A very high powered executive panel – Bob LeBlanc, 6GMs and a Global Leader from GBS – took questions. No particular structure but here are some key takeaways:
- IBM has made, and continues to make, investments in a broad range of flexible cloud approaches supporting public, private, hybrid and localized cloud. It sees the flexibility of its approach is a key competitive advantage as is its focus on easily consumable services on BlueMix.
- IBM is clearly making a big push to break down its internal silos, to develop projects across product group boundaries etc. There’s a definite sense that this is a new IBM, that the product groups are less isolated and more integrated.
- IBM sees clients asking for a point of view as to how their problems might be solved – not as focused on the products they want to buy or in providing detailed RFPs. This has an impact on the sales team and on the relationships with clients, moving away from the product-specific sales teams of the past. This is easier in new areas than in established ones.
- IBM plans to release all its core smarter process capabilities – BPM, case management, decision management/business rules and more – on BlueMix. Many of the Ready Apps for MobileFirst are already including some process maps and other related elements with more to come.
- Conversation with clients has evolved from a very technical set of questions – how do I manage devices, how do I build mobile apps – to much more strategic questions about becoming a mobile enterprise or finding new sources of revenue through cloud and mobile etc. For many industries IBM has developed roadmaps for a number of industries to help with this.
- Services business is moving from development to composition, from waterfall to a more agile approach and from pay up front to a more pay as you go service. Plus customers want to keep improving the solution quickly so more of the deals are managed services offerings.
- Business architecture, this drive to a composable business, is also more of a focus. The driver might be initially something pretty specific like developing a mobile app but the question rapidly moves to a more business architecture focused conversation.
- IBM sees its support for standards and therefore interoperability as a core value and plans to continue this as it moves more services to the cloud, backing the open stacks moving forward.
Some great candor and clear alignment from the executive panel.