IBM to invest big into the new IoT business unit


American technology giant International Business Machine Corp (IBM) yesterday announced it would invest $3 billion in the forthcoming four years for the establishment of the new Internet of Things (IoT) business unit to provide IoT systems and services to enterprises.


As part of the new initiative, the company would start to provide companies with many industry-specific cloud-based services, as well as new tools to help developers occupy applications with data from Internet-connected devices. The demand for this field has increased drastically with the increase in the compelling technology in recent years. With very many internet connected wearable hitting the market, consumers have become more aware of the prospects of collecting, analyzing and acting on such data. In turn, the IoT has turned into something much sought after by chipmaker, storage hardware makers and networking hardware sellers among others.

Big Blue, which has faced many hurdles lately with reduced growth in revenue in older software and services businesses, has been demanding its Watson software and other programs that analyze business data. Now it is competing to manage and organize large amount of data from Internet-connected cars, machine tools, smart home appliances, offices and transportation networks. The core of the company is the collection of software that runs on the IBM’s existing cloud services and improve current ones with real-time data and analysis.

IMB is working on to bring together the similar kinds of data to get a yield from the highest value. Bob Picciano, IBM’s senior vice president of analytics said, “It’s essential to federate information from multiple sources. It is not a new one for IMB. It has already incorporated the philosophy in a deal with Twitter last year. The two companies work to collect data from the stream of tweets from customers, partners and others.

Apart from Twitter, IBM joins hand with Weather Company, which owns the Weather Company and other information providers, to jointly use data about weather conditions to help businesses make better decisions. The Atlanta-based company serves up 700,000 weather forecasts per second. It sells its data to its customers who range from agriculture, transportation to other industries that depend on weather. The company choose IBM over other companies for its strong software expertise and relationships with clients in various fields. Weather comp benefits its deal with IBM to develop applications that use weather data to help insurance, energy and retail companies.

Apart from the two companies discussed above, IBM is working with engine manufacturer Cummins to collect real-time performance data from its products. And SilverHook Powerboats uses IBM services to analyse telemetry data from its boats. Consumer electronics giant Whirlpool also works closely with IBM to predict when its appliances nears the service period.

“We are only at the 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. Apart from the above, IBM will also launch a new cloud service, the IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform, providing a way for enterprises to make their own data-driven systems, Brethenoux said. It is also working to provide customized packages for specific fields like manufacturing industry.