IBM (news, site) is looking to build on its recent acquisitions. In recent weeks, we’ve seen it announce the release of products built around Coremetrics and Unica on one hand, and Netezza on the other. It has now announced a new services lab that will enable clients to expand their real-time analytics and software automation products.
The Services Innovation Lab (SIL) is a global lab that will consist of 200 technology experts and bring together services, research, software and industry analysts that will help client enterprises build applications for cloud computing, analytics and mobile applications.
By the looks of it, this is a trial run to see how enterprises take to it and how they will take to handing over some of their IT problems to IBM.
In this respect, it is worth noting that IBM, in all, has 3,000 researchers dotted all over the globe and invests, by its own estimation, about US$ 6 billion annually in research.
So either this lab is really just a toe-dipping exercise to see what the takeup will be, or else it’ll be IBM’s research A-Team focused on creating new ways to exploit its new buys. As IBM has a record in developing new business outlets methodically without a lot of fuss, it seems like SIL falls into the latter category.
The Services Innovation Lab is creating a research environment that leverages advances in services science, analytics and cloud computing to create innovation that matters for our clients anywhere in the world," said Mahmoud Naghshineh, SIL VP and director.
The objective is to take intellectual property that is created following contact with a client and turn it into software that can be replicated for thousands of engagements around the globe.
The new SIL is based in one location, but will work out of IBM’s offices all over the world, giving it maximum global reach. Its initial focus will be on:
- Cloud Computing: Develop methods for moving traditional computing in the enterprise to a cloud-based model
- Advanced Analytics: Develop ways to better integrate advanced analytics into business processes to create new kinds of services
- Service Delivery Automation: Create data mining and real-time analytics to create new delivery capabilities
- Enterprise Mobilization: Develop ways for enterprises to connect with applications regardless of the mobile device they are using
If services are not IBM’s biggest cash cow, it is a nice little earner for Big Blue, and revenues from it are heading in the right direction.
In Q2, while it still trailed software sales, it grew by 10%, or US$ 15 billion, from a year ago. Revenue from the Global Technology Services segment increased 11% to US$ 10.2 billion and Global Business Services revenue rose 9% to US$ 4.9 billion.
With SIL, IBM clearly means to exploit this market, so we should be seeing some impressive action here over the course of the next two quarters at least.