|By Jeremy Geelan||
|November 23, 2004 12:00 AM EST||
This exclusive interview with John A. Swainson was conducted by JDJ publisher Jeremy Geelan and originally published in the print edition of JDJ's May 2004 issue.
Jeremy Geelan: Let's start at 35,000 feet: What's been the main impact of IBM's "On Demand" vision on the Information Technology scene to date?
Swainson: Let's start by defining "on demand." First, on demand reflects what our customers are doing with their businesses - streamlining their business processes to make them more flexible and adaptive to new markets and opportunities. They use information technology as a tool to integrate these processes, so obviously IT is a critical enabler of on demand. In the case of IBM software, our focus has been on making sure customers can use our products - WebSphere, DB2, Lotus, Tivoli, and Rational - to establish what we call an on demand operating environment, which is a middleware infrastructure that gives our customers a way to build, integrate, and manage their new and existing applications.
Making it possible for people to do this required that we create a new, standards-based computing model. This model is based on the technical principles of a service-oriented architecture. It is delivered in our products, ones like WebSphere Business Integration, that customers can buy today. However, more and more, we are seeing customers starting to approach this from the business process angle, using our business consultants to define the business processes, and then tying the delivery of those processes to a set of technology models that help them achieve their goals.
Many customers have begun to realize the business benefits of on demand. Charles Schwab has implemented a WebSphere-based solution to allow their financial advisors to deliver portfolio analyses to their clients in near real time. By taking advantage of grid computing features in WebSphere, they have been able to make more efficient use of server resources and reduce the elapsed time to run these transactions from 8 - 10 minutes to just 15 seconds.
Jeremy Geelan: How favorably does it resonate with your customers, the fourfold typology of 21st century businesses as needing to be responsive, resilient, variable, and focused? Are there any further attributes that have emerged as being equally important?
Swainson: On demand resonates very well with customers because it maps to what businesses today are trying to do - find ways to be more flexible and responsive in order to stay competitive. It manifests itself in things like our WebSphere and Tivoli products, where systems become self-monitoring and self-healing, cutting down on system outages and enabling employees to spend more time on higher-level tasks. We're also seeing more interest in business process integration projects geared to specific industries.
Jeremy Geelan: How large do SOAs loom in IBM's vision for the future?
Swainson: IBM has been helping customers build service-oriented architectures for more than 10 years, because SOA is a design pattern, not a product per se. We have thousands of customers who have built these on WebSphere and MQ. Based on this experience, we have worked with the industry to define a set of standards and have codified successful implementations into a set of templates and guidelines for our services teams to use.
We have worked with thousands of customers on Web services and SOA engagements, and we lead the industry in every aspect of SOA, including products, standards, education, services, and experience. Our work includes standards created by the big market share of products like WebSphere MQ enterprise messaging, as well as more formal standards. IBM was a primary driver behind the Web Services Interoperability Organization, and we work with other vendors to introduce specifications for transactions, reliability, management, and grid computing. JSR109 is a recent example.
Jeremy Geelan: And grid computing - where does that fit in?
Swainson: Grid computing is another technical underpinning of an on demand environment. We've been helping our customers develop grids for years, primarily for scientific analysis. Now IBM is introducing technology that can be applied to commercial grid environments to make them easier and less expensive to implement.
Jeremy Geelan: In terms of the competitive landscape, since Gartner reported that 37% of all deployed application servers were WebLogic vs. IBM (at 22%), things have changed dramatically. What are the current statistics in terms of market share between you and BEA?
Swainson: Last year Gartner reported that IBM's share of the application server market rose to 37% in 2002 from 31% in 2001, making us the market leader. BEA dropped to second place, with market share declining 5 points, to 29%. Our goal was to become the market leader, and we think we're extending our lead.
Jeremy Geelan: When talking to your customers, what are the key integration drivers from their perspective, and how is IBM delivering on each of them?
Swainson: Integration is a must, but the integration priorities of customers are unique depending on the size of the business, the industry they compete in, the customer's long-term goals, and the customer's technology capability. There are a couple of key themes that rise to the top. Customers want to link different areas of their business with those of their clients and partners, and they want to leverage as much of their existing infrastructure as possible.
We help them get there with IBM's open, standards-based approach to integration, with WebSphere. We enable customers to automate the flow of information and process transactions to help them become more agile and responsive. We use horizontal end-to-end integration to leverage existing investments to increase business flexibility and efficiency and drive ROI. IBM can tailor integration solutions to best suit the needs and priorities of any customer, no matter the industry. IBM offers 63 industry-tailored software solutions spanning 12 industries. And every one of those 63 solutions is based on WebSphere.
Jeremy Geelan: How about the breakdown between large enterprises and SMBs - where does IBM see the most growth? What kind of things are you doing for the SMB space?
Swainson: The SMB marketplace represents a big opportunity for top line revenue growth for IBM. According to AMI-Partners, the overall market opportunity for SMBs last year was $300 billion, and it is the fastest-growing segment of the IT market - growing faster than the IT market as a whole. SMB is also the fastest-growing market segment for IBM. We just announced a strong start to this year with first quarter SMB growth at 15% year to year - thanks in large part to a partner ecosystem that delivers more than half of IBM's total SMB revenue. Local and regional ISVs represent a cornerstone of IBM's SMB strategy - more than half of all mid-sized customer IT investments are based on the application decision.
Also, while SMBs may not have the size, global reach, and revenues of larger organizations, they still have the desire to have a successful, profitable, and growing business. IBM's Express portfolio of middleware, hardware, services, and financing is a comprehensive suite of offerings built from the ground up for SMB customers and priced with their needs in mind.
Jeremy Geelan: Jonathan Schwartz went on record in JDJ as saying "middleware is history." Clearly that wasn't meant literally, but he was saying that end-to-end "systems" will supplant it as a focus. Is the IBM view that middleware, on the contrary, is just beginning?
Swainson: Saying that middleware is "history" is laughable. IBM has tens of thousands of customers who need and use middleware for transactions, data management, development tools, systems management, security, and collaboration in a heterogeneous systems environment. The WebSphere platform experienced 12% revenue growth in 2003 over the previous year. The WebSphere platform grew 24% in 1Q04, marking its twenty-second consecutive quarter of revenue growth
Jeremy Geelan: Scott McNealy once said "We're down to three - IBM, Microsoft, and Sun." Does the recent Microsoft-Sun pact change anything as far as IBM is concerned?
Swainson: Sun is a distant fourth or fifth in middleware market share, depending on which study you're looking at. We haven't heard much about what the deal really means for Sun, Microsoft, and the future of Java, but we haven't heard that Sun is backing away from Java either. I expect that Microsoft will continue to try to convince people to move from Java to their proprietary language environment, and I expect that Sun will continue to strongly support Java.
Jeremy Geelan: Some of IBM's moves in the Java space appear to be moving away from Sun - Eclipse tooling rather than NetBeans, SWT instead of Swing, and now a new virtual machine. From one perspective it looks like IBM is trying to break away from having any licensed Sun code in its product offerings. Is this the end game?
Swainson: IBM created Eclipse because there was no industry standard for building and integrating application development tools. We see Eclipse as very supportive of Java, and it has made a large contribution to Java's success in the marketplace - and with more than 18 million downloads, it is by far the most widely adopted Java development environment. Interestingly, it is also being broadly used in non-Java environments as well, with a great deal of activity in the community now to build C and C++ tools based on Eclipse.
SWT was developed because many of our customers demanded user experiences that the Java Swing code couldn't provide. The whole notion behind Swing is to have a consistent UI model across clients; SWT, on the other hand, allows people to build UIs that are deeply integrated with the look and feel of the host platform. So you can build Windows applications with that look and feel that fully integrate into the Windows desktop, and the same goes with Linux and pervasive platforms. Having said that, Swing is part of the Java standard, and IBM delivers more products using Swing technology than anyone else in the industry.
Jeremy Geelan: Scott McNealy told IBM to stop pushing him to open source Java until you do the same with DB2. If Java is not open sourced, how does this affect IBM's licenses with Sun in the future? How serious was the call to Sun to collaborate with you on an open source implementation of Java?
Swainson: We have been stating for years that we'd like Sun to make Java a true open standard, and we remain optimistic. IBM's long-standing support for open source is based on our conviction that openness creates new opportunities and spurs innovation. Open source also gives customers choice and helps them meet their IT needs more quickly and effectively. An open source Java platform would be good for the industry, good for customers, and good for Java.
Jeremy Geelan: What major product announcements is IBM likely to make this summer, or should we be waiting for the fall for the next big additions?
Swainson: Later this year we'll be announcing the next generation of WebSphere Application Server, Version 6. It will be the foundation for IBM's on demand operating environment and will advance IBM's leadership in things like grid and autonomic computing, security, systems management, application development, and SOAs. We'll also begin rolling out software that will closely integrate IBM's market-leading WebSphere MQ messaging software with high-level integration to form a single Enterprise Service Bus infrastructure.
All these products are part of IBM's effort to help customers compete more effectively in the marketplace. We will continue to help customers solve pain points, such as integrating far-flung silos of information across the enterprise and with trading partners. And we will continue to deliver on IBM's on demand vision through industry leadership in open standards, ongoing investment in research and software development, strategic acquisitions of companies like Rational and, more recently, Trigo and Candle, and our unmatched portfolio of software, hardware, services and financing. That's how we are making on demand a reality for our customers.
|Janelle Hill 11/23/04 05:26:14 PM EST|
You have a fact backwards. One place you say (webLogic BEA product) has 37% according to Gartner but IBMer says last year''s Gartner report put IBM at 37% (Websphere). Which was it last year? I think IBM had lead. Would like to know this year''s numbers.
|Elvisita''s Dad 11/23/04 05:25:44 PM EST|
Who Cares! IBM is the world''s leading "outsourcerer" and hence on my Sh*t list. Boycott them I say!
|Claudia 11/23/04 05:25:09 PM EST|
According to a recent Barron''s article, IBM''s software unit did not receive any bonuses as a result of their poor performance over the past year and only grew about 1%, primarily from growth in the Rational software division. Also who has a WSJ subscription can read the follwing article, very interesting: http://online.wsj.com/barrons/article/0,,SB107671594816229855-search,00 Extracts: "...IBM''s software execs were shut out of a portion of their 2003 bonuses because of lackluster sales growth. Smith Barney software analyst Tom Berquist, who tracks IBM''s software performance relative to the companies he covers, estimates that Big Blue''s software sales grew only 1% after accounting for foreign-exchange gains. And he agreed with us that the bulk of that came from IBM''s Rational software outfit, which it acquired in 2003..." "...Berquist points out that IBM reported that WebSphere, which competes directly with BEA Systems'' WebLogic software, was up 10% for the fourth quarter. But a closer look at the numbers, Berquist says, indicates little change from previous quarters wherever the two companies compete head-to-head.
"IBM in most cases bundles software with mainframe sales, [and thus] it is likely that most -- if not all -- of WebSphere''s growth is on the mainframe side," Berquist notes. ..."
Not to mention the fact that many sales and managers of the software division from IBM left...
|towatatalko 11/23/04 05:24:34 PM EST|
Few years back when IBM first started looking into Linux as the means of support for mainframes and later zSeries they picked four Linux developers: Red Hat, SuSE, Turbolinux, and believe it or not Caldera. Out of those Caldera was out and behind in development, so they were counted out. Turbo and SuSE were the strongest and delivered timely products for S/390, AS400, RS6000. But Turbo had to close its US operations and laid off its staff in South San Francisco in July 2001 and 2002. So, naturally only SuSE and RH remained. But RH was far behind in development of mainframe products as compared to SuSE and Turbo, simply put Red Hat was not even a player among mainframe community who were already well versed with SuSE and Turbo. In other words when Investing $50M in Novell/SUSE, IBM just naturally picked the best out there for their mainframes, that's all it is to it, they rewarded SuSE, because they got most consistent and best software development from them.
|barthrh2 11/23/04 05:23:46 PM EST|
In December 2000 IBM committed to invest $1Billion in Linux software, hardware, services, the open source community and partnerships during 2001. That's only 2001! If anything, they have only increase their rate of investment.
|slackr 11/23/04 05:23:03 PM EST|
IBM is huge. They retooled as a consulting company so they deliver "solutions" more than hardware, and that is why they've been big on Linux. Basically, there are a ton of little Linux consultants out there but for top-tier corporations you would only hire a company of large standing. IBM is really the only player in this type of (growing) Linux market (although Sun is moving in that direction, but my boss thinks that Big Blue will want to buy them out.)
|sofist 11/23/04 05:22:08 PM EST|
IBM is not stupid. They do not want to create another Microsoft. They are going to play on two horses, one being Red Hat and the other SUSE/Novell. This makes room for IBM to make A LOT of money by selling hardware. Don't worry, in five years, there will still be Red Hat *and* SUSE - both having around 30% of the market. IBM will make it so.
|jdifo88ol 11/23/04 05:21:29 PM EST|
None of the 5 mentions: how long until IBM buys out Novell?
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Sep. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EDT
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 473
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 1, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 909
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 1, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 248
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 318
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 672
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Sep. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 227
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Sep. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 239
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
Sep. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EDT
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 167
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 146
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
Sep. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Sep. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 465
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 31, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 378
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 31, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 423
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Aug. 31, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 125
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 31, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 433
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 198
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 560
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 492