Six months ago IBM announced it was investing $3 billion and creating 2,000 jobs to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit. This morning, it announced it has partnered with Jasper, the global IoT platform provider, to build an integrated IoT solution.
Once this solution is launched, which is expected to be later this year, enterprises will be able to move onto the IoT with all the services, infrastructure and security necessary to create an IoT business almost overnight, the companies claim.
Reinventing The Wheel?
Data and infrastructure security are the most cited enterprise concerns about the IoT. However, according to Jasper’s VP of Product Marketing, Simon Berman, that's jumping ahead too far.
Most enterprises still haven’t figured out how to get onto the IoT without shelling out millions of dollars to modify their IT infrastructure or alter the way they do business.
"Many of these appliances and IoT partnerships are about removing the noise associated with moving onto the IoT. While they [organizations] want to move onto the IoT, they don’t want to reinvent the wheel. They don’t want to spend millions of dollars re-architecting their staff. They want to take what they’ve got and move incrementally to develop a new business channel,” he told CMSWire.
The IBM-Jasper partnership is designed to enable these kind of moves.
Jasper connects organizations to the IoT through worldwide global partnerships with telecom operators and its IoT platform, while IBM offers those connected organizations access to Bluemix and the IBM IoT Foundation.
Jasper is a Santa Clara, Calif.-based company that provides a cloud-based platform that is designed to help organizations launch, manage and monetize the deployment of the IoT worldwide. To date, according to its own figures, Jasper has connected 2700 companies to the IoT.
Established in 2004, it received $50 million in a funding round last year led by Singapore-based Tamasek. It now has a market value of nearly $1.5 billion and about 400 employees.
While that looks like something that IBM could eat for breakfast financially, there's an important caveat: IBM doesn’t have the partnerships with the global telecom companies that Jasper has that makes the IoT possible.
And Jasper has been working on that for a long time. It signed a partnership agreement with AT&T in 2009 to launch a platform to connect and support a variety of emerging consumer electronic and business devices on AT&T’s nationwide wireless network, before the IoT became common.
This year, it's partnered with Microsoft Azure, Salesforce and SAP.
According to Berman, the partnership with IBM will enable enterprises bring IoT services to market through a single solution that offers complete lifecycle management. IBM will combine its Bluemix analytics with Jasper Control Center automation, a configurable platform that offers organizations the automation, intelligence and global scale to deliver IoT services worldwide.
Jasper partners with 27 mobile operator groups, representing more than 100 mobile operator networks worldwide.
Berman added that IBM's IoT Foundation is a Platform-as-a-Service solution that adds security and reporting as well as massive scalability. In addition, IBM Bluemix offers a set of applications that can interpret data and present it on a single dashboard.