Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If you must change, why not for the better?

In advance of the Windows 7 launch this week, IBM and Canonical are delivering an alternative that opens the desktop and cuts 50 percent of its costs.

The new cloud- and Linux-based desktop package for the U.S. includes what organizations expect for office productivity -- word processing, presentations and spreadsheets -- and what they are increasingly interested in adding -- cloud-based email, social networking and collaboration tools.

The package is called The IBM Client for Smart Work. This modern desktop can even run on yesterday’s PCs or low-cost netbooks, making it a great option for those firms contemplating a jump from Windows XP to Windows 7 but who aren’t comfortable in making the requisite hardware upgrades.

To help you get familiar with IBM Client, here is some background on an important component, Lotus Symphony.

10 Things You Might Not Know about Lotus Symphony:

1) Symphony office productivity software contains a word processor, spreadsheet and presentations program

2) Symphony is free on the Internet here

3) More than 10 million copies of Symphony have been downloaded since September 2007.

4) IBM provides free support for users through an IBM-moderated Web forum.

5) Symphony is built by IBM on open source and Eclipse

6) Symphony is available on the Mac OS, Linux and Windows.

7) Symphony lets users open, read and import Microsoft Office 2007 files as well as a whole host of other formats

8) Symphony gets rave reviews

9) Symphony has advanced functions

  • Drag -and-drop installation of widgets
  • Exportation of files to PDF or JPEG
  • Animations in PowerPoint presentations
  • Data Pilot (or Pivot) Table improvements

10) The savings over Microsoft Office is considerable
Symphony could save a company with 20,000 employees $8 million in software license fees or potentially more than $4 million in software renewal fees.

Now’s the time to start thinking about the impact this change could make. What new innovative projects could your company invest in if it didn’t have to pay expensive desktop software licenses and hardware upgrades?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Software and analytics key to IBM 3Q 2009 results

Yesterday, IBM announced its third quarter 2009 financial results. On his call with Wall Street analysts, Mark Loughridge, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer, discussed business analytics as one of IBM's primary investment areas, and IBM's Software unit which contributed almost one-third to IBM's gross margin improvement.

Since 2005, IBM has invested $12 billion in strategic acquisitions and organic innovation to build its business analytics capabilities, assembled 4,000 consultants with industry expertise to help clients use business analytics aligned to their specific business needs and opened six analytics centers dedicated to clients worldwide to help them take advantage of industry-specific expertise from IBM.

Most recently, earlier this month IBM announced a new advanced analytics center in New York City with 450 consultants and researchers.

But why the focus on analytics?

Advanced analytics of Software and Services allow customers that generate enormous amounts of data to predict trends, optimize their operations and create new sources of revenue. Much is this demand is also being created by the stimulus investment on electronic medical records, better government services to its citizens, need for accountability and transparency in government spending, and fraud detection.

For example, one key issue clients are facing today, whether its business or government organizations, is managing the "data glut." One in three business leaders frequently make critical decisions without the information they need. IBM's approach to analytics is moving beyond just the statistical data, but really offering clients the technology they can use to make critical information available for frontline employees within an organization, and not just the programmers and IT analysts. It's almost like "democratization of data" making it available to regular employees who can impact the bottom line of a business based on the decisions they make each minute.

This kind of change is transformative and it impacts our lives in new ways. For example, law enforcement officials from Edmonton Police in Western Canada use analytics to help their own real-life crime fighters’ better surface leads, more effectively deploy policing resources and ultimately improve police and public safety and reduce crime rates.

Analytics is a key part of IBM's strategy of moving to higher value capabilities for our clients. As we've discussed before on this blog, the transformation of IBM's business positions IBM for the future with a much better business profile and a more competitive cost structure.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Smarter healthcare with Radiology Theatre

Check out the Smarter Planet blog and related video which discusses an interesting use of technology to improve patient care at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, medical experts are using a “Radiology Theatre” to “make rounds” on a patient — no matter where the doctors are located. Using the Radiology Theater, teams of medical experts can simultaneously discuss and review patients’ MRI, CT scans and other medical test data using a Web browser.

IBM's Blue Spruce is the technical foundation of Radiology Theater. IBM researchers have combined different Web components -- data mashups, high-definition video, audio and graphics -- all on the same browser page allowing multiple users to "cobrowse" or interact with these components in real-time and see each others' changes. All of the components are live and all participants can cause change that will be propagated in a secure manner.

With the infusion of tens of billions of dollars in stimulus funds devoted to health IT, projects like this are the tip of the iceberg in terms of how technology can improve patient care.