Seven Reasons Why Enterprises Trust IBM Software

Recently IBM announced that it would be backing Spark in it’s effort to embrace and promote Open Source. At this, technology entrepreneur and co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Ben Horowitz said, “It’s like Spark just got blessed by the enterprise rabbi.” So this is the position that IBM commands as it stands as a technology company supporting it’s clients for over a century. In this blog I will share Seven reasons why  major corporations around the world rely heavily on IBM for critical services and solutions.


1. Innovation: Once IBM’s CEO asked one of top Indian Telco customer to describe IBM in one word. They immediately said – Innovation. Innovation is in IBMers DNA. Watson is just an illustration of IBM’s innovative prowess which demolished human competitors in a highly touted series of Jeopardy! games. IBM has been the top position in number of inventions for more than two decades now. You can read some notable inventions hereFrom eWeek: “IBM might be, at heart, an old school, enterprise-focused company, but it also keep coming up with innovative ideas, including artificial intelligence, supercomputing and the role of the mainframe in cloud computing. The company’s Watson invention is one of the most important it’s brought to the public in some time, and its work on capturing and analyzing big data to make it actionable in a corporate environment could have a positive effect on the world for decades to come.”

2. Understands Customers Needs: Management expert (and author of books such as Built to Last) Jim Collins says, “If you consider what IBM’s mission is, it’s not about computers or technology. It’s about allowing its individual employees to create ways for its customers to solve operational problems. Whether that’s a task best done with scales, typewriters or computers doesn’t matter; what matters is that customers’ needs are answered.” IBM understands the business of Enterprises and so is the market Leader the Gartner’s Magic quadrant in almost any technology area.

3. Spread Across Geographies: IBM has it’s offices in over 170 countries making it easy to reach an executive to get a demo or a quick help. In my induction to IBM 13 years back I was told that it is one  the top three most popular brand name around the world!

4. Trust: Which of the company can an Enterprise trust that will last for the next decade? Will it be acquired by another company and with its fate unknown? IBM has managed to have organic growth to survive 10 decades. Nobody will ever complete a leveraged buy out of IBM. When a company is looking for important solutions in key areas such as infrastructure software or security, the vendor’s reputation and trustworthiness are crucial considerations. There is an old saying in the industry: “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.”

5. Big Pockets: Why IBM is a Leader in most of Gartner’s magic quadrants? You guessed it. Either it innovates to be there or it acquires the company which is there. Mobile and Cloud solutions market are on rise and IBM is ready with $4 billion investment in these areas. Hardware operations lost half a billion dollars in 2013 due to large shifts in the commodity hardware market. For most companies, that sort of loss would spell the end, but given that IBMs big pocket, the management team is simply transitioning the business through this change cycle.

6. Experience: IBM survived several recessions, technological shifts and intense competition and demonstrated a strength shared by most 100-year-old companies: the ability to learn and change. For example,  many enterprises are now joining the band wagon of big data,  whereas IBM’s InfoSphere Information Server has over a decade of experience in big data movement and data governance. You may watch this video that captures IBM’s 100 years of experience that changed the world.

ibm7. Stack Integration: The one advantage you get with IBM is that IBM does everything – from silicon to solutions (end-to-end). Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom says, “IBM holds a defensible position in enterprise software, services and hardware. While each of these businesses is an industry leader in its own right, the combination of these products and services provides the firm with a unique solution creation perspective and delivery ability that is key to its wide economic moat.“‘

I hope this would have been an interesting read – specially when it comes from an IBM developer who had been developing market leading software since over a decade.

Disclaimer: The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions

What is InfoSphere BigInsights ?

I spent some time reading about IBM InfoSphere BigInsights. In this blog, I wish to share the summary of what I read.

Need for a solution like BigInsights
Imagine if you were able to:

  •  Build sophisticated predictive models from the combination of existing information and big data information flows, providing a level of depth that only analytics applied at a large scale can offer.
  •  Broadly and automatically perform consumer sentiment and brand perception analysis on data gathered from across the Internet, at a scale previously impossible using partially or fully manual methods.
  • Analyze system logs from a variety of disparate systems to lower operational risk.
  •  Leverage existing systems and customer knowledge in new ways that were previously ruled out as infeasible due to cost or scale.

Highlights of InfoSphere BigInsightsInfoSphere-BigInsights

  • BigInsights allows organizations to cost-effectively analyze a wide variety and large volume of data to gain insights that were not previously possible.
  • BigInsights is focused on providing enterprises with the capabilities they need to meet critical business requirements while maintaining compatibility with the Hadoop project.
  • BigInsights includes a variety of IBM technologies that enhance and extend the value of open-source Hadoop software to facilitate faster time-to-value, including application accelerators, analytical facilities, development tools, platform improvements and enterprise software integration.
  • While BigInsights offers a wide range of capabilities that extend beyond the Hadoop functionality, IBM has taken an optin approach: you can use the IBM extensions to Hadoop based on your needs rather than being forced to use the extensions that come with InfoSphere BigInsights.
  • In addition to core capabilities for installation, configuration and management, InfoSphere BigInsights includes advanced analytics and user interfaces for the non-developer business analyst.
  • It is flexible to be used for unstructured or semi-structured information; the solution does not require schema definitions or data preprocessing and allows for structure and associations to be added on the fly across information types.
  • The platform runs on commonly available, low-cost hardware in parallel, supporting linear scalability; as information grows, we simply add more commodity hardware.

InfoSphere BigInsights provides a unique set of capabilities that combine the innovation from the Apache Hadoop ecosystem with robust support for traditional skill sets and already installed tools. The ability to leverage existing skills and tools through open-source capabilities helps drive lower total cost of ownership and faster time-to-value.  Thus InfoSphere BigInsights enables new solutions for problems that were previously too large and complex to solve cost-effectively.

Disclaimer: The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions

Java Integration Stage (1 of 3)

In an ETL tool, we may want to invoke an external Java code for some intermediate processing of data. Information Server has a stage called “Java Integration Stage” that is meant to accomplish this.

Java Integration Stage:
The Java Integration stage provides the functionality to invoke Java code that interfaces with InfoSphere Data Stage and Quality Stage parallel jobs. The customer will be able to use the stages to integrate their Java code into their job design.

Java Integration StageSome Highlights of Java Integration Stage API:

  • Provides functionality to
    • Produce (write) rows that are used within the job
    • Consume (read) rows that are supplied on input links
    • Process rows from an input link and generate rows on the output link
    • Query column and stage metadata
  • Supports Java Beans for simplicity, and to allow for a user’s existing Java code to be invoked from the Java Integration Stage.
  • Supports a ‘column-based’ mode for querying metadata dynamically at runtime, and for dynamic access of column data.
  • Provides a discovery interface that allows a user’s code to learn about the calling environment, and for the framework to learn about the user’s code capabilities.
  • Supports any number of inputs and outputs
  • Supports reject links, and the ability to transfer records from an input to an output
  • Improves design issues with the current Java Pack API (such as being able to get the links’ column metadata in initialize() without having to create an input row).
  • Supports sending end-of-wave markers to output links
  • Supports Runtime Column Propagation (RCP)
  • Supports Automatic Column Transfer

What is BlueMix? (Part 3 of 3)

I hope you would have read the Part1 and Part2 of this series. By the time I am writing this Blog, I have an application up and running on BlueMix. So in this last blog in the series, I wish to share what makes development on BlueMix much easier.

[1] Choosing development tools that suit my needs 
With BlueMix, developers have the freedom to choose the development tools that work best for them.

Command line: The Cloud Foundry (CF) command line provides integration for developers who code without an IDE (integrated development environment). I used this command line to deploy my web app on BlueMix.
Eclipse: The Cloud Foundry integration can be installed from the Eclipse Marketplace. And now we are ready to develop on Eclipse and from there deploy directly on BlueMix. I have not tried it till now.
Web IDE: Developers can work with the Web IDE directly in BlueMix. This allows modification of the application without any development environment installed on the developers’ laptops.

[2] Services marketplace where we can shop for service(s) required by our app or we can put our service(s) for consumption
Pre-built services make application assembly very easy. These services leverage APIs and software development kits (SDKs) that can quickly and easily be incorporated with BlueMix applications.  IBM itself provides several application runtimes and services that we can use to get started with building our app. Example of these are DataCache (which is WebSphere eXtreme Scale) and Elastic MQ (WebSphere MQ). Moreover BlueMix offers an open and flexible ecosystem which allows other companies to provide services that can be integrated into applications. Companies can be both providers and users of services. “User Provided Services” can be added so that organizations can share services within their organization. This promotes more reuse and standardization of services within the company. “Managed Services” can be exposed to others.

[3] Source Control integration makes BlueMix a Great place to start development of new project
BlueMix also comes with integration to several source control management (SCM) systems. These include Git, GitHub and Jazz SCM. These environments can be configured to deliver application changes continuously.

[4] Easy to Manage
 Users can start or stop applications and define how much memory is associated with each application very easily. BlueMix will automatically redeploy workloads to other virtual machines (VMs) if there is an outage. Moreover BlueMix can automatically scale a deployed application up or down based on application usage.

IBM had a good timing to launch it’s PAAS platform. Now Oracle and HP are also following suit as noted in the following articles.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here is a view from my Catalog Tab.
BlueMix Catalog

IBM – 21 years of patent leadership

IBMers were granted a record of 6,809 U.S. patents in 2013 , the 21st consecutive year IBM has led in U.S. patent issuances – and third year in a row of more than 6,000. This year’s total is more than the combined totals of Amazon, Google, EMC, HP, Intel, Oracle/SUN and Symantec. Many of these patents are in strategic areas-–such as IBM’s Watson, cloud computing, Big Data analytics and the new cognitive computing era.

Top Ten 2013 U.S. Patent Leaders

Further Reading:
IBM sets a new Patenting record in 2012 

IBM Leading in Data Quality Landscape

I was going through some interesting posts where I can across the following comparative graph on the Landscape to Data Quality tools. IBM is cited as one of the main data quality vendors based on InfoSphere Information Server’s technology breadth and market strength. To read more you can go here.

The Forrester Wave: Data Quality Solutions, Q4 2015

IBM sets a new Patenting record in 2012

patent_tumblr2012 marked 20 consecutive years of patent leadership for IBM.

IBMers earned a record 6,478 U.S. patents in 2012, the 20th consecutive year IBM has led in U.S. patent issuances — and more than the combined totals of Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EMC, HP, Intel, Oracle/SUN and Symantec.

Not only did 2012 mark 20 years of patent leadership, it was also the fifth year in a row IBM had broken its own patent record. Here is a sample of these inventions…

Patent #8,275,803: System and method for providing answers to questions

This patented invention was implemented in the IBM Watson system and describes a technique that enables a computer to take a question expressed in natural language, understand it in detail, and deliver a precise answer to the question. Read more about the current work in healthcare between IBM Watson and the Cleveland Clinic.

U.S. Patent #8,250,010: Electronic learning synapse with spike-timing dependent plasticity using unipolar memory-switching elements

This patent relates to algorithms and circuits for efficiently mimicking the learning function of brain’s synapses and lays the foundation for a non-von Neumann computer architecture. IBM is working on a cognitive computing project called Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), which aims to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition while consuming orders of magnitude less power and volume without being programmed.

U.S. Patent #8,341,441: Reducing energy consumption in a cloud computing environment

This patented invention describes an technique that enables more efficient and effective use of cloud computing resources, thereby reducing and minimizing energy consumption.

U.S. Patent #8,121,741: Intelligent monitoring of an electrical utility grid

This patent describes a method that uses sensors and intelligent electricity meters to remotely monitor, manage and adjust power usage across an electric grid.

Other notable patents

1911: IBM’s first patent, #998,631, was issued to John Pierce for a Perforating Machine.

1968: IBM Fellow Dr. Bob Denard was issued patent #3,387,286 for DRAM. He was awarded the US National Medal of Technology in 1988 for the invention.

1981: Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer were issued patent #4,343,993 for the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, which could visualize individual atoms. They earned the Nobel Prize in 1986 for their breakthrough.

1985: IBM Fellow Dr. Mark Dean was issued patent #4,528,626 for “microcomputer system with bus control means for peripheral processing devices” (the IBM PC).

1998: Master Inventor Dr. Dimitri Kanevsky was issued patent #6,236,968 – “a system capable of keeping a driver awake.” Read more about Dimitri’s work on People for a Smarter Planet.

2010: Bob Friedlander and Jim Kraemer were awarded patent #7,693,663 for a “system and method for detection of earthquakes and tsunamis,” that interfaced with warning systems.

2012 U.S.Patent Leaders*

  1. IBM 6,478

  2. Samsung 5,081
  3. Canon 3,174
  4. Sony 3,032
  5. Panasonic 2,769
  6. Microsoft 2,613
  7. Toshiba 2,447
  8. Hon Hai 2,013
  9. General Electric 1,652
  10. LG Electronics 1,624

*Data provided by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services

You can watch a video on IBM Patent Leadership