INSIGHT Conference Trip Report

The IBM Insight Conference has just completed. There were several major software, partnership, and direction announcements.  All of these announcements were crowded into a very busy technical conference of presentations by IBM, third party software vendors, IBM business partners, and industry consultants who spoke about their ideas, practices and solutions.

The IBM Insight Conference sessions detailing all the different aspects of IBM software were quite exhausting, and I will have to review all the session presentations before providing further details.  The talk from Steve Mills, which I tweeted out, summed it up best by stating that today’s technology is all about CCAMSS, cognitive, cloud, analytics, mobile, social, and security.  IBM is moving to help its customers be successful in all these challenging business areas.

These six major themes were reflected in the Information Management threads.

  1. The cognitive computing era, when software will explore our massive data and expose new patterns and information, has just begun.
  2. Cloud computing software and platforms from IBM are ready and secure for any type of business applications.
  3. Your company should be putting analytics into all business application aspects.
  4. Mobile applications enablement is critical for all types of internal business and external customer applications.
  5. Your customers and business are at risk if your company does not incorporate and measure social sentiment better than your competitors.
  6. Be forever vigilant on security because it’s a never-ending challenge.

The first big announcement explained the IBM Watson initiatives for cognitive computing.  IBM Watson is the new cognitive computing brand, a new suite of products like the DB2 Family and InfoSphere product lines, but also containing individual cognitive software products.  These Watson cognitive products focus on the next step in business software to assist businesses to uncover new data patterns, trends, and anomalies for better business outcomes.  The Watson initiatives are building on its Jeopardy success to help in many initiatives such as healthcare, food, education with many more areas to follow.

The IBM Cloud offerings through IBM Cloudant and BlueMix provide secure ways to engage elastic cloud services, deploy all types of applications, and enhance existing business software solutions.  These cloud offerings with their focus on security, PII country compliance, and ability to engage all types of cloud software services, provide a rich palette to create, provision, and deploy any type of analytics, mobile, social, and business applications.

The next major takeaway were all the new analytics offerings throughout the IBM portfolio of products.  The DB2 IDAA enhancements provide unprecedented workload performance improvements.  Several great presentations from user companies showed tremendous analytics processing performance improvement with the new IDAA hardware appliance.  Overall DB2 workload offload to IDAA showed tremendous savings within only a few months, while providing much faster query and analytics processing—a great return on investment.

IBM also announced the new version of Big Insights with an SQL engine and interface providing industry leading analytics performance over Hadoop data stores.  When incorporated with Hadoop, Big Insights leverages its IBM technology to provide better Hadoop data administration and performance for analyzing all types of unstructured social, machine, and textual data.

A surprise announcement was a new strategic partnership between IBM and Twitter.  This announcement makes sense for both companies, as well as their customers. Businesses can leverage IBM’s data base streaming services against Twitter’s over 500 million tweets per day to determine social sentiment about their products, services, and overall quality of their customer interactions.  By addressing these huge new mobile and social data dumps from Facebook, Twitter, GPS devices, Internet of Things, and social applications, IBM’s cloud, Big Insights, and streaming capabilities, along with the new dashDB, provide business solutions to tackle the corporate mobile and social application performance and database needs.

IBM’s Guardium product line has released new software versions to address the ever increasing security and hacking threats from all types of distributed devices, local, and cloud applications. Through Guardium’s security protocols, monitoring, and reporting, IBM continues to secure the cloud, preventing distributed and local threats to properly secure system and database access.
I’ll write more about the IBM Insight Conference next week, including DB2 Family improvements.  Right on the heels of this jam-packed week, the IDUG conference in Prague next week should provide even more information on IBM’s new initiatives.

Dave Beulke is a system strategist, application architect, and performance expert specializing in Big Data, data warehouses, and high performance internet business solutions. He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, and President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His architectures, designs, and performance tuning techniques help organization better leverage their information assets, saving millions in processing costs.

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