IBM to pump US$3 billion into new IoT business unit

The IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform could ingest and analyze Internet of Things data for enterprises

Hungry for a bigger piece of the Internet of things market, IBM will invest US$3 billion over four years to establish a new business unit dedicated to providing IoT systems and services to enterprises.

"We're only at the very beginning of an amazing revolution. If we thought we were dealing with big data now, we haven't seen anything yet," said Erick Brethenoux, IBM director of analytics.

IBM General Manager Chris O'Connor will oversee the new unit, which will initially court enterprises in travel, logistics, insurance, public utilities, transportation and retail, Brethenoux said.

IBM will also tailor a new cloud service, the IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform, providing a way for enterprises to build their own data-driven systems, Brethenoux said. Over time, it will also develop specialized packages for specific fields like the insurance industry.

IBM will offer a customized section of its Bluemix platform service, to be called the Bluemix IoT Zone, where developers will be able to create specialized business logic to handle and analyze data streaming from IoT devices and sensors.

It will also work with partner companies in a range of industries to align more closely in all aspects of IoT, from hardware to data. It has signed deals with AT&T, chip design company ARM, and semiconductor manufacturer Semtech.

Another partner is the Weather Company, which will provide access to a rich trove of data to it can be ingested by other systems. Predictive maintenance systems could use weather records and predictions to determine when equipment needs to be serviced, for instance.

By 2021, as many as 28 billion IoT devices will be installed around the world, IDC has estimated. General Electric has predicted that IoT systems will add up to $15 trillion to global annual Gross Domestic Product over the next 20 years.

IoT is just the latest area IBM is targeting to breath new life into its business, which has been struggling as sales from some of its traditional on-premises products, particularly hardware, decline. Just last month it said it would invest $4 billion in cloud, mobile and analytics technologies.

It is working with engine manufacturer Cummins to collect real-time performance data from its products. And SilverHook Powerboats uses IBM services to analyze telemetry data from its boats, according to IBM. Whirlpool is working with IBM to better predict when its appliances will need to be serviced.

Work IBM has done in its Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities initiatives has equipped it for the emerging IoT field, it says. Many of these engagements require network-connected remote instrumentation and analytics systems, Brethenoux said.

The Police departments of Durham, North Carolina, and Memphis, Tennessee work with IBM to collect data that canhelp them better target crime hotspots. And Carnegie Mellon University and the U.S. General Services Administration are working with IBM to build IoT systems that can cut energy costs in their buildings.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesIBMrestructuring

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?