IBM announced a new, simpler two-page cloud computing contract, along with two new cloud startups on the IBM Cloud.
IBM announced it has simplified its cloud computing contracts to make it easier for customers to enter into cloud services agreements by creating a standard, two-page form to replace longer, more complex contracts that typically required long negotiations and reviews before a deal was signed.
Big Blue said its cloud competitors require customers to review and commit to more complex contracts that commonly are at least five times longer and also incorporate terms and conditions from other Websites.
“It’s ironic that cloud computing represents a faster and more innovative approach to doing business, yet lengthy and complex cloud business contracts from most vendors remain an obstacle,” said Neil Abrams, IBM vice president and assistant general counsel, in a statement. “By dramatically simplifying and accelerating how clients contract for cloud services, IBM is making it easier and faster for companies to reap the benefits of cloud.”
For its efforts, IBM received the 2014 Innovation Award for Operational Improvement from the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) for transforming its cloud computing contract process.
IBM achieved its operational improvement over the course of two months and deployed it globally for all of the company’s cloud offerings. IBM’s cloud services business and clients quickly benefited from the simplified cloud contracting procedure. Indeed, IBM said customers have embraced the new cloud services agreement, which is easy to navigate and understand, dramatically reducing the time required to close a deal and for clients to enjoy the benefits of cloud.
Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $7 billion in 17 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives. Big Blue holds more than 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation. And the company processes more than 5.5 million client transactions daily through IBM’s public cloud.
IBM also announced that German startup Preveniomed has chosen IBM Cloud to securely store and process patient data and health records on airplane pilots from around the world.
Preveniomed offers services and advice for aviation medicine and has doctors on staff who examine patients for fitness to fly. The startup recently decided to store its patients’ encrypted data and launch its patient-data monitoring applications on cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer. By integrating its patent data with Web-based applications hosted on the IBM Cloud, doctors at Preveniomed are able to reliably access it from anywhere knowing that it is secure.
Preveniomed worked with IBM business partner eperi to migrate to the IBM Cloud. eperi, which offers a Gateway for Databases application that is available in the IBM Cloud marketplace—encrypted all of Preveniomed’s patients’ data to comply with all of the requirements of the German Medical Council (BÄK) and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV).
“We opted for IBM and eperi as our IT partners because it allows us to protect our patients’ data from outages with cloud infrastructure that is always available and accessible from anywhere,” said Dr. Andreas Adrian, physician and founder of Preveniomed. “Being in the very sensitive healthcare business one of the compelling reasons for the SoftLayer solution was the data protection we achieved by using the eperi encryption technology.”
In addition, IBM announced that it is working with Diabetizer, a German -based health care technology company, to leverage IBM’s Bluemix platform as a service to build and deploy a cloud-based application that improves care for diabetes patients around the world. The app enables diabetes patients to instantly access and aggregate their health data from multiple devices anywhere in the world, as well as apply analytics to control their blood sugar at precisely accurate levels.
Diabetizer’s app enables patients to aggregate blood sugar, nutritional and health data from multiple input sources such as smartphones and Web apps into one, centralized mobile portal accessible from anywhere in the world. Users also can tap into the Internet of things to directly integrate biometric data from wearable devices, analyzing physical activity along with blood sugar levels to gain a more holistic view of a diabetic’s overall health.
“Cloud technology has given us the flexibility and power we need to build an app that combines patients’ most important records into one, easily usable portal,” said Robin Hrassnigg, Diabetizer’s founder and managing director, in a statement. “Combining this centralized data with powerful analytics, we’re giving the millions of diabetes sufferers around the world the opportunity for greater mobility, more accurate treatment and more freedom from constant calculations and data logging.”
“Diabetizer, one of the first Bluemix customers in the German-speaking region, is a perfect example of how young companies can take their business ideas forward with a scalable, flexible, global cloud infrastructure,” said Sandy Carter, general manager of ecosystem development at IBM. “Using the cloud to quickly build and bring to market solutions such as the myDIABETIZER app brings a new level of agility to the way we develop—allowing us to build apps which can help alleviate some of our most pressing health issues today.”
The days of the browser ballot being a bane of Microsoft’s existence in Europe have officially come to an end. The browser ballot, implemented in the European Union as part of the settlement to an antitrust probe, caused quite a stir when it was announced in 2009. The ballot was designed to stop Microsoft’s Internet Explorer from holding what the European Union believed was an unhealthy dominance over the browser market. But the ballot recently expired without a whimper, which is not surprising because competition in the Web browser space is simply not a hot button issue anymore. The world has moved on. The browser wars really ended years ago, and arguably were ending even as the browser ballot went into effect. The fact is people are caring less and less about browsers nowadays, as they have long since selected their favorite ones. Today, the world is obsessed with mobile devices, wearables or dozens of other things in the tech world. But in the end, the ballot helped radically alter the makeup of the browser market and even changed the way people across Europe viewed browsers. This slide show looks back at the browser ballot and its legacy to show how the technology industry has changed dramatically since 2009.
The goal is to let developers integrate applications more easily with its managed data analytics service.
Google is making it easier for software developers to write and integrate applications with its Cloud Dataflow managed service for processing large data sets.
The company on Dec. 18 released a Java software development kit for Cloud Dataflow into the open-source community as part of what it described as an effort to spur application development around the technology.
The idea behind making the SDK available open source is also to help developers port Cloud Dataflow to other languages and other service execution environments, Google software engineer Sam McVeety said in a blog post.
“Reusable programming patterns are a key enabler of developer efficiency,” McVeety wrote. “The Cloud Dataflow SDK introduces a unified model for batch and stream data processing” that developers can take advantage of in innovative new ways, he said.
“We look forward to collaboratively building a system that enables distributed data processing for users from all backgrounds,” McVeety said.
Google announced Cloud Dataflow at the Google I/O conference in June as a managed service to help enterprises ingest and analyze massive data sets both in real time and in batch mode.
The company has described Cloud Dataflow as technology that builds on MapReduce and more recent technologies like Flume and MillWheel, all of which Google has used internally to analyze really massive data stores.
By combining elements of all these technologies, Google hopes to deliver a data processing service that will give companies the flexibility to do batch analysis on large data sets as well as near real-time analysis on data as it streams into the database. It will also let companies ingest and stage data for consumption by other analytics tools and services such as Google’s own BigQuery.
Such capabilities are considered crucial for companies looking to extract business value from big data. The proliferation of cloud services, mobile devices and sensor technologies has allowed businesses to gather increasingly large volumes of data from myriad sources. The challenge has been to find a way to organize and manage the data in a manner as to drive business value from it.
Amazon, one of the biggest cloud service providers, already offers a managed service called Kinesis that is similar to the one that Google plans to launch with Cloud Dataflow. Amazon bills Kinesis as a service for real-time processing of streaming data at massive scale. It is designed as a service to help companies capture, store and analyze terabytes worth of data pulled in from online transactions, Web logs, social media feeds and mobile devices.
With Cloud Dataflow, Google hopes to be able to offer developers and business similar capabilities. “The value of data lies in analysis—and the intelligence one generates from it,” McVeety noted in his blog post.
“Turning data into intelligence can be very challenging as data sets become large and distributed across disparate storage systems. Add to that the increasing demand for real-time analytics, and the barriers to extracting value from data sets become a huge challenge for developers,” he said.