IBM Announces IoT Business Unit, Cloud Services

31 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

IBM Connects “Internet of Things” to the Enterprise.

IBM today announced that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, and that it is building a cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions.For its first major partnership, IBM said a unit of the Weather Co. will move its weather data services onto IBM’s cloud, so that customers can use the data in tandem with IBM’s analytics tools. IBM’s pioneering work in Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities was based on practical applications of IoT in the enterprise and led to a broad set of solutions, ranging from water management to optimizing retail and customer loyalty to alleviating traffic congestion.

The Armonk, New York-based technology company said its services will be based remotely in the cloud, and offer companies ways to make use of the new and multiplying sources of data such as building sensors, smartphones and home appliances to enhance their own products. These resources will be made available on an open platform to provide manufacturers with the ability to design and produce a new generation of connected devices that are better optimized for the IoT, and to help business leaders across industries create systems that better fuse enterprise and IoT data to inform decision-making. “Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. “IBM will enable clients and industry partners apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform. As a result, IBM is hoping that companies will be able to combine live weather forecasting with a range of business data, so companies can quickly adapt to customer buying patterns or supply chain issues connected to the weather. This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it’s a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters.” IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analyzed or acted on.

For example, insurance companies could send messages to policyholders in certain areas when hailstorms are approaching and tell them safe places to park, saving money all round. Or retail stores could compare weather forecasts with past data to predict surges or drop-offs in customer buying due to extreme weather, and to adjust staffing and supply chain logistics accordingly.

IBM said it was already working with some large companies, such as German tire maker Continental AG and jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney to help them use data in their processes. The company is targeting $40 billion in annual revenue from the cloud, big data, security and other growth areas by 2018, which should be about 45% of its total revenue at that time, based on analysts’ growth estimates. IBM Bluemix IoT Zone: New IoT services as part of IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service will enable developers to easily integrate IoT data into cloud-based development and deployment of IoT apps.

IBM IoT Ecosystem: Expansion of its ecosystem of IoT partners – from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers – such as AT&T, ARM, Semtech and newly announced The Weather Company – to ensure the secure and seamless integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s open platform. WSI’s forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days. The two companies will help industries utilize their understanding of weather on business outcomes and take action systemically to optimize those parts of their businesses.

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