IBM gets vertical with WebSphere

Ratcheting up its efforts in the application integration market, IBM Corp. on Tuesday will roll out 48 industry-specific solutions that cover 11 different industries including banking, energy, utilities, and electronics.

The solutions, made up of a combination of software and services, are crafted to help users in these industries to more tightly integrate various areas of their businesses with these of their business partners and users. The solutions can improve the flow of information and processing transactions allowing them to respond more quickly to market opportunities, IBM officials claim.

"These offerings are all about helping users move more quickly to become on demand businesses. We think we have identified in these 11 industries the most likely projects users can deploy to increase their top line revenues as well as decreasing expenses," said Doug Brown, director of industry solutions for IBM's WebSphere Business Integration in Somers, N.Y.

Explaining what makes up some of the vertical solutions Brown said IBM has designed pre-built software for each of the industries that helps users define templates that address their problem areas. They can then link with business partners who are also developing their own content and who have the know how to deploy a specific project they are both working on.

"This is all linked to the notion that users themselves or through management consultants can determine how to innovate and move business to become more profitable as well as becoming more flexible on demand businesses," Brown said.

As one example, the WebSphere Business Integration for Banking solution is intended to help retail and corporate banks and financial services companies provide users with an around the clock and secure access to financial information. IT gives them a single view of their customers transactions which should help them offer more consistent customer service and offer them a better chance to increase their cross-selling across retail channels, according to Brown.

One user giving testimony to the effectiveness of selected vertical offerings is Selectica, which has used them across multiple industries.

"We have carried out user implementations across multiple industries where we have combined Selectica's solutions in with WebSphere's business integration in order to tie together a variety of different applications fairly quickly and cost effectively," said Dr. SajayMittal, CEO of Selectica.

In tandem with the new vertical solutions, IBM is also rolling out spruced up versions of its WebSphere Business Integration Event Broker and WebSphere Business Integration Message Broker solutions. The two products were formerly known as the IBM WebSphere MQ Event Broker and IBM WebSphere MQ Message Broker.

The products are designed to deliver real time personalized information across a network or the Internet to a range of different mobile devices. It is intended to secure delivery of industry-specific data ranging from stock quotes to pressure readings from gas pipelines, according to company officials.

Pricing on the WebSphere Business Integration industry solutions starts at US$225,000. The WebSphere Business Integration Event Broker and WebSphere Business Integration Message Broker, which are available immediately, pricing starts at US$37,000 and US$98,000, respectively.

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