IBM (NYSE: IBM) today expanded its middleware portfolio by announcing new products designed to help clients establish a more dynamic business and achieve the agility they need to survive in today’s changing business environment. The products combine IBM’s industry-leading capabilities in business process management (BPM) and service oriented architecture (SOA) to deliver new levels of flexibility in the way companies run their businesses and adapt to challenges and opportunities.
IBM, the industry’s leading provider of middleware with more than double the marketshare of its closest competitor, according to leading analyst firms, has a long heritage of helping businesses transform their operations. The offerings announced today, which represent new and upgraded versions of the WebSphere product portfolio, will expand on that leadership, and IBM’s Smart Work initiative, by helping to deliver an even better user experience, faster business deployment, and greater optimization. This will allow clients to develop a truly dynamic business network that includes customers, partners and suppliers and relies on the ability to seamlessly connect all disparate elements of IT Infrastructure within and outside the organization.
Never before have companies been confronted with greater challenges than they are today. Economic uncertainty, competition from all corners of the world, increased regulation and greater customer expectations are all contributing to a growing sense of urgency among business leaders to remain viable. But these challenges need not immobilize companies in their quest to survive. In fact, those businesses that embrace these uncertainties and prepare for the inevitable changes that result are prospering at the expense of others unwilling to adapt. For example, A recent IBM survey of CIO’s showed that companies who prepare for and accept change have seen a 45 percent higher rate of return on their investments than those companies that have not.
"Across the world, businesses are realizing that staying competitive in today’s global marketplace requires an acceptance that the playing field is much larger, the stakes are higher and the challenges are unprecedented," said Craig Hayman, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. "The businesses that succeed are those that raise the stakes by embracing change and becoming more agile in how they integrate their operations with their customers, suppliers, employees and partners. This is not merely a new way of doing business but an imperative to success."
Discover – Helping business find new insights to enable innovation
Organizations need a clear understanding of their end-to-end processes in order to employ the right innovative strategies to succeed. Today’s announcement delivers an end-to-end solution that begins by allowing clients to map out and test new and existing processes and strategies by modeling them in a cloud environment with IBM BPM BlueWorks, a set of cloud-based BPM tools and content designed to help organizations develop the expertise necessary to build and deploy dynamic processes. Modeling and simulation are crucial for determining new business processes and also to help companies explore "what-if" scenarios within their current IT infrastructure. Through modeling and simulation the right processes and targeting the right metrics, high-ROI projects are identified. By seamlessly linking business strategy to process execution, companies can generate real business results.
Mark’s Work Wearhouse, a Canadian retail chain specializing in work clothes, was struggling with a lack of inventory visibility and manual ordering processes that were causing lost sales. For example, when customers requested an item that was out of stock, store clerks had to manually check inventory at different stores, and then use a phone and paper process to place the order. Working with IBM, and integrating the ordering processes with real-time inventory visibility across all stores, Mark’s was able to deliver a new innovative process that automatically selects the optimal location from which to ship an order, based on availability and customer location. This new process made it much easier for customers to get the merchandise they were looking for, and resulted in $2.7 million in savings and $3.6 million in additional sales in the first 10 months that the new ordering process was deployed.
"By using BPM, we were able to more effectively use our funding and achieved a successful solution in a very short amount of time," said Rhett Waley, Solution Architect, Mark’s Work Wearhouse. "IBM really helped us get to the point where we could understand how to use the tools, understand the capabilities, and where there was value.