Last fall, IBM announced their Internet of Things (IoT) Foundation service on its BlueMix cloud-based platform. This news was overshadowed by the announcement this week that they plan to invest over $3 billion to build a dedicated IoT unit consisting of over 2,000 consultants, researchers and developers over the course of the next four years.
Along with this news, IBM announced that they are building a cloud-based platform to assist clients and partners to enhance real-time data and insights from various sources directly to business operations. In a separate announcement they said they would be partnering with The Weather Channel for an IoT service, as The Weather Channel is adding IBM as its cloud services provider.
The IoT foundation already has offered developers a set of APIs to simplify data access from Internet-connected devices. The new service includes IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries (new analytics services offered directed at developing and delivering vertical industry IoT apps for cloud customers), BlueMix IoT Zone (new IoT services to support integration of IoT data into cloud-based apps) and the IoT Ecosystem (expanding partnerships with existing chip, device and industry partners to confirm the secure and easy integration of data solutions and services to their cloud platform).
The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel, runs its weather-data-services-platform on Amazon only. They capture more than 20TB of data per day in order to drive their predictions accurately. The use of IBM’s cloud platform shows how the cloud market is heating up. The CIO/CTO of The Weather Company says they believe in multi-cloud stories, so cloud-based businesses or applications need to be built in an agnostic manner. This is the reason why they have been on a three-year journey to integrate IBM’s SoftLayer to power opportunities beyond what AWS could do alone.
The data from the Weather Channel’s WSI (B2B) will be made available to IBM IoT ecosystem customers so that they can make decisions about supply chains and customer buying patterns with accurate up to minute forecasts. IBM creating a dedicated business unit means that they can bring more focus and scale IoT opportunities. IBM feels that it is the right time for IoT to become the mainstream source of innovation across various industries.
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