IBM unveiled a range of new software, services and research offerings designed to bring a new level of intelligence to the fast-growing mobile enterprise market.
IBM also opened a new software development laboratory, the IBM Mass Lab -- IBM's largest software development lab in North America --that will contribute to mobile solutions.
With more than one trillion devices expected to be connected to the Internet by next year, organizations are struggling to find ways to more accurately gather, share and gain insight through smart devices. By 2015, there will be 20 times more mobile data and content and 40 times more mobile transaction spending --increasing the need for improved management of data, traffic and network bandwidth constraints, and services across the entire mobile business market.
To meet these demands, IBM is delivering new offerings that aim to simplify, manage and bring intelligence to the expanding mobile market, including a fast-growing mobile workforce.
"IBM has been focused on delivering higher-value capabilities to organizations that meet their enterprise mobile computing requirements. We've been steadily investing in this space for over a decade, both organically and through acquisition. As a result, we are better positioned that any other vendor to capitalize on the enterprise mobile opportunity and help our clients deliver a new level of intelligence to their ever increasing mobile workforce", said Steve Mills, Senior Vice President, IBM Software.
Every day more than one billion mobile phone subscribers are touched by IBM software. In fact, the world's top 20 communications service providers rely on IBM technology to run their applications. Building on this leadership, IBM is introducing new offerings that bring a new level of intelligence across the broad mobile business ecosystem including mobile devices, communication service providers and enterprise mobile services, including:
- New analytics software and services for real-time management of remote cell towers and sites to detect problems and manage maintenance before outages can occur.
- New software that bridges voice and Web communications to speed up business processes; new collaboration software for Android-based mobile devices
- Made in IBM Labs: New R&D innovations that add intelligence to 4th generation mobile networks and devices to improve service and quality; a new email prototype to help mobile device users more effectively identify what needs immediate action and what can be handled later in their mobile mail.
- A new laboratory in Massachusetts --IBM's largest software development lab in North America --that will contribute to mobile solutions.
Software and Services Innovations for the Mobile Enterprise
IBM is introducing new software and services that help communications service providers gain real-time insight on the status of how remote cell towers and sites are functioning for better management and maintenance.
With the proliferation of mobile devices and bandwidth requirements, monitoring and managing cell sites can be a costly and time-consuming task, particularly when problems occur because the sites are often operated and maintained in a silo --separate from the business infrastructure. In the United States alone, there are more than 143,000 cellular sites that need to be managed, increasing the time and money spent on maintenance. For example, technicians need to monitor a range of components that keep the network operating such as antennas, electricity and power, air conditioning and heating, and back up batteries.
Recognizing these increasing demands, IBM is delivering Intelligent Site Operations that combined its services and software capabilities enabling service providers to predict and often solve problems remotely while maintaining quality reliable service for customers. Technicians can diagnose, and often resolve problems without having to travel to the site --reducing truck rolls, decreasing labor and fuel costs, and decreasing CO2 emissions in the air from trucks.
Intelligent Site Operations integrates the passive cell tower infrastructure with an organization's active network for end-to-end, continuous monitoring, management and control of all physical and digital assets and operations for improved network availability and service quality.
Now, for the first time, technicians can monitor and determine problems on the fly --receiving health status and real-time updates on infrastructure changes or outages. For example, if a power outage occurs, an alert is immediately sent to a technician's mobile device or desktop with information about what the specific problem is and what assets are needed to repair the problem.
IBM is also announcing new software that bridges voice and Web communications to speed up business processes such as insurance claim filings and Web retail sales by 25 percent or more. IBM WebSphere CEA Mobile Widgets provide businesses and consumers with the benefits of sharing their Web experiences on handheld devices to make buying, selling, browsing, shopping, and many other types of mobile transactions more efficient.
Examples of these mobile widgets in action include collaborative browsing where an expert shopper within customer service can help navigate a customer to the right product or an insurance representative taking a customer through a claim form or any type of services firm guiding a customer through billing. In each case, this technology accelerates the business processes, increases accuracy and customer satisfaction --all while the customers are on the move.
IBM is also announcing today that it is extending its collaboration software to Google Android to Lotus Notes clients. Lotus Notes Traveler provides secure, enterprise-grade collaboration for Android-based mobile devices. Lotus Notes Traveler has enabled access to IBM's world class messaging to many of the most popular devices including the RIM BlackBerry, Nokia phones, the Apple iPhone and most recently, the Apple iPad. IBM collaboration supports the widest range of mobile handheld devices of any IT vendor in the world.
IBM delivers the broadest range of enterprise software and services to the mobile workforce --from collaboration, service management, business integration, information management and analytics and smarter management of telecommunications networks among other areas.
IBM is working with the broadest range of providers and clients across a wide spectrum of industries to help meet their expanding mobile and telecommunications requirements.
For example, IBM has built a solution for ING Direct Mobile Banking that runs on both the Blackberry and iPhone. ING Direct customers can now use their devices to transfer funds, check their account balance, research interest rates, find the nearest ATM and contact a bank representative among other resources with the support of IBM software and services.
IBM is helping Air Canada extend its customer service features to a wide spectrum of mobile devices For example, Air Canada customers can gain instant access to flights by flight number or city, detailed flight times and gate and aircraft information which are displayed in an easy to read table format. The customer can also subscribe to flight notifications and receive text messages or e-mail if the flight is delayed, cancelled or the gate changes or even promotions.
Made in IBM Labs: Accelerating Innovation
IBM has established a new software development laboratory, the IBM Mass Lab, -- a split campus between the towns of Littleton and Westford, Massachusetts. The IBM Mass Lab, IBM's largest Software development Lab in North America, brings together 3,400 of IBM's best and brightest minds in the industry to design and develop first-of-a-kind solutions to respond to customers' computing challenges. IBM employees at the Mass Lab create software that manages IT infrastructures and applications more effectively, helps people collaborate, reduces IT costs, and makes smarter decisions to optimize business performance.
One key area of the IBM Mass Lab is developing software for the new era of enterprise mobile computing. The explosion and sophistication of devices have generated a mountain of data, countless transactions, and increased complexity leading to a convergence of IT and mobility. While its the largest in North America, the IBM Mass Lab is one of 70 Software Labs IBM has around the globe.
Through IBM Research Innovations, IBM is taking a lead in advancing the 4G network --the latest generation of mobile network that provides a comprehensive and secure all-IP based solution to provide IP telephony, ultra-broadband Internet access, gaming services and streamed multimedia.
IBM Researchers are advancing innovations in mobile computing through the following initiatives:
- The IBM Self-Optimizing Network initiative aims to deliver intelligence into the network to allow it to self-configure and self-heal itself to make improved performance and reliability for enterprises and consumers alike. With an increase in data and content, network activity and the expanding enterprise mobile workforce, the ability to embed intelligence into the network to re-route and optimize itself for improved performance aims to be a critical game changer in the enterprise mobile market.
- Recognizing the changing demands of enterprise mobile computing, IBM Researchers unveiled a radically new email application prototype modelled after behavioral differences in the way users address emails on a desktop computer versus email on a mobile device. The new prototype, called Mail Triage, rethinks the mobile email experience, helping users more effectively manage their email and tasks across their different devices. Mail Triage allows users to quickly assess their email and identify what needs immediate action and what can be handled later.
IBM researchers are driving innovations for mobile computing across industries such as healthcare, finance and retail:
- In healthcare, IBM is looking at methods whereby a patient's vital signs can be transmitted from a mobile device back to a central location running analytics to evaluate and predict such things as heart attacks, helping to prevent life threatening episodes. Routine healthcare visits may also be done remotely in the future through sensor technology transmitted by mobile devices.
- In retail, IBM is exploring ways that vendors might leverage data from telecom providers to capture customer information and better reach potential clients. For example, with data about what a consumer has recently purchased, who their social networks are and their current location, a retailer might will be able to offer targetted advertising and promotions to consumers.
- In finance, IBM is evaluating new types of payment systems that will exist in the future via mobile devices. For example, with digital wallet technology for mobile devices, the role of banks will shift within a newly emerging payments ecosystem.
IBM believes mobility is key to its goal of building a smarter planet. Smart devices help people gather and share knowledge and insight faster and more accurately. The rapid proliferation of mobile devices serving as mini-computers has spawned an increasingly mobile workforce that needs to be as interconnected, intelligent and instrumented as the digital and physical systems upon which they depend.