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Cast Iron Systems Acquisition

 
 
By Steve Wexler
 
 
 

LAS VEGAS—IBM used its Impact event for SOA (solutions-oriented architecture) and BPM (business process management) to roll out more than 30 new products and services to the 6,000 partners that attended the conference here.

As more customers and partners look to cloud computing as a potential answer to their IT headaches, IBM has valued the market for its SOA and BPM technology at more than $60 billion in annual revenues.

IBM’s Impact product and service introductions include the following:

  • IBM Business Process Management Suite—expanded to include IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition and enhancements to IBM WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition.
  • IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition—provides visibility and real-time control to help process owners react and adjust quickly to market pressures, regulatory changes or other external forces.  
  • IBM WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition—new feature packs providing enhanced functionality and new capabilities to enable increased productivity and smarter insight.
  • IBM BPM Blueprint—a new Web-based offering designed to help employees, partners and suppliers participate in communicating and improving business processes, ideas and initiatives.
  • IBM ILOG Business Rules Management System—includes easier and more comprehensive rule authoring for business users to automate the decision-making process.  Business rules govern everything from processes to decision-making and give companies analytics capabilities to help them react more quickly to changing circumstances.
  • IBM WebSphere Commerce—a customer interaction platform that allows retailers and shoppers to share information, events, wish lists and more on social networking sites.  
  • IBM Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere (RAFW)—provides a customizable and extensible framework to automate environment administration for the WebSphere family of products.


IBM also announced it has acquired Cast Iron Systems, a privately held company based in Mountain View, Calif., which develops cloud integration software, appliances and services. Big Blue expects the global cloud computing market to grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008 to $126 billion by 2012, but integrating the disparate systems running in data centers with new cloud-based applications will be a challenge. The acquisition is expected to help that integration, as well as advance IBM's capabilities for a hybrid cloud model.

"The integration challenges Cast Iron Systems is tackling are crucial to clients who are looking to adopt alternative delivery models to manage their businesses," said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM WebSphere. "The combination of IBM and Cast Iron Systems will make it easy for clients to integrate business applications, no matter where those applications reside. This will give clients greater agility and, as a result, better business outcomes," he said.

IBM also unveiled the IBM Travel and Transportation Framework, a combination of its software products and industry assets. Interconnected systems allow a single view into business operations, saving money and time by allowing a company to be aware of the location, status and availability of all its equipment and assets. It provides five key capabilities required by almost every transportation company:  

  • Reservation System Modernization—helps to facilitate the modernization of airline and passenger rail reservation and ticketing systems by using a new customer-centric model that supports the imperative to offer innovative and unbundled services to better compete.
  • Asset Optimization—allows clients to manage capital assets throughout their revenue-producing lifecycle. The types of assets managed include aircraft, passenger rail rolling stock, locomotives, tracks and equipment located along the right-of-way such as signals and facilities.  
  • Safety, Security & Surveillance—supports the use of sensors, RFID, digital video, biometric identification and wireless devices. These are coupled with analytic tools to monitor operations and identify risks to safety or security such as unexpected events occurring in terminals and along railroad right-of-way.  
  • Multi-Channel Sales and Service—helps provide a seamless customer experience across pre-travel sales channels and on-trip touch points by providing the client with a single view of the information known about the customer/traveler.
  • Operations Control Systems—helps improve operational effectiveness and reduce environmental impact through better planning of schedules, load plans, facilities, crews and equipment. For railroads, this includes optimizing timetables, assignment of rolling stock, and train and station crews. For airlines, this includes optimizing flight schedules and flight crews.    

Finally, IBM announced CityOne, a new "serious game" that can help customers and business partners discover how to make cities and their industries smarter by solving real-world business, environmental and logistical problems. It will be a no charge, "Sim-style" game in which the player is tasked with guiding the city through a series of missions that include the Energy, Water, Banking and Retail industries.

As part of its channel initiatives, the company announced it will provide its 5,000 authorized partners with direct access to technical and industry leaders. IBM also announced new resources, including social networking communities on PartnerWorld to gain new sales and marketing skills; industry framework validations for the banking industry; incentives for partners that sell to the government; and availability of cloud computing certifications.

This article was originally published on 2010-05-05