IBM makes PureSystems more channel friendly

IBM PureSystemsLAS VEGAS – While IBM’s Impact 2012 SOA and WebSphere conference is more of an enterprise play, with bigger if fewer channel opportunities, the company held out a potentially significant opportunity with its next set of PureSystems announcements. In addition to unveiling new offerings to make it easier to create the “patterns of expertise” software capability that debuted a couple of weeks ago with the PureSystems family of expert integrated systems, Big Blue announced that both clients and partners will be able to access PureSystems through the IBM SmartCloud to create and test their patterns. These patterns are intended to streamline the set-up and management of hardware and software resources.

IBM has created a ‘cloud sandbox’, the PureSystems Cloud Trial, that will be available to developers for 90 days, to create and test applications through SmartCloud that are ready to run on the new systems. The company says by removing the hassle of server provisioning, operating system and middleware set up, and the complicated cycles of permissions and procurement associated with software development, a developer can take an idea and be creating and testing it within minutes, instead of the days something like this would normally require.

There are already more than 150 PureSystems solutions from more than 125 ISVs, but IBM is looking for a lot more. Clients can now nominate ISV patterns they would like to see in the PureSystems Centre, and enablement events for Business Partners are being hosted at IBM Innovation Centers in 25 cities globally.

In addition to the developers’ sandbox, IBM announced a Virtual Pattern Kit to enable business partners and clients to convert technology expertise into reusable, downloadable packages of their own that can be embedded directly into the PureSystems machines to automate a wide range of manual and administrative IT tasks. The company also introduced several new patterns, including a pattern that gives clients the ability to foster collaboration, expertise location and sharing among their employees, IBM Business Process Manager, and a pattern that drives deployment of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence applications in 20-minutes.

Based on four years work and more than $2 billion in R&D, PureSystems features a new middleware layer that aims to automate both infrastructure and applications, offering workflows from IBM itself, from its third-party partners, and offering IT the ability to define its own workflows. The first two products in the family, PureFlex, which integrates server, storage and networking into one package,; and PureApplication, which automates software based on the patterns and processes of IBM’s own work with customers and partners, are expected to ship this quarter in both Intel and Power-based configurations.

Like PureSystems, the other half of the Impact news is also a work in progress, although here IBM says the mobility opportunity is worth a potential $22 billion this year, reaching $36B by 2015. Based on its Worklight acquisition, which, perhaps unsurprisingly has a platform called Mobile Foundation (V5.0), IBM announced its own Mobile Foundation, consisting of software and services targeted at enterprise mobile environments. IBM’s version is a portfolio of software and services designed to help organizations capitalize on the proliferation of mobile environments — including laptops, smartphones and tablets. Worklight, a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software for smartphones and tablets, was acquired at the end of January.

Core capabilities in Mobile Foundation include building on IBM WebSphere Cast Iron to connect mobile applications to a variety of cloud and back-end systems, a new set of development and integration tools from IBM Worklight, new software from IBM Endpoint Manager to address the Bring Your Own Device explosion, and a new set of services, such as the IBM Quick Win Pilot. And new capabilities in the IBM DataPower appliances to quickly and securely expose enterprise data and services to mobile devices.

Canada accounts for just under 10% of the 9.000 customers and partners in attendance, but other than saying hundreds of partners were here, IBM kept the details to itself.

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