Many of my friends ask me what I do at IBM and I tell them that as an IT specialist I focus on Storage Systems. They immediately think of the warehouse self-storage businesses that are used to save grandma's extra furniture.
I explain to them it's not that type of storage. It's the type of storage that keeps their music, pictures, videos and social networking messages safe, accessible and reasonably priced. Once I explain that to them, they get it. Their expectation is that they can share their photos anytime, won't have to wait to play their favorite game and can to keep their data safe and secure at an affordable price.
I've learned that if we can provide the same quick real-world examples to our customers and partners of how IBM Storage Systems provides solutions to their opportunities and challenges, they also get it.
Below are some links to videos that can help you show some of the real world solutions that IBM Storage provides and I can share my own personal experience working with two of IBM technologies.
The IBM FlashSystem Storage provides low latency access to tera bytes of data and can greatly decrease processing time for applications that are very IO intensive and require low latency, i.e.. that is the ability to access data very quickly. Working on one recent engagement we had a discussion about monitoring performance of the system. It was suggested that we log the data every five seconds, but the partner said that the particular test he was running was expected to complete in milliseconds not seconds. Although this was a challenge, this was also a great opportunity. Although the function that was being tested was to determine in real-time if profitable financial trades were possible while a trade was still in transit to the market, this also opened up the possibility whether other real-time analysis such as fraud detection would be possible.
Software Defined Storage became very clear to me when I was asked to support an engagement to create of a new iSeries partition. Usually creating a new partition takes days to complete, but by using the IBM SAN Volume Controller to create an image of a running system we were able to complete the task in hours. Software defined storage has allowed us to not only simplify the management of Tera Bytes of data, but add new capabilities that has made us more productive and capable of not only doing more with less, but doing it more quickly.
Whether you're a multimillion dollar enterprise with a team of social media experts or a startup of 5 trying to grow your brand, you are not immune to the pitfalls of a social media crisis. Crises can range from customer complaints to marketing mishaps, both big and small and everything in between. The way you handle a crisis can ultimately strengthen or weaken your brand image.
Here's a list of 10 must-have tips to manage a social media crisis that I walked away with from Marketing and Social Media professor Kimberly Legoki, who spoke at the Disrupting Business: Social Marketing Symposium at IBM's IIC in Foster City, CA. You're going to want to bookmark this list in case of emergency!
1. Always be listening and monitoring
When crisis strikes, make sure you've got eyes on everything that's being said so that you can quickly respond and fully understand the scope of the crisis. Aggregation tools like Storify can help you keep an ear to the pulse of the story so that you can assess what people are saying.
2. Turn off auto-post immediately
Auto-posting is great for many things, but if you have to address an unfortunate circumstance you don't want it to accidentally be followed by a post that can look insensitive or contradictory.
3. Immediately acknowledge the situation
Even if you're not ready to release details, if there is a situation that people are talking about, you need to acknowledge that it happened and that you will keep the public in the know as you gather more information. These actions are necessary for taking charge of what people are saying about your brand.
4. Get your message to as many outlets as possible
While it's best to centralize all of the information, perhaps in a blog, use all other social media channels to direct people to that location.
5. Correct – don't delete!
Once it's out there, deleting it won't make it go away and it might make it worse. Deleting looks suspect and creates more negative sentiment. If there's a mistake, acknowledge it and update the information.
6. If you must temporarily disengage, do it the right way
If you must disengage (as @NASAVoyager2 did during the federal government shutdown – insert image) don't suspend or delete the account. Acknowledge that due to circumstances your organization won't be able to respond to or monitor comments via social media and supply an alternative way of reaching out. Let people know when you return.
7. Own the #hashtag
In your first post about the situation, use the hashtag and continue to use it to encourage others to use it, too. That first post will be the one that gets re-posted again and again.
8. Monitor online chatter before resuming marketing activities
Before you get back to business as usual, make sure you're listening to what people are saying about the crisis. You don't want to go back to your regularly scheduled marketing until your customers are ready for that.
10. Practice, refine, repeat
It's important to plan ahead for a crisis. Who's going to post to where? Does everyone who would need access to a platform actually have access? Who approves the posts? Have a template ready to go in case of emergency. Practice a mock crisis every 6 months with this team to ensure that everything is in order.
You are now equipped to handle any disaster that comes you're way. While I hope you never have to use this list, you'll be glad to have it if disaster strikes.
Professor Legoki is a crisis management savant who has managed and studied crises for over 20 years. Her latest project is called “The customer who tweeted #boycott; an empirical investigation of consumer activism on Twitter.” Tweet @KimLegoki and what you want to #boycott, to be included in her research.
Do you have any other tips to add? Any good examples of companies that didn't follow these tips? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
IBM PowerVC version 1.2.1 became available in Jun, 2014 includes significant enhancements for current and new clients.
PowerVC™ is the new advanced virtualization management offering, built on OpenStack, that delivers advanced virtualization management for IBM AIX® and Linux environments on IBM Power® Systems. PowerVC has quick time to value and low total cost of ownership, as the focus of this offering is simplicity and ease of use. IBM Power Systems servers now including POWER8 processors which, along with PowerVC technology are designed to help clients dynamically build an infrastructure that supports a Software Defined Environment or a Cloud infrastructure.
PowerVC enables Power Systems customers to lower their total cost of ownership with simplified ease of use and capabilities, easily deploy and move workloads and maximize resource utilization. PowerVC has been built to require little to no training to get moving on optimizing your Power Systems virtualization, with advanced placement policies and monitoring and management of VMs.
The enhancements include:
Support for PowerVM Shared Storage Pools (SSP)
Support for POWER8 processor-based systems
PowerVC has now been translated and localized for multiple languages including simplified and traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil)
Support to manage PowerKVM virtualized environments including support for:
Local storage, iSCSI data volumes, NFS
VM relocation, packing and striping scheduler policies
Open vswitch network virtualization support
Support for the CloudInit activation engine for Linux clients
PowerVC 1.2.1 is based on the Icehouse release of OpenStack
Support for Shared Storage Pools is one of the key enhancements for our existing clients. As many of you know, the availability of OpenStack drivers for fiber channel storage devices has been one of key challenges. Shared Storage Pools provides an alternative support path for storage devices not currently supported by OpenStack and PowerVC.
PowerVC 1.2.1 will include the capability to manage PowerKVM based systems such as the POWER8 processor-based S812L and S822L Linux only scale out systems. PowerKVM is intended to enable exploitation of Power Systems hardware capabilities while leveraging the Open Source community and Linux virtualization administration skills.
PowerVC 1.2.1 also introduces the CloudInit activation engine (currently only for Linux clients). CloudInit is an emerging Open Source project focused on the initial configuration of the virtual machine after deployment. The Virtual System Activation Engine will remain the default, but clients using PowerVC to deploy Linux can start leveraging CloudInit.
The management platform for PowerVC 1.2.1 is supported on RHEL 6.4 and 6.5 on Power or X86 hardware
Customer centric organizations require new tools to deliver better on-line customer experiences, for users today who expect better service. To gain competitive advantage, on-line marketers need to quickly analyze web and customer issues in order to provide a better web and mobile customer experience.
IBM Tealeaf solutions are such tools. By capturing and recording digital customer interactions on a website in near real time, Tealeaf allows companies to visualize customer visits to understand user actions, and any unexpected business results.
Recently a large on line travel retailer noticed that site visitors who booked both air travel and rental car reservations had a conversion rate on rental car bookings of almost 90%. In other words, 90% of customers who booked air travel and then looked at rental cars were converted successfully. However, customers who just visited the site for rental cars were only showing a conversion rate of some 13%. By installing and using IBM Tealeaf tools, the retailer found the following:
For car rental only travelers, the website code was defaulting the arrival time for car pickup to midnight (unbeknown to the end user). Hence when the web software looked for car rentals at that time, it found that most airport rental agencies were closed at midnight, so returned the default message, “no cars available” to the on-line shopper.
Air Travelers meanwhile inherited a car pick up time of the airline flight arrival time, which resulted in a high conversion to rental car bookings.
Using IBM Tealeaf, the on-line retailer was able to gain deeper insight into the customer experience and see quickly how their own web site software was causing the problem of low conversion rates on rental cars, for car only shoppers. This allowed a quick correction to the web software which in turn drove higher revenue from on-line car rental bookings.
For any online businesses facing pressure to increase revenue and decrease cost, managing the customer’s experience has to be part of an essential strategy. IBM Tealeaf solutions provide the ability to monitor a customer’s website issues on an almost real time basis. Tealeaf allows organizations to intercept web problems quickly, to increase revenues and customer loyalty. In effect, it allows on-line merchants to view their own digital commerce sites thru the eyes of their customers, and experience it as they do. Reading the tealeaves has become an important part of managing web businesses.
Smarter Commerce, up to just recently, has been kind of a nebulous term to me. Hard to actually define. In effect, it is using up to date new tools, such as mobile technology, social technologies, analytics, and cloud technologies to build applications that a few years ago were unheard of, or probably impossible to construct due to lack of computing power or tools to execute them.
I recently experienced "smarter commerce" first hand, which brought home to me the power of these new applications and why they are so important. My interaction with "smarter commerce" was via United Airlines. The Airline industry has made a lot of recent strides to improve service and customer satisfaction by using smarter commerce type applications.
In my situation I was scheduled for an air trip to Rochester NY. I received the normal email message 24 hours prior to departure to check in. I did this on line, and completed printing of boarding passes etc. At that point, I thought my interaction with United was complete until the following day at the baggage drop off. However, late that afternoon, I got a mobile text message addressed to me from United on my Samsung 4 Galaxy. United informed me that my flight that I had checked in for to Washington DC was cancelled due to mechanical problems. It also directed me on the spot to a UAL site to choose a replacement combination of flights AND seats to reach my destination at around the same time. I was able to complete this in a short time and actually book a replacement flight via Chicago that got me to Rochester 45 minutes earlier. So I went to the airport the next day, with booked flights, seats and no issues. I tried to imagine this trip maybe a few years ago. I would have arrived at the airport to check in with boarding passes for a flight that was cancelled, stood in line for minutes if not hours getting new bookings, and of course been delayed hours if not days due to lack of available alternatives at the later time. So United Airlines, by using a little data analytics, and mobile technology had taken a potentially bad customer sat situation and turned it into a positive. A very powerful business case.
Smarter Commerce allows companies to put the customer at the center of the process, instead of the company at the center. It anticipates, via analytics and an extension of core system data, and uses mobile and social tools to allow optimization and real time action to deal with business problems, that even just several years ago, were impossible to deal with. Smarter Commerce is....., your customer in context.
Infrastructure matters because business outcomes matter and new outcomes entail new infrastructure demands.
With new workloads, such as, cloud, analytics, mobile and social placing additional demands on the server, sever virtualization management tool and storage systems we are currently utilizing - the right infrastructure matters, and the right infrastructure needs to be fast, flexible, reliable, secure, and manageable.
Come learn how the breakthrough with Flash storage combined with the very latest innovative IBM POWER8 technology announcements meet these new demands.
PowerVC is the new advanced virtualization management offering for Power Systems, built on OpenStack. PowerVC delivers advanced virtualization management for IBM AIX and Linux environments on IBM POWER Systems. PowerVC has quick time to value as the focus of this offering is simplicity and ease of use. PowerVC enables Power Systems customers to lower their Total Cost of Ownership with simplified ease of use and capabilities, easily deploy and move workloads and maximize resource utilization. PowerVC has been built to require little to no training to get moving on optimizing your power system virtualization, with advanced placement policies and monitoring and management of VMs.
PowerVC editions include the following features and benefits:
Virtual machine image capture, deployment, resizing, and management
Resource pooling through shared storage pools
Policy-based VM placement to help improve usage and reduce complexity
Real-time management optimization and VM resilience to help increase productivity
VM Mobility with placement policies to help reduce burden on IT staff in a simplified GUI
A management system that manages existing PowerVM deployments
Security through existing Active Directory deployments
PowerVC Standard Edition includes new support for PowerKVM which includes the following features and benefits:
Support for managing Red Hat and SUSE guest VMs that are running under PowerKVM
Enhanced storage configurations specific to PowerKVM, including NFS storage
Support for Open vSwitch network configurations under PowerKVM
The 100 BlueMix Days - Hands-On Workshop at the IBM Innovation Center in Silicon Valley on Friday March 28 drew a full house of IBM business partners.
IBM BlueMix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications, while tapping a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks. IBM will provide services and runtimes into the ecosystem based on our extensive software portfolio.
If you are interested in learning more about IBM BlueMix, just contact the nearest IBM Innovation Center.
On Saturday, March 29, 2014, a team from the IBM Innovation Center in Silicon Valley attended the 2014 Harker Research Symposium to introduce IBM programs and technologies of interest to the tech-savy students.
The Harker School is a private, co-educational, non-profit college preparatory school in San Jose, California, United States. Founded in 1893, with its own incubator and students who already have their own startup companies. The Research Symposium drew a large croud of students to the IBM booth.
Of the several hundred students who visited the booth and talked to the IBM team, the vast majority were interested in 1) IBM Watson, 2) the IBM Global Entrepreneur program.and 3) Internships at IBM.
Several students had already founded their own companies and were clearly on the path of becoming he future movers and shakers of Silicon Valley.
For businesses, we wanted to create a system which allows line-of-business users to easily create applications without needing a high level of technical know-how, reduce the total cost of ownership by introducing cost savings inherent in the cloud, and enable businesses to rapidly adjust to their customer and client needs by leveraging the flexibility cloud applications provide--instant updates, new features deployed automatically (high responsiveness from the end-user's perspective).
By doing all of this, the goal is to provide a platform that allows everyone--the developers, the businesses, the end-users--to accelerate their exploration of cloud app capabilities, whether it be to solve social, mobile, or big data needs and challenges--or combinations of the three, to build the next generation of cloud applications and services.
The IBM MobileFirst portfolio is made up of a rapidly growing number of products. Let's go thru the portfolio one by one to learn how we can use each individual product, either alone or together with other products, to create innovative mobile solutions.
We'll start with Xtify which delivers cloud-based mobile push messaging and digital wallet/passbook capabilities, enabling businesses to deliver rich, engaging, personalized content to on-the-go consumers anytime, anywhere.
For CMOs and their organizations, Xtify extends IBM Enterprise Marketing Management digital messaging capabilities by adding mobile application push and mobile web push to our existing digital marketing execution channels. Providing customers with deeper connections and a faster way to engage, nurture and grow their customer base.
This acquisition helps mobile enterprises provide timely, relevant and customized interactions with their customers. Enhancing the capabilities of IBM’s MobileFirst Platform, supporting all development approaches including Hybrid, Web and Native, providing maximum flexibility to developers who are building mobile applications.
As part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, Xtify will make it easier for organizations to embrace mobile commerce and drive in-store traffic to increase sales – using their customer’s contextual information to create and deliver seamless, intuitive customer interactions – at the right time, in the right place and through their mobile device of choice.
Now let's take a look at some demos:
If you have any questions about Xtify, reach out to your nearest IBM Innovation Center.
After many years and much hype the Internet of Things is finally here and IBM is already a key player in this important technology that aims to connect not people but billions of instrumented things.
The Internet of Things represents an evolution in which objects are capable of interacting with other objects. Hospitals can monitor and regulate pacemakers long distance, factories can automatically address production line issues and hotels can adjust temperature and lighting according to a guest's preferences, to name just a few examples. Furthermore, as the number of devices connected to the Internet continues to grow exponentially, your organization's ability to send, receive, gather, analyze and respond to events from any connected device increases as well.
DevOps is the backend of Agile Development, a process for continuous software delivery that is changing the enterprise.
The IBM DevOps approach speeds up and sustains the software-driven innovation you're planning, developing, testing, and delivering. Regardless of whether your focus is in mobile development, cloud hosting, big data analysis, or social business, you can continuously release better software and services faster, at lower cost and with less risk.
IBM DevOps works by engaging and aligning all participants in the software delivery lifecycle — business teams; architects, developers, and testers; and IT operations and production — around a single, shared goal: sustained innovation, fueled by continuous delivery and shaped by continuous feedback.
Easier IT operations with mobile application upgrade independent of server upgrades, new server deployment without mobile application rebuild, improved license usage management, device de-provisioning, and Application Center enhanced resilience on 2-G networks
Improved developer productivity with new UI-based automated SOAP and SAP service discovery, custom patterns and instant application previews
Expanded security capabilities with FIPS140-2 for data in motion and user certificate provisioning for client-side authentication
Updated mobile operating system support, including support for recent levels of iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Microsoft™ Windows™ 8 and RT, and Windows Phone 8 in addition to third-party software support updates for JQuery Mobile and Dojo
Translation of mobile application user-facing texts into Chinese (simplified = zh), Chinese (Traditional Han = zh-tw), French (fr), German (de), Italian (it), Japanese (ja), Korean (ko), Portuguese (Brazil = pt), Russian (ru) and Spanish (es)
A Connect to Win is an executive event where you will meet with peers from IBM and other Business Partners to help uncover new opportunities. This session facilitates the creation of successful business connections to drive sales through technology integration, joint marketing, and engagements with the IBM and RSI, ISV and/or Reseller sales teams.
The IBM MobileFirst portfolio of products makes it easy to develop secure and high-performance mobile apps for small-medium-large enterprise market.
At this event we will discuss development methodologies and technologies, the app development lifecycle, the latest products in our portfolio, such as Fiberlink, Xtify, Trusteer and Urban Code.
We will hear directly from IBM business partners who are using IBM MobileFirst products and last but not least,
we will hear from the IBM team that connected IBM Worklight and IBM Watson for Healthcare, demonstrating how cognitive computing funcitonality running on massive systems can be made available on smartphones and tablets.
More about the Watson Worklight hookup in this video:
Ideal for companies that wish to build mobile applications to exploit existing enterprise services hosted within the robust and scalable CICS environment
Uses existing CICS web service technology: a separate WSBIND file provides the mapping from the COBOL, C/C++, or PL/I language structures to JSON, or from JSON back to the language structure
Requests are process by CICS in a web service pipeline, taking advantage of the proven web service infrastructure within CICS Transaction Server
JSON greatly simplifies connectivity to mobile devices, particularly when using IBM Worklight Server, as you no longer need to write extensive custom adapter code to invoke CICS services
So if you have a mainframe and want to share date on smartphones, just download the Feature Pack and IBM's Worklight and get started. It is as easy as that. And if you don't have a mainframe but would like to buy one, just let us know. We're here to help.