New IBM Offerings Help Customers Work Smarter, Reduce Costs

Industry-focused initiative to help companies improve individual and business performance

Note: ESJ’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

IBM has launched new software and services to help clients build collaborative and connected business environments to harness the rapid marketplace shifts that are transforming how they work.

The new IBM offerings are designed to help clients across industries embrace rather than resist the unprecedented changes in today's marketplace and use them to their advantage. They address three critical challenges faced by business leaders around the world: making business processes more responsive and easier to change; improving collaboration within and beyond their organizations; and using technology to meet business needs quickly.

"With increasing pressures on the cost, speed and efficiency of doing business, working smarter is not merely an option, it has become a matter of survival," said Steve Mills, senior vice president, IBM Software. "Creating organizations that are agile, collaborative, and connected is one of the key objectives of IBM's Smarter Planet initiative. Using IBM software, businesses can harnesses the collective wisdom of their organizations and capitalize on the insights provided by an increasingly intelligent, instrumented world."

New Industry Frameworks Speed Client Value, Deployment

IBM is announcing new offerings designed to help businesses make their processes more agile, responsive, and easier to change while supporting increased collaboration between workers and those processes. New industry frameworks initially target four industries: banking, chemical/ petroleum, energy, and government; they help customers benefit from decades of IBM industry experience and include a configurable software platform, industry assets, and best practices.

The frameworks, designed to be turnkey software modules that match specific industry needs, enable faster business solution deployment with lower project cost risk, expanded choice through a validated ecosystem of partners, and accelerated adoption of business IT standards.

New Collaboration Offerings, Services

Another leading component of this initiative is a set of IBM collaboration offerings that derive collective intelligence through crowd-sourcing and social dynamics. These include new social networking tools for the enterprise and secure, cloud-based collaboration that joins together networks of companies as if they were a single organization. IBM is also helping business people solve their own daily challenges through new mash-up software and delivering new solutions for unified communications, mobile collaboration and portal communities.

IBM is announcing a new set of professional services focused on collaboration and mobility. These services, which reflect the new reality of an increasingly social and mobile workforce, help connect people, processes, and information and enable collaboration across organizations and with clients and partners. They include IBM Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud, IBM Mobile Enterprise Services for Managed Blackberry, and IBM Converged Communications Services.

To help customers access relevant, cross-disciplinary skills and help them work smarter, IBM is announcing a new IBM Business Performance Center of Excellence. Reinforcing IBM's commitment to improving business optimization and workforce productivity, the center will offer and analyze best practices in this area and provide clients with a blueprint for change for their own businesses. It will be supported by thousands of IBM consultants skilled in the deployment of business process management, collaboration, and service-oriented architecture technology.

The center will also evaluate trends and examine how they are influenced by technology in impacting business success and provide virtual access to experts to transfer skills to clients.

Organizations are recognizing the need to rethink the systems and processes that run their businesses and evaluate new ways to empower the people who support them. Doing so can release a wave of creativity, productivity, and problem solving that generates tangible results.

An average of 5.3 hours per employee per week is wasted because of inefficient business processes, while two-thirds of employees believe there are colleagues who can help them do their jobs better but don't know how to find them.

In a new survey of 176 business and IT leaders, IBM uncovered key findings about ways to overcome barriers to driving better results. According to the survey, empowering line-of-business users to make changes to business processes is the single most important priority. Furthermore, companies that are the most adaptive and responsive to change leverage mobile and wireless technologies for enhanced collaboration, make rapid changes to business processes in response to changing market conditions, and are efficient at locating the right information to make better decisions. The IBM survey also showed that 70 percent of CIOs say optimizing processes is a top priority, while nearly three-quarters cite customer and partner collaboration as key.