Archive for the ‘business partners’ Category
Good morning, Las Vegas.
You know, I joke about Vegas as my second home, but I really do have to admit, it’s a city that continues to grow on me.
And I’m sure that couldn’t have *anything* to do with the delightful, if dreadfully slow, round of golf I played yesterday at Las Vegas National.
As I mentioned in a post on Friday, this is the very same course (one of three) where Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour event, the Las Vegas Invitational, back in 1996 (he beat Davis Love III on the first playoff hole to win).
It’s also where Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others of the infamous “Rat Pack” used to hang out. I was only fifty years late on that front, but nonetheless, I did experience the course in all it’s glory and managed to pull of an 84. Considering Tiger’s 70 in 1996, I figure I was only .77 strokes a hole behind Tiger.
But enough sports analytics, because now all the play is behind me as I get down to work and the matter at hand, IBM Pulse 2013.
Please see my last post for some tips and tricks for navigating this year’s event (oh, did I mention, bring or go buy some comfortable shoes)?
I made my first navigation from the MGM hotel to the Convention Center this morning, and on the way, saw the now annual Burma Shave-like signs reminding us “we’re almost there!”
My favorite: Multitasking is all about doing several things badly all at once (There will be more of those tidbits of wisdom to come in future posts.)
Amen, oh great IBM Tivoli Confucian hallway philosopher!
Of course, this ain’t no Blazing Saddles shindig, so you actually *do* need a stinkin’ badge.
So, I picked mine up and wandered on into the Pulse Business Partner Summit to break a little fast, and chat with some of our partners.
When the lights went down, IBM Tivoli general manager soon hit the stage to “introduce” himself to the gathered wall-to-wall audience.
And it was quite an introduction. I’ve interviewed Deepak a few times now at IBM events, and even I had no idea of his depth of experience at IBM.
He explained he’s once been a UNIX programmer and helped bring TCP/IP to the mainframe, had worked on the SP2 supercomputer that once upon a time outwitted a Soviet chess superpower, and helped implement a number of key high availability and systems management capabilities into IBM’s mainframe line.
More recently, Deepak was the chief marketing officer for Lenovo before returning to the IBM fold to lead our Business Analytics efforts and oversee the acquisition of SPSS.
Deepak warmed the audience to him with a very funny story about having been representing IBM with its new supercomputer at a conference in frigid Rochester. Apparently, the IBM computer was very plain and vanilla looking, and so the competition started making fun of it.
Deepak and his team decided to run out to Wal-Mart and purchase some Christmas lights, which they promptly wrapped around their supercomputer (turned out IBM had the fastest supercomputer, Christmas lights and all).
After establishing his background and bona fides, Deepak got down to business, reaffirming the critical importance of IBM’s partners to the Tivoli and broader IBM business, but explaining none of us in the ecosystem could rest on our laurels.
“We must bring more industry and domain expertise” into our technologies, Deepak asserted, “and we must also bring our line of business and IT audiences more closely together.”
This, of course, observing a theme pervasive within IBM since CEO Ginni Rometty took the helm: We must focus more on our line of business executives.
From CMO to CFO, they are increasingly involved in the IT decision-making process, and the back office has moved to the front, requiring a more collaborative “sell” for both constituencies.
Deepak also acknowledged the pain IT organizations felt these last several years, and explained that’s why IBM has worked to try and free them from operational matters with technologies like PureSystems, so that they can spend more time working with their LOB partners on innovation.
Finally, Deepak walked the audience through a number of key core and growth priorities, ranking among them the continued focus on mainframe and storage evolution, the importance of standars, and looking forward to growth areas like endpoint management and cloud computing.
He talked specifically about the notion of the “portability of workloads,” explain how IBM has taken patterns from PureSystems and moving them to the cloud. (A line of questioning I aspire to take up in my interview tomorrow on the Livestream stage with PureSystems’ Nancy Pearson and Jason Gartner.)
He also tiptoed through the world of “dev-ops,” with specific regard to managing the life cycles of applications.
Finally, Deepak explained we can do more to improve the design and usability of our portfolio, and also use analytics (his old job!) to improve and make better operational decisions.
Pulse 2013 is underway…hold on to your console!
Hello there. I’m back in Austin, Texas, and no worse for the wear.
Las Vegas was…well, Las Vegas. Although I must say, I was most impressed with Wynn Las Vegas.
Steve Wynn has been a lightning rod of controversy during his reign as a resort mogul in Las Vegas (and, now, Macau), and having only seen him in interviews on “60 Minutes,” I can’t say as I had much of an opinion one way or the other.
But, after staying at his 60+ story hotel on the Strip these past few days, I can attest to the level of personal detail and attention he puts into his properties.
Upon arrival on Sunday, I waited a good 30 minutes just to check in. But, upon reflection, I guess that’s a good sign for Mr. Wynn and his couterie, and they were kind enough to bring me a bottle of water to myself and other customers who were patiently waiting.
But if hotels can do such a great job of enabling a streamlined checkout (video, phone check out, express checkout, etc.), there’s clearly still room for much improvement on better “processing” customers when they arrive. Smarter check-in, anybody?
But all in all, very impressed with the Wynn brand experience.
As for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit, I’m still processing all the great info I took in, and may dedicate a more thoughtful post on my experience about that later.
But, since I was pre-occupied for a few days, we’ve had some important IBM news that fell below my blogging radar.
The most notable announcement emerged earlier today, one for IBM Business Partners and their clients.
IBM announced today it is providing IBM Business Partners with $4 billion in financing for credit-qualified clients over a period of 12 months.
This financing, through IBM Global Financing, can make obtaining credit easier and more accessible to IBM’s global partner ecosystem and their clients to acquire advanced technologies such as cloud, analytics and PureSystems.
Also, IBM is launching a new mobile app as another step to simplify the way IBM’s Business Partners can apply for and secure financing for their clients within minutes via any mobile device.
This financing initiative builds on the $1 billion in financing IBM Global Financing made available through IBM Business Partners for small and midsized businesses in 2011, which resulted in 6,800 global companies using financing and enabling them to invest in some of these important emerging technologies.
To learn more, you can visit IBM Global Financing here.
Some big cloud news has just hovered over the IBM horizon.
Big! As in big, fluffy, floating cotton cumulus kinda clouds.
Only, we’re talking about the IT kind of cloud, not the real clouds.
Today, IBM announced a broad set of global initiatives to better position clients to take advantage of cloud opportunities.
Aimed at further expanding IBM’s cloud ecosystem, this effort is intended to enable organizations to develop solutions and services on IBM SmartCloud and PureSystems, built on open standards.
Managed Service Providers: Making The Cloud Real For Clients
As more clients embrace cloud computing, they are looking to local technology providers known as Managed Service Providers (MSP) to help them quickly develop cloud based services in a more simplistic, secure and economical way.
Managed service providers deliver a defined set of technology solutions or services to clients with a pay-as-you-go model. MSPs are largely leveraged by customers which want to take advantage of cloud technologies but lack the internal IT skills, resources and time.
As part of today’s news, IBM is taking its collaboration with MSPs and its global ecosystem one step further by enabling them to build innovative solutions and services on IBM’s advanced technologies such as SmartCloud, PureSystems, and analytics.
IBM will also provide MSPs access to IBM experts with deep technical skills at four new global centers of excellence; and offer an unmatched set of programs to support MSP marketing efforts to help them build their brands, generate demand for their services, and grow their marketing skills.
Additionally, IBM will offer affordable financing options through IBM Global Financing to help MSPs acquire new technologies.
Here are some of the highlights from today’s announcement:
- Access to Global Centers of Excellence: IBM is launching new Global Centers of Excellence in Shanghai; Tokyo; Ehningen, Germany; and New York City to provide MSPs with access to IBM’s deep technical expertise to develop innovative cloud services and solutions on IBM’s open stack to address industry-specific client needs. This will enable MSPs to get hands-on technical expertise in building skills on technologies such as IBM SmartCloud, PureSystems, storage, security and collaboration. MSPs will also have access to IBM’s 40 IBM Innovation Centers in 33 countries for joint client engagements. In addition, IBM will launch a virtual briefing center that will provide an ongoing forum for MSPs to share ideas and knowledge around industry challenges clients are facing today. This community will enable ongoing engagement of MSPs as well as IBM experts to share best practices.
- Dedicated Marketing and Sales Support: IBM will now offer an unmatched set of marketing and sales support initiatives tailored to MSPs. These initiatives are designed to help MSPs grow their businesses, build their brands and create demand for their capabilities. The new program will provide MSPs with solutions for building a complete marketing plan and a four-part education effort on how to effectively use social media to grow their businesses and better target their clients. Additionally, MSPs will gain access to IBM analytics capabilities to help them identify new customers and capture additional opportunities with their existing customers. As part of the program, MSPs will also receive dedicated support from IBM to guide them through the program and take advantage of the resources made available. A significant part of the $100 million IBM has invested annually in marketing efforts for its global ecosystem will now be made available to MSPs and their marketing efforts.
- Seizing the Opportunity with PureSystems: PureSystems will provide a new, integrated, by-design platform for MSPs to tune hardware and software resources for data intensive workloads. The integration of the PureSystems platform, coupled with the patterns of expertise technology and the flexibility to configure an application for either an on-premise or hosted environment, makes the PureSystems platform a natural choice for MSPs.
- Building on the Advanced Capabilities of IBM SmartCloud: MSPs can take advantage of IBM’s SmartCloud, including an option to integrate the offering as an IBM-backed solution or under their own brand in the market built on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise to expand the services they offer. IBM will also work with new MSPs to design and develop their data center strategies, leveraging IBM’s years of experience in data center best practices.
- Financing Options through IBM Global Financing (IGF): MSPs can acquire new technology solutions and services to support their growth with flexible, affordable payment plans for IBM systems, software and services — including 12-month, 0% loans for IBM Systems, Storage and Software. A payment plan from IGF can provide MSPs with low monthly payment options while avoiding large, up-front cash payments, the ability to upgrade their systems mid-lease and improve IT asset management. MSPs that select PureSystems platforms may defer their first payment for 90 days.
Expanding the IBM Cloud Ecosystem, Addressing Cloud Security Concerns
Members of IBM’s ecosystem, which includes independent software vendors, systems integrators, value-added resellers, and MSPs are collaborating with IBM to take advantage of IBM’s higher value capabilities such as SmartCloud, PureSystems and analytics to build industry specific cloud services.
To date, IBM has built relationships with more than 1,400 MSPs, such as Perimeter, Symmetry, Velocity, CenterBeam, Oxford Networks, PEER 1 Hosting, Connectria, and others. These MSPs are focused on delivering industry specific capabilities such as helping a small healthcare provider manage digital records on the cloud securely, or helping a midsize bank enable their clients to securely conduct more and more of their daily transactions via smartphones.
Additionally, IBM Business Partner Perimeter E-Security, based in Milford, CT, is collaborating with IBM to address the increasing cost, complexity, and stringent compliance requirements associated with securing communications and infrastructure in information intensive businesses such as banking, healthcare, and government.
Solving today’s regulatory and security challenges has and continues to become more and more cost prohibitive. While smaller financial institutions face the same regulatory pressure and data security threats, they lack the resources larger banks have to secure their institution.
Cloud technology is now making it possible for smaller banks to address these issues cost effectively. This collaboration complements Perimeter’s capabilities with advanced technologies such as IBM SmartCloud, storage, and security capabilities, as well as expanding the MSP’s global presence in growth markets such as Africa.
The new offerings, which range from developing skills to gaining access to IBM’s R&D and Innovation Centers, are another proof point of IBM’s focus on providing the right capabilities and expertise to help MSPs fulfill the evolving needs of today’s clients and, in turn, help MSPs grow their own business.
Today’s news builds on IBM’s recently announced sponsorship of the new OpenStack Foundation, an independent entity, to promote the project and open source cloud computing. OpenStack will enhance IBM’s SmartCloud Foundation offerings, drive deeper industry collaboration and accelerate momentum for critical industry standards while also making it easier for MSPs to consume IBM’s offerings through the Cloud.
You can learn more about IBM cloud computing initiatives here, and follow Managed Service Provider communications from IBM on Twitter using the hashtag #ibmmsp.