IBM may be an old technology firm, but lately the company has been busy making sure it offers products that help organizations support the latest trends in enterprise technology. The company has announced a new set of integration offerings designed to help businesses easily connect their applications to all types of emerging content.

Supporting the Connected Enterprise

At the core of IBM’s new integration offerings is a brand new version of WebSphere Application Server (WAS). The latest release, WAS 8.5, is more lightweight than previous versions and has developer friendly features like the ability to apply updates without rebooting.

Many industry observers suggest IBM made the move to better compete with the uber popular open source Apache Tomcat. That may be the case, since even large enterprise are shedding proprietary products for open source at an ever increasing rate.

However, being old and wise, IBM realizes a shiny new application server isn’t going to win it many new engagements. Instead IBM released a set of new business integration products, which it cleverly positions as complements to WAS. The new offerings include:

  • IBM Business Process Manager -- Provides business process automation with social, collaboration, governance and mobile features.
  • IBM Operational Decision Management -- Helps organizations make decisions that span multiple applications and process. They also layered in social style interface for good measure.
  • IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Live Web Application Programming Interface (API) Services -- Allows organization to create open APIs that can be used by all types of developers to create new applications. Some people at IBM are terming it SOA 3.0.

What This Means

What IBM is offering may not be revolutionary, but many companies will view it as a safe, well-supported option for connecting all that big data and social media we technical journalist are fond of discussing.

As these technologies become more critical for business competitiveness, it will become more important for companies to be able to easily connect them to get answers and complete processes.  Many of the companies don’t want to cobble together multiple solutions from multiple vendors to solve their problems. This is IBM’s sweet spot -- letting tech leaders write a check and walk away.