Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  tivoli_pulse tivoli ibm_software energy_efficiency green_it 3,982 Views
The Tivoli Pulse 2008 conference kicked off over the weekend in Orlando, Florida.
In attendance are over 4,000 of IBM's closest Tivoli, Maximo, and Netcool devotees, along with IBM partners, industry analysts, and IBM technical experts discussing the latest and greatest in service management.
Oh yeah -- and Hootie and the Blowfish are playing.
While Hootie and his fish tune up for their Tivoli Pulse sound check, IBM Software's Steve Mills and Tivoli's Al Zollar made an announcement on the ground earlier in Orlando that ought to help you turn the thermostat up in your own data center and soon.
This new and comprehensive strategy introduces a broad set of capabilities to help businesses achieve their green goals, and is built around existing and new IBM software and services, along with support from leading providers of facilities management technologies designed to help customers optimize and improve their energy efficiency.
Earlier this month, you may remember that IBM launched its Big Green initiative, whereby IBM is committing $1B U.S. per year to deliver technologies that help customers increase the level of energy efficiency in their data centers.
IBM "Software for a Greener World" is an expansion of Project Big Green and includes new and existing offerings that help organizations optimize their infrastructure, workloads and people for increased energy efficiency.
Key capabilities being announced include new products and enhancements to IBM's software family, including Tivoli's monitoring and Maximo Asset Management solutions.
IBM is also producing self-assessment tools to help organizations quickly identify green starting points as well as support through services and guides to help jump start their own green projects.
This emerging need for energy efficient software is driven by a number of factors:
Energy costs (with oil per barrel rising to new and never-before-seen heights); government regulations, which are requiring companies to reduce carbon emissions and water usage; the need for increased virtual collaboration in progressively more globalized enterprises; and data centers, which often run into power and capacity cooling limits.
The IBM software strategy focuses on three key areas where software can play a key role: the use of online tools such as collaboration to reduce the necessity of travel (many thousands of we IBMers now practice this one, with folks like myself not having regularly driven to an office for 5+ years); workloads and the efficiencies gained by improved business processes and automation to increase power efficiency and infrastructure maintenance; and redesign to consolidated and virtualized IT that can help better monitor energy usage and shift resources accordingly based on demand.
People, workload, infrastructure.
Focusing on these three areas alone can go a long way towards taking the blues out of going green.
Learn more in the ibm.com feature story on green software here, or download the new whitepaper on how IBM Software can help get your organization on its journey to a greener world.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  business_intelligence cognos information_management ibm_software 2 Comments 5,635 Views
Hey, first off, I just want to say I'm real sorry to all my New York Giants friends. I know you all hate to be beaten up on by a bunch of Cowboys (hee hee hee). Good game, though.
And speaking of getting beaten up on, I bet every last one of you loves your mobile phone carrier, right?
Ever since my second trip to Tokyo in the spring of 2000, when I saw my first NTT DoCoMo iMode phone in action, complete with WAP-like applications (including a virtual fishing game!), I've wondered about the perilous fate of mobile computing in the U.S.
So, apparently, is The New York Times in an article this morning entitled "Cellphone Straitjacket Is Inspiring A Rebellion."
Somebody bar the mobile tower's gates, the open mobile computing platform mob is gathering and they are ticked!
Me, I don't want much from my little Blackberry Pearl. Just be able to quickly load sports scores and look up that cool restaurant's address, or find an on-the-spot movie listing. I can do all that, mostly, but it sure can take a long time.
Though the Times' piece suggests the iPhone started the easy-to-use mobile computing battle, Google's recent Open Handset Alliance and bid for new spectrum licenses last January only added fuel to the fire.
For my money, it all comes down to the age-old battle: Walled Garden Hell, or Open Network Eden. Me, I'll take a bite out of the apple every time if it means more application (and carrier) choices.
And speaking of bites out of the apple, IBM announced its intent to acquire business intelligence and performance management software leader, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada-based Cognos, for U.S. $58 a share (around $5 billion).
I look forward to eventually working and speaking with my new Cognos colleagues...preferably via a phone on an open mobile network.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  telelogic ibm software_development ibm_software acquisitions 2 Comments 5,673 Views
The IBM Software acquisition spree continues.
Telelogic creates and builds products for managing complex software development projects (better known as "application lifecycle management"), and also has tools for business process management, enterprise architecture, and systems engineering.
Telelogic's portfolio will become part of IBM's Rational software division.[Read More]
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the need for better filters of information. If you're an Information Age junkie like myself, using tools like RSS, social bookmarks, e-mail filters, and any other garden variety of personal information management tools can be overwhelming at times.
The whole point of all this great technology was that it was supposed to allow us to be more liberated from singular sources of information, allowing us to keep in tune with many more sources of information.
And it has.
But boy, can trying to monitor them be exhausting.
So I had suggested in the previous posting there was a very quickly emerging need for such smart information filters and aggregators, whether they be through new businesses or individual tools.
This morning, I read about one such filter in an article on the Financial Times online. Monitor110, scheduled to launch next year, is apparently providing an automated system that will "trawl through more than 40 [million] internet sources -- from blogs to regulator filings -- on behalf of hedge funds."
Check out this page from the Monitor110 site to get an idea of the kind of real-time information hedge funds will be receiving.
What I found most interesting about the story was a quote from the COO for investment research at Citigroup, Scott Lessing, who was quoted as saying that "the service could help analysts who currently track blogs 'only to the extent that it provides an idea which the analyst can independently verify.' "
Would that be a grudging, but formal acknowledgment, that there is great potential to find nuggets of information gold in them thar Internet hills?
Ah, but the quote goes on: "It's important to know that the smoke is out there, and that others see it. They may be more information value in online trends in the aggregate: 5,000 more web mentions of a product than the week before could be an important signal for an analyst covering the product's manufacturer."
Ah, so there's also potential collective wisdom from the maddening Internet crowds as well? The site hasn't launched yet, but according to the FT story, 10 hedge funds have already signed up, so they must think there's fire out there somewhere amidst all that smoke.
The IBM Information Fire Department refuses to stand by and watch the whole Internet go up in smoke. If you want to create some information heat yourself and integrate all your disparate data sources, check out this Website explaining our new IBM Information Server.
Aggregating my Aggregation
Meanwhile, in Wired magazine's "Monkey Bites," they listed the best and worst of Web 2.0 recently, and tuned me into NetVibes, which has been characterized as a "Web 2.0 personal portal featuring AJAX." Others are calling it just another RSS reader.
Curious, I checked it out yesterday, and decided it was much more than just another RSS reader, and am going to give it a whirl as my own next personal portal (Warning to Yahoo, MyYahoo has been my window to the Web for several years, but you've got some serious competition now, in my opinion).
In my work, I have to access all kinds of various Web-based information sources (both inside and outside IBM) on a daily basis, and I have been spending WAY too much time trying to navigate my way to those various sources, as well as just monitoring key information sources useful to my job.
Within about 10 minutes, I had completely customized the front page of NetVibes with a number of key blogs (via their RSS feeds) that I monitor, as well as added my Flickr photos, a weather map, an Alexa traffic widget that helps me monitor the traffic of several Websites, my del.icio.us bookmarks...the list goes on.
But the best part was being able to mix and match and move the boxed apps from one part of the page to another with my mouse. No programming, no HTML required.
This is smart computing. Kudos to the NetVibes team based in London and Paris, which apparently just received a $15 round of financing. As my dad used to tell me, don't spend it all in one place![Read More]
My fellow blogger, Lotus Notes and Domino guru Alan Lepofsky (we're not worthy!), just released some killer IP via his even more killer blog. If you're a Notes user of any variety, I think you'll find his tips and tricks to be extremely helpful.
Called simply the "Lotus Notes Tips Presentation"-- aka, "I didn't know Notes could do that!" -- the presentation is a simple-to-consume presentation that, in screen show mode, links you directly to the featured Notes/Domino tips on Alan's blog (I don't follow instructions very well -- I know, I know, difficult to believe -- so the show-n-tell like overviews Alan provides are most useful.)
For those of you who like Cliff Notes, you'll love this presentation -- in about two seconds, you'll be able to judge whether or not it's a tip you can use...and if not, simply hit page down and keep on truckin'.
Just the way I like to learn in this ADD world of ours...Thanks, Alan...really great stuff.
Meanwhile, if you didn't see the hullaballoo around our Lotus Sametime 7.5 announcements yesterday, following are some details on some of the key headlines featured in the press release.
In order of the Turbo excitement meter:
1) Multiple person VOIP -- The next best thing to being there is...well...being there with 5 of your closest colleagues...without having to look up a bunch of phone numbers.
2) Mobile support for the RIM Blackberry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile Devices -- instant messaging anywhere and everywhere, bay-bey. Hey, no driving and Sametiming! You might run into a cute little emoticon on the side of the Information Superhighway!
3) Location-based Awareness: Sir, we know where you are. Now put down the Blackberry. We're just gonna take a look at those poor blistered thumbs of yours.
4) Integration with Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Sharepoint. Same Microsoft products, new and improved integrated conferencing and collaboration with Lotus Sametime 7.5
5) Open Programming Model via Eclipse -- If you're a Business Partner or developer, get ready to be able to build mashups and new applications on the fly (Think Google Maps integration with your location-based awareness capability, and suddenly you can build a mashup that indicates all your salespeople are actually focus group testing a new Pina Colada mix at the very chic Hard Rock Hotel pool in Las Vegas instead of attending that sales conference in Des Moines. Can you say busted by the mashup?)
This announcement, I know of which I type. Many of we IBMers live on instant messaging these days, as we are a very distributed workforce and Sametime is the only way to track down a fellow IBMer in real-time. The integrated telephony and real-time meeting capabilities have already begun to meet some key needs inside these Big Blue Walls, so I suspect our customers and partners are going to be digging the new release.
But seriously, no Sametiming and driving. Those cute little emoticons never hurt a thing.
I watched that ABC TV movie last week about a worldwide outbreak of avian flu, "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America," and I have to be honest when I say the "viewer's guide" put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was much more engaging -- and informative -- than the movie, providing lots of background information and answering lots of questions I had about the issues and situations presented in the movie.
Currently, the good news is that the guide let me know "There is no influenza pandemic in the world at this time." IBM, along with twenty major worldwide public health institutions, made an announcement yesterday that we hope will help keep it that way.
The Global Pandemic Initiative will partner IBM with a number of health organizations and universities around the globe to explore the use of advanced computer and analytical technology to help with global preparedness. This will include a software framework from IBM that was developed to allow electronic health information to be more easily shared and mined among hospitals, doctors, laboratories, and health organizations.
We also contributed software developed at our Almaden labs called the "Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler" (say that three times quickly). Abbreviated as "STEM," this software can help build computer models of a disease as it spreads geographically to help epidemiologists track the likely future direction of a virus based on visualized empirical data. Learn more about this effort in coverage from the San Jose Mercury News.[Read More]
The problem with information technology is that there's too much of both. Particularly the information part.
Remember the flying toasters screensaver? The one where all the flying toasters take over your screen while you stare out the window into the abyss, daydreaming? That's kind of what it's like sometimes working on the IBM Web site (or IBM in general). I've got more toasters (read: bits of information) flying at me than I have the mouse clicks to take 'em down.
Anyone who works with me will likely tell you I have "high bandwidth" -- i.e., I can consume vast amounts of information and process much of it. But at times I feel as though I'm absolutely drowning in information. (I'm hoping to supplement my Turbo-brain with a new IBM POWER6 chip, but need for our Research folks to make that critical last mile wet ware-to-hardware connection!).
Of course, there's a big difference between information and insight, which brings me to the real point: How to distinguish the toasters from the toast. Figuratively speaking. In fact, more than 60% of CEOs agree that businesses need to do a better job of leveraging their information.
Without the Right Information, How Can You Manage Your Business?
Today, IBM announced a $1 billion (with a "b") initiative that combines our software and industry consulting expertise to help customers around the globe get "uninhibited access to accurate, reliable, and trustworthy business information."
This investment will include an expansion in both our information management software development as well as the dedication of 15,000 skilled information management practictioners to help IBM customers get more insight from the increasing mountains of information they're acquiring.
To learn more, check out the information on demand Website. Or, if you'd like to hear directly from some of the IBM information management experts, check out the new information on demand blog. Be sure to check out the posts from century cycling madman Jeff Jonas, who believes drinking water on the 107-mile Tour de Palm Springs is for wimps...but that context for enterprise information sharing is for everyone.
Even the toasters.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  cio information_management media ibm_software 7 Comments 4,084 Views
The feature on this week's ibm.com home page is "The Future of Sports," and as I read through drafts of some of the story's components -- including listening to the excellent future of sports podcast - it dawned on me that there may have never been a better time to be an athlete or a sports fan.
Full disclosure: My name is Todd, and I'm a sportsaholic. I grew up in north Texas, near Dallas, where football was as close to a religion as one could get without going to church, and where Little League baseball diamonds were a fixture permanently etched into the landscape. In my adolescence, I played both baseball and football, and also dabbled in soccer, basketball, cross country, golf, and even rodeo (yes, we do consider rodeo to be a sport...same with NASCAR...but more on that later).
I was never a star player, particularly in team sports, but I relished the opportunity and experience of playing both organized team and individual sports, and my participation taught me no end of lessons: teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, sacrifice, perserverance, how to throw my golf putter into a lake with style and finesse but also with the appropriate amount of anger...all qualities that I would inevitably call upon in later years for my business life.
Sporting Solutions for a Small Planet
In my travels for and work experiences on behalf of IBM, I've been most fortunate to have escaped the boundaries of my own geography and culture, and witnessed what sports means around the world, both virtually and up close.
Instant replay: On one of my international business trips, to Munich, I watched in fascination at the complete preoccupation of my European colleagues with the 1998 World Cup, and realized that no matter where in the world you are, football is football...except in Europe, where soccer is football, which my European colleagues were quick to point out...but my real point in mentioning it was this: sport is sport around the globe, certainly even as one man's sport is another man's bore.
I also learned that sport, like politics, is mostly local, even as it plays a crucial and necessary role in shaping national and even state identity...but it's mostly local. My tribe...err, I mean my team, is always better than your team, except when my team loses, in which case it's time to elect a new president...err, I mean hire a new coach.
Yet with the dramatic changes in technology over the past decade, what was once local has become instantaneously global.
Just this past weekend, by way of example, I watched as Tiger Woods played (and eventually won) the Dubai Desert Classic, a golf tournament halfway around the world -- sometimes in real-time and at others in instant replay. I had no end of options to read about or follow it closely, including the IBM-sponsored PGATour.Com But the best part was that I had any option at all, something avid sports fans didn't have when growing up with Jim McKay and ABC's "The Wide World of Sports."
The agony of victory and thrill of defeat was all well and good in the wide world of sports, up until about the time the shackles of broadcast commercial TV delayed replays or blackouts and forced you to miss the one game you really wanted to see in that not-very-wide-world-after-all. Call it the agony of oligopoly, where the channels of opportunity were limited by the scarcity of broadcast spectrum and, in turn, the limited number of sports media outlets. The endless capacity of the Internet precludes that from being an issue for the virtual world of sports.
IBM: Helping Fans Get Closer to the Action
Sport has always been very much an "on demand"-oriented endeavor, especially in terms of the need for instantaneous information and results. Thus, the global and individual accessibility of the Internet pairs nicely with the required immediacy of sports.
IBM's innovation in bringing technology to sports occurred early on in the Internet game, beginning with our early IT sponsorships of the U.S. Open, the Masters and PGA Tour, the Olympics, and others. In those experiences, we learned a great deal about the utility and applicability of our technology and the unique power of the Internet to address some very time-sensitive business problems, the lessons of which informed and shaped our product development.
These efforts helped us more effectively address other customers' problems through the lessons we learned from these sports sponsorships, some harder than others. Like the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, when IBM stumbled onto the javelin after being unable to deliver a critical scoring results feed to the news media, who were using the timely information in that feed to inform the rest of the planet. Lesson learned.
That very same year, IBM delivered live results of Tiger Woods' historic and relentless march up the fairways of Augusta to take his first green jacket. The Java-based Internet scorecard developed expressly for the Masters was the first of many innovations in our sports coverage efforts (read my account of a more recent one about the "Point Tracker" from last September's U.S. Open).
And from what I can surmise as I scan the fast-changing digital media landscape, this game is just getting rolling. IP-based digital media online is probably the most recent and important evolution for sports coverage in recent years, and is opening up whole new opportunities for athlete and fan interaction. You've also got fantasy sports leagues, online and console gaming, IPTV...all putting fans closer and closer to the action, and sometimes even directly into the driver's seat.
Gentlemen, Turn On Your Remotes
Take NASCAR, as an example. Just recently, Time Warner Cable sent me an invitation to subscribe to its new "NASCAR In Car" digital cable offering, which will allow me to watch "6 drivers on 6 in-car camera channels with live team audio and real-time in car-data." Does that mean I also get to experience driving into the wall of the Texas Motor Speedway at 180 MPH??? (Read a recent story in CIO magazine to learn how technology is changing NASCAR and helping it build its booming business.) Without the ability to provide multiple feeds through an IP-based broadband pipe, such a feat would have been impossible even just a few short years ago.
The point is this: Moving forward, no matter where in the world you may be, technology is going to allow you to follow your favorite team or athlete no matter where in the world they may be at the moment of, at - and even after -- the event, and increasingly via the device of your choice (Anyone see those ESPN Mobile TV ads in the Super Bowl last night? You thought people talking on the phone at the movies or restaurants was an etiquette issue? Just you wait until you can watch them jump up and down cheering at your cousin's wedding when the Steelers go for two and make it.)
People's behavior and the technology opportunity will certainly have to catch up with one another and make some adjustments, but the best news of all is that fans are going to be able to become a more integral partner in the experience, making the convergence of technology and sports the new team to watch.
I'm personally very much looking forward to the day when I can play in a virtual 3-D foresome with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger. Until that time, I'll keep practicing my course management on the X-Box.[Read More]
I mentioned last week that entrepreneurs and start ups looking to come out of the gates lean and mean are increasingly turning to low-cost or open source technologies to help them do so.
We at IBM are trying to do our part to help. This morning, we announced a free version of our DB2 database, DB2 Express-C. You can download it here, and this FAQ will help you learn whether or not it's for your environment.
The FAQ indicates that Express-C was designed with the developer and partner community in mind, and is designed to be up and running in minutes. This free download includes an unwarranted license to use on 32 or 64 bit, Linux or Windows systems with up to 2 CPUs and 4GB of memory.
It's also scalable should your startup sprout into the next Amazon or eBay and you later require a more enterprise-oriented edition. Applications developed with the DB2 Express-C version are fully compatible with other DB2 Universal Database editions.
You're on your own for writing the business plan.[Read More]
Orlando's a nice place to be this year, and judging from the news breaking from Lotusphere thus far, you won't find any flies landing on the Lotus team. In fact, my head's spinning from the announcements, so let me stop long enough to break it down into consumable fragments:
First, over 6,000 attendees saw the "Hannover" demo this morning. Slated to release in 2007, these next releases of IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino will include SOA support, activity-centric computing, composite applications, and server-managed clients to the IBM Notes and Domino platforms.
Next, expanded support Mac OS X, including for Lotus Notes 7 on the Apple Mac OS X Version 10.4 "Tiger" release. This will included integrated Lotus Sametime instant messaging and support for the new Intel-based Macs. IBM is also introducing Mac support for Domino Web Access via Firefox.
We're also seeing increased convergence of real-time collaboration technologies for the Lotus Sametime platform, including instant messaging, phone, VoIP chat, Web conferencing, and video conferencing (get out of those jammies!) in Lotus Sametime V. 7.5.
V 7.5 will also include new interoperability with other leading public instant messaging services, including Yahoo, AOL, Apple iChat, and Google Talk (That's what I'm talkin' about!)...And if you didn't already know where you were, V 7.5 will include location awareness and enhanced security and privacy, all built on the Eclipse framework intended to encourage open plug-in development.
Next, expanded support for SAP Solutions through the IBM Lotus Notes Suite for SAP Solutions (Hey, I don't make up these names...I just laboriously retype them!) and the new "Move2Lotus on Linux" program. On the SAP front, we include expanded integration into calendaring, time tracking, contact management, report generation, approval workflows, and other common business tasks, availability 1H06.
And with the "Lotus on Linux" program, we're providing IBM Business Partners with the tools, resources, and incentives they need to help their customers migrate off of competing messaging and collaboration systems to Lotus Notes and Domino on Linux. That's one small step for the penguins, one giant leap for global communications.
Real-Time Collaboration for Real-Time Business
Finally, we have announced enhanced support of click-to-call (to call in instant messaging or email contact directly from email and IM clients), click-to-conference (to instantly initiate a voice conference from within a client), and business-quality video into Lotus Sametime working with the likes of Avaya, Nortel, Polycom, Premier Global Services, Siemens, and Tandberg.
These new instant messaging, web conferencing, voice, audio integration and PC-to-PC technologies will help IBM customers keep their feet firmly on this flattening earth, and help ensure the right hand knows what the left is doing...or not doing, as the case may be.[Read More]