IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Getting Social in the Cloud – Rebecca Bulsan

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes cover the Monday Press Session: Getting Social in the Cloud with Rebecca Buisan, Director of Product Management, IBM.

Rebecca began by saying that IBM’s large cloud presence is a well-kept secret. Forrester recently named IBM as number 1 in cloud collaboration, messaging, social, and file sharing. In the past year IBM’s cloud solutions grew by 80%. They have Saas, PaaS, and IaaS offerings. Kenexa is a cloud platform. All of this makes IBM one of the top ten cloud providers in terms of number of solutions (60) and customers. They are continuing to develop a portfolio of products and services.

There are many considerations to the cloud, including cost savings. It is as much a new business model as a technology that enables this business model. The main difference between a private cloud and on-premise apps is the business model of rent vs. own. It is very flexible as you can rent or own the hardware as well as the software.

IBM is developing many apps in a multi-tenant model. IBM Docs was developed a cloud app first. I discussed it in my notes on Ed Brill’s session. Eventually everything will be in some form of the cloud and this is why IBM has invested so heavily in it.

IBM can provide pre-built cloud based environments so deployments can happen almost instantly. It is committed to standards like OpenSocial. I have covered Open Social before on this blog (see OpenSocial Provides Standards to Help Put Social Software to Work). Wikipedia defines the OpenSocial Platform as a “public specification that defines a component hosting environment (container) and a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for web-based applications.” This effort is designed to give social tools the ability to work together, a wise move.

I also spoke earlier with IBM’s Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections. She said that the common underlying theme in the recent moves for Connections is the movement from providing a suite of applications to having Connections becoming a comprehensive social business platform with tighter integration. One of the enablers of this tighter integration is the use of Connections with OpenSocial.

IBM recently did a study on the cloud and found that organizations – both big and small, across geographies and in virtually every industry – are embracing cloud as a way to reduce the complexity and costs associated with traditional IT approaches. Almost three-fourths of the leaders in their survey indicated their companies had piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations – and 90 percent expect to have done so in three years. And the number of respondents whose companies have substantially implemented cloud is expected to grow from 13 percent today to 41 percent in three years.

IBM is also tying the cloud to mobile. The cloud and mobile can be very co-dependent.  This connection has an impact on user experience design. High expectations are set for mobile apps by those on the consumer web.

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