Turbotodd

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IBM Pulse 2012: Day 1 Keynote Session: Business Without Limits

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This morning’s keynote session at Pulse 2012 keyed in on several key themes critical to managing the world’s infrastructure.  Opening musical act, Naturally Seven, lent their own seven cents, explaining through song and human-voice driven instruments that “I Built This Wall Around Me, I Built this Wall From The Ground, See.”

IBM Senior Vice President Robert Leblanc explains to the gathered IBM Pulse 2012 audience how visibility, control and automation are instrumental for companies looking to keep up with the changing IT and business landscape.

There’s a whole lot of building from the ground up that’s been going on with respect to some of the key areas the Tivoli portfolio focuses on.  And IBM Tivoli customer Wellpoint joined the stage to discuss some of those changes in the healthcare industry.

George Zaruba, VP for Tech Strategy there, explained that Wellpoint is one of the U.S.’ largest healthcare benefits companies, with some 37,700 associates. Major industry shifts are requiring Wellpoint to reinvent itself and in its relationship with the end customer, and to be able to deliver services in ways its customers are used to and comfortable with. “Our delivery model needs to be secure and stable and reach users across a myriad of devices and platforms,” he explained.

Which means infrastructure needs to be everywhere, and which will allow Wellpoint to manage the effectiveness of their customers’ experience.

That’s why infrastructure needs to be everywhere, to have full visibility into core services. Zaruba explained “We’ve achieved this over the past several years with ITIL management and best practices, and virtualization of storage and services.”

That also led Wellpoint to its partnership with IBM Watson, which Wellpoint is currently working on as the first industry deployment of that important technology to “find the best answers to some very tough medical questions.”

Next up, IBM VP Scott Hebner joined the stage and explained there are “8,000 of you from 79 different countries.”

That’s some Pulse!

Hebner explained IBM is “obsessed about learning from our clients, and this conference is a reflection of our obsession, which focuses on real-world experiences and bottom line results.”

Hebner explained the opportunities are vast and unprecedented, and yet “the opportunity highway has ditches on both sides of the road.” The implication being, try and stay out of the ditch!

Hebner shared some factoids: 80% of CEOs surveyed by IBM anticipate turbulent changes and bold moves, and 64% of CIOs work as senior business execs in their orgs to drive innovation.

And yet, still, there’s a 3X gap increase between the desired needs and the actual outcomes.

Red meat to this gathering of IT gurus, Hebner also explained jobs related to technology are forecasted to be the fastest growing segment through 2018, with cloud jobs increasing 60%, and mobility, 50%.

But, the planet on which we operate is rapidly changing thanks to the proliferation of lower-cost technologies.  People, systems, and objects can interact with one another in entirely new ways, and that creates new opportunities and expectations.

Infrastructure is now everywhere, he explained, across every industry. Where does my business infrastructure begin and end these days? How do I turn this new reality into an advantage.

Business without limits, is what Hebner explained this as. The smarter approach turns data into insights in real time, at the point of interaction — it must, as we can now instrument everything, from the devices in the home to the processes themselves, giving us millions of data points.

To help explain this opportunity, IBM senior VP Robert Leblanc joined the stage and suggested there’s no escaping all this change, and that technology was a key enabler, according the IBM CEO study stretching back to 2004.  Beyond “market forces,” technology is considered a requirement by CEOs to enable their businesses to adapt to all this change.=

“How do you drive the speed that the business needs to adapt to its markets?” Leblanc inquired.  The answer, simple to say, harder to do: Focus on fundamental business imperatives: 1) Build 2) Reinvent, 3) Uncover.

That is, create operating dexterity while creating new customer relationships and uncovering new profit streams.

Most clients want to reinvent around their customer relationships, Leblanc explained, and if you look back 25 years ago, those that lead the industries are different from the leaders today.  The CEO is making it clear: I need change, and IT has to change with it.

Analytics continues to be the driving requirement in the industry technology shift, followed by mobility and virtualization -- all key themes here at Pulse 2012.

Leblanc then shared some data as to what is driving an unprecedented shift in technology: Analytics, 83%. Followed by Mobility, 75%. And virtualization, 68%.

Insight. Everywhere. No matter where.

Implicit to all this, underlying concerns about security, and a focus on achieving all these desired business outcomes through “visibility,” “control,” and “automation.”

To have full visibility of the span of your infrastructure, you must have and assert control, and in order to be able to focus on new value added initiatives, you must automate the more mundane but critical capabilities.

Some examples, Leblanc explained: China Great Wall improved server utilization by 30%. BlueCrossBlueShield of North Carolina saved 5,000 hours of staff time by automating security processes. SunTrust improved productivity by automating 50% of manual processes.

Finally, it was Tivoli General Manager Danny Sabbah’s time to speak, and Danny explained how all of these changes and trends are re-orienting Tivoli customers’ outlooks and the things they specifically need to be focused on.

He explained that “our world is changing drastically whether we like it or not,” and that “simply put, we’re being forced to rethink the way we run our businesses.”

We find ourselves at the vortex of three dominant transformations taking place in IT: Mobility, Smarter phsyical infrastructures, and security.

Mobility, he explained, is nearly ubiquitous, and now accounts for 40% of the total number of devices accessing business applications.

We’re seeing embedded intelligence and resultant smarter physical infrastructures where previously passive devices are now equipped with sensors and RFID tags and other tracking capabilities. Companies are now building applications to exploit the data gathered from these smart devices to better understand and run their operations.

And thirdly, security threats have become an integral part of this much larger montage. The more embedded intelligence, the more mobility, the more ways we execute commerce, social collaboration, and so on.  So, security must become part of everything we do.

This intersection, then, has spawned an even greater degree of complexity across business infrastructures, and the environment we find ourselves in has become more interconnected, moresusceptible to threats and even more difficult to manage.

Utilizing the power of cloud computing, IBM is tackling these issues head on with its customers.  But if you want hype and marketing, Sabbah concluded, you’ll have to go somewhere else because “this conference is about solving real problems in the real world.”

The IBM Pulse 2012 Circus Begins

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Greetings from Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

I arrived here under the cover of darkness yesterday.

Actually, I arrived in the afternoon, but “cover of darkness” sounds so much more dramatic.

It’s been a crazy week on the road, but we’re only halfway through. Now, Pulse 2012 starts.

Pulse is one of my favorite IBM Software events.  It was Tivoli that brought me back to my native Texas, and to Austin in particular, in the summer of 2001.

I made a lot of great friends during my time working with the Tivoli brand, and I also got a lot of great work done.

And Tivoli has evolved over the past eleven years.  Dramatically.

I need not tell any Tivolian, customer or employee, that.

For my money, it’s evolved all for the better.  The focus of the Tivoli business has far expanded well beyond its core systems management focus, which is what it was centered around when I arrived.

Here’s a factoid: I’ve never seen a Cirques du Soleil performance.  Until last night, when I took in the “Ka” show here at the MGM Grand.

That might seem like a random transition.  But follow me here.  A Cirques du Soleil performance is like one big ecosystem that must be managed across its disparate parts.

A former theatre major myself, I watched in fascination at all the systems that were in play during the Cirques’ performance of “Ka.”  The massive staging and hydraulic systems.  The flying systems that allowed the performers to defy gravity.  The house staff that welcomed the audience into the show.  The audience itself.  The cast. The scores of stagehands in the background.

If you’ve seen a Cirques du Soleil performance, you know of which I speak: It’s a massive and complex linkage of disparate systems coming together to create the wonder that are their shows.

These days, your world is a lot like all those systems.  And to be able to understand and manage it all, and extract new value out of the knowledge you have about all those systems…well, that’s where Tivoli comes in.

I’m going to leave it at that, lest you think I’m completely off my rocker.  But, I’ve done my homework preparing for Pulse 2012, and between the focus on managing mobile, physical assets and infrastructure, the cloud, and the underlying security, there’s plenty of opportunity for systems linkage and improved understanding of those systems.

So, welcome to Las Vegas for Pulse 2012.

Speaking of systems, be sure and check your bathroom for Bengali tigers.  I think it’s just always better to be safe than sorry.

In the meantime, keep an eye here on the Turbo blog and on the Twitter hashtag #ibmpulse.  There’s going to be a firehose of information coming at you these next few days!

IBM Pulse 2010: The Wide Shot

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I’ve overcome my jetlag enough to produce this quick introductory video for IBM Pulse 2010 here in Vegas, complete with a few housekeeping details.

Due to the aforementioned jetlag, I was up well before most of the poker players had gone home for the night (not that I would know anything about such a thing), and early this AM IBM Pulse 2010 was already coming to life.

I’ve now got my badge, I kind of know my way around, and I am looking forward to running into some of you over the next few days.

In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday and for those of you still on your way to Vegas, safe travels (the weather is nice out, with a cool temp of around 48 degrees Fahrenheit and an expected high today of 61!)

Written by turbotodd

February 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm

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