IBM’s Smart Planet strategy has been a work in progress for the past five years. This week, it adds another piece to it in the shape of MessageSight, which IBM describes as a cornerstone of the whole Smart strategy.


To say that MessageSight is a cornerstone of the entire Smart Planet concept is probably a slight exaggeration, but it is a key part of it, enabling organizations to manage their data management and communications with millions of devices and sensors found in smart environments everywhere. 

The fact that it is talking about its Smart Planet strategy this week at exactly the same time that SAP has been outlining its concept of the ‘Internet of Things’ is probably no coincidence.

SAP and IBM have a long history of sparring in the information management space and with information-connected environments slowly becoming a reality, with the huge stakes to play for in Smart Cities, it is likely to be here that the information management smackdown will take place in the future.

To understand what is meant by Smart Cities you only have to look at yesterday’s announcement of SAP’s Internet of Things strategy. Sanjay Poonen, Head of Mobile Division at SAP, summarized it as follows:

The ‘Internet of Things’ concept goes one step further by not only integrating machines, people, ERP and CRM systems, and other information sources like social media, but also analyzing and making use of all the data. Soon, people will interact with devices that in turn interact with data to deliver personalized products and services directly to the consumer in real time…”

It also depends on Machine-to-Machine technology that enables organizations to collect and analyze large amounts of data from smart, connected devices and citizens’ social media activity in real time.

Internet of Things

And this is what both companies have been either developing themselves, or buying when they don't have the capability to develop the technologies themselves.

The technology shifts created by big data, cloud, mobile and social business are drastically changing the business landscape, driving an intelligent, interconnected and instrumented world that is smarter than ever before…To be competitive on today’s Smarter Planet, successful businesses must find ways to extend and connect their existing infrastructures to the billions of mobile devices and M2M technologies that now exist. IBM’s new offerings, being rolled out today, will simplify this process drastically,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. “


MessageSight is one of IBM’s answers to the explosion in the number of devices connected to the Internet that will occur over the next 15 years.

According to research cited by IBM and conducted by IMS Research, there will be more than 22 billion Web-connected devices that will generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of information every day by 2020 (SAP estimates that the figure will be more like 50 billion).

Using Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) technology, MessageSight enables organizations to process huge volumes of information that is being fed into the organization by all kinds of devices and sensors. It can then pull the meaning from that data into a single place.

Just as importantly, it can be deployed in under 30 minutes and, according to IBM, managed through Web- or command-line-based interfaces.

But there is more to this than just MessageSight. This is not just a simple upgrade to make information management easier -- it is part of the development of an entirely new kind of information strategy.

IBM MobileFirst 

As IBM believes that the vast majority of the new information that will be created through the ‘Internet of Things’ will come from mobile devices, it has built MessageSight to work with its IBM MobileFirst portfolio, which was introduced in February.

This too is being expanded to include new mobile analytics capabilities and cloud services that will enable organizations to build apps that can reach customers or employees in new and compelling ways. The new cloud services for mobile, IBM says, will also enable organizations to optimize their user experiences by tailoring them for specific audiences. The new offerings include a marketing service that help organizations create digital passes for employees in Apple’s Passbook. 

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