Welcome!

Websphere Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sanjeev Sharma, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Ajay Budhraja

Related Topics: Websphere, Java, XML, SOA & WOA, .NET, Linux, SYS-CON Events, Symbian, Open Source, Virtualization, Eclipse

Websphere: Article

Last Exclusive JDJ Interview With "IBM's" John A. Swainson, Now CA's Newly Appointed CEO

The Last Exclusive Interview With "IBM's" General Manager of Application & Integration Middleware Division

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.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (8)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AgilePoint, the leading provider of Microsoft-centric Business Process Management software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 2nd International @ThingsExpo which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. AgilePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft-based Business Process Management (BPM) software products, has 1,300+ on-premise and cloud deployments in 25+ countries and provides the same advanced BPM feature set as J2EE vendors like IBM and Appian for the Microsoft .NET native environment. AgilePoint customer...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.