Turbotodd

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

Archive for January 2012

IBM To Acquire Enterprise Mobile Software Provider Worklight

leave a comment »

Today IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Worklight, a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software for smartphones and tablets, in a move that will help expand the enterprise mobile capabilities it offers to clients.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With this acquisition, IBM’s mobile offerings will span mobile application development, integration, security and management.

Worklight will become an important piece of IBM’s mobility strategy, offering clients an open platform that helps speed the delivery of existing and new mobile applications to multiple devices. It also helps enable secure connections between smartphone and tablet applications with enterprise IT systems.

In a recent study conducted by IBM of more than 3,000 global CIOs, 75 percent of respondents identified mobility solutions as one of their top spending priorities.

In fact, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones exceeded total PC shipments in 2011.

“Our clients are under increased pressure to meet the growing demands of a workforce and customer base that now treat mobility as mission critical to their business,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM application and infrastructure middleware. “With the acquisition of Worklight, IBM is well-positioned to help clients become smarter mobile enterprises reaching new markets.”

Worklight accelerates IBM’s comprehensive mobile portfolio, which is designed to help global corporations leverage the proliferation of all mobile devices — from laptops and smartphones to tablets. IBM has been steadily investing in this space for more than a decade, both organically and through acquisitions.

As a result, IBM can offer a complete portfolio of software and services that delivers enterprise-ready mobility for clients — from IT systems all the way through to mobile devices.

This builds on IBM’s deep understanding of its clients and their evolving IT needs over the last several decades. Today, the world’s top 20 communications service providers use IBM technology to run their applications, while every day more than one billion mobile phone subscribers are touched by IBM software.

Worklight supports consumer and employee-facing applications in a broad range of industries, including financial services, retail and healthcare. For example, a bank can create a single application that offers features to enable its customers to securely connect to their account, pay bills and manage their investments, regardless of the device they are using.

Similarly, a hospital could use Worklight technology to extend its existing IT system to allow direct input of health history, allergies, and prescriptions by a patient using a tablet. 

Worklight Builds on IBM’s Comprehensive Mobile Software and Services Offerings 

Ubiquitous connectivity provides businesses with unique opportunities to better connect with their customer base, interact with external users and employees in more efficient ways, drive productivity and reach new audiences.

IBM’s strategy is to offer its customers a complete set of the software and services they need to effectively bring mobile devices into their business infrastructure. These capabilities include:

  • Build and Connect Mobile Applications: The explosive growth of mobile has created a fragmented landscape for enterprises to support, often with limited budgets and skills. IBM’s development and integration tools, complemented by Worklight, help clients to develop mobile applications and their supporting infrastructures for a variety of platforms just once – including Apple iOS and Google Android – while offering capabilities to securely connect to corporate IT systems.
  • Manage and Secure Mobile Devices: As Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” gains popularity, IT departments are looking to find an efficient and secure way to enable employees’ use of mobile devices in the work place. Rather than implement a separate infrastructure solely for mobile devices, IBM’s offerings are helping customers deliver a single solution that effectively manages and secures all endpoints. These unified capabilities can now extend from servers and laptops, to smartphones and tablets.
  • Extend Existing Capabilities and Capitalize on New Business Opportunities: The rapid adoption of mobile computing is also creating demand for organizations to extend their current business capabilities to mobile devices, while capitalizing on the new opportunities that mobile devices uniquely provide. For instance, IBM’s software, services and industry frameworks offer clients the ability to use mobile to engage with their customers around growing business opportunities such as analytics, commerce and social business applications.

In addition to Worklight, IBM today is also unveiling IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, a new software system that will enable corporate users to manage and secure their mobile devices these applications are running on.

The acquisition of Worklight is expected to close in 1Q12. Worklight will sit within IBM’s Software Group.

Written by turbotodd

January 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

IBM SmartCamp Global Finals – San Francisco: Not Your Typical Camp Experience

leave a comment »

I never was much one for camp, save for the Boy Scouts day camp I used to attend every Texas hot summer.

There was one particularly memorable time at camp.  One of the parents was driving us home for the day, and the next thing I knew, I was rolling along the pavement.

Me, not the car.  The car kept going, until the parent realized I had inadvertently opened the door and rolled out onto the shoulder of the road.

Fortunately, nobody was behind us, and I got back into the car, a little worse for the wear, and even played in my Little League baseball game that evening despite the new strawberry on my leg.

But that was a different kind of camp, in a very different time and place.

And over the past year, IBM has been holding camps all over the world.  “Smart Camps,” where IBM venture capitalists look for the brightest startup companies around the world.

Because for IBM, innovation from the startup community is essential to our mission of building a smarter planet.

No company, including IBM, can all of that on their own.

So over the past year, IBM’s been searching the world for the best and the brightest startup companies.

And as I write this, I’m on my way to San Francisco, California, “startup central,” if you will, to learn more about the finalists in IBM’s Smart Camp competition, and to learn more about the innovative new solutions they’re working on to help address some of the toughest challenges cities face every day, including those like traffic, healthcare, retail, and communications, among others.

So what is IBM’s role in all this, aside from the competition itself? IBM is helping convert startups to “speedups,” by helping provide coaching and connections to IBM clients and partners.

IBM is working to help get these startups to market faster, while also providing IBM clients with the hottest new technologies.

Some Background On IBM SmartCamps

A quick flashback to see how this has fared in the past: The finalists for the 2010 SmartCamp finals went on to generate more than $50 million in VC/angel funding in the year following their SmartCamp appearance!

This week, nine technology start-ups from the business analytics realm, and from around the globe, are competing to be named “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

These nine finalists were selected among nearly one thousand applicants, and by winning their local SmartCamp competition, earned a spot in the finals to go head-to-head with the best in the world. There were nine SmartCamps held in 2011, including in Austin, Texas; New York, NY; Bangalore, India; Tel Aviv, Israel; Shanghai, China; Rio de Janiero, Brazil; London, England; Istanbul, Turkey; and Barcelona, Spain.

Some of my favorite cities around the world!

The IBM SmartCamp Global Finals will bring together hundreds of leading VCs, industry experts, press, analysts, and academics to network and celebrate entrepreneurship.

For now, I’m going to decamp the plane and head into San Francisco, where the week’s tidings are already underway.  Keep an eye on this blog for further coverage.

Luck

with one comment

I decided to try my luck last night watching “Luck,” the new Michael Mann directed, David Milch produced HBO series about the sport of horse racing.

If you’re not familiar with David Milch’s work, you’re missing some of the best TV ever: “Hill Street Blues,” “NYPD Blue,” “Deadwood,” “Brooklyn South.”  “Deadwood” has to be one of my all-time faves.

So Milch’s foray into horse racing, it turns out, wasn’t simply a fictional exercise.  He’s also been a race horse owner himself.

The first episode, like a good long 1 1/4 mile race, got off to a slow start, but by the end of the episode you could see some momentum building.

We’ll see how the race for ratings for “Luck” pans out in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, PGA golfer Kyle Stanley simply ran out of luck, or skill, or something at the Farmers Insurance tournament at Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA).

They were playing the South course over the weekend, one of my faves, and Stanley strutted into the 18th hole in his last round with a three stroke lead over Tennessean Brant Snedeker.

However, Stanley’s luck faded when he hit what seemed like a beauty of a shot over the water and behind the pin on the par 5 18th. However, the English he put on the ball spun it all the way back to the edge of the green and into the water.

Stanley then hit is now 5th shot into the green, and three putted for an 8, bringing Snedeker back into the tournament in a playoff that took them both back to the tee at 18. They tied on the first playoff hole, so they returned to the par 3 16th, where Snedeker sent his tee shot over the green next to the TV tower. He got a good drop (actually, a placement), and proceeded to chip within 6 feet.  No gimme, but a makable turning putt.

Stanley plopped his tee shot onto the short side of the green, then put his putt also within 5 or 6 feet. Snedeker was ruled out, and in his ever impatient style, dropped his putt directly into the cup. Stanley, however, slid his putt past the hole, and it was painful to watch him realize a tournament that was his wire-to-wire, had suddenly dropped beyond his grasp.

If that’s the kind of drama we’re going to see in week 4 of the 2012 PGA Tour, then I can’t wait for next week…and to find out who else’s luck might run out!

Written by turbotodd

January 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Big Data In Davos

leave a comment »

Doggonit, someone lost my invitation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, once again.

And once again, I’ll have to follow the global, economic bouncing ball remotely via the blogosphere.

And once again, no better place to do so than the NY Times Bits blog.

Nick Bilton posted a scintillating post about Davos this morning, and he suggested this year’s hot topic in Switzerland would be data…and lots of it!

Even “Big Data,” as we at Big Blue have come to define it, but in Bilton’s case describing Davos, the big data discussions aren’t limited to the tech meetings.  He writes:

Meetings here this week include: “From data to decisions: How are new approaches to data intelligence transforming decision-making?” “Data deluge and citizen science.” “Incidents from digital crime to massive incidents of data theft are increasing significantly, with major political, social and economic implications.” “How is big data being used to uncover individual and collective human dynamics?”

Bilton also points out, however, that where big data is being discussed, privacy can’t be far behind, which is why Google’s Tuesday announcement about the change in its privacy policy and use of personal information couldn’t have been more timely.

Is it just me, or is Google purposely taunting the U.S. Department of Justice?

In the Google Blog, Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy, product and engineer, explained the change:

The main change is for users with Google Accounts. Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

Our recently launched personal search feature is a good example of the cool things Google can do when we combine information across products. Our search box now gives you great answers not just from the web, but your personal stuff too. So if I search for restaurants in Munich, I might see Google+ posts or photos that people have shared with me, or that are in my albums. Today we can also do things like make it easy for you to read a memo from Google Docs right in your Gmail, or add someone from your Gmail contacts to a meeting in Google Calendar.

Great, so let me make sure I got this straight: Google’s gonna collapse 60+ privacy policy statements into one, collapse all these different services I signed up into a single service, and that way, all the stuff I look at can be more uniformly monitored and targeted against so that Google can sell more ads and change the terms of our service agreement several years after the fact!??

Rock on!  I’m glad the Google Borg has my best interests in mind.

Can you hear the clarion charge of the Google “Do No Evil” Light Brigade?

Of course, back across the pond in Davos, things don’t appear to be so cut and dry.

Bilton also spoke with Viviane Reding, the European justice commission, who presented in Brussels yesterday new regulations that would implement “one sweeping data protection regulation that would apply to all of Europe.”

Bilton explains:  “The new regulations are part of the discussion at Davos as these new rules would drastically affect the way companies operate and collect data. For example, one component of this legislation will require companies to communicate to users why they are collecting this data and how long it is being stored on company servers.”

That, of course, would include companies from around the globe, including the Goog.

At IBM, our focus has been less on simply gathering more data, and instead helping our customers learn how to do more with the data they already have, even as they prepare for the inevitable onslaught of gathering more.

This would be an opportune time to hand you over to the IBM Big Data web site, where you can find videos and other assets about how IBM customers are capitalizing on the opportunity and challenges of big data.

Written by turbotodd

January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

IBM SmartCamp Global Finals…The Winner Is?

with one comment

Greetings from the Big Apple.

I haven’t disappeared to another planet.  Just another city.

And speaking of cities, we’ve got some serious competition going on for the “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year,” many of whom have been working on technologies that help improve the conditions and operations of cities around the globe, which are facing growing and substantial challenges.

According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050, with most of the growth occurring in urban areas.

This rapid population increase requires new approaches to complex challenges cities face such as aging infrastructure, the need for better healthcare systems, traffic and overpopulation.

IBM is working with a new generation of entrepreneurs, helping to drive the creation and development of new ways to address these challenges with advanced technologies such as analytics, cloud computing and mobile computing.

SmartCamp Global Finals: Entrepreneurs In Action

Next week, I’m going to have the rare opportunity to see some of these finalists’ technologies at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals competition in San Francisco.

Technologies that enable skin cancer detection on a mobile device…help commuters avoid traffic…deliver better shopping experiences…all will be on display next week in the city by the bay.

Here’s some background, in case you missed my posts on this effort last year: IBM SmartCamps are designed to help entrepreneurs bring innovative new solutions to market quickly by providing mentoring and access to advanced technology and expertise.

The nine finalist startup companies will meet with IBM and the venture capital community from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in San Francisco to vie to be named the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.

The finalists, with solutions designed to solve problems facing cities, were selected from nearly a thousand startup companies that applied to IBM startup events in 2011.

As the world becomes more connected through trillions of sensors, the ability to transform data into insight that can better monitor, manage and predict potential issues and opportunities is critical. Each startup participating at the SmartCamp Global Finals has created software that is designed to analyze large volumes of data.

The finalists are:

  • BitCarrier: BitCarrier’s traffic management solutions analyze real-time traffic information, providing current travel times, estimations on congestion rates and accident alerts (winner, SmartCamp Barcelona).
  • C-B4 Context Based 4Casting: CB4 has created a context-based system for identifying and analyzing hidden data patterns in large-scale data warehouses. The system is particularly suited to the retail trade and customer relations management (winner, SmartCamp Tel Aviv).
  • ConnectM: ConnectM’s machine-to-machine technology uses advanced analytics to collect information from disparate systems to provide business intelligence. The solutions are developed specifically for the telecommunications, utilities and transportation industries (winner, SmartCamp Bangalore).
  • IDXP: IDXP’s consumer behavior solution installs sensors in stores and shopping carts to help retailers understand consumer behavior (winner, SmartCamp Rio de Janeiro).
  • Localytics: Localytics’ real-time analytics service provides makers of mobile phone and tablet applications with a better understanding of peoples mobile application preferences and tendencies (winner, SmartCamp New York City).
  • Palmap: Palmap’s mapping solution provides mobile users with instant information for indoor activities such as navigating airports and shopping malls (winner, SmartCamp Shanghai).
  • Profitero: Profitero helps online retailers maximize profits via competitor analytics (winner, SmartCamp London).
  • SecureWaters: SecureWaters’ patented technology continuously monitors, detects and identifies toxins in surface water. An early warning alarm system alerts clients to potential issues (winner, SmartCamp Austin).
  • SkinScan: SkinScan’s mobile application enables users to scan the moles on their bodies to measure skin cancer threat levels. They also offer a cloud infrastructure for medical histories of patients and doctors (winner, SmartCamp Istanbul).

Goin’ To California With An Entrepreneurial Achin’ In My Heart

Speakers at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals will include California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, leading venture capitalists and investment bankers including Bill Reichert, Promod Haque, Guy Kawasaki, and John China, IBM Watson Solutions General Manager Manoj Saxena, and Gerard Mooney, general manager of IBM Smarter Cities.

Past winners from IBM SmartCamp competitions have captured the attention of the venture capital community with nearly $50 million in investments, and have expanded to new global markets.

For example, Streetline, which was named 2010 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year as the winner of the 2010 SmartCamp World Finals, received a $15 million round of venture capital funding, and built several new products including a smart parking analytics offering based on IBM Cognos platform.

The solution is a combination of Sensor and Software applications from Streetline and IBM that allows a city to reduce congestion by quickly matching citizens with vacant parking spots. CEO Zia Yusuf will share his experiences with this year’s SmartCamp finalists, along with other past SmartCamp winners.

Park, Watch, And Vote

People can vote for their favorite finalist to determine the People’s Vote Award winner for the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals.  Go here to view each of the finalist videos and to vote.

To watch the final presentations from the companies and hear from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at the event visit www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

Live blogging of the event will be available at www.asmarterplanet.com.

Join the conversation on the event, entrepreneurs and technologies that make the planet work better at People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook and on Twitter at hashtag #IBMSmartCamp.

Written by turbotodd

January 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Beer, Beer, Football, Beer

leave a comment »

The headline of this post hails from the signage outside the BBQ and drinking establishment just catty corner across the road from my domicile in Austin, Texas.

Billy’s Brewery said it all for this Sunday of National Football League Championship games: Beer, Beer, Football, Beer.

Although by the end of the day, I’m sure many fans would have evened things out a bit and wrote instead: “Football, Football, Beer, Shakespeare.”

It was that dramatic a day in the NFL.

Now, mind you, as reported in this blog a few weeks ago, my Dallas Cowgirls have long been out of it.  But I’m not just a fan of one team, I’m a fan of the game.  And as any fan of the game must do, they must carry on and watch the professionals do what they do.

And boy did they do it yesterday.

I’ve not seen that dramatic a back-to-back series of NFL Championship games since I was probably a toddler, and I don’t really remember those.

So let’s start with the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. And let’s begin with the end, the missed 32 yard field goal by Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff.  What should have been an easy chip shot to tie the game 23-23 and send both teams into OT, curved left like a bad Todd Watson hooked drive and veered well left of the uprights.

As I joked on Twitter, I’d love to listen to some local Baltimore sports radio talk this morning, as it just had to be brutal. Cundiff would be well served to not show his face around town, at least for a few months.

That dumb luck aside, the Ravens should have won the game. The Pats were hardly at their best, and it was their defense that saved them.  Tom Brady, their celebrated QB, was inconsistent, laser-like on some passes, sloppy on others.  He threw no TDs and two interceptions, and just looking at the data, earned a season-low 57.5 passer rating.

Surely he’ll have to do better in the Super Bowl.

I will give Tom Brady this: When it was time to dive into the endzone for the Pats to go up from 16-20 to 23-20, Brady literally dove right in, head first. Hard core leap for the TD, Brady.  Maybe you deserve that Brazilian supermodel after all.

Now, flash West out to Candlestick Park, where relentless rain left a sloppy field for the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, just the way I like my NFC Championships.

My money was on the Giants from the get go, but I knew not to count the 49ers out, especially with young, hungry quarterback Alex Smith, who struck first on a 73-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with just 7:11 left in the first quarter.

The 49ers went on to stop a Giants first down, earning great field position before running a silly, accident-waiting-to-happen-in-the-rain reverse, the fumble from which Kyle Williams was able to recover.

By halftime, the Giants had eaked out a 10-7 lead, but this was still anybody’s ballgame.

In the third quarter, Vernon Davis struck again, this time in a 28-yard TD catch that put the 49ers up 14-10.  The ghost of King Lear could be heard howling from the underbelly of Candlestick Park, the rain and wind screaming as the plot thickened.

In the fourth quarter, Eli Manning threw a deep pass to Mario Manningham for another TD, but not three minutes later San Francisco responded with an Akers 25 yard field goal.

17-17

And then the heavens truly opened up the Greek chorus appeared as the game went into overtime.  The Giants’ Steve Weatherford punted downfield, and 49er Kyle Williams’ knee brushed the ball, and the Giants recovered the “fumble.”  After the official review, it was the Giants’ opportunity to seize the moment.

And kicker Lawrence Tynes didn’t disappoint.  Once again, just as he did with Green Bay four years ago, he planted a 31-yarder between the uprights and, once again, the Giants will be facing the Patriots in a SuperBowl.

One can only hope that William Shakespeare continues to look down from the heavens in that rematch from four years ago.

Written by turbotodd

January 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Lotus Market Researchers On The Social Business Market Opportunity

leave a comment »

Whew.  Well, I seem to have scooted out of Orlando JUST in time.  As my JetBlue flight was careening down the runway prepared to take off for Austin, I was able to see the massive Boeing 747 that is Air Force One parked just across the tarmac.  Apparently, President Obama was in town to talk tourism at the Magic Kingdom.

But I didn’t leave before I had the opportunity to interview key IBM Collaboration Solutions market researcher, Carol Galvin, and senior consulting strategist, Catherine Lord, on the business opportunity and market landscape around social business.

If you’re trying to get a better understanding of “where’s the beef” around the social business opportunity, this is a great place to start. Let me just share one whopper of a sound byte that should capture your attention: The social business market opportunity is expected to reach $99 billion by 2015!

A special thanks to Scott Laningham, my remote videocaster-in-chief, who stopped working on his skateboarding bulldog videos long enough to help produce this video via Skype from Dolphin Studio 8004 (better known as my hotel room).

%d bloggers like this: