IBM watsonx AI and data platform, security solutions and consulting services for generative AI to be showcased at AWS re:Invent

According to a Gartner® report, “By 2026, more than 80% of enterprises will have used generative AI APIs or models, and/or deployed GenAI-enabled applications in production environments, up from less than 5% in 2023.”* However, to be successful they need the flexibility to run it on their existing cloud environments. That’s why we continue expanding the IBM and AWS collaboration, providing clients flexibility to build and govern their AI projects using the watsonx AI and data platform with AI assistants on AWS.

With sprawling data underpinning these AI projects, enterprises are increasingly looking to data lakehouses to bring it all together in one place where they can access, cleanse and manage it. To that end,, a fit-for-purpose data store built on an open data lakehouse architecture, is already available as a fully managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) on Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenShift Services on AWS (ROSA)—all accessible in the AWS Marketplace.

The watsonx.governance toolkit and next generation studio for AI builders will follow in early 2024, making the full watsonx platform available on AWS. This provides clients a full stack of capabilities to train, tune and deploy AI models with trusted data, speed and governance with increased flexibility to run their AI workflows wherever they reside.

During AWS ReInvent, IBM will show how clients accessing Llama 2 from AWS Sagemaker will be able to use the watsonx.governance toolkit to govern both the training data and the AI to operate and scale with trust and transparency. Watsonx.governance can also help manage these models against regulatory guidelines and risks tied to the model itself and the application using it.

We’ll also be unveiling several exciting pieces of news about our fast-growing partnership, and showcasing the following joint innovations:

  • IBM Security’s Program for Service Providers: A new program for Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) and Cloud System Integrators to accelerate their adoption of IBM security software delivered on AWS. This program helps security providers develop and deliver threat detection and data security services, designed specifically for protecting SMB clients. It also enables service providers to deliver services that can be listed in the AWS Marketplace, leveraging IBM Security software, which feature AWS built-in integrations — significantly speeding and simplifying onboarding.
  • Apptio Cloudability and IBM Turbonomic Integration: Since IBM’s acquisition of Apptio closed in August, teams have been working on the integration of Apptio Cloudability, a cloud cost-management tool, and Turbonomic, an IT resource management tool for continuous hybrid cloud optimization. Today, key optimization metrics from Turbonomic can be visualized within the Cloudability interface, providing deeper cost analysis and savings for AWS Cloud environments.
  • Workload Modernization: We’re providing tools and services for deployment and support to simplify and automate the modernization and migration path for on-premise to as-a-service versions of IBM Planning AnalyticsDb2 Warehouse and IBM Maximo Application Suite on AWS.
  • Growing Software Portfolio: We now have 25 SaaS products currently available on AWS including, APP Connect, Maximo Application Suite, IBM Turbonomic and three new SaaS editions of Guardium Insights. There are now more than 70 IBM listings in the AWS marketplace. As part of an ongoing global expansion of our partnership, the IBM software and SaaS catalog (limited release) is now available for our clients in Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom to procure via the AWS Marketplace.

In addition to these software capabilities, IBM is growing its generative AI capabilities and expertise with AWS—delivering new solutions to clients and training thousands of consultants on AWS generative AI services. IBM also launched an Innovation Lab in collaboration with AWS at the IBM Client Experience Center in Bangalore. This builds on IBM’s existing expertise with AWS generative AI services including Amazon SageMaker and Amazon CodeWhisperer and Amazon Bedrock.

IBM is the only technology company with both AWS-specific consulting expertise and complementary technology spanning data and AI, automation, security and sustainability capabilities—all built on Red Hat Open Shift Service on AWS—that run cloud-native on AWS.

For more information about the IBM and AWS partnership, please visit Visit us at AWS re:Invent in booth #930. Don’t miss these sessions from IBM experts exploring hybrid cloud and AI:

  • Hybrid by Design at USAA: 5:00 p.m.​, Tuesday, November 28, The Venetian, Murano 3306
  • Scale and Accelerate the Impact of Generative AI with watsonx: 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 29, Wynn Las Vegas, Cristal 7

Learn more about the IBM and AWS partnership

*Gartner. Hype Cycle for Generative AI, 2023, 11 September 2023. Gartner and Hype Cycle are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Source: IBM Blockchain

The advantages and disadvantages of ERP systems

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions offer organizations a one-stop-shop for managing daily operations. The business management software has gained popularity in the business world as organizations try to keep up with the changing landscape. As with most business solutions, there are advantages and disadvantages of ERP systems to consider.

It’s important to understand how enterprise resource planning can work for an organization and its capabilities at a granular level. Here are some key benefits an enterprise resource planning system can bring when managing all aspects of the business.

Advantages of ERP

Improve customer service

The business world is hyper-competitive and that’s no different when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. The customer service experience is a vital part to an organization and an ERP solution can help advance customer relationship management. Since a new system like ERP software puts all customer information into one place, it can facilitate quicker customer service and a more personalized approach.

ERP stores contact information, order history, past support cases and more in one simplified system. Separately, since ERP will track past orders and real-time inventory the customer is much more likely to receive the correct items on time. If those factors are in place, it’s much more likely a customer leaves happy and will return for more down the road.

Customize reporting

Real-time data reporting is one of the highlights of an ERP solution and why it’s a serious advantage over other business management systems. With ERP reporting tools, organizations can customize reporting across many different functions, such as finance, inventory, procurement and human resources and be able to calculate it depending on what matters most to the organization. This tailor-made approach lets the business measure whichever KPIs they find most important and track performance of different business components.

The other advantage is ERP offers the latest data in real-time. This means if an employee is trying to assess an issue, they don’t have outdated data to analyze and instead have the most accurate and up to date numbers to refer to. The customized reporting can help an organization make informed decisions, which is critical when the business environment is ever-changing.

Expand collaborations

The way that ERP solutions are built make for excellent collaboration across different departments. With integrated applications and data storage all under one solution, teams get a clear picture into how each is functioning and contributing to the business.

With the enterprise resource planning system in place, teams across the organization can communicate freely as they aren’t functioning on separate platforms. The integration on the back-end is extremely important and helps employees integrate and work as one. With access to all data, one employee on a completely irrelevant team might be able to point out a malfunction or something that cuts down on duplicate work. This expanded collaboration can increase decision-making, while being a single source of truth for all data entry.

Greater sustainability

The fast-paced ever changing business world has seen a big emphasis on sustainability. C-suites are facing pressure from boards, investors, customers and others to regulate the negative impact of their carbon emissions.

To find out how organizations use ERP implementation to attain sustainability goals, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) and SAP, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, surveyed more than 2,125 senior executives involved in their organizations’ environmental sustainability strategies—around the world and across industries. The surprising result: those who outperform their competition in both environmental and financial outcomes also boast the most deeply engaged ERP implementation.

Improve transparency and insights

One of the benefits of ERP is that it offers full access to every business function and process in an organization all in one place. With the implementation of ERP, data from every department can be accessed by executive-level employees. The ERP solution monitors data daily and can provide day-to-day information, helping an organization be as precise as possible when it comes to factors such as inventory levels and business operations.

The complete visibility ERP provides gives organization leaders better functional business insights and more accurate business forecasting. As a result, this can streamline tasks and make clearer, more concise workflows. In addition, having accurate forecasting models is a competitive advantage, as they allow for improved data-driven strategy and decision-making. As ERP can monitor each department and keep all data in one place, there’s an opportunity for more efficient processes and improved cross-collaboration. In addition, ERP can improve business data security across the whole organization for both on-premises and cloud-based ERP systems.

An example of the success of an ERP implementation is Neste, a market leader in renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and renewable polymers and chemicals based in Espoo, Finland. The company took a joint-team approach when it came to implementing its new ERP system. Neste worked with IBM Consulting™ for SAP to roll out the SAP S/4HANA solution on the Microsoft Azure cloud across most of its operations, including its renewables supply chains. Neste’s new ERP platform is enabling supply chain process efficiency improvements and making its data more transparent. “Among the most far-reaching benefits,” notes Neste Head of Integrated ERP, Marko Mäki-Ullakko, “is the ability to spot and resolve process inefficiencies.”

“We’ve been able to use SAP’s process discovery capabilities to spot supply chain and production bottlenecks,” he explained. “In that way, integrated SAP has been and will be a critical tool for our process optimization efforts.”

Increase flexibility and scalability

One of the unique features of ERP software is the inclusion of applications or modules across many different business needs. ERP applications, such as procurement, supply chain management, inventory and project management, are all separate applications offered under ERP.

ERP applications can stand on their own but can also be integrated in the entirety of the ERP system, making for easier scalability and configuration in an organization. By being able to add or take away applications, ERP can help scale a business as it evolves over time.

Scalability will look different depending on which ERP solution your organization chooses to use. If a business plans to grow rapidly over time the cloud-based ERP system is the best choice since cloud ERP systems are run on remote servers.

Increase productivity

By automating different tasks, ERP software frees up employees to work on more pertinent tasks and increased efficiency. The ERP system boosts productivity in a range of different ways that all stem from the automation of basic tasks and making processes more straightforward. With the streamlined approach from an ERP system, there is less time dedicated to digging up information and allows for employees to perform other tasks faster. Manual data entry is not necessary, making tasks such as inventory management much easier and making metrics tracking much simpler.

With a lens into the entire organization, employees are no longer tasked with tracking down the right data set or the employee who knows how a certain process works and can instead focus on more important tasks and projects. ERP solutions offer these features using technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automation and more. These technologies support the automation and intelligent suggestion features in ERP software applications.

Reduce ongoing costs

The way an ERP solution is structured makes it so data input only occurs one time but can serve multiple purposes across the organization. This can result in saving the business time and money as it streamlines redundant tasks. The upfront costs and cost savings will also depend on which type of ERP solution you choose.

Without a centralized ERP software solution, organizations rely on numerous systems to run the business. The more systems, the higher the potential IT costs. An ERP system could potentially reduce those costs. Separately, it could also reduce training requirements for the end-user since they would only need to learn on one system. This could result in more profitability and less disruptions.

Standardize business processes

The purpose of implementing an ERP solution is to highlight and build from an organization’s best practices and consistencies. This allows you to streamline operations and standardize workflows, ultimately to reduce manual labor and human error across your business. Platforms such as customer relationship management (CRM) can simply be integrated into the ERP system.

ERP software offers many advantages, but standardization is one of the most important. By relying on standardization and configuration, organizations could also see reduced project costs and better cross-team collaboration with less friction.   

Disadvantages of ERP

Increase complexity

ERP is an all-encompassing business management tool, and it can be quite complex. The software can be exciting. Organizations can get caught up in that excitement and risk failing to make a well-thought-out plan for ERP implementation.

The processes of some organizations may find the ERP solution to be too large and not well-suited for its needs. This can result in a poor ROI and should be avoided if possible. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to build role-based user training and simplify your ERP software to fit your organization’s needs.

Add short-term costs

There are multiple factors to consider when thinking about switching to an ERP software. One of them is cost; not only the cost of the software, but the cost of time and resources needed to implement the system and train employees across all departments.

Another aspect of cost is the ongoing operational costs required of an ERP solution, specifically an on-premises ERP solution. The best way to avoid this ongoing cost is to utilize a cloud-based ERP system, which is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that can be run from any location.

One other factor to consider is the change management that is required when implementing an ERP system. ERP implementation requires changes to business processes and workflows. These changes are major investments in time and resources. When selecting ERP software, consider these factors and select the system type that best fits your organization’s needs.

More time-consuming

Since ERP is customizable, and not a one-size-fits-all software, it can become very time-consuming. Customization is a huge advantage to the ERP solution, but can be a challenge as it needs to be built from the ground up.  

An implementation process takes time; organizations must prepare for a lengthy process. The time it takes to transfer to the ERP system depends on which legacy system is being used. The best way to avoid this issue is, again, to have an ERP implementation plan in place that is clear, concise and includes an assigned implementation team.


The migration from a legacy system to ERP software can be a huge undertaking no matter the size of the organization. When considering an ERP solution, it’s important to bring in experts to help run a smooth and transparent implementation plan.

IBM Consulting® experts can help your organization successfully migrate legacy ERP applications to the cloud, redesign processes to leverage data, AI and automation, and transform finance into a competitive advantage within your business.

SAP managed services for applications and ERP can help manage an organization’s workloads, giving you more time to focus on innovation and new opportunities. Managed services for SAP applications enable agility and resource optimization by supporting and optimizing underlying operational functions. Areas like security and compliance reporting, application management, and service delivery to lines-of-business become more predictable from a pricing, resource and workload perspective.

Explore SAP consulting servicesSource: IBM Blockchain

Integrating healthcare apps and data with FHIR + HL7

Today’s healthcare providers use a wide variety of applications and data across a broad ecosystem of partners to manage their daily workflows. Integrating these applications and data is critical to their success, allowing them to deliver patient care efficiently and effectively.

Despite modern data transformation and integration capabilities that made for faster and easier data exchange between applications, the healthcare industry has lagged behind because of the sensitivity and complexity of the data involved. In fact, some healthcare data are still transmitted in physical format, impeding providers’ ability to benefit from integration and automation.

What is HL7?

Health Level Seven (HL7) is a range of international standards designed to address this challenge. First introduced in 1989, the standards were created by Health Level Seven International, a group of technology and healthcare leaders with the goal of providing better hospital workflow support. HL7 has provided a standard set of patient attributes and clinical events to improve interoperability in healthcare.

What is the FHIR Standard?

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) is the most recent version of HL7.

The FHIR specification defines standards for healthcare data exchange, including how healthcare information can be shared between different computer systems regardless of the way it is stored. The FHIR standard describes data elements, messaging and document formats, as well as an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs). FHIR is open source, providing open APIs that enable continuous real-time data exchange.

What are the benefits of FHIR?

FHIR makes it simple for patients to manage their care, even if they see multiple providers in different healthcare organizations and use multiple plans (multiple payers using multiple EHRs). By creating a unified, single personal patient health record that integrates data from different formats, FHIR standards deliver a complete view of patient information to improve overall care coordination and clinical decision support. Everyone benefits from more effective, personalized, integrated and cost-efficient healthcare solutions.

What are the differences between FHIR and HL7?

FHIR draws on previous standards such as HL7 Version 2 (V2) and HL7 Version 3 (V3) and uses common web standards such as RESTful APIs, XML, JSON and HTTP. Using REST APIs makes FHIR more efficient as it allows data consumers to request information on demand, rather than subscribing to a feed that shares all data whether or not it is needed immediately (as was the case in earlier versions of HL7).

The HL7 FHIR REST API can be used with mobile apps, cloud-based communications, EHR-based data sharing, real-time server communication and more. Using FHIR, software developers can develop standardized browser-based healthcare applications that allow users to access clinical data from any health care system regardless of the operating systems and devices used.

FHIR is easier to learn and implement than earlier versions and provides out-of-the-box interoperability. The FHIR standard also allows for different architectural approaches that can be used to gather information from a modern or legacy system.

Is FHIR compatible with HL7?

While FHIR is compatible with HL7 V2 and CDA standards, organizations should migrate to FHIR to take advantage of the new direction for health information data exchange.  However, many providers still rely on prior versions of the HL7 standard, leaving some IT teams unsure if they should rewrite existing applications for HL7 V2 or replace them.

IBM® Integration and FHIR

Our application integration solution, IBM App Connect, has the power to transform HL7 to FHIR bi-directionally without the need to rewrite existing applications. It can move healthcare data from system to system, including to an EHR acting as an FHIR server.

IBM App Connect for Healthcare is a specialized version of IBM App Connect for the healthcare industry. It offers pre-built patterns that provide smart FHIR transformation and routing. The patterns can convert FHIR into any other format, which creates opportunities for healthcare organizations to realize the benefits of FHIR and explore the latest integration methods, including event-driven architectures. Health IT providers can use IBM API Connect to extend the reach of these FHIR resources for multiple use cases with the ability to create, manage, secure and socialize FHIR APIs.

Learn more about IBM’s FHIR and HL7 implementation

Visit the IBM App Connect product pageSource: IBM Blockchain

Watsonx: a game changer for embedding generative AI into commercial solutions

IBM watsonx is changing the game for enterprises of all shapes and sizes, making it easy for them to embed generative AI into their operations. This week, the CEO of WellnessWits, an IBM Business Partner, announced they embed watsonx in their app to help patients ask questions about chronic disease and more easily schedule appointments with physicians.

Watsonx is comprised of three components that empower businesses to customize their AI solutions: offers intuitive tooling for powerful foundation models; enables compute-efficient, scalable workloads wherever data resides; and the third component, watsonx.governance, provides guardrails essential to responsible implementation. Watsonx gives organizations the ability to refine foundation models with their own domain-specific data to gain competitive advantage and ensure factual grounding to external sources of knowledge.

These features—along with a broad range of traditional machine learning and AI functions—are now available to independent software vendors (ISVs) and managed service providers (MSPs) as part of IBM’s embeddable software portfolio, supported by the IBM Ecosystem Engineering Build Lab and partner ecosystem.

The watsonx platform, along with other IBM AI applications, libraries and APIs help partners more quickly bring AI-powered commercial software to market, reducing the need for specialized talent and developer resources.

A platform prioritized for enterprise AI

IBM is focused on helping organizations create business value by embedding generative AI. Watsonx provides the functionality enterprise developers need most, including summarization of domain-specific text; classification of inputs based on sentiment analysis, threat levels or customer segmentation; text content generation; analysis and extraction (or redaction) of essential information; and question-answering functions. The most common use cases from partners often combine several of these AI tasks.

ISVs need the flexibility to choose models appropriate to their industry, domain and use case. Watsonx provides access to open-source models (through the Hugging Face catalog), third-party models (such as Meta’s Llama 2) and IBM’s own Granite models. IBM provides an IP indemnity (contractual protection) for its foundation models, enabling partners to be more confident AI creators. With watsonx, ISVs can further differentiate their offering and gain competitive advantage by harnessing proprietary data and tuning the models to domain-specific tasks. These capabilities allow ISVs to better address their clients’ industry-specific needs.

Let’s explore a few AI use cases that span different industries. 

Exceptional customer care through AI solutions

Today, customers expect seamless experiences and fast answers to their questions, and companies that fail to meet these expectations risk falling behind. Customer service has leapfrogged other functions to become CEOs’ top generative AI priority. Given this trend, companies should be looking for ways to embed generative AI into their customer care portals. To accelerate this process, companies can implement AI-infused customer care commercial solutions. IBM’s embeddable AI technology, such as IBM watsonx Assistant and, allows ISVs to quickly and easily build AI into their solutions, which in turn helps them to reduce time to market and reach their customers sooner.

Watsonx allows enterprises to effortlessly generate conversation transcripts with live agents or automate Q&A sessions. With, they can obtain concise conversation summaries, extract key information and classify interactions, such as conducting sentiment analysis to gauge customer satisfaction. This information will further refine and improve the information available to the agents.

Streamline your procurement process using watsonx

By embedding AI technology in enterprise solutions, organizational leaders can connect disparate, broken processes and data into integrated end-to-end solutions.

For example, supply chain management can be a challenge for companies. The process of changing suppliers can be a time-consuming and complex task, as it requires intensive research and collaboration across the organization. Instead of spending cycles and resources on creating an in-house solution that streamlines this process, companies can implement an AI-infused supply chain management solution developed by ISVs. ISVs are experts in their domain and build their solution with enterprise-grade AI–such as watsonx Assistant,, and–so companies can feel confident in their selection.

Watsonx Assistant can serve as a user-friendly, natural-language Q&A interface for your supplier database. In the background, generates database queries and content like Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Requests for Information (RFIs), while Watson Discovery analyzes supplier financial reports. acts as a front end for the company’s ERP system, with up-to-date attributes about inventory items, ratings of suppliers, quantities available and so on, along with a third-party data warehouse providing further decision criteria. Thus, teams can work smarter and move toward better, more integrated business outcomes. 

Watch the demo of these use cases, or explore interactive demos in the IBM Digital Self-Serve Co-Create Experience.

Partner success stories

WellnessWits is using watsonx Assistant to create a virtual care solution that connects patients to chronic disease specialists–from anywhere. The platform features an AI-powered chat functionality that can help patients gather information and answers about their chronic disease and facilitates personalized, high-quality care from physicians that specialize in their condition.

Ubotica is leveraging IBM Cloud and in its CogniSAT platform, enabling developers deploy AI models to satellites for a wide variety of observational use cases such as detecting forest fires or space junk. CogniSAT improves the efficiency with which data is stored and processed, providing edge-based analysis onboard satellites.

IBM solution provider Krista Software helped its client Zimperium build a mobile-first security platform using embedded AI solutions. The platform accelerates mobile threat defense response by automating ticket creation, routing and software deployment, reducing a 4-hour process to minutes.

Benefits of building with IBM

ISVs who partner with IBM get more than just functionality. Our team will help you create a solution architecture that helps you embed our AI technology, explore how to monetize your solution set, provide technical resources and even help sell it through our seller network.

IBM Partner Plus, our partner program, provides business partners with a plethora of resources and benefits to help them embed technology. We find the following resonate especially well with partners looking to start their journey of building with IBM: the IBM Digital Self-Serve Co-Create Experience (DSCE), the IBM Ecosystem Engineering Build Lab and the IBM Sales Partner Advocacy Program.

DCSE helps data scientists, application developers and MLOps engineers discover and try IBM’s embeddable AI portfolio across watsonx, IBM Watson libraries, IBM Watson APIs and IBM AI applications. The IBM Ecosystem Engineering Build Lab provides partners with technical resources, experts and support to accelerate co-creation of their solution with embedded IBM technology. The IBM Sales Partner Advocacy Program is a co-sell benefit that encourages collaboration with IBM sales teams when partners sell their solution with embedded IBM technology to IBM clients.

Explore how your company can partner with IBM to build AI-powered commercial solutions today.

Explore AI-powered commercial solutions with IBMSource: IBM Blockchain

IBM named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Process Automation Software, Q4 2023

Forrester Research just released “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Process Automation Software, Q4 2023: The 15 Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Up” by Craig Le Clair with Glenn O’Donnell, Renee Taylor-Huot, Lok Sze Sung, Audrey Lynch, and Kara Hartig and IBM is proud to be recognized as a Leader.

IBM named a Leader

In the report, Forrester Research evaluated 15 digital process automation (DPA) providers against 26 criteria in three categories: Current offering, Strategy and Market presence.

IBM received the highest scores among all vendors in the Market presence category and the highest ranked scores in AI-led process transformation tools, tooling for process automation and among the highest scores in the ability to meet and govern use cases criteria in the Current offering category. In addition, IBM received the highest possible score in vision, innovation and partner ecosystem in the Strategy category.

You can download a complimentary copy of the full Forrester Wave™ report to learn more about IBM and other vendors’ offerings. 

Intelligent automation and deep expertise with IBM

IBM has embraced the convergence of AI and business automation, focusing on providing an AI-first framework of intelligent automation in our offerings. Intelligent automation allows customers to leverage digital scale to improve business operations, provide better customer experiences and free employees to do higher-level work.

The Forrester report recognizes IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation when it comes to AI asset maturity. The report states, “IBM brings together AI assets with automation smarts for deep deployments.” In addition, Forrester says that “IBM has one of the stronger DPA governance solutions in the field.”

The Forrester report also acknowledges IBM’s experience stating, “Look to IBM for sophisticated use cases that require a wide breadth of DPA functionality and deep industry expertise.”

About IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation

IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation is a modular set of integrated software components that automates work and accelerates business growth. With this solution, customers can transform fragmented workflows — achieving 97% straight-through processing — to stay competitive, boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.

With IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation, organizations can simplify complex workflows, build low-code and no-code automations with the help of AI and gain deployment flexibility.

Learn more with IBM

Learn more about how IBM’s intelligent business automation offerings can propel your organization into 2024.

Download your free copy of the Forrester Wave™ report Learn more about IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation Get a 30-day free trial of IBM Cloud Pak for Business AutomationSource: IBM Blockchain

An introduction to Wazi as a Service

In today’s hyper-competitive digital landscape, the rapid development of new digital services is essential for staying ahead of the curve. However, many organizations face significant challenges when it comes to integrating their core systems, including Mainframe applications, with modern technologies. This integration is crucial for modernizing core enterprise applications on hybrid cloud platforms. Shockingly, a staggering 33% of developers lack the necessary skills or resources, hindering their productivity in delivering products and services. Moreover, 36% of developers struggle with the collaboration between development and IT Operations, leading to inefficiencies in the development pipeline. To compound these issues, repeated surveys highlight “testing” as the primary area causing delays in project timelines. Companies like State Farm and BNP Paribas are taking steps to standardize development tools and approaches across their platforms to overcome these challenges and drive transformation in their business processes.

How does Wazi as Service help drive modernization?

One solution that is making waves in this landscape is “Wazi as a Service.” This cloud-native development and testing environment for z/OS applications is revolutionizing the modernization process by enabling secure DevSecOps practices. With flexible consumption-based pricing, it provides on-demand access to z/OS systems, dramatically improving developer productivity by accelerating release cycles on secure, regulated hybrid cloud environments like IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services (FS Cloud). Shift-left coding practices allow testing to begin as early as the code-writing stage, enhancing software quality. The platform can be automated through a standardized framework validated for Financial Services, leveraging the IBM Cloud Security and Compliance Center service (SCC). Innovating at scale is made possible with IBM Z modernization tools like Wazi Image Builder, Wazi Dev Spaces on OpenShift, CI/CD pipelines, z/OS Connect for APIs, zDIH for data integrations, and IBM Watson for generative AI.

What are the benefits of Wazi as a service on IBM Cloud?

Wazi as a Service operates on IBM LinuxONE, an enterprise-grade Linux server, providing a substantial speed advantage over emulated x86 machine environments. This unique feature makes it 15 times faster, ensuring swift and efficient application development. Furthermore, Wazi bridges the gap between developer experiences on distributed and mainframe platforms, facilitating the development of hybrid applications containing z/OS components. It combines the power of the z-Mod stack with secure DevOps practices, creating a seamless and efficient development process. The service also allows for easy scalability through automation, reducing support and maintenance overhead, and can be securely deployed on IBM FS Cloud, which comes with integrated security and compliance features. This means developers can build and deploy their environments and code with industry-grade regulations in mind, ensuring data security and regulatory compliance.

Additionally, Wazi VSI on VPC infrastructure within IBM FS Cloud establishes an isolated network, fortifying the cloud infrastructure’s perimeter against security threats. Furthermore, IBM Cloud services and ISVs validated for financial services come with robust security and compliance controls, enabling secure integration of on-prem core Mainframe applications with cloud services like API Connect, Event Streams, Code Engine, and HPCS encryptions. This transformation paves the way for centralized core systems to evolve into modernized, distributed solutions, keeping businesses agile and competitive in today’s digital landscape. Overall, Wazi as a Service is a game-changer in accelerating digital transformation while ensuring security, compliance, and seamless integration between legacy and modern technologies.

How IBM Cloud Financial Service Framework help in industry solutions?

The IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services a.k.a IBM FS Cloud is a robust solution designed specifically to cater to the unique needs of financial institutions, ensuring regulatory compliance, top-notch security, and resiliency both during the initial deployment phase and in ongoing operations. This framework simplifies interactions between financial institutions and ecosystem partners that provide software or SaaS applications by establishing a set of requirements that all parties must meet. The key components of this framework include a comprehensive set of control requirements, which encompass security and regulatory compliance obligations, as well as cloud best practices. These best practices involve a shared responsibility model that applies to financial institutions, application providers, and IBM Cloud, ensuring that everyone plays a part in maintaining a secure and compliant environment.

Additionally, the IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services provides detailed control-by-control guidance for implementation and offers supporting evidence to help financial institutions meet the rigorous security and regulatory requirements of the financial industry. To further facilitate compliance, reference architectures are provided to assist in the implementation of control requirements. These architectures can be deployed as infrastructure as code, streamlining the deployment and configuration process. IBM also offers a range of tools and services, such as the IBM Cloud Security and Compliance Center, to empower stakeholders to monitor compliance, address issues, and generate evidence of compliance efficiently. Furthermore, the framework is subject to ongoing governance, ensuring that it remains up-to-date and aligned with new and evolving regulations, as well as the changing needs of banks and public cloud environments. In essence, the IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services is a comprehensive solution that empowers financial institutions to operate securely and in compliance with industry regulations, while also streamlining their interactions with ecosystem partners.

Get to know Wazi as a Service

Operating on the robust IBM LinuxONE infrastructure, Wazi as a Service bridges the gap between distributed and mainframe platforms, enabling seamless hybrid application development. The platform’s scalability, automation, and compliance features empower developers to navigate the intricate web of regulations and security, paving the way for businesses to thrive in the digital era. With Wazi, businesses can securely integrate on-premises core systems with cutting-edge cloud services, propelling them into the future of modernized, distributed solutions. In summary, Wazi as a Service exemplifies the transformative potential of technology in accelerating digital transformation, underlining its importance in achieving security, compliance, and the harmonious coexistence of legacy and modern technologies.

Get to know Wazi as a ServiceSource: IBM Blockchain

Top 6 Kubernetes use cases

Kubernetes, the world’s most popular open-source container orchestration platform, is considered a major milestone in the history of cloud-native technologies. Developed internally at Google and released to the public in 2014, Kubernetes has enabled organizations to move away from traditional IT infrastructure and toward the automation of operational tasks tied to the deployment, scaling and managing of containerized applications (or microservices). While Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for container management, many companies also use the technology for a broader range of use cases.

Overview of Kubernetes

Containers—lightweight units of software that package code and all its dependencies to run in any environment—form the foundation of Kubernetes and are mission-critical for modern microservices, cloud-native software and DevOps workflows.

Docker was the first open-source software tool to popularize building, deploying and managing containerized applications. But Docker lacked an automated “orchestration” tool, which made it time-consuming and complex for data science teams to scale applications. Kubernetes, also referred to as K8s, was specifically created to address these challenges by automating the management of containerized applications.

In broad strokes, the Kubernetes orchestration platform runs via containers with pods and nodes. A pod operates one or more Linux containers and can run in multiples for scaling and failure resistance. Nodes run the pods and are usually grouped in a Kubernetes cluster, abstracting the underlying physical hardware resources. 

Kubernetes’s declarative, API-driven infrastructure has helped free up DevOps and other teams from manually driven processes so they can work more independently and efficiently to achieve their goals. In 2015, Google donated Kubernetes as a seed technology to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) (link resides outside, the open-source, vendor-neutral hub of cloud-native computing.

Read about the history of Kubernetes

Today, Kubernetes is widely used in production to manage Docker and essentially any other type of container runtime. While Docker includes its own orchestration tool, called Docker Swarm, most developers choose Kubernetes container orchestration instead.

As an open-source system, Kubernetes services are supported by all the leading public cloud providers, including IBM, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google. Kubernetes can also run on bare metal servers and virtual machines (VMs) in private cloud, hybrid cloud and edge settings, provided the host OS is a version of Linux or Windows.

Six top Kubernetes use cases

Here’s a rundown of six top Kubernetes use cases that reveal how Kubernetes is transforming IT infrastructure.

1. Large-scale app deployment

Heavily trafficked websites and cloud computing applications receive millions of user requests each day. A key advantage of using Kubernetes for large-scale cloud app deployment is autoscaling. This process allows applications to adjust to demand changes automatically, with speed, efficiency and minimal downtime. For instance, when demand fluctuates, Kubernetes enables applications to run continuously and respond to changes in web traffic patterns This helps maintain the right amount of workload resources, without over- or under-provisioning.

Kubernetes employs horizontal pod autoscaling (HPA) (link resides outside to carry out load balancing (as for CPU usage or custom metrics) by scaling the number of pod replicas (clones that facilitate self-healing) related to a specific deployment. This mitigates potential issues like traffic surges, hardware problems or network disruptions.

Note: HPA is not to be confused with Kubernetes vertical pod autoscaling (VPA), which assigns additional resources, such as memory or CPU, to the pods that are already running for the workload.

2. High-performance computing

Industries including government, science, finance and engineering rely heavily on high-performance computing (HPC), the technology that processes big data to perform complex calculations. HPC uses powerful processors at extremely high speeds to make instantaneous data-driven decisions. Real-world uses of HPC include  automating stock trading, weather prediction, DNA sequencing and aircraft flight simulation.

HPC-heavy industries use Kubernetes to manage the distribution of HPC calculations across hybrid and multicloud environments. Kubernetes can also serve as a flexible tool to support batch job processing involved in high performance computing workloads, which enhances data and code portability.

3. AI and machine learning

Building and deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems requires huge volumes of data and complex processes like high performance computing and big data analysis. Deploying machine learning on Kubernetes makes it easier for organizations to automate the management and scaling of ML lifecycles and reduces the need for manual intervention.

For example, the Kubernetes containerized orchestration platform can automate portions of AI and ML predictive maintenance workflows, including health checks and resource planning. And Kubernetes can scale ML workloads up or down to meet user demands, adjust resource usage and control costs.

Machine learning relies on large language models to perform high-level natural language processing (NLP) like text classification, sentiment analysis and machine translation, and Kubernetes helps speed the deploy of large language models automate the NLP process. As more and more organization turn to generative AI capabilities, they are using Kubernetes to run and scale generative AI models, providing high availability and fault tolerance.

Overall, Kubernetes provides the flexibility, portability and scalability needed to train, test, schedule and deploy ML and generative AI models.

4. Microservices management

Microservices (or microservices architecture) offer a modern cloud-native architecture approach where each application is comprised of numerous loosely connected and independently deployable smaller components, or services. For instance, large retail e-commerce websites consist of many microservices. These typically include an order service, payment service, shipping service and customer service. Each service has its own REST API, which the other services use to communicate with it.

Kubernetes was designed to handle the complexity involved to manage all the independent components running simultaneously within microservices architecture. For instance, Kubernetes’ built-in high availability (HA) feature ensures continuous operations even in the event of failure. And the Kubernetes self-healing feature kicks in if a containerized app or an application component goes down. The self-healing feature can instantly redeploy the app or application component, matching the desired state, which helps to maintain uptime and reliability.

5. Hybrid and multicloud deployments

Kubernetes is built to be used anywhere, making it easier for organizations to migrate applications from on-premises to hybrid cloud and multicloud environments. Kubernetes standardizes migration by providing software developers with built-in commands for effective app deployment. Kubernetes can also roll out changes to apps and scale them up and down depending on environment requirements.

Kubernetes offers portability across on-premises and cloud environments since it abstracts away infrastructure details from applications. This eliminates the need for platform-specific app dependencies and makes it easy to move applications between different cloud providers or data centers with minimal effort.

6. Enterprise DevOps

For enterprise DevOps teams, being able to update and deploy applications rapidly is critical for business success. Kubernetes provides teams with both software system development and maintenance to improve overall agility. And the Kubernetes API interface allows software developers and other DevOps stakeholders to easily view, access, deploy, update and optimize their container ecosystems.

CI/CD—which stands for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD)—has become a key aspect of software development. In DevOps, CI/CD streamlines application coding, testing and deployment by giving teams a single repository for storing work and automation tools to consistently combine and test the code and ensure it works. Kubernetes plays an important role in cloud-native CI/CD pipelines by automating container deployment across cloud infrastructure environments and ensuring efficient use of resources.

The future of Kubernetes

Kubernetes plays a critical IT infrastructure role, as can be seen in its many value-driven use cases that go beyond container orchestration. This is why so many businesses continue to implement Kubernetes. In a 2021 Cloud Native Survey (link resides outside conducted by the CNCF, Kubernetes usage is shown to have reached its highest point ever, with 96% of organizations using or evaluating the containerized platform. According to the same study, Kubernetes usage continues to rise in emerging technology regions, such as Africa, where 73% of survey respondents are using Kubernetes in production.

IBM and Kubernetes

Kubernetes schedules and automates tasks integral to managing container-based architectures, spanning container deployment, updates, service discovery, storage provisioning, load balancing, health monitoring and more. At IBM we are helping clients modernize their applications and optimize their IT infrastructure with Kubernetes and other cloud-native solutions.

Deploy secure, highly available clusters in a native Kubernetes experience with IBM Cloud® Kubernetes Service.

Explore IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service

Containerize and deploy Kubernetes clusters for containerized platforms using Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM Cloud.

Explore Red Hat OpenShift on IBM CloudSource: IBM Blockchain

How to implement enterprise resource planning (ERP)

Once your business has decided to switch to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system, the next step is to implement ERP. For a business to see the benefits of an ERP adoption it must first be deployed properly and efficiently by a team that typically includes a project manager and department managers as well.

This process can be complicated and feel overwhelming, depending on the needs of your organization. However, once new software is implemented successfully, organizations will ideally see the increases in productivity and cost savings benefits an ERP system can bring to your business. The switch to an ERP system can streamline your business needs and be beneficial to both the end user and entire organization.

Steps to implement ERP 

Below is a breakdown of a step-by-step ERP implementation plan. We’ll start by going through what organizations should do prior to choosing an ERP system and then dive into best practices for implementation success.

1. Discover and plan to implement ERP

Before the ERP implementation process can occur, an organization must assess how its current systems are functioning. This is the first step to a successful enterprise resource planning integration and must be completed prior to choosing an ERP software.

In the first step of this implementation methodology, an organization must review the current system and processes to get a full picture of how the business is working and where there might be pitfalls. In this step, an ERP implementation project team should also be established for decision-making purposes. Areas to assess can include, financial, manufacturing, inventory, sales and more. This step will also be important to understand gaps and current issues, such as process inefficiencies and potential requirements for the ERP system.

Once the review of the organization’s current system, workflow, and everyday functions are assessed it’s time to select the right ERP system that meets your business requirements, such as budget forecasting and pricing. An ERP software can be acquired in this first step if the requirements have been well-defined. These requirements will depend on if an organization uses ERP system on-premises or in the cloud ERP.

A change to a modern ERP system can be very straight forward if there is a clear roadmap and project plan for your ERP deployment. A clear and honest conversation with employees will ensure organizational buy in.

Questions to ask as you define the scope of your organization’s needs:

  • What business functions will be automated by the ERP software?
  • What are the ERP system’s specific data requirements and is it compatible?
  • Which key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be tracked?
  • Is the software scalable and flexible enough to evolve with the organization’s needs?
  • What is the timeframe for implementation and deployment?

2. Create a design and prepare to implement

At this point you’ve chosen the ERP system for your business. The next step is the design phase. This is the step to configure the ERP software solution so it fits your organization’s specific needs.

A new design requires change management to make more efficient workflows, along with the potential need for new business processes that are a better fit with the soon-to-be implemented ERP system. It’s important to have a team within the organization dedicated to this design step and determining an appropriate plan.

Steps to configure the ERP system:

  • Create an organizational structure by defining all the necessary aspects of your business, such as the chart of accounts, cost centers and business units.
  • Customize your ERP software so that it aligns with the existing workflows in place and set up the modules you think your organization will need, such as customer relationship management (CRM), human resources and supply chain management.
  • Set the parameters for user roles and permissions so that you can control everyone’s access across the system and make sure data controls are put in place.
  • Integrate ERP software with other existing systems within your organization like accounting software, inventory management and e-commerce platforms if they apply.

3. Migrate and development

Once the design requirements have been established, the development phase can begin. This involves the customization of the software so that the redesign can occur. The development, or preparation, stage is vital and can be a daunting task; but if done properly, it could help your ERP system function for the long-term.

You have established a redesign, now it’s time to clean and format the current system’s data so that it’s compatible with the new system. In this step, an organization will need to assess and prepare all existing data into a compatible format that fits your new ERP software. Once loaded into the new system and formatted correctly, your first ERP test can be performed. In this step you should also monitor and note the key metrics of your business operation, including any disruptions.

Ways to plan and prepare your data for migration:

  • Complete a data audit of all existing legacy systems and applications to have a clear picture going into the data migration.
  • Categorize the types of data you need to migrate and identify any redundancy by combing through the data and cleaning for accuracy.
  • Define what data transfer method you want to use and test it to be sure it is the right migration process.
  • Make a backup plan and a recovery plan in case errors occur or data is lost.
  • Create a data governance policy and put protocols in place.

4. Test the ERP system

All the preemptive steps have been taken and now it’s time to do some system testing before you go-live. In this stage, development might still occur and that is normal. The testing of one ERP module may occur and fixes or adjustments might need to be made, while other modules are being tested simultaneously. Team members should be put through user training and key stakeholders should be involved in this testing process as well.

It is vital to test the entire system and ensure its functioning properly and running data accurately. This is the most important phase because it will ensure all system applications and processes are running as they should before the ERP software is officially up and running.

Things to remember during the testing phase:

  • Keep track of user acceptance criteria and document the information.
  • Test the system for functionality from start to finish and validate all migrated data for accuracy purposes.
  • Check for user accessibility by conducting reviews and reviewing feedback.
  • Conduct all necessary tests prior to deploying the ERP software, such as testing automation processes, workflows and system security.
  • Ensure the ERP system is compatible with the other existing systems and applications in place.
  • Make sure all employees are trained on the system; consider implementing ERP software in stages before going company-wide.

5. Deliver a successfully implemented ERP system

If the steps above have all been taken, then great news, your organization is ready to launch its new ERP system. Assuming all employees have been properly trained on the software, it’s now time to roll out the new ERP solution.

The project team that started the implementation process should be at the ready in case employees are confused or other potential issues arise. Be prepared for issues and have contingency plans in place if there is a serious malfunction. All ERP modules can be deployed concurrently but can be done in stages as well. Some organizations might choose to prioritize certain modules and add others as they go, which is completely normal.

No two organizations are alike and deploying an ERP software can differ greatly but remember to make the ERP solution accessible to all employees and make sure automated processes are activated.

What to look for once implementation occurs:

  • Is the data accurate and functioning properly?
  • Do all users have real-time accessibility without issue?
  • Are security protocols in place and functioning?
  • Is the workflow in place and processing as it should?

6. Manage your ERP solution

Now, assuming the implementation is complete, it’s important to create a protocol for ongoing maintenance for your ERP system. Your organization should be performing regular maintenance checks and upgrading software periodically. Creating a team or having a professional in place to maintain the health of your ERP system is key to the longevity of the solution.

The ERP vendor you select should be available for any questions and ongoing maintenance or updates needed. Best practices for this implementation process should include a well-managed team and strong communication between the organization, its employees and key stakeholders to ensure the ERP solution is working effectively and efficiently.

Best practices for managing your new ERP system:

  • Listen to user and client feedback often.
  • On-premises ERP systems will require periodic software updates and sometimes hardware updates as well, while cloud-based ERP will update automatically.
  • Create standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure common issues can be addressed quickly.

Implement ERP solutions with IBM

IBM Consulting is the driving force behind your business transformation journey. We offer business consulting with expert advice and are all about working openly and bringing together different perspectives, experiences and essential AI and hybrid cloud technology to meet your business goals.

IBM offers a range of ERP solutions for your business, including consulting services for SAP on IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and AWS Cloud. Our SAP experts create custom roadmaps to lower costs and improve results. With these solutions and more, IBM Consulting experts can help you successfully migrate legacy ERP applications to the cloud, redesign processes to leverage data, AI and automation for your business, and transform finance into a competitive advantage.

Elevate your ERP with SAP consulting servicesSource: IBM Blockchain

How the semiconductor industry is leveraging high-performance computing to drive innovation

Semiconductors act as the secret powerhouse behind various industries, from healthcare to manufacturing to financial services. In the last few years alone, we’ve seen how essential semiconductors can be and why companies need to develop this technology rapidly to maximize productivity. As semiconductor manufacturers strive to keep up with customer expectations, electronic design automation (EDA) tools are the keys to unlocking the solution.  

However, to truly drive innovation at scale, EDA leaders need massive computing power. As the need to manage compute-intensive workloads with high levels of resiliency and performance grows, now is the time to turn to the cloud for high-performance computing (HPC).

By taking advantage of solutions like IBM Cloud® HPC, organizations can more effectively manage their peak workloads while mitigating the risk of downtime. In the coming years, we expect having high levels of compute power will become even more crucial as more organizations turn to generative artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLM) to enhance productivity across the EDA space. This is where hybrid cloud HPC solutions can be especially valuable.

Cadence leverages IBM Cloud HPC

Cadence is a global leader in EDA. With over 30 years of computational software experience, Cadence continues to help companies design innovative electronic products that drive today’s emerging technology, including chips, boards and systems for dynamic market applications like hyperscale computing, 5G communications, automotive, mobile, aerospace, consumer, industrial and healthcare.  With over 10,000 engineers and millions of jobs being implemented every month, Cadence requires a significant amount of compute resources. Coupled with the growing demand for more chips and the company’s incorporation of AI and machine learning into its EDA processes, their need for compute power is at an all-time high. Organizations in the EDA industry like Cadence need solutions that enable workloads to seamlessly shift between on-premises and the cloud—while also allowing for differentiation from project to project. A hybrid cloud approach delivers the agility, flexibility and security required to fill these demands. 

The role of a hybrid cloud solution for HPC

Cadence started its public cloud journey in 2016 and now operates with a hybrid, multicloud approach, which includes IBM. With IBM Cloud® HPC to flexibly manage its compute-intensive workloads on-premises and in the cloud with high levels of resiliency and performance, the company can develop its chip and system design software faster and at scale.

As Cadence continues to drive computational software innovation, continuous operations are critical to optimizing operations across its business unit teams that are responsible for delivering chip and system design software to customers at a rapid pace. With the combined power of IBM Cloud as part of its multicloud environment and IBM LSF® as the HPC workload scheduler, Cadence has been able to achieve high-compute utilization, optimize its cloud budget, and streamline computational workloads. Cadence has also reported it is able to perform more regressions and, as a result, can support more predictable and faster time to value. As enterprises like Cadence aim to stay ahead of market trends, IBM Cloud HPC helps overcome large-scale, compute-intensive challenges and speed time to insight, which ultimately benefits the enablement of strategic R&D work.

Get started with IBM Cloud HPC

As enterprises look to solve their most complex challenges, IBM will continue to deliver clients an integrated solution across critical components of compute, network, storage and security—all while aiming to help them address regulatory and efficiency demands. IBM Cloud HPC also includes security and controls built into the platform to help clients across industries consume HPC as a managed service while helping them address third- and fourth-party risks.

With the combination of our suite of tools for workload management and scheduling—including IBM LSF and IBM Symphony® together with IBM Cloud HPC in a hybrid cloud environment—we aim to help our clients take advantage of automation that helps to optimize HPC jobs. This enables them to realize faster time to value, enhance performance and minimize cost—all critical capabilities for industries that move at a rapid pace like the semiconductor space.

Additionally, the IBM Storage Scale storage solution complements IBM Cloud HPC further, offering a single, globally integrated solution designed to help users manage and move data across hybrid environments, in a cost-effective manner, to implement HPC workloads in real-time.

Are you going to Supercomputing 23 in Denver? Join us at IBM Booth #1925 to learn more about how IBM Cloud HPC can scale your business with speed and security.

Explore IBM Cloud HPCSource: IBM Blockchain

Building on a year of focus to help IBM Power clients grow with hybrid cloud and AI

At the beginning of the year, we laid out a new strategy for IBM Power under the leadership of Ken King, who will be retiring by the end of 2023 after forty years with IBM. It is with immense gratitude that I thank Ken for his leadership not only across IBM Power, but for his service to IBM in various roles spanning IP, strategy and software during his distinguished IBM career.

I am excited to announce, therefore, that a few months ago I took on the role of IBM Power general manager. As Ken passes the baton, I want to take stock of the progress we’ve made — and point to where we are prioritizing — across four critical areas to help address our clients’ digital transformation imperatives:

  • Continuing to innovate key capabilities for core business workloads by strategically investing in three operating environments on IBM Power: AIX, IBM i and Linux
  • Driving growth with SAP HANA on Power on-premises and in the cloud
  • Supporting clients’ banking and industry modernization journey
  • Providing greater flexibility with subscription services and Power as a Service

Our value proposition is the ability to combine hybrid cloud and AI with clients’ trusted data on IBM Power to fuel business outcomes. Let’s dig in to some specifics.

Down to the core

We’ve continued to innovate and invest in operating environments on IBM Power to help ensure business continuity, reliability, availability, serviceability and security for clients. In the latest IBM i Technology Refresh — IBM i 7.5 TR3 and 7.4 TR9 — announced in October, we listened to feedback from our IBM i Advisory Councils and prioritized advancements in ease of use, productivity, and automation with enhancements to Navigator for i and new additions to SYSTOOLS for automating Db2 for i. 

We also have a new release of AIX — AIX 7.3 TL2 — building on Power10’s high availability leadership with performance and scale enhancements to Live Kernel Update (designed to give the ability to update AIX without unplanned downtime), optimized file system performance and enhancements designed to improve AIX encryption performance and audit event checking. You can learn more about this latest release on the AIX webcast on November 14.

We are expanding IBM Db2 Warehouse on Power with a new Base Rack Express at a 30% lower entry list price, adding to today’s S, M and L configurations, while still providing the same total-solution experience, including Db2 Data Warehouse’s connectivity with to unlock the potential of data for analytics and AI.

Oracle will be releasing Oracle Database 23c on Power, as part of their next Long Term Release as reported in April 2023. Separately, in 2024, clients will be able to look forward to continued enhancements to the AIX, IBM i and Linux roadmaps.

Accelerating business transformation with SAP HANA on Power 

As the 2027 end of mainstream maintenance for SAP’s legacy ERP is approaching, our customers are all in different stages of their business transformation journey. SAP is accelerating this journey by offering the current ERP, S/4HANA, as a managed service offering with SAP RISE. IBM Power is supporting our customers in their business transformation journey by offering customer infrastructure solutions designed to meet customers where they are. Whether they need Power10 systems on-premises to upgrade their SAP landscapes, Power Virtual Server capacity to accelerate migration to S/4HANA, or SAP RISE in IBM Cloud on Power, we are providing solutions on Power infrastructure.

In addition, IBM is also offering a hybrid cloud consumption model that will allow flexibility for both on-premises and cloud expenditures. Initially this program will allow clients to leverage the investment of on-premises hardware and, with a commitment to IBM Power Virtual Server, receive cloud capacity credits for IBM Power Private Cloud.

With this hybrid cloud consumption program, clients can leverage the benefits of cloud while also nurturing their on-premises SAP on Power environments as they build out their long-term hybrid cloud strategy.

To continue our momentum on AI with SAP, in 1Q24, as we announced in September, we will also be delivering the first release of SAP ABAP SDK for watsonx, which is intended to simplify and accelerate customers’ ability to consume watsonx services from their custom ABAP environments.

Driving industry modernization

Whether clients need to deploy large language models (LLMs), integrated with watsonx, close to their data and transactions, or integrate mission-critical data into their data fabric architecture, Power10’s powerful core can help embed AI-driven insights into business processes and safeguard AI workflows.

For instance, a Thai hospital chain was facing a challenge with its current pathology process which prolonged the overall workflow, resulting in delayed responses to diagnosis, patient management, and support for more patients. By deploying an AI inference solution for both Speech-to-Text and Image analysis on Power10, the pathology unit was able to increase sensitivity in detecting lesions to prioritize higher probability cases. These are important steps for their mission to achieve better clinical outcomes, a faster time to treatment for patients, and an efficient reduction in pathologist workloads.

Later this month, clients will be able to take advantage of expanded data science services with the release of IBM Cloud Pak for Data V4.8, which will deliver the underpinnings for, IBM’s next-generation AI studio. To further help our clients on their AI journeys, we continue to double-down on hybrid cloud with Red Hat so that workloads can run in a best-fit environment. To that end:

  • Red Hat OpenShift 4.14 has just been released and is available to run natively on IBM Power, providing support for multi-architecture compute (MAC) worker nodes across Power, IBM Z, ARM, and x86 environments.
  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform components now run natively on IBM Power. Clients can consolidate their environments and run Ansible Automation Platform on the same Power servers where their business-critical workloads are already running, instead of having to run Ansible automation hub and automation controller on separate x86 processor-based servers to manage Power endpoints. Read more here.

A vibrant ecosystem enables a range of use cases for our clients running software on Power. Finacle is a leading digital banking suite from Infosys. With Finacle solutions on Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power, IBM and Finacle are expanding on our 20+ year collaboration. I’m happy to share that clients can soon leverage solutions from the Finacle Digital Banking Suite using Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power to meet evolving customer demands, regulatory, and market dynamics.  

Power as a service

To meet client demand, throughout the year, we’re focusing on transforming the Proof of Concept (PoC) experience for IBM Power Virtual Server. We’re simplifying the process, making network configuration easier, adding power edge routers, and implementing a step-by-step automated modernization approach for IBM i, AIX and Linux that’s designed to be as straightforward as an on-premises migration from Power9 to Power10.

We’re also moving away from a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) model for High Availability/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) solutions to a prescriptive and automated one. The goal is to provide clients with a clear path forward for business continuity, ensuring a smoother and more efficient process.

For more on our fourth quarter plans to meet clients’ expectations for running production workloads effectively on IBM Power Virtual Server, read here.

IBM Power backed by IBM Expert Care

We’re also making strides in our service offerings for IBM Power. IBM Power10 can be sold together with IBM Power Expert Care, a tiered support model that makes it easier for clients to choose the right level of support for their needs and budget at the time of sale. Earlier this year, IBM adjusted the IBM Power E1080 Expert Care Premium tier to align to client expectations for proactive support. IBM Power Expert Care Remote Support and Parts is also now available in many countries with no physical IBM presence.

Additionally, all IBM Power support contracts come with access to IBM Support Insights, which provides clients with actionable insights for multivendor IT infrastructures to proactively assess and remediate IT risks. The IBM Support Insights Pro subscription, announced on September 12, is designed to expand and strengthen the scope of security risk coverage to include community open source, provide prioritized actions by vendor and product family to speed IT lifecycle decision-making, and further address reliability with an extended case history and analysis to better learn from previous support issues.

What’s next for IBM Power

We’ve listened to our community and advisory councils, and we’re dedicated to creating solutions with partners and clients so we can continue to strive to provide the most trusted and open computing platform for mission critical, scalable transaction processing, and data serving workloads. Our goals include making it easier for clients to run AI workloads closer to their data with on-chip AI acceleration, improving total cost of ownership and performance, increasing availability with up to 8x9s (99.999999%) for mission-critical workloads and fewer outages as compared to x86 servers, and enhancing security and sustainability features.

I’m extremely excited for the road ahead. We’ll continue to meet our clients where they are in their digital journey and strive to make the path to success as simple as possible, whether it’s by making more aaS options available, increasing pathways for workloads to move across hybrid environments, or helping to extract even more value from SAP workloads on Power.

Reach out to your IBM Power representative or Business Partner to discuss how we can keep making progress together.

Book a meeting with our team of experts

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

Source: IBM Blockchain