Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

IBM launches new email service Verse

November 19th, 2014

International Business Machine Corp has launched a new e-mail application for businesses that integrates social media, file sharing and analytics to learn a user’s behavior and predict interactions with coworkers. Outsourcing3

The application is part of IBM’s attempt to shift its focus to cloud computing and data analytics from the hardware services that had long been the company’s bread and butter.

The new e-mail service, known as IBM Verse, includes a built-in personal assistant that can learn from a user’s behavior and draft responses to e-mails based on similar previous interactions.

It also allows users to transform e-mail content into threads for blogs and social media, view the relationships between different employees in an e-mail, mute a chain and search through attachments.

The e-mail’ s interface pins a user’s most frequent contacts, schedule and lists of assignments to a dashboard for easy access.

“We came at this from the perspective that this is about changing the game, not just incremental improvements in e-mail,” Jeff Schick, IBM’s general manager of social solutions, told Reuters.

IBM’s enterprise mail service, known as Notes, is used by 25,000 companies worldwide and more than 50,000 use IBM’s social platform for businesses, IBM Connections. The company hopes IBM Verse will eventually replace Window’s popular Outlook.

The free initial model will include limited mailbox sizes and file sharing. A paid version with additional features and data allowance will be available in January 2015.

IBM is not the only company trying to give e-mail a makeover. In October, Google Inc launched an e-mail service called “Inbox” that will better organize e-mails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way.

But unlike Google, IBM Verse will not sell the data it gathers about users to advertisers, a selling point critical for businesses concerned about privacy and security.

The service is delivered through cloud computing and will be available in IBM’s Cloud Marketplace.

Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/IBM-launches-new-email-service-Verse/articleshow/45199923.cms

Lufthansa signs $1.25 billion outsourcing deal with IBM

November 18th, 2014

IBM has won an outsourcing contract from Germany’s Lufthansa worth 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion) that will see the U.S. company take over the airline’s information technology infrastructure services division and staff.A German airline Lufthansa A380 Airbus aircraft flies over Frankfurt

The move is part of plans by Lufthansa to restructure and cut costs as it seeks to compete with fast-growing rivals in both Europe and the Gulf.

Under the seven-year deal, IBM said it will make the airline’s IT processes more efficient, such as moving it more toward cloud computing, saving Lufthansa around 70 million euros a year.

Around 1,400 Lufthansa Systems employees will transfer to IBM as part of the deal, which was first outlined in October.

The deal is subject to approval by antitrust authorities and the Lufthansa supervisory board.

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/18/us-lufthansa-ibm-outsourcing-idUSKCN0J20PV20141118

IBM takes on enterprise cloud security

November 6th, 2014

As organizations increasingly move their operations to the cloud, they need to remain vigilant against security breaches. IBM had this in mind as it prepared a new portfolio of services designed to help secure an enterprise’s cloud operations with the same rigor that has come to be expected with in-house operations.Outsourcing6

“The move to the cloud is nothing new, but what we’re seeing now is that people are now considering moving critical workloads to the cloud,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, IBM vice president of strategy for security systems.

The Dynamic Cloud Security portfolio, available now, “allows customers to take security to the cloud with them,” Zadelhoff said.

IBM gets fast file transfers with Aspera acquisition IBM adds OpenStack to its cloud marketplace IBM sends Cognos, SPSS to the cloud
The portfolio concentrates on aiding enterprises in three of areas of security: authenticating access in the cloud, protecting applications and data in the cloud, and improving visibility into the effectiveness of security controls watching over cloud resources.

Over 200 engineers helped build the portfolio over the past year. The services extend IBM’s collection of security software programs, such as QRadar security event management software and the Guardian data protection software, so they can be used to guard cloud resources as well.

Initially, the services will focus on securing resources on Amazon Web Services and IBM’s own SoftLayer cloud, though they can also be used with other cloud services as well, Zadelhoff said.

The portfolio includes a central portal that offers a summary of the state of security across all of an organization’s assets. Most security breaches can take weeks or even months to discover, IBM has estimated. The longer a breach goes undiscovered, the more damage an attacker can do. So a security portal can help identify problems as soon as they arise.

The IBM services can scan the applications being used in the cloud for potential vulnerabilities, and can alert developers or system administrators of any potential security weaknesses. They can identify sensitive data in the cloud, and then monitor that data for any unauthorized usage. Pricing is based on different services used, overall usage and other factors.

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IBM itself already collects more than 20 billion daily security events in the course of its duties managing security for clients. This intelligence allows IBM to identify threats early on.

IBM has identified security as a growth market for the company. It has acquired 12 security companies in the past decade, and has invested over $2 billion into security research, securing over 3,000 patents in this area.

In the field of cloud security, IBM will be competing against a wide variety of companies such as Symantec, Barracuda, Qualys, SafeNet, TrendMicro and WatchGuard — many of which have built up expertise in on-premise security products and services.

Source:http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/outsourcing/3584461/ibm-takes-on-enterprise-cloud-security/

Thomson Reuters chooses IBM for internal IT outsourcing

November 4th, 2014

Thomson Reuters has selected IBM to provide its internal technology services, such as email and telecommunications — a move that will affect at least some of the New York-based media and publishing giant’s employees in Eagan.Outsourcing6

The change, which was announced in August, will take effect Feb. 1.

Although the company did not disclose the number of employees affected by the outsourcing, a spokesman said they would all be offered positions with IBM or one of its partner businesses. However, it is not yet clear whether those jobs will remain in Eagan.

Thomson Reuters employs 6,700 people at its Eagan campus, which is one of the company’s largest locations.

Source:http://www.twincities.com/ci_26856005/thomson-reuters-chooses-ibm-internal-it-outsourcing

Are Indian suppliers IBM Global Services’ biggest threat?

November 4th, 2014

India’s IT services industry has grown fast, but who would have thought that TCS is now IBM Global Services’ biggest threat.Outsourcing6

That’s what one management consultant told me last week. I was writing an article about talk of IBM reducing its workforce in India. IBM is one of the biggest IT services firms in India in terms of workforce and even if it is true that it will cut about 50,000 staff there, it will still be very big with about 100,000 people.

Read my article here. I have has quite a few emails from readers about this.

But the industry is changing and the provision of low cost full time equivalents is no longer the way to grow and profit for IT services firms. They want non-linear business models and they are doing this with less labour intensive services that harness cloud and automation technologies for example. At the same time customers want services using the latest technologies.

For example Scandinavian IT services firm Cygate has expanded its business without needing to recruit more staff by using automation software from IPSoft. In 2010, the company, which serves more than 1,000 customers including some of the biggest corporates in the Nordic region, was experiencing 20% growth in sales. This meant the company needed to add resources or risk service levels deteriorating. But just adding manpower would have reduced its margins.

So you would think the Indian suppliers who grew their businesses through offering highly skilled IT workers at a lower cost to Western corporates, would struggle the most. But it seems this is not the case. In fact it could be another phase of growth for these firms.

Mark Lewis, outsourcing lawyer at Berwin Leighton Paisner, says, “TCS, India’s biggest IT services supplier,  is achieving both linear and non-linear growth. It is still recruiting heavily in India and is building its global workforce at the same time,” said Lewis.

While IBM Global Services is always a default consideration businesses outsource IT it is not winning as many deals as it used to. Peter Schumacher, Value Leadership Group, said conversations with large corporates in Europe reveal that Indian suppliers are now  now IBM Global Services’s biggest competitor, and TCS is the biggest of these.

The Indian advantage of lower cost skills may have diminished overtime because western IT services firms have built huge offshore workforces of their own. At the same time wages in India have increased. But during the hay day of low cost IT services companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL have build strong businesses and developed domain expertise, by moving beyond pure IT services to business services using IT.

The other interesting point is that western IT services forms have shot them in the
Have the western IT services firms let the foot by reducing the fear associated with offshoring. There was a time that offshoring IT was a brave and perhaps a risky strategy for a big business. But companies like IBM have used offshore staff and as a result made it the norm for outsourced service delivery.

Today service levels from offshore and western suppliers are little different and CIOs will make decisions based on the pure business value, rather than perceived risks.

“In Europe, TCS will add almost $1bn in new business in 2014, which underlines the enormous market momentum and customer confidence they now enjoy,” says Schumacher.

Source:http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/outsourcing/2014/11/are-indian-suppliers-ibm-gloabl-services-biggest-threat.html

IBM India staff reductions are sign of shift in outsourcing sector

November 3rd, 2014

Talk of IBM reducing its India-based workforce by 50,000 over the past three years, with more to come, is a reflection of the diminishing importance of low-cost operatives.IBM, cloudcomputing

The reported reduction in staff in India, although unconfirmed, is in line with changing IT-outsourcing demand and delivery models. One source claimed India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is now IBM Global Service’s biggest competition.

According to a report from India, the IT giant has reduced its India-based workforce from about 165,000 in 2011 to 113,000 in 2014. The report quoted sources close to IBM’s plans who said this number will be down to 100,000 in 2015. The firm’s global workforce is made up of 431,212 employees.

In IBM Global Services, the company boasts the world’s biggest IT services firm. It is often referred to as an IT bellwether and its every move is scrutinised by IT executives at enterprise users and at its competitors. When the offshore-IT services delivery model was at its peak, the firm was the biggest IT employer in India.

But new technologies, such as automation software – including IBM’s very own Watson – and cloud computing, are reducing the need for high numbers of offshore staff to carry out business processes and software development.

Telecommunications firm O2, for example, uses automation software from Blue Prism to cut its reliance on offshore recruitment to cope with spikes in workload.

IT services firms traditionally grew in a linear way – typically, they win more business, then add more staff to support it. In many cases this has involved building large offshore workforces. But service providers are now trying to reach the holy grail of non-linear growth. This means adding business without needing to add to the workforce to support it – reducing the proportional increase in the cost of providing an additional service.

At the same time, increased use of cloud-based IT is forcing IT services firms to add more higher-level support services, while the move to platform-based services in the cloud means there is less need for businesses to develop their own software.

IBM not moving away from offshore delivery

In a recent presentation to equity analysts IBM said it is not moving away from offshore delivery and, in fact, will be harnessing global delivery centres to make it more competitive.

“In parts of our portfolio that aren’t as well differentiated, we’re continuing to see price and profit pressure,” said an IBM statement. “These are the areas where we’ll be more aggressive on the use of global delivery centres and applying intellectual property for faster time to value for our clients and improved business results for us.”

In its recent results for the third quarter of 2014, IBM said Global Services sales decreased by 3% to $13.7bn, compared with the same period of 2013. Pre-tax profit from Global Technology Services reduced by 11%.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said in areas of focus – which did not include IT services – the company did well.

“While we did not produce the results we expected to achieve, we again performed well in our strategic growth areas – including cloud, data and analytics, security, social and mobile – where we continue to shift our business. We will accelerate this transformation,” she said.

“We are executing on a clear strategy that is moving IBM to higher value, and we’ve taken significant actions to exit non-strategic elements of the business,” she added.

Reflecting its shift in focus, IBM has reportedly reached an agreement with Globalfoundries to take over its semiconductor operations. IBM will pay the manufacturer $1.5bn to take the chip operations off its hands.

Competition from Tata Consultancy Services
Berwin Leighton Paisner outsourcing lawyer Mark Lewis said it is not yet clear what IBM’s strategy is, and compared the company with India’s biggest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

TCS has 276,195 global staff, with 92.3% being Indian. Just over 21,000 of the company’s staff are not Indian, while it has an increasing UK workforce, with more than 10,000 UK-based staff.

“TCS is achieving both linear and non-linear growth. It is still recruiting heavily in India and is building its global workforce at the same time,” said Lewis.

While IBM is the biggest IT company in the world, Lewis said he is unsure if it is leading the way in terms of strategy in IT services.

“Until its strategy is clearer, it is difficult to say what it is a bellwether for,” he said.

According to CEO at management consultancy Value Leadership Group Peter Schumacher, based on meetings with about 200 outsourcing customers around the world, IBM is losing ground to offshore-based firms.

“Pricing is one reason but, perhaps more importantly, top customers also cite IBM’s arrogance and weaker partnership capabilities as key reasons. In other words, IBM is seen as lacking price competitiveness, operating flexibility and customer intimacy. These are a complex mix of interrelated challenges and overcoming these can take years to resolve,” he said.

The stronger presence of the offshore-based firms has given clients enormous bargaining power over IBM, added Schumacher, and they are using this to extract pricing concessions and renegotiate contracts. He said TCS is the main challenger to IBM Global Services.

“In Europe, TCS will add almost $1bn in new business in 2014, which underlines the enormous market momentum and customer confidence they now enjoy,” he said.

IBM still an IT services bellwether
IBM is always in the mix when it comes to global outsourcing deals, according to KPMG management consulting partner Lee Ayling. “I don’t think IBM has taken its eye off the ball in services – it quietly gets on with its work,” he said.

IBM could still be considered a bellwether for global IT services, Ayling added. In four recent large global IT-outsourcing deals he has been involved in, the firm has been in the running. “IBM is more often than not in the bidding for large global enterprise deals,” he said.

He suggested the reduction of staff at IBM in India could be linked to the companies scaling back on business process outsourcing (BPO) services, with more focus on IT services.

One former senior IBM executive says IBM was focused on growth markets, which could mean building staff numbers in countries like China and those in South America.

Source:http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/IBM-India-staff-reductions-are-sign-of-shift-in-outsourcing-sector

Can BlackBerry Ltd. Become the Next IBM?

October 30th, 2014

On Monday, BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX: BB)(Nasdaq: BBRY) CEO John Chen outlined “The Keys to Executing a Turnaround the Right Way.”Outsourcing54

Nowadays, no one seems more adept at turning around companies than Mr. Chen. After taking over struggling Sybase, he steered the company back into profitability, eventually selling the company to SAP for $5.8 billion (USD). And less than a year into his role at BlackBerry, his turnaround plan is off to a great start. This is reflected by the company’s stock price, which has more than doubled since December of last year.

So Mr. Chen deserves plenty of credit. But his turnaround plan is far from complete. If he is successful, the stock price will likely see dramatic gains. So is this a bet worth making? Or is this the best we’ll see from Mr. Chen?

The case for BlackBerry

This kind of story is not unprecedented. Back in 1992, IBM was failing in a similar manner, before Louis Gerstner took over. The company was bleeding cash, operating units weren’t working together, and analysts were insisting that he break up the company. Instead, Mr. Gerstner slashed billions in costs – mainly through layoffs – and sold assets. He also dramatically improved the culture, all while focusing the company more on enterprise services.

This is exactly what has happened at BlackBerry as well. Much of the layoffs occurred before Mr. Chen arrived, and he has sold off assets — such as most of the company’s real estate – to generate extra cash. Costs have further been reduced by outsourcing manufacturing to Taiwanese handset maker Foxconn.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chen has also diverted the company’s attention toward enterprise services, again taking a page out of IBM’s book. This is an area, unlike consumer handsets, where BlackBerry still has a competitive offering.

At this point, it’s practically impossible to know how far the company can go. But history has shown there’s plenty of potential.

The case against BlackBerry

Mr. Chen’s job is much harder than Mr. Gerstner’s was, for a couple of reasons. For one, BlackBerry is like a minnow in a shark tank. Rivals such as Google, Apple, and IBM itself all have far deeper pockets than BlackBerry, and are not accustomed to losing. Mr. Chen talked about innovation being a key in this industry, and the giants all have the upper hand in this department.

Secondly, IBM still had a viable mainframe business as it turned itself around. In other words, it is able to offer clients both hardware and software. And the ability to offer a complete solution is certainly an advantage. BlackBerry’s handsets are not nearly as popular. Worse yet, there is a growing trend of employees brining their own devices to work (known as BYOD), meaning that if BlackBerry can’t appeal to the consumer market, its handset business is further threatened.

So at this point, BlackBerry’s future is still very much up in the air, and it shouldn’t account for more than a small slice of your portfolio.

There are much better options than BlackBerry. One of them is featured in the free report below.

A stock to buy instead of BlackBerry

Constructing a portfolio is like building a house, chief analyst Iain Butler says. You want to build it on a foundation of “rock solid, proven, long-term moneymakers.

Source:http://www.fool.ca/2014/10/29/can-blackberry-ltd-become-the-next-ibm/

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