Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘cloud computing’ Category

Codify Academy Users IBM Cloud, Watson to Design Cognitive Chatbot

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IBM recently announced that Codify Academy, a San Francisco-based developer education startup, tapped into IBM Cloud’s cognitive services to create an interactive cognitive chatbot, Bobbot, that is improving student experiences and increasing enrollment.

Using the IBM Watson Conversation Service, Bobbot fields questions from prospective and current students in natural language via the company’s website.

Since implementing the chatbot, Codify Academy has engaged thousands of potential leads through live conversation between the bot and site visitors, leading to a 10 percent increase in converting these visitors into students.

IBM Cloud with Watson provided Codify Academy with the speed and scale needed to immediately start building with cognitive intelligence. Bobbot can answer more than 200 common questions about enrollment, course and program details, tuition, and prerequisites, in turn enabling Codify Academy staff to focus on deeper, more meaningful exchanges.

For example, students can ask questions such as “What kind of job will I be able to find after I complete the program?” or “How do I apply, and what are tuition rates?”

“We saw a huge spike in interest from potential students in the early days of our company, which is a fortunate problem to have, but made us realize we needed to quickly build a solution to help us scale,” said Matt Brody at Codify Academy. “IBM Cloud gave us the infrastructure and access to cognitive services, including Watson, that we needed to quickly build and deploy an intelligent and intuitive bot – in turn helping us to field all inquiries and significantly increase enrollment.”

Codify Academy runs on the IBM Cloud platform, which has become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. It features more than 150 tools and services, spanning categories of cognitive intelligence, blockchain, security, Internet of Things, quantum computing and DevOps.

“We have designed our cloud platform to serve as the best possible engine for cognitive apps such as chatbots," said Adam Gunther, Director, IBM Cloud. "This enables companies to harness and fine tune incoming data quickly to create highly tailored user experiences.”

To learn more about Codify Academy, visit http://codifyacademy.com/.

Written by turbotodd

August 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

American Airlines Migrates Key Workloads to IBM Cloud

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IBM announced that American Airlines will use IBM Cloud as the foundation for a massive cloud transformation designed to make internal processes more efficient, faster, and adaptable to better handle site traffic during high volume periods.

Building on the strategic cloud partnership signed with IBM in 2016, American Airlines will migrate to the IBM Cloud a portion of its critical applications, including aa.com, its customer-facing mobile app and its global network of check-in kiosks. In addition, other workloads and tools, such as the company’s Cargo customer website, will also be moved to the IBM Cloud.

“In selecting the right cloud partner for American, we wanted to ensure the provider would be a champion of Cloud Foundry and open-source technologies so we don’t get locked down by proprietary solutions” said Daniel Henry, American’s Vice President Customer Technology and Enterprise Architecture. “We also wanted a partner that would offer us the agility to innovate at the organizational and process levels and have deep industry expertise with security at its core. We feel confident that IBM is the right long-term partner to not only provide the public cloud platform, but also enable our delivery transformation.”
– via www-03.ibm.com

As part of the solution, American and IBM will work together to move critical applications to the IBM Cloud. In parallel, the two companies have teamed to rewrite these applications to the IBM Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), and establish a cloud-native architecture. As part of this process, American will work with IBM Global Services to leverage IBM’s Garage Methodology of creating innovative applications quickly through a micro-services architecture, design thinking, agile methodology, DevOps, and lean development.

IBM Cloud will help enable developers to quickly build and change application functionalities for the airline’s customers. These customer-facing systems will be on the IBM Public Cloud, while American maintains backend connectivity to other on-premise legacy and third-party systems, for true Hybrid Cloud functionality.

You can more about IBM Cloud solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

June 27, 2017 at 9:58 am

IBM Integrates With BMW Car Data

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IBM announced today that it is a pilot partner of BMW CarData. Recently released, BMW CarData will allow up to 8.5 million BMW customers globally to make use of third party services in a secure and transparent way.

BMW is the first OEM to release an open data platform with the introduction of BMW CarData. BMW CarData gives BMW ConnectedDrive customers the ability to share telematics data from their BMW vehicles with third parties of their choice.

As a pilot partner, IBM has integrated Bluemix with the BMW CarData platform. Vehicle data will be enhanced by IBM Watson IoT, using cognitive and data analytics services to enable third parties, such as automotive repair shops or insurance companies, to develop entirely new customer experiences.

IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix also gives developers access to the entire service catalogue from IBM and its ecosystem partners to build and run innovative new service offerings. Customers will have to actively agree to share their encrypted telematics data when they want to use a specific service from a service provider.

In addition, IBM will also act as a neutral server for extended vehicle access. This allows for the gathering of data from BMW vehicles but also vehicles from additional automotive manufacturers.

In this role, IBM will help to realize the vision of a secure and open vehicle data platform as demanded by many players in the mobility ecosystem. The first use cases and client services are expected to launch in the fall of 2017.

Bluemix has rapidly grown to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. Based in open standards, it features more than 150 tools and services spanning categ

Written by turbotodd

June 14, 2017 at 8:50 am

IBM Brings Identity-as-a-Service to Hybrid Cloud Environments

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IBM today announced a new service, delivered via the IBM Cloud, designed for managing how employees gain access to their preferred business applications. 

IBM Cloud Identity Connect is a new Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), which helps provide users with rapid access to thousands of popular cloud apps while enabling single sign-on (SSO) to their applications, whether from the cloud or on-premise.

As the workforce becomes more mobile, managing and securing multiple identities across a business becomes more complex on mobile and IoT devices, desktop environments and internet services.

These complications are magnified as enterprises continue their journey to the cloud and try to bridge from their traditional on-premise tools and operate in a new hybrid world. According to Gartner, “hybrid will be the most common usage of the cloud — but this will require public cloud to be part of the overall strategy.”          

“Businesses need to infuse identity everywhere. Cloud Identity Connect makes it easier than ever before for customers to inspire productivity and efficiency – while helping to ensure their enterprise is securely managed and can effectively transition to the cloud,” said Jason Keenaghan, Director of Strategy and Offering Management, IAM and Fraud, IBM Security. “Regardless of where an organization is in that transition process, IBM is now positioned to scale on-premise and cloud offerings to help meet the unique needs of nearly any business at any time.”

IDaaS for Maximum Efficiency and Manageability

IBM offers a family of tools for identity and access management under the IBM Cloud Identity brand. The portfolio includes a full spectrum of IDaaS offerings that provide seamless access to applications across cloud, on-premise, mobile and IoT devices and hybrid environments.

The IDaaS solutions give enterprises access management capabilities born-on-the-cloud without sacrificing their existing investments.

IBM Cloud Identity has now been expanded to offer the following services:

  • Cloud Identity Connect: As enterprises transition from on-premise to cloud, this new service delivers a simple, one-click activation process designed to help businesses protect their existing infrastructure investments and bridge services to the cloud. Administrators and app owners can easily add new SaaS apps and manage workforce access, while creating a unified end user catalog and app portal for fast, intuitive access.
  • Cloud Identity Service: IBM’s comprehensive suite of identity and access management capabilities enables organizations to fully adopt cloud for their entire IAM program.  IBM  Cloud Identity Service delivers deep capabilities across Identity Governance, Web Access Management, and Federation, and supports Business-to-Enterprise (B2E), Business-to-Business (B2B), and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) use cases for multi-faceted user populations and was recognized by Gartner in its Critical Capabilities for Identity and Access Management as a Service, Worldwide report2.
  • IBM MaaS360 UEM: For organizations using or needing unified endpoint management (UEM) for mobile devices, IBM’s MaaS360 offering will now deliver embedded access management capabilities out-of-the-box. This will enable end users to receive a more seamless SSO experience across a combination of web and native mobile applications, even when transitioning between devices such as mobile and desktop.  Additionally, enterprises will be able to maintain stronger security controls, by implementing conditional application access based on user-defined policies.

IBM is providing IBM Cloud Identity Connect as a free one-year subscription for up to five applications, for customers of IBM Cloud applications like IBM Verse and IBM Connections Cloud, as well as partner offerings like Box from IBM. IBM Cloud Identity Connect is also available as a standalone 30-day free trial.

IBM Cloud Identity Connect will be available on June 15th in the IBM Cloud Marketplace. To learn more about the new IBM Cloud Identity solutions, read the blog and register for the webinar.

Written by turbotodd

June 13, 2017 at 10:02 am

Cloudy With A Chance Of Taxes

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The Wall Street Journal’s “CIO Journal” reported on a recent CompTIA survey about the growing concerns over tax, trade and other federal policies by U.S. IT firms.

On its 100 point IT Industry Business Confidence Index, CompTia’s score came in at 64.2, down from the first quarter but up from the same time period a year ago.

CompTIA’s press release on the new index numbers was more bull than bear:

“For the 14th consecutive quarter the aggregate rating came in above the 60-point threshold,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, for CompTIA. “The confidence level of industry executives reflects the continued strength of the IT sector, as well as a steadily improving economy.”
– via www.comptia.org

Herbert also noted that “A strong majority of executives — 83 percent — said their companies are on target or ahead of revenue goals for the year.”

Most of the headwinds seemed to center around uncertainty about tax and trade policy in the U.S.

Written by turbotodd

June 1, 2017 at 9:43 am

Bombardier Selects IBM Services And Cloud

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Bombardier is extending its long-term partnership with IBM through a new six-year deal valued at approximately $700 million, which includes IBM Services and IBM Cloud management of Bombardier’s worldwide IT infrastructure and operations.

The services management agreement spans 47 countries and represents one of IBM’s largest cloud partnerships in Canada.

“As part of our turnaround plan, Bombardier is working to improve productivity, reduce costs and grow earnings. This IT transformation initiative will help us better integrate globally to create a best-in-class IT organization,” said Sean Terriah, Chief Information Officer, Aerospace and Corporate Office, Bombardier. “With IBM, we will transform our service delivery model to focus on our core competencies, and leverage the best practices of our strategic partner across our infrastructure and operations.”

“Bombardier’s global decision to extend its existing partnership with IBM and move to IBM Cloud is recognition of our broad expertise and experience helping our clients transform the business of IT to be more competitive, agile and secure through cloud computing and industry services best-practices,” said Martin Jetter, senior vice-president, IBM Global Technology Services. “We look forward to further developing our relationship with Bombardier and working with the talented team there.”

IBM Watson, which is available only on the IBM Cloud, provides enterprise-grade machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies to better support agile decision-making for enterprise clients who need to quickly glean insights from their data – 80 per cent of which is not accessible through search.

Written by turbotodd

May 17, 2017 at 9:06 am

Cisco Acquires SD-WAN Provider Viptela

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TechCrunch reported yesterday that Cisco bought another company yesterday, cloud-based SD-WAN vnedor Viptela, for $610M U.S. in cash.

Viptela is based in San Jose, California, and provides a software-defined wide area network, a “software-based network that enables companies to connect the networks of geographically dispersed offices.

The value prop:

Viptela is supposed to simplify all of this, making it easier to deploy and manage a process that has been traditionally fraught with complexity. “Viptela’s technology is cloud-first, with a focus on simplicity and ease of deployment while simultaneously providing a rich set of capabilities and scale. These principles are what today’s customers demand,” Scott Harrell, senior vice president of product management for the Cisco Enterprise Networking Group said in a statement.
– via TechCrunch

While Cisco has been buying more pure cloud based companies of late (including AppDynamics for $3.7B and Jasper Technologies for $1.4B), Viptela seems to fit more squarely into Cisco’s plan to transition some of its existing hardware based tech into the software realm.

Written by turbotodd

May 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

U.S. Army Enlists IBM For $62M Cloud Deal To Improve Army’s IT Flexibility

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IBM today announced that the U.S. Army has signed a five-year multimillion dollar contract with IBM to build manage and operate a cloud solution for greater IT flexibility, efficiency and performance.

Designed for the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, Alabama, The solution is part of the Army Private Cloud Enterprise Program (APCE), a one-year task order with four additional one-year options under the Army Private Cloud 2 (APC2) contract. If the Army exercises all options, the contract would be worth approximately $62 million over the five years.

In addition to building the infrastructure, IBM will provide the Army with infrastructure-as-a-service services, enabling it to provision computing power on an as-needed basis for the most efficient and cost-effective IT. The Army also will begin migrating applications to the private cloud, moving up to 35 applications to the private cloud in the first year.

This project required Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Impact Level 5 (IL-5) Provisional Authorization. Information impact levels consider the potential impact of information being compromised. IL-5 gives the cloud provider the authority to manage controlled, unclassified information.

IBM is the only company to be authorized by DISA at IL-5 to run Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions on government premises. IBM announced the accreditation in February which included a condition limiting the initial number of tenants in the cloud; that condition was removed in September.

The distinction renders IBM an ideal partner for the Army as it undertakes this on-premise private cloud initiative. The Army expects IBM to achieve DISA IL-6 – the agency’s highest level – within one year, which would certify IBM to work with classified information up to “secret.”

Today’s news builds on IBM’s strong relationship with the Army, which last year adopted an IBM hybrid cloud solution for its Logistics Support Activity. Through the solution, the Army connected its on-premises environment to the IBM Cloud for greater performance, scalability and security.

Written by turbotodd

January 18, 2017 at 9:08 am

IBM Acquires UrbanCode For Rapid Delivery Of Mobile, Cloud, Big Data & Social Software

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IBM today announced it has acquired UrbanCode Inc.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, UrbanCode automates the delivery of software, helping businesses quickly release and update mobile, social, big data, cloud applications.

Mobile, social, big data and cloud technologies are driving demand for new, faster and more frequent approaches to software delivery. Waiting days or even months to get an update to clients is no longer acceptable.

With UrbanCode’s technology, businesses can reduce the cycle time it takes to get updates or new applications into market, from months to minutes. This approach is designed to help reduce cost and risk, while helping address changing client needs by enabling a company to rapidly incorporate feedback into and improve the overall quality of their applications and services.

Software Development As Competitive Advantage

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value uncovered that almost 70 percent of companies using software development for competitive advantage outperform their peers in profitability. As innovation in software becomes more and more critical to success, businesses need a collaborative, intuitive and continual approach to development, testing and delivery.

More than half of surveyed companies agree effective software development is crucial to competitive advantage. Yet, only a quarter of companies feel they have effective methods. UrbanCode’s capabilities will help solve this execution gap with the ability to accelerate software delivery.

IBM plans to continue to support UrbanCode clients and enhance their technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

UrbanCode’s software is a natural extension of IBM’s DevOps strategy, designed to simplify and speed the entire software development and delivery process for businesses.

The new capabilities also enhance IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst initiatives by making it easier and faster for clients to deliver software through those channels. For example, by combining UrbanCode software with the IBM MobileFirst Worklight technology, businesses can now author and deploy an application for any mobile device in hours, versus a previous multi-day timeline.

The UrbanCode solution also works with traditional applications including middleware, databases and business intelligence.

“Companies that master effective software development and delivery in rapidly changing environments such as cloud, mobile and social will have a significant competitive advantage,” said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager, IBM Rational Software. “With the acquisition of UrbanCode, IBM is uniquely positioned to help businesses from every industry accelerate delivery of their products and services to better meet client demands.”  

“Together UrbanCode and IBM technology will be unmatched in the industry, providing businesses a continuous process for developing, testing, and delivering new and updated software,” said Maciej Zawadzki, chief executive officer, UrbanCode. “By removing the bottlenecks that traditionally exist between development teams and production systems, businesses can drive rapid innovation.”

For more information visit the IBM Rational site.

Winning In Europe And Oklahoma

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IBM announced a couple of nice wins these past few days.

One, a partnership agreement between IBM and Itella, a leading provider of business services in Europe and Russia.

It’s a seven-year cloud computing agreement to help Itella streamline its business operations and improve its flexibility and time-to-market, and allowing them to focus on their core business and develop new services for their clients.

Itella provides postal, logistics and financial transaction process services in Northern and Central Europe, as well as Russia.

Specifically, IBM will build a private cloud to provide hosting as well as application management and development services to Itella. With the cloud, IBM will automate basic production of technology services as well as improve the quality and management of those services.

“Through this operating model renewal, we can adopt a flexible service delivery to increase automation and introduce best practices, utilizing IBM’s world-class competence,” said Jukka Rosenberg, Senior Vice President, Itella Mail Communications. “Through the partnership, we can make our operations more efficient and cut costs, without compromising our high-quality service.”

And nearly halfway around the globe and just north of here, the great state of Oklahoma is partnering with IBM to save $15 million over the next five years and to help improve services to state residents there.

As governments institute structural changes in the way agencies measure performance and deliver services, data analytics and new delivery models can help lead the way for transformations that realize a measurable return on investment and improved quality of life.

By analyzing business processes and consolidating IT projects, IBM will help the state gain significant savings in software licensing and technology maintenance costs— resulting in an expected IT budget recovery of 30 percent.

“At a time when we all have to learn to do more with less money, IBM has been instrumental in identifying and prioritizing IT consolidation projects for the state of Oklahoma, at the same time allowing us to invest in new services for our residents,” said Alex Pettit, chief information officer, state of Oklahoma.

“IBM brought not only its extensive public sector services experience to help create the initial business case for this project, but also worked with participating agencies to verify that the new technology environment would improve mainframe service and reduce costs.”

IBM helped the state to understand the challenges of providing IT services to various agencies with diverse requirements for data management and federal reporting.

The new IT infrastructure established a model for IT compliance with federal guidelines on program data and processes, using an IBM System z mainframe. IBM also helped the state meet project funding requirements—bridging the financial gap between the initiation of the project and the cost savings.

The agreement helps ensure that the delivery of technology services is more effective and more consistent. In addition, the new infrastructure gives each agency more control over the quality, performance, and support of their technology environment.

Ultimately, the consolidation of five mainframe platforms also yielded significant savings in costs and lower lease costs. The recommended options projected an 18-30 month payback period that would save 25–30 percent of the state’s combined annual IT budget.

IBM worked with the state on a detailed analysis of the IT infrastructure and opportunities to consolidate computing capacity, storage, network, backup and disaster recovery capabilities.

The plan included development of a target architecture, establishment of a high-level roadmap, and development of a services delivery schedule between the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), responsible for operating the consolidated environments, and each state agency.  

You can learn more about other of IBM’s smarter government initiatives here, and about IBM’s cloud computing offerings the likes of which it’s building for Itella here.

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