Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for July 2011

Happy Birthday IBM Selectric

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You’ve probably seen some of IBM’s communications and advertising this year, on TV, print and the Web, highlighting the fact that this is IBM’s Centennial year.

The IBM Selectric Typewriter, introduced in 1961, was an instant hit and sold more than 13 million units before it was retired in 1986. It has most recently been featured in the hit TV show, "Mad Men."

That means the company is 100 years old.

That’s a long time in real years, an eternity in Internet years.

But the celebrations continue, throughout 2011.  This month, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the IBM Selectric Typewriter, which you’ve probably seen most recently featured on the secretarys’ desks in the hit AMC show, “Mad Men.”

But I remember seeing Selectrics while growing up in north Texas, where my father owned a small insurance company, where many of his associates used the IBM Selectric as their everyday workhorse.

I marveled when I would watch that small, round steel ball with the letters superimposed on it move so quickly, turning itself at lightning speed to leave the imprint of one letter after another on the sheet of paper.

Of course, a few years later, when I was in college, it was the very same IBM Selectric model that I learned how to touch type on — typing class, one of the single most valuable college classes I ever took, I used to joke.

The Flying Golf Ball

The IBM Selectric was an instant sensation when it debuted on July 31, 1961, and it remained the typewriter found on most office desks until the brand was retired 25 years later, in 1986.

The Selectric had 2,800 parts, most designed from scratch, and was a major undertaking even for IBM, which had been in the typewriting business since the 1930s and already a market leader.

With its flying golf ball head, the Selectric marked a radical change from prior typewriter design, and took IBM seven years to work out the manufacturing and design challenges before it went on sale.

The Selectric was a game changer in several ways:

  • Its unique “golf ball” head allowed typists’ fingers to fly across the keyboard at unprecedented speed. An expert typist could clock 90 words per minute versus 50 with a traditional electric typewriter.
  • The golf ball moved across the page, making it the first typewriter to eliminate carriage return and reducing its footprint on office desks.
  • Interchangeable golf balls equipped with different fonts, italics, scientific notations and other languages could easily be swapped in.
  • With magnetic tape for storing characters added in 1964, the Selectric became the first (albeit analog) word-processor device.

From Selectric To System/360

The Selectric also formed the basis for early computer terminals and paved the way for keyboards to emerge as the primary way for people to interact with computers, as opposed to pressing buttons or levers.

A modified Selectric could be plugged into IBM’s System/360 computer, enabling engineers and researchers to interact with their computers in new ways.

“The Selectric typewriter, from its design to its functionality, was an innovation leader for its time and revolutionized the way people recorded information,” said Linda Sanford, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation, IBM, who was a development engineer on the Selectric. “Nearly two decades before computers were introduced, the Selectric laid the foundation for word-processing applications that boosted efficiency and productivity, and it inspired many user-friendly features in computers that we take for granted today.”

The Selectric has been highlighted as one of IBM’s top 100 milestones in the company’s century-long history. You can learn more about it here.

You can also go here to learn more about the U.S. postage stamp being released featuring the IBM Selectric.

UPDATE: My colleague Delaney wrote his own remembrance of the Selectric.  Be sure and watch the classic Selectric TV commercial he discovered on the YouTube!

Written by turbotodd

July 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Full ACM Interview On Social Intelligence

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I was asked by a reporter for the Association For Computing Machinery (better known as the “ACM”) Web site to do an interview recently on the subject of social intelligence.

You can see the fruits of our interview here.  Paul Hyland, the reporter, did a nice job of synthesizing the essence of what we communicated in our email interview.

However, there were a few things left out that I felt would have been helpful to the audience, so I’m attaching the full email interview exchange below.

Social intelligence as a social media analysis discipline is still in its infancy, but at IBM we’ve been working in this arena for several years. Though I see much analysis and focus in the marketplace around the social analysis tools, there seems to be a deficit on some of the organizational and methodological approaches necessary for effective social intelligence gathering and actionability.

Hopefully the full interview below provides some insights into how many of us are thinking about this space inside IBM, and certainly I welcome comments and others’ observations on the subject!

  • For those ACM News readers who aren’t familiar with the emerging concept of “social intelligence” (SI), can you give me a quick explanation of what it is all about and why it has become so important today? What are a few of the most obvious applications of SI?

I’m not going to try and speak for the entire industry, but will share an explanation of the concept as we’ve started to recognize it inside IBM.

Simply put, social intelligence is the gathering, management, and analysis of business intelligence via the social media.

Business intelligence, of course, can encompass a wide gamut of actionable data and insight that can assist organizations in their decision-making.

To answer the question of why it has become so important, it’s probably best to answer the last part of the question, as to what the most obvious applications of social intelligence are.

The importance is driven by the changing business realities that the advent of the social media represents.  There are now billions of people online around the globe, and those people represent a huge diversity of opinions, preferences, sentiments, and related expressions of interest across an even more diverse set of topics and issues.  That includes expressions that impact brands and organizations around the globe.

Those companies wishing to adapt, learn, and benefit from those expressions are well advised to “listen”to those conversations, and to work to glean useful information and insights from those expressions.

To do that effectively and efficiently requires organizations to establish new ways of gathering market insight and intelligence, this time via the social media, and to structure their social intelligence gathering efforts in a way that maximizes the benefit they get from the data and insight collected there.

Actual examples run the gamut of business functions.  PR and communications may be listening in order to understand the impact of a recent PR initiative…Marketing may be interested in understanding the awareness of a new product or service, or perhaps to understand how the competition is faring…support or CRM in a service business may be wanting to understand how happy customers are, or aren’t, with a new service initiative.  There are a garden variety of social intelligence mining opportunities.

  • Talk to me a bit about the analysis of SI data, which is more import to our readers than is the gathering and management of SI data.  What are the key aspects involved in that analysis?

Great question.  Whenever I talk to people about social intelligence, I like to put it in some kind of a construct to help people get their heads around the opportunity it presents.

I refer to the four “O’s” – organization, opportunity, outcomes, and operations.

With respect to organization, you need to determine where in your company the social intelligence gathering and analysis function should reside, as that will help determine the type of insight and analysis you’re to gather.

Opportunity helps determine what you’ll eventually come to analyze.  If you’re an organization that largely markets products, your social intelligence analysis could well center around gathering product feature insights, or competitive insights.

The outcomes help put the analysis to practical use.  Too often, companies don’t listen with any sort of end in mind.  Establish a hypothesis and outline what it is that you’re looking to ultimately do with the intelligence you gather. That will help focus and bring clarity to how your organization will use its social intelligence.

Finally, operations.  Build an operational framework for taking action on your social intelligence.  Establish an organizational workflow and identify the constituents whom you will share and ask to act on the social intelligence you distribute.

Then, hold them accountable for the actions emerging from those insights.  Otherwise, you may soon find you’re just gathering intelligence for its own sake instead of actively leveraging the insights you gather from it to the betterment of your business.

I find that this is where too many organizations typically start their social intelligence journey, with the tools and vendors as opposed to what is it they wish to elicit from their efforts.

Go back and start with the four O’s above, THEN, as part of your conscious evaluation of what you’re trying to accomplish, you can start to outline what partner vendors or tools will be your best fit.

If you’ve read any of Forrester’s work in this area, you know they break this market into three key areas: Social dashboards, Multichannel Analytics Providers, and Listening Service Partners.

Full disclosure: IBM is in this business, with products like Cognos Consumer Insight (which would fall into the Multichannel Analytics category), but as a practicing marketer as well, we’ve examined and experimented with tools and vendors across this spectrum.

If you’re simply looking for a dashboard that allows you to monitor the landscape, and you’re going to establish a certain self-sufficiency, then the social dashboard approach may fit best for you.

If you need more handholding or professional services, or want a partner that can help you gather, analyze and even summarize your social intelligence, then an LSP would be warranted.

If you’re looking to gather data both in and outside the social media realm, structured and unstructured, then you’ll need a Multi-Channel Analytics Providers’ solution that can accommodate those unique requirements.

There are scores of vendors in each of these areas, and I’d be doing a disservice trying to mention certain tools without identifying specific use cases.  That said, here is a link to a wiki that was put together of some of the more notable social media monitoring solutions.

  • I know that “social intelligence” is also a psychological term. Are you familiar with that term? In order to avoid confusing our readers, is there any connection between the two? I need to draw a distinction.

I was not aware of the psychological orientation of the term until you mentioned it, but upon looking it up on Wikipedia, I would certainly distinguish that original definition with what I’m referring to here.

That definition describes social intelligence as the exclusively human capacity to use very large brains to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments.

Earlier, I set this discussion up with the definition centering around social intelligence being the gathering, management, and analysis of business intelligence via the social media.

The distinction is pretty clear, although I would argue the former definition could be applicable with the social media definition if you were attempting to do a social network analysis of a group of people online, and trying to understand and negotiate the social relationships and environment (read: the social graph).  Otherwise, I think they’re pretty well distinct from one another.

  • Can you provide a “further reading list” of sources of information on social intelligence for those readers who want to learn more.

I have my own personal preferences.  Since this is an emerging area, a lot of the useful insight you’ll find is on blogs and from people in the analyst’s community.

For the latter, I really like the work Forrester’s Zach Hofer Shall puts out around influence and what he refers to as “customer intelligence.”  Note, however, that though his blog is public, much of Forrester’s research is by subscription only.

I also like to keep up with work from the Altimeter Group, notably Jeremiah Owyang and Susan Etlinger.

And of course, it’s also helpful to follow blogs from some of the key vendors in this space.  A few names I’d suggest would include Converseon, Radian6, Cymfony, and Nielsen Online, among others.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be relevant to our readers concerning SI that we haven’t covered here?

The easiest way to get up to speed on social intelligence is to practice.  Practice definitely makes more perfect in this emerging space.

You can easily practice your own form of simple, DIY social intelligence by establishing a few Google News/Blog alerts.  Perhaps you want to monitor a few keywords relevant to your competition.  Or scan the social media for mentions of your brand.

You don’t have to have a multi-million or –thousand dollar investment to get started, that’s the beauty and economics of social media.  So, do some basic monitoring to get going and build from there.

Also, work to educate your colleagues about the opportunity social intelligence presents by offering them up some insight that nobody has been able to collect.  That will help get and keep their attention, and give you the opportunity to make the case for getting investment to take your social intelligence to the next level.

Happy And Sad

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This past weekend was something of a mixed blessing.

Friday was my birthday…I’m not going to say which one…I joked that it was the 29th…my second 29th!

I spent all day Friday working, but it was a good, full and productive day, and Friday evening some great friends took me out for dinner to celebrate, where we all had a great time.

But social media news travels faster than greased lightning, and I had, of course, also heard about the tragedy in Norway earlier in the day via Twitter, and watched in horror as the reports and details rolled in — first about the bomb in Oslo, and later the shootings on the small island of Utoya.

My heart goes out to the people of Norway and in particular to the friends and families of those who were impacted. It was encouraging to hear that over 150,000 Norwegians came into the streets earlier today to express their solidarity.

More stunning with the horrible tragedy, of course, was discovering the originator of the attack was one of Norway’s own, Anders Behring Breivik, a 32 year-old right wing extremist who inspires thoughts more of the Ku Klux Klan than Al-Qaeda.

Breivik’s 1,500 page hate manifesto published online quoted extensively from that most technophobic of terrorists, the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.  Ironic, considering that Breivik also spent hours playing World of Warcraft online, even using the game to help cover his tracks when he left town to work on his bomb.

If proven guilty, it sure sounds like another tragedy if Norway’s legal system can only put Breivik away for 22 years for such an imaginable atrocity.

We heard some other tragic news over the weekend — not nearly as horrific, as some in the social media compared the two, but tragic nonetheless: R&B singer Amy Winehouse’s untimely passing in London.

Though I wasn’t a rabid fan, I thoroughly enjoyed Winehouse’s music and first saw her perform on the Grammys in 2008.

Winehouse had a kind of  “—- you” sensibility that I found refreshing, much like her music, a sound that always suggested to me sounds of a kind of evolved Motown. Winehouse’s music was new and old all at the same time.

Yet I think many fans sensed from Winehouse’s persona and media presence an unwillingness or stubbornness to reach out and touch someone, when she probably could have used all the help she could get.

She even sang about her reticence to do so on one of her most famous songs, “Rehab”:

“They tried to make go to rehab, I said “No, no, no.”

I think I speak for a whole bunch of her fans when I suggest we all wish she’d have said “Yes, yes, yes!”

This was entirely too short a life cut short by an entirely too tragic, and yet common and uncharitably characteristic, fame-laden music career.

One that, with the proper help and focus, maybe could have kept Winehouse from joining the so-called “27 Club,” a moniker I personally detest (and which makes reference to other great rock n roll greats like Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, all of whom also perished from addiction- and/or depression-related deaths).

Comic actor and Winehouse friend Russell Brand blogged about Winehouse’s passing yesterday.

Excerpts from Brand’s post provide some thoughtful suggestions on how society moving from judgment to understanding could improve the opportunity for earlier intervention for addicts like Winehouse and which could also save both lives and money:

…Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease.

Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.

We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense.

Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not.

Either way, there will be a phone call.

The phone call to Winehouses’ parents this weekend is one that no family should ever have to receive…but which is way more common than any of us care to admit.

Written by turbotodd

July 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Planets Aligned

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Is it a coincidence that Apple releases Mac OS X Lion and the new MacBook Air models on the anniversary of the Eagle landing on the moon 42 years ago?

Perhaps…but if the timing were really well thought through, STS-135 Atlantis might have landed back on earth today as opposed to its scheduled landing tomorrow.

Pretty soon, we space nuts will have to look beyond the Space Shuttle for our orbital kicks.

In fact, I’m already looking beyond the Shuttle and into the Heavens, and to the increased focus on commercial space ventures.

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced today that the Dawn spacecraft, which the company built for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, successfully achieved orbit around the solar system’s move massive asteroid, Vesta, which resides in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and which is 1.7 billion-miles away.

It took Dawn four years to make it out to Vesta, and successfully entered its orbit last Friday. As its mission progresses over the next year, Dawn will descend to additional science orbits at 425 miles and then 125 miles above the asteroid’s surface, which is said to be the size of Arizona.

Godspeed to the Asteroid Mapper…it’s going to have to be the next best thing to a man (or woman) being there.

Back here on Earth, IBM shared some good news earlier today, awarding nearly $1 million in Smarter Planet grants to 11 organizations around the world.

Known as the IBM Centennial Grants, these are both monetary and in-kind awards up to U.S. $100,000 each which fund innovative projects in areas such as healthcare, energy, and food safety.

These grants fall under the auspices of IBM’s continued “Celebration of Service” as the company enters its second century of social engagement and of IBMers helping their communities work better.

By way of example, one award recipient, the Drishtee Foundation, i funding a Smart Rural Aggregation Platform which will help evolve Drishtee’s model villages into sustainable Smarter Villages in rural India.

The solution will help to aggregate critical services and products related with livelihood, agriculture and information services and making services accessible to farmers and village communities.

You can read more about IBM’s Celebration of Service here.

Written by turbotodd

July 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

IBM 2Q 2011 Earnings: Revenue Up 12%, Net Income Up 11%

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IBM’s earnings for second quarter 2011 just came across the wire.

Here’s the topline:

  • Diluted EPS: GAAP: $3.00, up 15 percent; Operating (non-GAAP): $3.09, up 18 percent
  • Revenue: $26.7 billion, up 12 percent, up 5 percent adjusting for currency
  • Net income: GAAP: $3.7 billion, up 8 percent; Operating (non-GAAP): $3.8 billion, up 11 percent
  • Pre-tax income: GAAP: $4.9 billion, up 7 percent; Operating (non-GAAP): $5.0 billion, up 10 percent
  • Gross profit margin: GAAP: 46.4 percent, up 0.9 points
  • Operating (non-GAAP): 46.8 percent, up 1.2 points
  • Software revenue up 17 percent, 10 percent adjusting for currency
  • Systems and Technology revenue up 17 percent, 12 percent adjusting for currency
  • System z mainframe revenue up 61 percent; MIPS up 86 percent; Power Systems up 12 percent
  • Services revenue up 10 percent, 2 percent adjusting for currency
  • Services backlog of $144 billion, up $15 billion
  • Growth markets revenue up 23 percent, 13 percent adjusting for currency
  • Business analytics revenue up more than 20 percent in the first half
  • Smarter Planet revenue up more than 50 percent in the first half
  • Cloud revenue on track to double in 2011
  • Full-year 2011 Operating (non-GAAP) EPS expectations raised to at least $13.25 from at least $13.15.

“In the second quarter our long-term strategic investments in the company’s growth initiatives again helped drive strong revenue performance,” said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Hardware, software and services revenue grew at double digits, and we achieved strong profit and free cash flow growth.

“As IBM begins its second century, we continue a process of transformation, positioning the company to lead in the future and deliver higher value to our clients and our shareholders. Given our strong start to 2011, we are raising our full-year operating earnings per share expectations to at least $13.25.”

Written by turbotodd

July 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Smarter Web Metrics

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The weekend in sports proved to be as about as exciting as I had hoped.

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke became the third man from that region to win a golf major in 3 of the last 6, and it was Clarke’s first British Open title.

And as to the U.S. Women’s soccer team, they played a nailbiter of a match, but in the end the team from Japan won on penalty kicks.

My hat goes off to both teams.  I had a whole living room full of soccer fans, and we were all nervous wrecks up to that last penalty kick that gave Japan this year’s World Cup trophy.

Still, it was an awesome game all the way around, and I wish my friends in Japan a very happy celebration.  They could probably stand some good news about now!

Now, on to business.

Later today, IBM will announces its second quarter 2010 earnings.  You can check the Investor Relations site for more details.

On the announcement front, today saw the introduction of a new cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite intended to help organizations automate online marketing campaigns across their online channels, including web sites, social media networks, and even mobile phones.

The new offering combines the best of Coremetrics and Unica, and provides analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine tune their marketing campaigns, and create personalized offers in real-time across channels.

More Digital, More Integration

With 64 percent of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it’s critical that marketers understand online behavior and refine their marketing activities accordingly.

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite automates and simplifies a company’s ability to design and deliver a tailored online experience and marketing promotions through real-time personalized recommendations, email ad targeting, and more:

  • Enables marketers to perform advanced segmentation and automate marketing execution based on multichannel data, including off-line data sources
  • Delivers real-time product recommendations for all online channels, including social, mobile, email, and display ads
  • Provides A/B testing capabilities to help search engine marketers compare pairs of search terms to determine the most cost-effective terms and associated ads
  • Incorporates best practice key performance indicators and corresponding industry-specific benchmarks
  • Supports deep analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing program is the most effective.

Using this technology, businesses will be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly.

IBM’s suite also enables businesses to deliver and fine tune digital marketing programs based on what customers are doing offline.

For example, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories.

The benefit to the customer is a consistent, relevant brand experience that reflects all of their online preferences, not just what they did, read or saw on one specific site.

Smarter Web Metrics, Smarter Commerce

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is the newest addition to IBM’s family of Smarter Commerce solutions,which is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of social networking and mobile computing.

Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.

To learn more about this and other marketing solutions please visit the IBM Enterprise Marketing Management site.

Banking On Genetics

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It’s Friday.

What’s going on in the world?

The question this Friday is, what’s not??

We’re still anxiously awaiting whether the U.S. government is going to come an agreement and raise the debt ceiling.

“Carmageddon” is going to shut down the 405 freeway in Los Angeles for 53 hours this weekend.

News Corporation continues to announce a doozy a day, with today’s big one being the resignation of  News Intl. Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks.

Casey Anthony is expected to be released from prison this weekend in Florida.

And the U.S. Women’s soccer team takes on Japan Sunday in Germany for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup title.

Oh, and the British Open is this weekend.

My DVR hard drive is gonna be burning it up!

But today, the big news from IBM is how its technology is being used to help advance the research of human genetic disease.

IBM announced today that Coriell Institute for Medical Research, the largest biobank of living human cells, is using IBM technology to help the institute more efficiently maintain its massive collection of biological resources. As a vital player in modern biomedical research, Coriell manages cryogenic freezers that can house up to 48,000 samples and which may experience a mechanical failure while in use.

In the past, response teams had only been alerted in the event of a total failure of the unit requiring the staff to quickly move the biological samples to a standby unit.

Coriell can now better protect millions of genetic samples while also increasing its capacity to manage the volume of data generated by analyzing the genomes of large and diverse populations needed to examine the causes of critical diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

With the implementation of IBM monitoring software, Coriell researchers are now also instantly alerted in advance to quickly respond before any mechanical failure occurs and in turn, protect the integrity of the sample.

Big Science, Big Data

Scientists from major research centers around the world draw upon Coriell’s diverse collections of biomaterials, which contain cell lines, DNA, and other samples, representing more than half of  approximately 4,000 known genetic diseases.

In addition, Coriell is exploring advancement in personalized medicine using one’s genetic information to tailor individual patient medical care while ensuring an individual’s privacy.

“The healthcare industry is placing greater emphasis on the use of genetic information in making medical decisions,” said Scott Megill, Coriell’s Chief Information Officer.  “As a leader in genomics, Coriell is exploring the clinical utility of this personalized approach to medicine.  The breadth of data output created by our research introduced new challenges to analyze and store this information,” Megill added. “IBM is enabling Coriell to more effectively gather and analyze this data for our research.”

Coriell needed to address the challenge of supporting data collections generated from more than two million ampules of cells, one million vials of DNA, and hundreds of thousands of other biomaterials.

In addition, the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative Research Study – which captures an individual’s genetic differences to better understand causes for diseases – created an additional data challenge to the Institute.  Each participant in the study is genotyped using an array-based technology producing more than two million points of data, equaling approximately 1.5 GB of information per person.

With a target goal of 100,000 participants for the study, Coriell faced a massive information storage demand that was simply too cost prohibitive using legacy storage platforms.

Coriell turned to IBM and IBM Business Partner Mainline to help drive the organization’s technology transformation to help manage the millions of biological samples and associated data.  The use of  IBM storage system at Coriell scales more cost effectively than traditional disk storage and, as a result of using  IBM’s low-cost storage technology, Coriell has reduced its information storage costs by 30 percent.

Banking On Genetics

In order to meet the challenges of a biobanking center that supports national and international scientific research, Coriell also looked to IBM to provide a process tracking system to quickly and easily adapt to the nuances of such a diverse biological collection.

Layered with Coriell’s inventory management system, IBM software allows Coriell to electronically track each sample as it moves through various laboratory processes. These samples vary greatly in type, disease state, age, and other characteristics, and the ability to quickly pinpoint the location and specific processing stage of a particular sample provides a key advantage to Coriell.

“Globalization has created an enormous opportunity for small to midsize firms such as Coriell to collaborate with research centers around the world.  As advanced technologies have become affordable and available, Coriell is able to keep costs down and increase efficiency while also driving innovation in the area of personalized medicine,” said Andy Monshaw, general manager of IBM’s Global Midmarket Business. “Aligning the right technology infrastructure to meet its Big Data challenges, Coriell is well positioned to promote tomorrow’s medicines and treatments to help usher in a new era of medicine.”

The complete Coriell solution is powered by IBM technology that includes IBM XIV Storage System, IBM Tivoli Maximo, IBM Tivoli Netcool and IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition.

Written by turbotodd

July 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Cloud Expansion In Japan

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Ah, it’s a happy day for me.  Why, you ask??  Golf, of course!

The Open Championship kicked off at Royal St. George’s in Scotland, another of golf’s major tournaments.

In fact, it’s gonna be a very busy weekend, what with our rockin’ U.S. Women’s soccer team having taken out France in the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup yesterday evening.

Nice match again, ladies.  And good luck against Japan on Sunday!

On the topic of Japan, today in Tokyo IBM announced a broad expansion of its cloud computing services for customers there and in the Asia Pacific region.

The new IBM Cloud Data Center, along with a data center for LotusLive, IBM’s cloud collaboration service, will extend IBM’s cloud delivery network of cloud computing centers that serve in over 50 countries around the world.

To date, IBM has centers based in Singapore, Germany, Canada, and the United States; and 13 global cloud labs, of which seven are based in Asia Pacific – China, India, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.

The new IBM Cloud Data Center located in Makuhari, Japan delivers IBM’s SmartCloud enterprise-class services which include a broad spectrum of secure managed services, to run diverse workloads across multiple delivery methods both public and private.

LotusLive Expansion

In addition, IBM announced it will open a dedicated data center for LotusLive, IBM’s cloud-based collaboration services, in Japan. The data center, which will be available later this year, is designed to allow customers in Japan to more easily move to the cloud.

LotusLive offers integrated social collaboration tools that combine a company’s business social network with capabilities such as file storing and sharing, instant messaging, Web conferencing and activity management.

This secure integration allows users to share and edit information, host online meetings and manage activities easily inside and outside company boundaries.

The Japan data center is designed to help improve network performance and increase business opportunities for LotusLive users. The center will allow clients, who cannot take their data outside the country due to security and regulatory compliance, to work in a security-rich cloud environment.

You can learn more via the IBM Japan cloud computing site (Warning: It’s in Japanese!)

Go here for an English language site on IBM’s SmartCloud initiative.

Written by turbotodd

July 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Mumbai

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My heart goes out to the citizens of Mumbai, India.

Once again, they are apparently under attack by terrorists, this time with three bomb blasts in three different locations around Mumbai, including Dadar, the Opera House, and the Zaveri Bazaar areas.

I’ve been attempting to follow the #mumbai and #mumbaiblasts streams on Twitter, but honestly, they’re moving by faster than what I saw with the Egypt protests in January, so it’s difficult to get much info there (at least on TweetDeck).

I’ve been following New Delhi TV (ndtv.com) and also the Times of India (timesofindia.com).  CNN and MSNBC have also finally clued in.

Reports now have the first bomb going off at south Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, near the Mumbadevi temple, and where there are also a number of jewelry stores.

The second was in a taxi in the Dadar area of Central Mumbai, and the third at the Opera House in south Mumbai, just after 7 pm.

The Times of India reports all three are busy commercial and residential areas, and were bustling with people and traffic during Mumbai’s evening peak hours when the explosions occurred.

NDTV is reporting Lashkar -e-Taiba may likely have been involved, as they were in 2008.  AP reporting at least 8 dead and 70 injured.  Sadly, those numbers could likely grow as more reports come in.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the good people of India.

Written by turbotodd

July 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Posted in terrorism, twitter

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New Big Iron: Introducing The zEnterprise 114

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IBM introduced some new big iron earlier today.

The new server is the IBM zEnterprise 114 mainframe server and is geared towards mid-sized organizations looking to enjoy the benefits of a mainframe as the foundation for their data centers.

This box costs 25% less and offers up to 25% more performance than its predecessor, the System z10 BC server.

Clients utilizing this new server can consolidate workloads from 40 x86 processors running Oracle on to a new z114 with just three processors running Linux…that’s 40 down to 3.

Over a three year period, total costs for hardware, software, and support on the new z114 as compared to consolidated servers can be up to 80% less with similar savings on floor space and energy.

Workload Optimized, Scalable And Secure By Design

The z114 was also built with scalability in mind.  Clients can start with smaller configurations and access additional capacity built into the server as needed without increasing the data center footprint or systems management complexity and cost.

The z114 is powered by up to 14 of the industry’s most sophisticated microprocessors, of which up to 10 can be configured as specialty engines.  These specialty engines, the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), are designed to integrate new Java, XML, and Linux applications and technologies with existing workloads, as well to optimize system resources and reduce costs on the mainframe.

By way of example, using a fully configured machine running Linux for System z, clients can create and maintain a Linux virtual server in the z114 for as little as $500 per year.

The z114 also offers up to an 18% performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over its predecessor the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25% improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements.

The z114 runs all the latest zEnterprise operating systems including the new z/OS V 1.13  announced today.  This new version adds new software deployment and disk management capabilities.

It also offers enhanced autonomics and early error detection features as well as the latest encryption and compliance features extending the mainframe’s industry leading security capabilities.

Additional compliance and encryption features, the result of a multi-year effort from IBM Research, further enhance security with cryptography built into the DNA of System z, by designing hardware with processor and coprocessor based encryption capabilities.

Where It Fits

At a starting price of under $75,000 — IBM’s lowest ever price for a mainframe server — the zEnterprise 114 is an especially attractive option for emerging markets experiencing rapid growth in new services for banking, retail, mobile devices, government services and other areas.

These organizations are faced with ever-increasing torrents of data and want smarter computing systems that help them operate efficiently, better understand customer behavior and needs, optimize decisions in real time and reduce risk.  

IBM also introduced new features that allow the zEnterprise System to integrate and manage workloads on additional platforms.  New today is support for select System x blades within the zEnterprise System.   These select System x blades can run Linux x86 applications unchanged, and in the future will be able to run Windows applications.

New Financing Options

IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing options for existing IBM clients looking to upgrade to a z114 as well as clients currently using select HP and Oracle servers.

For current System z clients, IBM Global Financing (IGF) can buy back older systems for cash and upgrade customers to the z114 on a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease, which offers a predictable monthly payment.

IGF will remove and recycle these older systems in compliance with environmental laws and regulations and pay clients the fair market value of  HP and Oracle-Sun servers.   IGF is also offering a 6 month deferral of any hardware, software, services or any combination for clients who wish to upgrade now, but pay later.

IGF is also offering a 0% financing for 12 months on any IBM Software, including IBM middleware for the z114 such as Tivoli, WebSphere, Rational, Lotus and Analytics products.

For additional information please check out this video or visit the IBM Systems website.

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