IBM says it will invest $US3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, and that it is building a cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions.
IBM says its IoT push will build on “pioneering work in smarter planet and smarter cities … based on practical applications of IoT in the enterprise [that] led to a broad set of solutions, ranging from water management to optimising retail and customer loyalty to alleviating traffic congestion.”
IBM plans to add industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools to help clients and partners “integrate data from an unprecedented number of IoT and traditional sources” and “make these available on an open platform to provide manufacturers with the ability to design and produce a new generation of connected devices that are better optimised for the IoT, and to help business leaders across industries create systems that better fuse enterprise and IoT data to inform decision-making. ”
IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analysed or acted on, and that up to 60 percent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated. .
IBM list its IoT offerings as:
• IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries:
“This platform will provide new analytics services that clients, partners and IBM will use to design and deliver vertical industry IoT solutions. For example, IBM will introduce a cloud-based service that helps insurance companies extract insight from connected vehicles. This will enable new, more dynamic pricing models and the delivery of services that can be highly customized to individual drivers.”
• IBM Bluemix IoT Zone
“New IoT services as part of IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service will enable developers to easily integrate IoT data into cloud-based development and deployment of IoT apps. Developers will be able to enrich existing business applications – such as enterprise asset management, facilities management, and software engineering design tools – by infusing more real-time data and embedded analytics to further automate and optimize mission-critical IoT processes.”
• IBM IoT Ecosystem
“Expansion of its ecosystem of IoT partners – from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers – such as AT&T, ARM, Semtech and newly announced The Weather Company – to ensure the secure and seamless integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s open platform.”
New global IoT alliance
IBM also announced a global strategic alliance with The Weather Company through WSI, The Weather Company’s global B2B division. They plan to use their understanding of weather on business outcomes to help businesses take action systemically to optimise those parts of their businesses impacted by weather.
“The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles,” IBM says.
IoT project with Yarra Trams
IBM’s announcement of its IoT investment also lists a number of IBM’s IoT initiatives and projects, including one with Melbourne’s Yarra Trams, which is “using IBM technology to access real-time information about service disruptions, tram performance and tram locations.”