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Monday, April 28, 2014

Days of Future Past: Cloud Integration Is Like A Superpower for Composable Business

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At IBM Impact today, we witnessed the ongoing evolution of IBM as a Service. Cloud and mobile took center stage during the morning general session keynote. It's becoming clear what incredible mutant superpowers IBM gives to customers that dare to innovate and disrupt the status quo. The heroes and villains of the X-men comic book and film universe each have unique "X-genes" that give them special abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, healing factors, flight or even time travel (as you will see in the latest film coming out in May). IBM's cloud strategy is improving how companies (and developers) utilize IaaS, PaaS and SaaS together to compose their business and deliver services and experiences customers and employees demand in today's omni-channel world. You have to look at the way IBM empowers operations leaders and developers  with robust "as a service" capabilities. My fellow social beat reporter @TurboTodd blogged about new abilities announced today for Codename: BlueMix, IBM's PaaS development platform.

Customers are using multiple channels to interact with companies, and ultimately all kinds of data. They have the expectation that these channels are aware of each other in a fluid way and no matter the touch point there is an always on experience. IBM knows cloud integration is the critical superpower to morph and mutate data in new ways for customer interactions. Systems of record and systems of interaction have to now work together as a team in this digital world. IBMers Michael Curry and Aarti Borkar spoke today during the Integration keynote about the API economy and new innovation abilities that IBM Cloud Integration provides customers like WestJet to delight their customers with handy status mobile notifications and personalized engagement to build loyalty.

Living in a world with dynamic hybrid cloud brings interesting technical challenges. Many applications in the enterprise have dependencies and effects on data shared between systems of record and interaction. Cloud integration requires the IT staff to manage data in the following ways in a hybrid cloud environment.
  • Application standards
  • Synchronization
  • Migration
  • Transformation  
  • Security
  • Visibility
The Senior Manager of Enterprise Integration for Johnson Controls shared a story about how excited he was about getting his hands on IBM cloud tech after Impact 2010. Early FUD concerns about cloud security delayed adoption of SaaS until 2012 when senior management realized they needed to innovate their CRM. They knew a cloud based approach would give them the ability to be more nimble, introduce new features faster and reduce disaster recovery headaches. This meant integrating Salesforce with Workday. Managing APIs and data integration was a real challenge to evolve the back office and tie public SaaS to on-prem applications. Johnson Controls successfully tackles this challenge using IBM Cloud Integration with Cast Iron, Datapower, WebSphere ESB and MQ. They unleashed these solutions to fight the integration villains of their story; namely cloud security and API management.

This illustrates IBM Cloud Integration superpowers in action. The IBM POV addresses integration in four key ways:
  • IBM knows the key to project success is synchronization.
  • The first concern and first question that is asked about cloud is security.
  • Development must be easy and flexible with an ability to build through configuration.
  • API management must provide seamless integration for data across systems of record.
IBM announced this week Cloud Integration version 7 runs on SoftLayer and the same platform features are also available to developers on BlueMix. The IBM Cloud Integration platform is also extended with new API management 3.0 to assemble business APIs in a secure and open way while managing private, public and partner app developers and analyzing usage. If you have not tried this technology, you should talk to IBMers Adolfo Rodriguez and Don Boulia to see cloud integration superpowers for yourself. They have a slick BlueMix demo (introduced at IBM Pulse) and they now are competing with each other to show off key features in a mobile app using SaaS.  

Acme Anvils Bluemix Cloud Integration demo


 Follow me on twitter to learn more about news, views and tech at Impact 2014 surrounding Integration, Internet of Things and SaaS. 
 

Excelsior!
Ryan Boyles


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