Tag Archives: Mobile

Even Greater Than A Grand Slam — Quintuple Leadership!

As clients transform their businesses to embrace cloud, mobile, and big data – our teams in WebSphere have been relentlessly re-inventing our portfolio to drive new innovations in these areas to accelerate client adoption and value from our portfolio. We all know the many stories about tech companies losing their way because they “missed a wave” or missed a shift in the marketplace, and certainly inside WebSphere we are vigilant to make sure we never make that mistake.

Given the magnitude of the marketplace shifts – it’s incredible to see the evolution of WebSphere over the past fifteen months. In just that short time-span our teams have:

  • Launched a new portfolio and brand for Mobile – IBM MobileFirst
  • Launched a new set of solutions for API Management
  • Developed whole new set of capabilities for Smarter Process – our business process software portfolio
  • Invented and launched a new line of services for the Internet of Things – our MessageSight offerings.
  • And developed new sets of composable services for our core WebSphere portfolio around WebSphere App Server, DataPower, MQ, and Cast Iron.

And the good news is that the investments and transformation of the portfolio is being recognized. For the first time ever, our WebSphere portfolio is now cited as the leader in five broad areas in the Gartner Magic Quadrants:

  1. Application Services Governance – leadership for our new WebSphere API Management, Datapower and SOA solutions
  2. On-Premises Application Platforms – leadership for our WebSphere Application Server solution
  3. Mobile Application Development Platforms·– leadership for Worklight solution
  4. On-Premises Application Integration Suites – leadership for WebSphere MQ, Integration Bus & Cast Iron solutions
  5. Business Process Management Suites – leadership for our BPM and Decision Management solutions

Obviously to be cited as the leader in all five areas is quite an accomplishment – congrats to our Product Management and Development teams around the world!

So what is better than a grand slam? I guest best analogy would be a five-point play, which is one of the rarest feats in basketball! Quintuple is the official word for “five of something” so here’s the WebSphere’s Quintuple Leadership!


IBM Cited as the Leader in new market of API Management

As new technology trends emerge, it’s always reported that upstart companies who are “more nible and can move faster” than big ole IBM tend to get early leadership in new markets.    So we are more proud than ever to be recognized for our newly crowned leadership position in the only Gartner magic quadrant that covers API Management—the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Services Governance.  In this quadrant report, Gartner coins the term “Application Services Governance,” to encompass the technologies of APIs, API management, SOA, and service management, demonstrating their belief (and our IBM viewpoint) that the two areas (APIs and SOA) constitute a single market.

So while there is lots of noise about the some upstart competitors like Apigee, Mashery, and Layer 7 in the API management space, IBM is the one cited by Gartner as the clear leader in both our strategy and our ability to execute.

But that’s not all. The emergence of an Application Services Governance segment signals the renaissance of Service Orientation. It’s the reinforcement that exposing and managing services – and their latest incarnation as web APIs – is the foundation to support mobile and cloud initiatives. With the emergence of the API economy, and the need for our new capabilities for developer self-service, and service metering and analytics, IBM is uniquely positioned to lead the API and Service Management space.  

To that end, we are continuing to strengthen the linkage of our WebSphere SOA and API management products – IBM DataPower, WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR), and IBM API Management – to simplify integration and deliver on the value of service orientation in an API-centric world.

This leadership deserves a special shout-out to Nicolas Robbe and his extended team – he’s our leader for the API Economy solutions and has done an incredible job building our portfolio of offerings and establishing IBM as the clear leader in the API market.

Mobile Banking – Taking Off In the USA

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal newspaper had a great article on the rapid adoption of mobile banking by consumers in the USA.   Some of the cool indicators of adoption cited in the article include:

  • Mobile banking represents roughly 8% of transactions, with online banking at 53% and branches, 14%, according to AlixPartners. Other methods, including automated teller machines, make up the rest.
  • Nearly half of smartphone users who switched banks said that mobile banking was an important factor in their decision, up from 7% in 2010, according to an AlixPartners survey.
  • Bank of America began offering mobile check deposit in August – and now their clients are depositing more than 100,000 checks each day through their mobile phones.
  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which started offering mobile banking in 2009, said that it has some 13 million customers who use its mobile services.

Similarly – I’ve seen another stat that said 57% of U.S. smartphone owners use mobile banking features.

Last week I was in Toronto with several key clients including ING Direct – and they offer a very cool mobile banking app that is one of the best I’ve seen in the industry.  I especially like their Small Sacrifices feature that is well integrated to social media feeds – you might want to check it out up on the app stores.

Did you know that 20% of the largest US banks use IBM Mobile solutions, and 15% of the top banks around the world do too!


The App Economy – It’s Harder Than You Think!

Today as I was driving to a meeting up in the New York City area, there was a great piece on WNYC about the opportunities of the app economy. Given all the buzz about the mobile revolution, the abundance of apps on all the app stores, and the lack of mobile app skills, the two lead reporters for the New Tech City project on WNYC set out to see how easily they could learn to build a mobile app.

You may recall that last week I blogged about the newest results of the Tech Trends survey, which pointed out that:

  • Only 9% of all companies think they have all the Mobile skills they need
  • 25% of IT/LOB decision makers report a major Mobile skills gaps, with an additional 40% percent seeing moderate skills gaps
  • 77% of students and educators see major and/or moderate skills gaps

Given all the anecdotes about people developing their own apps in just days or hours, the imminent skills shortage that means there are jobs available and the prospect of striking it rich by developing a killer app – Tracey Samuelson and Stan Alcorn set out on the quest to develop mobile programming skills from scratch and then develop their own app.

As you might imagine (spoiler alert!) – it was a lot harder than they expected.  It’s a very well done piece of journalistic reporting – entitled “Learning How To Make A Smartphone App” so please be sure to check it out. This is the type of experiential reporting that is always valuable to break down some of the common myths that exist with new technology trends.  And it’s another example of strong journalism from public radio that is so refreshing compared to the non-stop blather of most talk radio these days!

So – while the app economy does present big opportunities – it requires the right skills to be successful. Which skills? Skills in mobile programming, skills in data integration, skills in user design and skills in business process redesign to take advantage of the mobile opportunity for companies large and small.

Mobile is Everywhere and Nowhere At The Same Time

One of the biggest challenges facing clients who are trying to become mobile enterprises is that mobile is everywhere – and nowhere. Mobile is everywhere – we all have mobile phones, there’s a constant buzz about mobile technology in the media, and across all industries leading companies are levering mobile to gain competitive advantage, to deepen their customer relationships and engagement, and improve their employee productivity in ways never before imaginable.

And yet – mobile is nowhere. It is nowhere in the sense that it’s very hard to find technical talent with good mobile skills.  These top skills are nowhere to be found!

At IBM, our Center for Applied Insights just recently completed our 2012 Tech Trends Study – and the findings have some great insights on mobile, cloud, social and analystics skill gaps.  As you might expect – I zoomed right to the mobile section. The report indicated that –

  • 49% of respondents have deployed Mobile
  • 69%  plan to increase their Mobile investment in the next two years, with 35% planning to increase it 10 percent or more
  • Over the next two years, 31% of respondents will start allowing BYOD – making it the norm for 76% of respondents

So clearly mobile is being embraced by clients rapidly – with 49% having already deployed projects, and 69% are planning to increase their investment in the next two years.  Mobile is certainly everywhere in this sense, and is a critical imperative for companies both large and small across all industries.

The problem is that mobile skills are nowhere.   Back to the TechTrends Report  and it reports that –

  • Only 9% of all companies think they have all the Mobile skills they need
  • 25% of IT/LOB decision makers report a major Mobile skills gaps, with an additional 40% percent seeing moderate skills gaps
  • 77% of students and educators see major and/or moderate skills gaps

So – given how important this is for our client and our partners – I recorded a brief video discussing about this issue and giving some advice to IT professionals and students around the world on how and where they might want to focus on their skill development for Mobile.

Finally – if you are interested in learning more about the challenges for mobile, social, cloud and security, below is a pretty cool infographic that lets you explore the trends and insights.

And as you might expect, given IBM’s focus on helping our client and partners solve these skills gaps, today IBM is announcing a whole range of new programs to help students and universities create and scale new courses around mobile, security, cloud and social IT skills.   The most exciting part of it all – we’re making our IBM Mobile Worklight development platform available for free classroom use by schools all around the world.  You can get it here!

Cool App Design – It’s In Vogue!

One of the cool elements of the mobile revolution that is taking place is that it is forcing a new focus around the importance of good creative design for mobile applications.  While I’m not sure if this is due to the differences in screen size and interaction methods (touch vs mouse driven), it doesn’t really matter.  The good news is that it is resulting in software developers being asked to really re-think good user interface designs and that’s good for all of us!

Part of the evolution is certainly due to the fact that smaller screens and form factors require that mobile applications must be simpler – the best ones are not simply replicas of web site or existing traditional apps, instead they are built for simple tasks and discrete purposes that often require re-imagining key customer interaction processes.    As functionality is re-thought from the user centered design perspective, it provides an opportunity to rethink the graphical interfaces and feel as well.  While it’s not very often you hear anyone bragging about the cool UI on a traditional PC app – it is quite common to see cool designs on mobile platforms.

Recently I came across this list of ten sites that was posted by Jacob Gube , the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions that can provide mobile app developers with some inspiration for design patterns and graphical interface models.   It’s pretty cool – check it out.  I think my favorite is lovely ui – but let me know what you think!   As some of you know – my lovely wife is a graphic designer – so I’ll have to ask for her vote too and she what she thinks.

This week here at IBM we were also proud to report that our IBM Interactive Design Services team was cited as one of the best design and digital marketing teams in the industry as noted by their placement in the Gartner Magic Quadrant!   If you aren’t familiar with them – you can check them out here – and as you can see by clicking on the Our Work tab, they have done some great, cool projects with great user designs.





Hot Mobile Topics Broadcast – Next Week!

It’s been a busy first few weeks for me as I dive into my new Mobile role at IBM. One of the big projects has been working with our product teams to think through the right solutions to best help our clients all around the world.   I’ve also been canvassing as many industry peers as I can who are leading thinkers on mobile to learn their perspectives and insights.

The great news is that on October 10 from 12:00-1:00 pm ET , we are hosting a virtual broadcast, “Speeding innovation and extending reach with Mobile Enterprise”.  We will be bringing together a range of mobile experts from across industries and geographies to examine mobile trends, challenges, and opportunities to transform how we work, sell and communicate. The in-depth discussions will focus on the latest mobile technologies and how successful enterprises are ahead of the trend.

In all my travels to talk with clients and experts over the past thirty days, one thing is abundantly clear – mobile is the hottest topic in the industry – more so than even cloud, security or social (and yes, they all do fit together as well.) What makes mobile such a hot topic is this – it’s deeply personal, we can all relate to it and have experience with it, and everyone admits we’re just scratching the surface of it.

When you consider that in 2012, the shipment of smart phones and tablets is expected to exceed that of traditional computers and laptops, and consider that in 2013 there will be more mobile devices in existence on the planet than people – many of us must be carrying lots of devices! (Going out on a limb here – remember 9% of the world population is under age of 5 – they probably don’t have devices yet. Another 8% are age 5-9 and most probably don’t have devices either!) (see data here for details).

This data was confirmed by my very unscientific crowd survey at the ITExpo Keynote I gave in Austin, TX earlier this week. When I asked the crowd how many of them had 3 or more devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone), over half the room raised their hand, and almost 1/4 of the room carried two or more smartphones!

Both business and IT executives at companies large and small know they need to take advantage of mobile devices to provide access to their internal systems and processes for employees, as well as to enable easier purchasing and support services for their customers. Most also recognize that mobile devices are also creating a unique opportunity to connect with and interact with employees, customers and partners, leveraging real-time data, information and expertise to drive better, and more meaningful engagement and transactions.

But — embracing mobile is difficult — and it’s not as easy as just creating a simple app because you also have to think about:

· The variety of devices used
· Employees who increasingly wish to use their own devices at work
· Application level and device management
· Cost controls
· Security concerns

And yet, on the positive side, the clients see the real opportunity to use mobile technology as the catalyst to improve employee productivity, increase customer satisfaction, grow market share, drive innovation and improve client loyalty.
During our broadcast on October 10th, the group of experts we’re convening will discuss how to:

· Extend existing business capabilities to mobile devices
· Transform your business by creating new opportunities around mobile solutions
· Build mobile applications and connect them to, and run, back-end systems in support of mobile
· Manage mobile devices, services and applications, and secure your mobile business

TV host and technology expert Katie Linendoll will moderate the broadcast that features some of the leading IBM thinkers, a case study of Tire and Battery Corp (TBC)’s use of mobile to transform their business, an Air Canada example (for all you Road Warriors out there) and IT analysts and other experts who can share the new opportunities they’re seeing.

If you’re building out a mobile strategy, or looking to improve your current mobile capabilities, you definitely cannot afford to miss this broadcast.

You can follow online conversations around the broadcast by following the #ibmmobile tag.