 computer servers onto about 30 System z mainframes running Linux, cutting energy consumption by approximately 80 percent.

Time Warner, IBM enter patent agreement

The long-term patent cross-license agreement allows Time Warner Inc. and IBM to share information about new inventions, giving both companies freedom to innovate.

IBM unveils e-mail security appliance

IBM unveiled a virtual e-mail security solution based on the existing Proventia Network Mail Security System from its Internet Security Systems division.

UAB triples its computing power with Blue Gene/L

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has acquired an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer for biological research, tripling its computing power.

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