ARMONK, NY — IBM announced that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, and that it is building a cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions.
IBM’s pioneering work in Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities was based on practical applications of IoT in the enterprise and led to a broad set of solutions, ranging from water management to optimizing retail and customer loyalty to alleviating traffic congestion. IBM reports that it leads in enterprise IoT implementations that securely combine and analyze data from a wide variety of sources.
With new industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools, IBM will build on that expertise to help clients and partners integrate data from an unprecedented number of IoT and traditional sources. These resources will be made available on an open platform to provide manufacturers with the ability to design and produce a new generation of connected devices that are better optimized for the IoT, and to help business leaders across industries create systems that better fuse enterprise and IoT data to inform decision-making.
“Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. “IBM will enable clients and industry partners apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform. This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it’s a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters.”
IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analyzed or acted on. As much as 60 percent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated. To address this challenge, IBM is announcing it will offer:
- IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries: This platform will provide new analytics services that clients, partners and IBM will use to design and deliver vertical industry IoT solutions. For example, IBM will introduce a cloud-based service that helps insurance companies extract insight from connected vehicles. This will enable new, more dynamic pricing models and the delivery of services that can be highly customized to individual drivers.
- IBM Bluemix IoT Zone: New IoT services as part of IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service will enable developers to easily integrate IoT data into cloud-based development and deployment of IoT apps. Developers will be able to enrich existing business applications — such as enterprise asset management, facilities management, and software engineering design tools — by infusing more real-time data and embedded analytics to further automate and optimize mission-critical IoT processes.
- IBM IoT Ecosystem: Expansion of its ecosystem of IoT partners — from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers — such as AT&T, ARM, Semtech and newly announced The Weather Company — to ensure the secure and seamless integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s open platform.
IBM’s capabilities are illustrated in a new global strategic alliance announced with The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division. WSI’s forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days. The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles. The two companies will help industries utilize their understanding of weather on business outcomes and take action systemically to optimize those parts of their businesses.
The new unit will be led by Pat Toole as General Manager.
IBM is working with a broad range of global clients, including:
- Continental is jointly developing fully-connected mobile vehicle solutions with IBM for car manufacturers around the world.
- Cummins Inc. collects and transmits real-time performance data of its engines for predictive analysis with IBM IoT solutions to maintain higher operating levels and reduce downtimes.
- Pratt & Whitney is using IBM IoT solutions, including predictive analytics, to more accurately and proactively monitor the health of more than 4,000 commercial engines.
- SilverHook Powerboats is using IBM’s IoT Foundation service to access and analyze telematic and biometric data from its boats and pilots to make real-time racing decisions.
- IBM is engaged in a partnership with the University of South Carolina to produce more insights on predictive maintenance, combining deep industry expertise from the university’s Condition-based Maintenance Research Center with predictive analytics software and skills from IBM.
- Whirlpool Corporation is leveraging IBM’s IoT and predictive maintenance and quality solutions to improve the performance and reliability of its appliances.
IBM also has been helping cities around the world become smarter by designing strategies for collecting, sharing, analyzing and acting on data. For example:
- Miami-Dade County, Florida is working with IBM on a Smarter Cities initiative to improve services for residents and help agencies share information among the 34 municipalities within the county. The project spans multiple areas including using data from smart meters to analyze and detect water leaks in the Parks, Recreation, & Open Spaces Department; a project to improve the efficiency of buses for the Transit Department, and predictive policing and real-time crime analytics with the Miami-Dade County Police.
- In Montpellier, France the fastest growing city in France, IBM Intelligent Operations delivered via the cloud helps the the District Council set up and experiment services for water management, mobility and emergency management.
- Carnegie Mellon University is using IBM IoT solutions to reduce energy and facility operating costs. Currently in a pilot program, it will eventually be deployed across 36 buildings on its Pittsburgh campus.
- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is working with IBM to develop and install advanced smart building technology in 50 of the federal government’s highest energy-consuming buildings.
Smarter Public Safety
- The Rochester, Minnesota Police Department is mining, sharing and extracting intelligence from data by working with IBM to improve officer safety, criminal investigations and crime prevention programs.
- In Dublin, Ireland, the city is working with IBM to identify and solve the root causes of traffic congestion in its public transport network.
- In Melbourne, Australia, Yarra Trams is using IBM technology to access real-time information about service disruptions, tram performance and tram locations.
- In Canada, the Southern Ontario Water Consortium is working with IBM using sophisticated tools to understand watershed dynamics, safeguard drinking water and forecast the impact of growth. The new platform analyzes data collected every 15 minutes and assimilates 600 data points per hour from more than 100 sensors.
Additionally, IBM also has partnered with a number of IoT ecosystem leaders, with more to come. For example:
- AT&T and IBM combined their analytic platforms, cloud, and security technologies to gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries.
- ARM and IBM partnered to combine ARM’s leadership in the embedded market utilizing the ARM mbed platform with IBM’s leadership in Big Data, Analytics and Cloud Services to provide an easy to use Starter kit, enabling IoT developers to rapidly achieve end to end development from device through cloud services.
- IBM Research and Semtech announced a new technology based on low-power, wide-area networks that offers significant advantages over cellular networks and Wi-Fi for providing machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
- ESRI, a market leader in Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, has a long history of collaborating with IBM on the development of IoT solutions that bring mapping and spatial analysis to businesses and government institutions around the globe.