Category Archives: BlueMix

IBM teams up with SK C&C to teach Watson learns Korean

Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.SK C&C has continued Korea’s efforts to increase the usage and adoption of cloud computing within the region, announcing a new strategic alliance with IBM focused on the Watson cognitive computing platform.

As part of the agreement, IBM will train Watson to understand and comprehend Korean, and South Korea-based developers will create a number of localized API’s and services to increase adoption rates of such advanced cloud computing technologies in the region. Korean will be Watson’s eighth language, lining up with English, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, and Arabic.

“Watson remains at the forefront of cognitive computing: advanced systems that learn at scale, understand with meaning, reason with purpose and interact with humans in natural ways,” said David Kenny, GM for IBM Watson. “The South Korean marketplace is moving quickly to embrace the disruptive opportunities from next generation technology.

“Our strategic alliance with SK Holdings C&C will put cognitive services in the hands of more businesses and developers, allowing them to apply Watson within their organizations to help transform entire industries and professions.”

Korea has been making positive strides in recent months to increase the adoption rate of cloud computing within the country, announcing a number of initiatives in March. Adoption rates are reported to be as low as 6.4% within the country currently, which could be perceived as low considering the number of tech companies which has grown out of Korea, though the government is planning to increase this to 13% over the next twelve months. Over the same period, the government also plans to increase the number of Korean cloud companies from 353 to 500.

While this announcement focused on cloud computing as a broader technology set, the government also announced plans to invest 100 billion won (approximately $87.2 million) to foster the development of supercomputers. The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning said it would invest 10 billion won annually for the next 10 years to boost the growth of artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet-of-Things technologies and other emerging industries through supercomputers. The ambition is to create a supercomputer with a data-processing speed of 1 petaflop (PF) in five years, eventually reaching 30 PF by 2025.

As part of the partnership between IBM and SK C&C, the telco will run Watson and Bluemix from its Pangyo Cloud Centre, to foster the growth of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence. More specifically SK C&C is hoping the introduction of the technologies will improve mobile device experience, as well as consumers’ call centre interactions. SK C&C will also become IBM’s preferred distributor for cognitive solutions in South Korea.

“This alliance highlights SK’s dedication to growing our artificial intelligence-based data services business, strengthening our Ai leadership position, as well as spurring innovation and Ai adoption across Korea,” said Park Jung-ho, CEO of SK Holdings C&C.

The partnership between IBM and SK C&C is one of a number of examples of IBM’s efforts to broaden the appeal to the international audience. SK C&C will assist in developing Watson’s advanced conversational capabilities in Korean, in the same way SoftBank is aiding for Japanese, Mubadala for Arabic and GBM in South America. Each of these companies, including SK C&C, are developing local communities of developers to build, explore and create new applications in their native languages. Korean language Watson services are expected to become available early next year.

Infosys to use IBM’s Bluemix make next generation of cloud apps

IBM and Infosys have announced a joint venture where Infosys will use IBM’s Bluemix system to prototype, develop and roll out new cloud apps for its client base in 50 countries.

The partners will launch a Bluemix-powered Innovation Lab in which Infosys and its clients can work together to create applications. Infosys developers are to be trained on Bluemix and tutored on cloud app development. Infosys will also get access to the IBM Bluemix Dedicated, a library of cognitive computing and analytics systems and services for building client apps.

The Infosys Innovation Lab will be staffed with a dedicated team of designers, ‘extreme agile’ specialists and industry and technology architects. Infosys has 187,000 employees and a turnover of $8.7 billion.

IBM launched Bluemix with a US$ 1 billion investment in 2014 and it now claims to be the largest Cloud Foundry deployments in the world, with a catalogue of over 120 tools and software-services, with all the top open-source, IBM and third-party technologies.

The partnership is all about getting access to these technologies and sharing them with clients, according to Srikantan Moorthy, Head of Application Development and Maintenance at Infosys. “Our goal is to bring these advanced technologies to clients’ application landscape in the most rapid and collaborative way possible,” said Moorthy, “Infosys will also incorporate any Bluemix-related curriculum into its on-boarding and training process.”

The disruptive forces of cognitive computing, analytics and IoT are all delivered through the cloud and Bluemix will only exacerbate these changes, according to Steve Robinson, IBM Cloud’s General Manager. “Developers can accelerate the deployment of these next-generation apps and this collaboration with Infosys will advance our clients’ journey.”

IBM Bluemix Local promises developers quick fix on hybrid cloud app building

IBMIBM has launched a new hybrid cloud system that could make application building a lot quicker for enterprises – without compromising security. The system, Bluemix Local, is designed to build apps across public, private and on-premises environments.

Bluemix Local solves the time consuming problem of managing enterprise infrastructure, it says. The process of moving data and apps between disparate cloud environments is forcing managers to make comprises, says IBM, with many companies sacrificing security in order to get finished quicker or missing deadlines in order to cover all security bases. Development with Bluemix Local can now proceed quickly, but still remain behind a client’s firewall.

A ‘write once, run anywhere’ feature now helps developers avoid much of the repetition in coding, allowing programmers to quickly stitch existing systems together and connect data and application programming interfaces into a single environment. The system also maintains consistency by keeping apps current across all platforms. IBM’s expansion of the Bluemix platform has been carried out on open architecture.

The system was developed to help companies in heavily regulated industries with strict compliance rules and sensitive customer data, such as banking, healthcare and financial services. IBM recommends a hybrid cloud approach as the preferred model for seamless connection.

New features in Bluemix Local include Relay technology, which conveys sync updates across the cloud so that all environments remain current. It has a single omnipotent admin console and gives access to IBM’s catalogue of 120 open-standards-based services from both IBM and third-parties. With a private catalogue and API Management services, enterprise clients can create, publish, manage and monetize their own APIs, IBM says.

Clients can also sync data across geographies using IBM’s global network of cloud data centres throughout the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.

“IBM now has the broadest spectrum of hybrid cloud capability in the industry,” said Steve Robinson, general manager, Cloud Platform Services, IBM.

IBM bolsters Bluemix with added services, Cloud Foundry Dojos

IBM is bolstering its Bluemix and Cloud Foundry initiatives

IBM is bolstering its Bluemix and Cloud Foundry initiatives

IBM has signed up a number of partners for its Bluemix platform that will see the company bolster the platform-as-a-service with and its Cloud Foundry efforts by establishing developer meeting spaces.

The company announced a public beta of a .NET runtime, which will enable Cloud Foundry developers to use Microsoft’s development technologies and develop .NET apps.

ThinkData Works’ data catalogue, application KPI service Cupenya Insights, event processing service and push service Reappt were also added to Bluemix catalogue, as well as some new internally developed mobile and API management capabilities.

IBM also said it is supporting the expansion of Cloud Foundry Dojos, physical developer spaces designed to host developers looking to leverage the open source platform-as-a-service. The company said it will establish its first of a number of independent Cloud Foundry Dojos in Raleigh, North Carolina, in a bid to boost the number of – and mentor –Bluemix developers.

Having poured billions of dollars into cloud and PaaS, it’s clear IBM has high hopes for Bluemix. The company is putting Bluemix at the core of its Internet of Things strategy – it recently announced plans to carve out a section in Bluemix for specialist IoT services (IoT Zone) and a number of new IoT-focused cloud services available on the platform.

IBM claims Bluemix is the largest deployment of Cloud Foundry in the market today, though it hasn’t really clarified what “largest” means in this context; it’s equally unclear how Bluemix deployments compare with Pivotal CF and HP Helion among other commercial Cloud Foundry distributions.

IBM, NASA team on cloud, open data app code-a-thon

NASA is teaming up with IBM to host a code-a-thon for developers interested in supporting space exploration through apps

NASA is teaming up with IBM to host a code-a-thon for developers interested in supporting space exploration through apps

IBM and NASA are partnering on the space agency’s Space App Challenge, which will see participating developers build applications that help solve space exploration challenges.

The goal is to get developers building applications that can be used to solve space exploration-related challenges using cloud-based services and publicly available data sets. Some initial applications include a system that uses data aggregators and analytics to help NASA tracks asteroids, and an app that uses senor data streams to guide movement for robots.

As part of the deal IBM will be offering up its Bluemix platform-as-a-service and Watson analytics for developers participating with the three-day code-a-thon, which is being coordinated by the space agency online; more than 10,000 developers are expected to participate across 136 cities.

The company also plans to allocate IBM staff to offer best-practice development tutorials for handling some of its cloud and big data technologies.

NASA is making available datasets from over 200 data sources including services and tools supplied through real-life NASA missions and technology.

“The NASA International Space Apps Challenge is at the forefront of innovation, providing real-world examples of how technology can be used to by the best and brightest developers in the world to solve some of the most daunting challenges facing our civilization,” said Sandy Carter, general manager, cloud ecosystem and developers, IBM.

“Using the IBM Cloud, IBM is making it easier for developers to solve NASA challenges by helping them leverage and make sense of data in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even just a few years ago,” Carter said.

The space agency has previously partnered with other cloud provider on similar initiatives. Last year NASA partnered with Amazon Web Service to host terabytes worth of climate and earth sciences satellite data to promote community-driven research and innovation using its data.

IBM to pour £2bn into Internet of Things business unit

IBM is putting billions of dollars into creating a standalone IoT division

IBM is putting billions of dollars into creating a standalone IoT division

IBM announced it plans to spend up to £2bn over the next four years to consolidate and revamp its Internet of Things technologies and services into a standalone business unit. The move seems aimed at broadening its appeal beyond proto-IoT segments it traditionally caters to.

Through its Smart Cities and Smarter Planet programmes the company has effectively been offering what many today refer to as Internet of Things technologies, but the renewed investment will see IBM mobilise and train a massive fleet of consultants (over 2,000) on its consolidated IoT services portfolio, and offer a cloud-based platform for companies to help them marry data real time IoT data streams with other data sets and services.

The company also plans to carve out a section in Bluemix, IBM’s platform-as-a-service, for specialist IoT services, and expand IoT-focused partnerships with a range of technology and service providers.

“Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. “This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it’s a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters.  Over the next decade, integration of IoT in business operations and decision-making will transform business.”

The move is part of a broader reorganisation effort currently underway at IBM, which is seeing the company realign internally (and trim headcount) to more effectively support service and technology development around cloud, mobile, security, and data analytics. Its Internet of Things offerings are both increasingly drawing from those other segments, and broadening beyond traditional smart cities or intelligent manufacturing segments use cases – areas where IBM has traditionally played.

In February for example ARM and IBM jointly announced an Internet of Things starter kit to enable developers to rapidly prototype mbed-based IoT applications using Bluemix, which ships with a development board from Freescale, powered by an ARM Cortex-M4 processor. The companies are aiming the kit at startups, which hasn’t traditionally been IBM’s nor ARM’s target demographic.