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IBM Unveils Cloud-Based Business Solutions

Fresh on the heels of IBM's offering of mobile, cloud-based Big Data analytics in its cloud marketplace, the company today unveiled new, customized, cloud-based business solutions to provide services such as counter fraud, digital commerce and -- of course -- mobile and analytics.

IBM Cloud Business Solutions are industry-specific, subscription-based packages combining components such as consulting, prebuilt assets, software, support and cloud infrastructure from IBM's Softlayer acquisition. The company said customers pay one up-front fee followed by monthly payments on contracts that average about three years.

"This approach recognizes the mandate for speed and time to value, along with the requirement of clients to personalize business solutions to their own processes and culture and deploy them via the cloud," the company said in a statement. "For example, a healthcare provider could start by moving their existing solutions to the cloud and then add prebuilt IBM assets to counter medical fraud or address a range of additional business priorities. The solution would then be customized with consulting services and support aimed at transforming their business."

The company plans on implementing 20 such solutions, with the 12 initial "X as a Service" offerings including:

  • Customer analytics: Designed to enhance customer relations, this involves helping companies make correct decisions at appropriate times, predicting customer behavior through data analysis and strengthening engagement.
  • Predictive asset optimization: This provides visibility into the health of equipment so companies can plan to deal with hardware failures.
  • Counter fraud: Coming from IBM Research, this is designed to prevent various kinds of fraudulent activities, waste, abuse and errors surrounding data. Analytics are used to inspect a customer's data and internal behavior and use the information to compare the customer with peers to help uncover suspicious activity by detecting anomalies.
  • Customer data: This service aims to improve marketing and planning through the use of analytics about internal and external data sources.
  • Mobile: This will improve engagement with mobile employees, customers and partners by providing business designs, strategies, and models for development, along with managed services to help customers implement Agile and iterative development.
  • Digital commerce: This "allows business leaders to deliver exceptional digital experiences and accelerate time to market for a range of customer engagement solutions from order capture to fulfillment."
Other initial services include: smarter buildings; smarter asset management; marketing management; emergency management; digital environment for adaptive learning; and care coordination.

IBM said these managed services, based on proven assets and patterns, will be available in a private or hybrid cloud setup. Customers can choose to eventually transition the services to in-house products, the company said.

"Our clients view cloud as the catalyst for entirely new business models, not just technology models," said CTO Kelly Chambliss in a statement. "The decision to use cloud to support business priorities is being strongly influenced -- if not entirely determined -- by leaders across the C-suite. IBM Cloud Business Solutions represent the next evolution in high-value business services, in line with the expectations and priorities of our clients. We're providing access to the best IBM has to offer -- from cloud to data analytics -- in a single, simple, highly accessible package."

Posted by David Ramel on 05/29/2014 at 9:44 AM


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