Category Archives: cloud-computing

Guiding Eyes story featured on US national television

It is a real privilege to work with the inspirational Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  They have an incredible mission to place guide dogs with blind individuals.

The project involves looking at all the data they have moved to the IBM Cloud: genetic data from 30 years of dog breeding and thousands of questionnaires in Word format from trainers who spend two years raising puppies.

The potential for cognitive applications like IBM Watson to find new insights which can help improve their programs is tantalizing. A group at SJSU is working on the data right now. Early indications suggest that genetic data may not be a strong determinant for whether or not a dog performs well. Fuel to fire the nature vs nurture debate?

We spent a weekend in upstate New York with the Barbarian crew and Tucker Walsh telling this story from the viewpoint of a dog.

CNBC ran a feature on this story and Creativity called us out.

We pulled together all the key story elements on this Medium page.


The internet of toilets is coming for you

I didn’t know what I was walking into tonight heading to the Galvanize SF space in downtown SF. Quite literally. I thought the memo said I’d be attending a Blumix Girls’ Night

I guess I’ll never know what that would have been. But hell, I got to hear Donnie Berkholz from the mighty RedMonk treat us to a view of the not-too-distant future of the Internet of Things (IoT) during a special Bluemix Garage event.

A future in which our toilets tell us when they need cleaning.

You’ve got ‘people as things’ on the web (to organizations like LinkedIn we’re just data blobs) and ‘things as people’ (fridges getting all conversational).

A great takeaway: real-time data is useless without real-time action. So beware the hype!

Another great takeaway: JavaScript is the language that really enables developers to work at speed. No new skills required. Just stick node.js into your app.

One thing struck me: how IoT is really a story of what we can do if we can effortlessly process info from sensors. Technological/development and societal forces are converging to a point where it makes more sense than not to offer this capability to the greatest number of people at the lowest price (as the pundits say, data does work like oil). What kind of impact could this have? Well, for starters what if all employers do the same thing the sports industry does and optimize the workforce for maximum  performance using data and patterns.

Things could get very odd very fast. We’re talking digital disruption. Or are we?

bluemix garage donnie berkolz dec 2014 copy

[Yay! Donnie posted the slides]

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS explained

We just had a fun challenge around cloud computing in our department, which involved researching some useful documentation around the cloud.

In that documentation was this neat description of the cloud together with explanation of the benefits:

Software as a Service (SaaS) allows businesses to provide direct access to the applications consumers, clients and citizens need from the Internet or company intranet.  Because the applications are centrally managed, there are no licenses or upgrades to maintain.     

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is an application development platform delivered on demand, allowing developers to focus on software design, development and deployment — without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware, software, provisioning and hosting. 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) delivers compute power, storage and networking on demand, eliminating the high cost of maintaining, staffing and providing power and cooling for an in-house data center if the service is provided externally.  If it’s provided internally at a department level it still offers greatly improved speed and efficiency in providing compute resources needed for the business.          

Useful, huh?

Scrabbling around on YouTube I found this great video too:

There you go. Up to speed on cloud now?

Social Business webcast series kicks off next week

Want to understand more about social business and IBM’s role in this emerging space? Some of the major practioners will be presenting latest thoughts, concepts and applications in a webinar series that kicks off next week.

From May 17 to June 14, topics covered will include a definition of social business (a hot topic given the latest round of presentations by Deloitte’s @ChrisHeuer), the implications of taking applications into the Cloud, and producing applications that can be deployed across mobile and other platforms.

Taking into account the fast-paced nature of the social business world, each of these webcasts will delivered in a punchy 20 minutes:

Date: May 17, 11am EDT
Title: IBM Social Business Overview
Presenter: Charlie Hill
Abstract: IBM’s Distinguished Engineer and CTO, Charlie Hill will define what it means to be a Social Business and the benefits organizations can gain with successfully transforming into a Social Business. Charlie will talk about how to build social applications and embed social capabilities into existing business processes and applications. After attending this webcast, you’ll be ready to get started in building the social applications that will drive businesses for years to come.
Check out the recording

Date: May 24, 11am EDT
Title: The IBM Social Business Toolkit
Presenter: Philippe Riand
Abstract: Adding social functionality to business applications brings productivity to a whole new level.  Learn how to use the IBM Social Business Toolkit to bring your applications to a whole new level.  Social business applications leverage the collective wisdom and discover a wealth of relevant information in the context of the current task.  Learn how to make your applications do that!
Check out the recording

June 7, 11am EDT
Title: Lifting Applications to the Cloud
Presenter: Mike Masterson
Abstract: Everyone is talking about the cloud.  Customers want to know if your application runs in the cloud.  Find out how IBM can help you to answer "yes" by integrating with IBM’s premier cloud solution, LotusLive.
Check out the recording

Date: June 14, 11am EDT
Title: Social Applications Go Mobile
Presenter: Tyler Tribe
Abstract: People need to access your application from anywhere, and it’s no different for social business applications.  Learn how IBM’s strategy allows you to write once and run everywhere, whether on a PC, smart phone, or iPad.  Find out how to build Websphere Portal applications that can be accessed from your favorite mobile device.
Check out the recording

We’ll use crowdsourcing to come up with future subjects to provide insights from subject matter experts.

Mobile and cloud computing: key growth areas for IBM business partners

In a recent article in Vertical Systems Reseller (VSR), Mike Riegel, VP IBM Developer Relations highlights the importance of mobile and cloud computing. Drawing on research in the 2010 IBM Tech Trends Survey of IT professionals, Mike points out how these technologies are critical to clients looking to optimize their IT strategies. This in turn has significant financial implications on the technology industry:

"Gartner also predicts a huge increase in both mobile and cloud computing, with $6.2 billion expected to be spent on mobile applications and $68.3 billion in cloud computing services in 2010 alone."

Amongst those capitalizing capitalizing on these growth areas are IBM business partners.

Citysourced build civic engagement by offering a platform where an individual can record an issue in a public space, such as vandalism, flooding, graffiti, broken street lighting etc., all via an update from a mobile device. Public officials can logon to the site and respond to these messages from the community. As Citysourced Founder & Chief Architect Jason A. Kiesel points out, "Mobile computing simply offers [government and businesses] something no desktop experience can – efficiency."

He likens the current growth in mobile to the emergence of the web 15 years ago: there is an inertia and cynicism in the IT industry around mobile technology, with many still questioning whether the space is being over-hyped. The difference this time is the rate of growth and user adoption:  mobile strategy is now not seen as a "nice to have, but as a must have.".

Akros TechLabs offer secure sign-in across mobile devices for applications where security is paramount, including online banking and health care. They see cloud and mobile computing as inextricably linked: "Mobile computing doesn’t work without cloud—and we’re seeing growing acceptance of both among customers across many industries." says CEO Sid Prasanna. Many apps developed for hand-held devices rely on cloud services – differing from the PC paradigm where most applications are run locally.

As our world becomes more interconnected, mobile and cloud computing applications are becoming commonplace throughout our lives. IBM business partners are playing a vital role in this evolution.

Read about more IBM partners in the Vertical Systems Reseller article.