IBM Partners Cut Through Hype To Help Joint Customers Move Forward
IBM Partners Cut Through Hype To Help Joint Customers Move Forward
From cloud to virtual networks, and performance monitoring to training, check out some of the most disruptive offerings at IBM Think 2018.
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Last week's IBM Think 2018 conference brought together numerous partners and other vendors interested in pitching their wares to the crowd of IBM employees, partners, and customers. (See my recent article on IBM Think.)
Most of these exhibitors had an IBM angle to their story—either how they go to market with IBM, or perhaps how they address some limitation in one IBM product or another.
Given IBM's focus on cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, furthermore, many of the vendors touted how they are using these capabilities to deliver value to their customers.
Of the dozens of exhibitors at Think, I looked for the best examples of a particular mix of disruptive capabilities and offerings complementary to IBM's. Here are my picks.
Good advice for anyone.
Densify: Cloud Optimization as a Service
Even though cloud and virtual machine (VM) instances can respond to shifts in demand, they often remain underutilized. Densify solves this problem by optimizing how the virtualization infrastructure places workloads in VMs.
The best way to visualize how Densify works is like a game of Tetris, as Densify packs each workload into an appropriate VM as tightly as practical, given the specific processor, input/output, bandwidth, storage, and other capacity demands of each workload.
Densify is cloud-agnostic, and it was at Think touting its support for the IBM Cloud.
Nastel: Comprehensive Monitoring across Hybrid Environments
Most monitoring tools focus on particular parts of the enterprise deployment environment: some on applications, others on the network, etc.
Nastel is able to monitor the entire hybrid environment, including legacy assets and middleware as well as the components of more modern, cloud-based workloads.
Nastel is also particularly adept at monitoring transactions within IBM-centric environments, which may include legacy IBM products like IBM MQ (formerly MQSeries), WebSphere Application Server, and DataPower XML appliances.
Riverbed: SD-WAN as a Virtual Network Function
Riverbed is a digital performance management vendor with a range of tools for cloud networking, user experience, and cloud edge infrastructure.
At Think, the vendor was promoting its deep relationship with IBM, as well as its strengths in the telco industry. In particular, Riverbed was discussing how it can deliver its SD-WAN solution as a Virtual Network Function (VNF) that will run on telco service providers' universal customer premise equipment (uCPE).
uCPE enables service providers to replace a mishmash of different telco equipment at customer facilities with a single, flexible piece of hardware that acts as a universal platform for VNFs, including Riverbed's SD-WAN offering.
Salient Process: No-code Process Builder Running on IBM's Automation Platform for Digital Business
IBM's Automation Platform for Digital Business consists of separate, but integrated solutions for Robotic Process Automation, Content Management, Workflow, Data Capture, and Business Rules Management.
Many IBM customers have one or more of these modules in place, but building new apps on this heterogeneous IBM platform is a complex, difficult task.
Salient Process addresses this challenge with a no-code, wizard-driven process builder that enables a range of different types of users to rapidly create process models that run directly on IBM's BPM platform, which is part of its Digital Business Platform.
The result is responsive, process-centric apps that leverage the power of the full Digital Business Platform, including its Robotic Process Automation and Business Rules Management capabilities.
Savronik: Training as a Simulation Service
Savronik is a Turkish company that builds simulation and training systems for complex technical environments like aircraft, locomotives, and military applications.
The company is bringing to the US an IBM Cloud-based offering that works both with the expensive, mechanical simulators familiar from airline pilot training programs, as well as other devices that emulate the hardware controls in software. As a result, its customers can shift some of their training away from the mechanical simulators, thus reducing training costs.
In addition, Savronik is leveraging IBM Watson to create AI-driven training programs that help trainees interact with the simulation software to complete training regimens.
Skytap: Cloud-Based Legacy Migration and Modernization
Skytap offers cloud-based migration and modernization services that simplify and lower the risk of complicated legacy modernization efforts.
Skytap customers can create cloud-based environments that match on-premises data center environments exactly, thus simplifying the initial migration to the cloud. In fact, Skytap is the only cloud provider that supports AIX, IBM's flavor of UNIX.
Over time, Skytap helps organizations rearchitect their legacy application environments, taking advantage of cloud capabilities as well as container-based microservices.
Skytap also helps its customers shift to DevOps, providing self-service access to production-ready environments that enable application teams to get up to speed with continuous integration and continuous delivery, two essential DevOps benefits.
Understanding the Diversity of IBM Partner Offerings
Given IBM's laser focus on cloud, AI, blockchain, and quantum computing—with the first two ready for real-world deployments—you might expect all partner stories to center on these four hot-button areas.
In reality, the IBM portfolio remains diverse and perhaps overly complicated, and many enterprises have been IBM customers for so long.
The hype around newer technologies may drive interest and new investment to be sure. Nevertheless, as the six vendors in this article illustrate, IBM's tried and true legacy technologies more often than not provide opportunities for partners to help IBM's customers move forward with the times while maintaining existing systems and technologies.Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, IBM, Nastel, Riverbed, Skytap, and VMware are Intellyx customers. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. IBM covered Jason Bloomberg's expenses at Think, a standard industry practice. Image credit: Jason Bloomberg.
Originally appeared at Forbes.com.
Published at DZone with permission of Jason Bloomberg , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.