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IBM PartnerWorld – A view from Vegas

16 Feb 2015

Day two started in style with CEO and Chairman Ginni Romettyaddressing the delegates. She began by answering a question she is asked on a constant basis:

“What is happening at IBM?”

Her reply:

“It's what must happen at IBM”


As in two previous occasions during her IBM career, IBM must again transform itself as a company to enable differentiation. It has to provide a differentiated offering to existing IBM customers and partners - one built on value.

Much of 2014 was about transforming the hardware business, selling off x86 and microchip manufacturing business, but that doesn’t mean that IBM has ceased to be a hardware business - it is just refocusing on delivering solutions of greatest value to customers in the area such as analytics and cognitive computing.

The differentiation consists of multiple elements, but we’ve picked out a few of real interest:

  1. The POWER 8 announcements and the growth of the Open Power foundation.
  2. The recent mainframe announcements - Z13 which targets security concerns and huge workloads - is being driven by the explosion in mobile computing.
  3. The investment in Flash Systems, which will see this technology compete at spinning disk prices per terabyte for the first time in 2015.
  4. The multi-billion dollar investment in growing the Softlayer global reach and the cognitive computing environment that is Watson.

These are all helping IBM differentiate itself, both in the offerings and the value to customers. Ginni stated that IBM is now the world’s largest digital agency and had filed 7000 new patents last year, more than all their closest rivals combined.

As a Business to Business brand, IBM still retains the number one spot.

Ginni believes that how businesses integrate their Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement with the systems of Insight will determine the winners and losers. Analytics will be a key differentiator for businesses and IBM has a unique position in the market to address this demand, by being able to integrate multiple sources of data and turn it into information.

Developing new Systems of Engagement means the re-imagining of existing work and to do this you need to understand workflow. How does a system of record become impacted by a system of engagement? The good news for IBM is that it understands workflow giving it a significant advantage over competitors when designing and delivering solutions.

Ginni made it clear that the pace of change in the industry will not slow and believes the IBM strategy is correct and that results are starting to show.

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