IBM has made a number of announcements at IMPACT and I got a chance to hear more about them at a blogference – a press conference for bloggers I guess. Interesing mix of bloggers with other jobs (like me) and “real” press people. First Sandy spent some time on a bunch of social media announcements – something near and dear to her heart and an area where IBM is making some real investments and having some success in terms of driving attendance at IMPACT with social media and in engaging those who could not attend. Beyond the social media there were a couple of other interesting announcements.
First, OMG is combining the BPM and SOA groups and a focus on green computing within OMG into a Business Ecology Initiative. This initiative is focused on streamlining processes to make them more efficient and greener. This means modeling process, minimizing the footprint of a process, business alignment and more. IBM is a founding sponsor.
Second, a new version of Innov8 was announced. Innov8 has had some great success in business schools showing much better retention rates in BPM and SOA knowledge. Lots of universities used the 1.0 version very successfully but partners and customers wanted to use the technology too. Innov8 2.0 is geared to customers and partners, in addition to universities. It has 3 scenarios (not 1) – customer service (the original but updated to reflect the current climate), traffic management (based on the Singapore experience for example) and supply chain (again based on real projects). This last took advantage of the optimization experience at ILOG. Farmers Insurance talked a little about how they planned to use the game as part of their in house university for staff training. The game is now available over the web, is 3D and very cool to look at – it looks like a game 🙂 – and inspired by SimCity and similar games. The importance of the game to IBM is that it helps address the skills gap that is the biggest problem for SOA/BPM projects. The game is free and educates but it educates based on the methodology and tools that IBM users, creating familiarity among future potential buyers. IBM has begun to see some companies asking for people who have graduated from universities that use Innov8 thanks to prior success with such graduates – they understand BPM and SOA better than others. Interestingly this is only one of the “serious gaming” initiatives at IBM. Looking forward to the day when rules are in Innov8.