IBM Named Leader in Public Cloud IaaS Adoption by TBR

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that it has been named the market leader in public cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) adoption by leading independent technology market research firm, Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR). In TBR’s semiannual Public Cloud Customer Research survey of 2,169 enterprise, respondents identified IBM as a leader because of its ability to provide customers with hybrid management tools while addressing data location and privacy concerns through a global network of data centers.

“We continue to see strong enterprise adoption of public cloud services being driven by the need for hybrid management tools and solutions,” said Kelsey Mason, Analyst at TBR. “The market is also consolidating, which leaves very few players remaining that can address customer demands around global reach and scale, as well as data security and compliance.”

Other TBR evaluation criteria include the ability of IaaS providers to focus on attracting developers and building out more data center locations while adding more professional and managed services. Enterprise customers also looked at scalability and cost of public cloud making it a logical deployment model for initiatives around Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics.

“This report validates a much broader trend where companies are turning to the IBM Cloud for choice and consistency across public, private and hybrid environments,” says Jim Comfort, Chief Technology Officer for IBM Cloud. “We’ve become the backbone and onramp to the cloud, giving enterprise customers the global reach, capacity and scale they need. Our cloud offering bridges the gap between on premise IT and cloud with versatility and ease.”

TBR’s Public Cloud Customer Research report is designed to provide a view into cloud adoption metrics and trends. For more information please click here.

About IBM Cloud

For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit www.ibm.com/cloud

IBM Named Hybrid Cloud Development Platform Leader in TBR Survey

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that it has been named the market leader in Cloud Application Development and Transformation by leading independent technology market research firm, Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR). The recent report, Cloud Customer Research Topical Report: New vs. Legacy Applications, ranked IBM a leader in several categories including most widely adopted cloud platform, highest in customer satisfaction and leads in enterprise adoption for application transformation services.

The report is part of a customer research program that evaluates responses of more than 2,100 enterprises globally and analyzes the preferences around cloud and legacy application migration of nearly 700 enterprises. The report went on to say that, “TBR believes that IBM leads other vendors in application transformation because it provides customers a broad portfolio, complete with a dedicated services arm that allows it to cater to individual enterprise needs.”

IBM won high satisfaction scores because its cloud platform provides developers with application portability and flexibility, integration between other applications from the same vendor, and application program interface capabilities that extend to other vendors. In other words featuring an application development portfolio that spans cloud delivery methods.

Other report findings include IBM winning high praise for allowing developers to build applications in hybrid PaaS, with options to develop, test and run in a private or public environment, or in a combination of the two. IBM, for instance, enables hybrid cloud application creation with its behind-the-firewall-application development solution, Bluemix Local.

These same vendors are identified as leading the pack as the most-used cloud development platform because they improve the developer experience with features such as containers, application marketplaces and tools that allow business users to develop applications.

The report also saw IBM receive the highest customer satisfaction scores due to the variety of options they offer customers.

For more information on Technology Business Research’s Cloud Customer Research Topical Report: New vs. Legacy Applications, please visit: http://tbri.com/about-tbr/contact/

About IBM Cloud

For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit www.ibm.com/cloud.

Blackboard Inc. and IBM Enter Strategic Relationship to Develop Cognitive Solutions and Manage Infrastructure Operations

Blackboard Inc. and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaborative agreement for IBM to manage Blackboard’s datacenters and cloud infrastructure. The two companies will also work together to develop innovative educational solutions, taking advantage of IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology and Blackboard’s broad capabilities suite.

Under the agreement, IBM will manage much of Blackboard’s technology infrastructure, including the company’s 28 global data centers and its existing public cloud footprint.  IBM will also provide support for Blackboard’s expanding use of the public cloud. Blackboard will leverage IBM’s expertise and software to offer customers some of the most flexible, reliable, security-rich and resilient environments available.

“Working with Blackboard builds on our ongoing commitment to education, to learning, and to creating an environment where our clients can continue to focus on developing innovative solutions to the challenges faced by educators,”said Philip Guido, IBM General Manager of Global Technology Services for North America. “By working with us in this transformative journey, Blackboard is accelerating its ability to deliver agile solutions via the cloud that enhance the educational experience.”

In addition, IBM will also work with Blackboard to migrate its applications from its datacenters to the public cloud.  This will lead to continuously improving service for Blackboard customers and enable Blackboard to more rapidly develop and deliver comprehensive learning, collaboration and communication capabilities to improve the educational experience for teachers, administrators, learners and their families.

“I’m excited by the new opportunities working with IBM will bring to Blackboard customers,”said Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus. “We will continue to focus on what we do best –delivering the best educational technologies and solutions that benefit learners –while we work with IBM to help ensure our customers’systems are  protected and secure.  At the same time, this broad agreement enables us to expand our service into new markets, and develop cutting-edge technologies together with IBM Watson.”

IBM and Blackboard will work collaboratively to develop cognitive educational solutions utilizing the capabilities of both companies to advance learner success. The companies will combine Blackboard’s expertise in developing innovative education products used by millions of people around the world with the power of IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology. The new solutions will offer greater support for teachers and students to address their collaborative needs in the classroom and help students complete and achieve their educational goals.

IBM will also add Blackboard solutions to its portfolio of education offerings. IBM has assisted education institutions in transforming their student experience and outcomes using cloud, analytics and social products and services. Blackboard offerings will become a key part of IBM’s capabilities to support client’s transformation agendas.

Learn more about Blackboard and IBM’s innovative work to inspire the world to learn at BbWorld 2016. BbWorld is one of the largest annual education technology conferences in the world, bringing together educators, administrators and industry thought leaders to network, share successes and challenges, and build action plans addressing critical education needs.  This year’s conference will take place July 12–14 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world’s leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Enlists IBM’s Watson in the War on Cancer

At Vice President Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Summit today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and IBM Watson Health (NYSE: IBM) announced a public-private partnership to help doctors expand and scale access to precision medicine over the next two years for 10,000 American veterans with cancer.

IBM’s Watson for Genomics technology is expected to help in the department’s precision oncology program by providing information to help physicians identify precision treatment options for almost 30 times more patients than could be previously served.

The collaboration is expected to greatly speed up the ability of VA doctors to help identify precision treatment options for veterans. Scientists and pathologists will sequence DNA for cancer patients, then feed de-identified genetic alteration files into Watson. Watson will generate a report for physicians that identifies the likely cancer-causing mutations and possible treatment options to target those specific mutations through a comprehensive review of existing medical literature – a data-intensive process that has been time-consuming and difficult to scale in the past.

“Genetic alterations are responsible for most cancers, but it remains challenging for most clinicians to deliver on the promise of precision medicine due to the sheer volume of data surrounding each decision that needs to be made,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health Dr. David J. Shulkin. “By applying Watson to this problem, we see an opportunity to scale access to precision medicine for America’s veterans, a group most deserving of the best care in the world.”

Veterans of war experience disproportionately high rates of cancer diagnosis and mortality and as America’s largest integrated health system, VA serves 3.5 percent of the nation’s cancer patients – the largest group of cancer patients in the country. Watson is expected to facilitate rapid access for veterans to personalized care, particularly for patients with advanced cancer.

“The power of cognitive computing is its ability to ingest, understand and find patterns in massive volumes of disparate data – which is one of the fundamental barriers to precision medicine today,” said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Research and Cognitive Solutions. “In addition to helping advance clinical care, data and insights from Watson will also be shared with the research community, creating tremendous potential benefits for patients, researchers and society. Watson Health is IBM’s own moonshot, and we share the Vice President’s vision and goals to advance the fight against cancer through data and collaboration.”

As a tool to help doctors evaluate treatment options for their patients, Watson for Genomics produces a list of potential therapies ranked by levels of evidence with links to associated research and clinical trials for physicians to consider. This information could help inform VA’s healthcare professionals and veterans of promising new cancer treatments. The VA’s top priorities of access to and quality of care could be enhanced through this innovative technology.

IBM’s commitment to VA follows more than 2 years of collaboration with more than 20 leading cancer institutes to train and validate Watson for Genomics. Early results from academic medical centers that are using Watson for Genomics show that the technology provides insights that match what a team of scientists and clinicians – a molecular tumor board – would uncover when analyzing genome sequencing data and suggesting potential treatment options to target cancer mutations.

Both the VA and IBM have a history of innovation in the battle against cancer. The VA invested $52 million in 2015 to support nearly 250 cancer research projects, with a particular focus on better understanding and preventing cancers that are prevalent in the veteran population. IBM researchers have developed cognitive computing technologies that enable researchers and clinicians to draw insights from vast, disparate data sources, including structured and unstructured data. IBM is collaborating with healthcare organizations to apply the cognitive computing power of Watson to the data challenges of cancer.

The collaboration between IBM and the VA is also expected to help advance genomic research. Findings related to the identified treatment options in the literature will be shared with the academic community.

Learn more about this story on the IBM THINK Blog: http://asmarterplanet.com/blogs/think/2016/06/29/va-enlists-watson/

About the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the second largest federal Department providing care to the nation’s 22 million Veterans. VA promotes the health, welfare and dignity of Veterans in recognition of their service to the Nation through its Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. In April 2015, the company launched IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The new unit will work with doctors, researchers and insurers to help them innovate by surfacing insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and shared daily.  The Watson Health Cloud can mask patient identities and allow for information to be shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data. For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/watson. For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth. Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss. Join the conversation at #ibmwatson and #watsonhealth. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

The Weather Company Launches Second Mobile Show, “The Ari Effect,” Hosted by Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari

Following the successful launch of the mobile morning show, The Lift in October 2015, The Weather Company, an IBM Business, has announced the launch of a second mobile show, “The Ari Effect.”

The new mobile show is hosted by meteorologist and former co-host of “The Lift,” Ari Sarsalari, and features five-to-six easily digestible clips (each under a minute) that tackle breaking weather news, the science behind cool weather phenomena, and amazing viral videos. “The Ari Effect” is available weekdays from 4-9pm local time in The Weather Channel app.

 

“’I’ve been obsessed with weather and science since I was a child, and I am thrilled to be able to share one of my biggest passions with The Weather Channel’s mobile users through ‘The Ari Effect,’ said Sarsalari. “The weather impacts users’ decision making throughout the day, and when they check the mobile app in the afternoon, they’ll be able to get breaking news to keep them safe as well as learn something new about fascinating weather and science concepts. From sun halos to mammatus clouds, I’m excited to peel back the layers and uncover the science with our viewers.”

Segments for “The Ari Effect” include:

  • The Latest | Breaking weather news and up-to-date information on natural disasters like floods, landslides, wildfires, etc.
  • Ari Explains | From mile-wide, long tracked tornadoes to softball-sized hail storms…Ari will take a radar image and explain exactly why certain weather phenomena occur.
  • Metal Mondays | Nature gets real in this segment with interesting clips of animals in their natural habitats accompanied by a metal soundtrack.
  • Meanwhile in… | Learn more about weather phenomena, inventions, dash cams and explosions from around the world.
  • Rad Science | From experiments and unique inventions to simply blowing stuff up, discover the latest in science.

“After launching ‘The Lift’, The Weather Channel’s mobile morning show, in October 2015, we saw an 80% increase in video views during its time slot, which indicated our viewers have an appetite for this type of snackable video content,” said Neil Katz, Senior Vice President of Global Content and Editor-in-Chief, The Weather Company. “75 percent of our video views are through The Weather Channel’s mobile apps and we are dedicated to serving that audience with video content that sparks their curiosity. Ari’s enthusiasm for science and weather along with his ability to understand and distill complicated weather scenarios makes him the ideal host for “The Ari Effect.”

“The Ari Effect” is shot in The Weather Company’s mobile studio in Atlanta, which was built to produce content for digital platforms. When there is breaking news, this studio can produce video content (from ideation to finished video) in less than 10 minutes. Reinforcing The Weather Company’s investment in mobile video content, the cameras in the mobile studio are set up so video can be filmed in both horizontal and vertical formats depending on the platform.

In 2015, The Weather Company garnered 1.7 billion video views, a 42 percent year-over-year growth. To download The Weather Channel app, visit weather.com/apps.
The Weather Company, an IBM Business

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, is the world’s largest private weather enterprise, helping people make informed decisions – and take action – in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate, personalized and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers and thousands of businesses via Weather’s API, its business solutions division, and its own digital products from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com).

The company delivers up to 26 billion forecasts daily. Its products include a top weather app on all major mobile platforms globally; the world’s largest network of personal weather stations; a top-20 U.S. website; the seventh most data-rich site in the world; one of the world’s largest IoT data platforms; and industry-leading business solutions.

Weather Means BusinessTM. The world’s biggest brands in aviation, energy, insurance, media, and government rely on The Weather Company for data, technology platforms and services to help improve decision-making and respond to weather’s impact on business. For more, visit theweathercompany.com.

IBM Opens Garage in SoHo, New York City for Cloud Developers; Targets Fintech, Blockchain and Other Fast Emerging Tech

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the opening of an IBM Bluemix Garage in New York City, which will help power the city’s growing concentration of developers, entrepreneurs, and fintech companies with cloud and blockchain.

The global developer population is projected to reach 25 million by 2020, according to Evans Data Corp.1 This growing community is increasingly using Bluemix Garages to tap into IBM Cloud APIs around cognitive, Internet of Things, unstructured data, social media and more to swiftly build and launch innovations. Developers are also using these Garages to accelerate the exploration of blockchain projects, which can remove friction from financial transactions and prime blockchain to fundamentally change how markets function.

The New York City location is the latest to join IBM’s growing network of Bluemix Garages around the world, which includes a location in Tokyo that is helping companies like Mizuho Financial Group explore the use of cloud and blockchain. IBM also operates Bluemix Garages in San Francisco, London, Toronto, Nice, Tokyo, and Singapore – with more planned to open in the latter half of 2016.

IBM Bluemix Garage to Spur Innovation in New York City’s Thriving Fintech Industry

IBM Bluemix Garages serve as a hub where developers, product managers and designers can come together to build on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform.

As the latest initiative in IBM’s commitment to New York City, the Garage will be located at Galvanize’s newly launched campus. Its location in this tech learning community for students, startups and established companies will deepen IBM’s roots in the city’s thriving tech scene, and build on IBM’s work with disruptive New York City companies such as Alpha Modus, an investment tech firm.

“Ramping up more companies on Bluemix will be a significant addition to New York City’s tech economy, as it enables financial tech companies like us to innovate with APIs such as Watson,” said Prashant Bhuyan, cofounder and CEO of Alpha Modus. “Using Bluemix, we’ve been able to roll out transformational apps that leverage cognitive analytics with unbelievable time and efficiency –helping to shake up the way our clients invest in the markets.”

Since 2014, IBM Cloud has partnered with the City of New York to power the city’s Digital.NYC platform, a hub for New York City’s rapidly growing startup economy. Currently, nearly 8,000 startups – over half of the city’s startup base2 – are using Digital.NYC to connect and collaborate. Also in 2014, the company announced the opening of its Astor Place offices, which serves as the headquarters for both its Watson and Cloud businesses.

“Galvanize has been a great home and partner for IBM’s groundbreaking Bluemix Garage on our San Francisco campus, and we are excited to bring that partnership to New York City,” said Jim Deters, co-founder and CEO of Galvanize. “Having IBM’s Garage in New York City, within the Galvanize community, allows our strong network of developers and startups to leverage the power of the cloud and the expertise of IBM to competitively innovate products and apps in the growing fintech and blockchain spaces.”

Located at 315 Hudson Street in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, an area which in recent years has become a mecca for startups, the newest Garage will help spur innovation via:

Business Development: Combining enterprise expertise, agile methods, and IBM Design Thinking, a unique process to design, build and deploy, Garage consultants help clients to refine, iterate on and deliver a business idea into an app.

Hybrid Cloud Integration: Tapping IBM Cloud’s hybrid and open platform, Garage consultants help companies move existing data workloads to the cloud, lowering cost and adding enhancements, as well as connecting existing systems and data into new cloud apps.

Speeding App Development: Through the Garage’s expertise in agility, extreme programming, DevOps and more, Garage consultants help businesses significantly reduce the time it takes to design and build new services, applications or products.

Skills Development: Equipping development teams with the skills and expertise needed on Bluemix, Garage teams help businesses to rapidly scale cloud capabilities and implement agile development.

IBM Garages Help Clients Explore Compelling New Blockchain Projects

A new study from IBM, also launched today, describes how blockchain networks will vaporize current frictions in the economy that are inhibiting business growth, propelling the movement of capital and exchange of value. Today, a number of obstacles — such as participants of a transaction not having access to the same information, or the high price of intermediaries — add costs and complexity that drags on global business and trade.

Blockchain technology, which creates a permanent and transparent record of transactions, will reduce or eliminate these frictions, recasting our institutions and economy with far greater efficiency and less risk. This is supported by the findings in the new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study, “Fast forward: Rethinking enterprises, ecosystems and economies.”

With blockchain technology, these Garages are helping drive the next wave of financial services and fintech innovation, including new mobile banking and wealth management apps, and helping to pioneer the use of blockchain in multiple areas of finance, such as capital markets and commercial and retail banking.

For example, working with the newly opened IBM Bluemix Garage in Tokyo, Mizuho Financial Group recently announced a test of the potential of blockchain for use in settlements with virtual currency. By incorporating blockchain, Mizuho will explore how payments can be instantaneously swapped, potentially leading to new financial services based on this rapidly evolving technology. For these blockchain networks, Mizuho is using the open source Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project.

IBM is actively working with hundreds of clients to understand what it takes to make blockchain ready for business. Through its open source contributions and resources for software developers, IBM is helping to advance the science of blockchain, helping to remove complexity and make it more accessible and open. Financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare are some of the areas that are poised for dramatic change using blockchain.

Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, on which more than 120,000 apps are launched every month, has grown rapidly to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. Based in open standards, it features over 140 tools and services spanning categories of big data, mobile, Watson, analytics, integration, DevOps, security and the Internet of Things.

To learn more about IBM Cloud, visit: https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/

To learn more about IBM Blockchain, visit: www.ibm.com/blockchain

To learn more about IBM Garages, visit: https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/bluemix/garage/

To access the IBM Institute for Business Value Blockchain study, visit: http://www.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/blockchain/

To sign up for Galvanize NYC membership or get a list of meetups and events, visit: galvanize.com/campuses/new-york-soho

1. Evans Data

2. Angel.co, https://angel.co/new-york

IBM Research Scientists Discover New Recycling Process to Convert Old Smartphones and CDs into Non-Toxic, High-Strength Plastics

Every year, the world generates more than 2.7 million tons of a plastic [1], known as polycarbonates, to create common household items, such as CDs, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses and smartphones. Over time, polycarbonates decompose and leach BPA, a chemical that, in 2008, caused retailers to pull plastic baby bottles from store shelves due to concerns about the potential effects of BPA on the brain.

Today, IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) announced that researchers from the Almaden lab in San Jose, Calif. have discovered a new, one-step chemical process that converts polycarbonates into plastics safe for water purification, fiber optics and medical equipment.

In the study, IBM Researchers added a fluoride reactant, a base (similar to baking powder) and heat to old CDs to produce a new plastic with temperature and chemical resistance superior to the original substance. When the powder is reconstructed into new forms, its strength prevents the decomposition process that causes BPA leaching.

“Polycarbonates are common plastics in our society – especially in consumer electronics in the form of LED screens, smartphones and Blu-rays, as well as everyday eyeglass lenses, kitchen utensils and household storage gear,” said Gavin O. Jones, Ph.D., research staff member, IBM Research – Almaden (San Jose, Calif.). “We now have a new way of recycling to improve how this prominent substance impacts the world’s health and environment.”

“While preventing these plastics from entering landfills, we simultaneously recycle the substance into a new type of plastic — safe and strong enough for purifying our water and producing medical equipment,” said Jeanette Garcia, Ph. D., research staff member, IBM Research – Almaden (San Jose, Calif.). “It’s an environmental win on many fronts.”

In this study, researchers used a combination of predictive modeling and experimental lab work to make the discovery. The learning from these research efforts is also used to advance cognitive systems to help accelerate the materials discovery process. The scale, pace and complexity of materials science is a challenge for scientists working to discover new materials. As part of the IBM Research Frontiers Institute, scientists are combining expertise in informatics and polymers, and other materials, to prototype systems to extract, organize, analyze, and predict insights from materials datasets. By leveraging existing knowledge from the world’s scientific databases and accelerating computations used in these types of experiments, these cognitive tools could help identify patterns and to bring new discoveries to realization faster.

IBM Watson Discovery Advisor is an example of a cognitive system available to assist pharmacological researchers in finding new potential drug molecules and IBM’s science research team continues to broaden the domain expertise into new material areas.

The full research paper, One-step Conversion of Polycarbonates into Value-added Polyaryl ether sulfones, was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

About IBM Research

For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame. For more information about IBM Research, visit www.ibm.com/research.

[1] American Chemical Society