2. Build with Collaborative Innovation


The previous communication on Cognitive Business covered the first principle of DESIGNING FOR COGNITIVE BUSINESS and we looked at the need for Analytics Acceleration and Data Centric Design for this approach. This second in a series of 3 communcations will explore Innovating with Open Technologies and the Choice of Optimization.

Cognitive infrastructure accelerates technology breakthroughs.


Embrace open architectures and ecosystems to quickly deliver new solutions to market.

Open Technology – Not Your Father’s IBM

There’s a tendency in the tech world to view IBM as a pusher of closed technology ecosystems. We don’t blame you if this is what you think about IBM, but we’re here to say that with regards to today’s IBM, that perception is flat-out wrong.

Along Comes Linux

As we move full-speed into the era of cognitive computing, companies who formerly advocated closed systems are changing their tune.

In 2013 IBM began a five-year commitment of over $1 billion to fuel Linux and Open Source Innovation on Power Systems. Now, three years in, we’re seeing the ramifications of the increasing openness to open systems.

Innovate with Open Technologies

IBM is fully bought into open innovation. It’s one of their three core principals of their Cognitive Business vision:

  • Design for Cognitive Business
  • Build with Open Innovation
  • Deliver through Cloud Platform

The embracing of open architectures and ecosystems is allowing for the delivery of new solutions faster to market. This is critical in the cognitive era where technology breakthroughs are happening at a rapid pace.

Building with open innovation means providing leadership and support for open innovation and stack optimization for supporting both contemporary environments and emerging open innovation. This also allows for the faster build of infrastructure that is optimized to run specific workloads based on unique business requirements.

Open IBM Success Story

HPS – Capacity on Demand

Consider Health Plan Services of Tampa, Florida, the largest independent provider of sales, benefits administration, retention, reform and technology solutions to the insurance and managed care industries in the United States.

HPS membership increased over 250% with the onset of the Affordable Care Act. They went from 1000 MIPS (Millions of Instructions Per Second) to 6000 MIPS. They went from five IFLs (Integrated Facilities for Linux) to 50.

This was an organization in dire need of accelerated transformation. Just consider the impact on these systems during open enrollment. Capacity on Demand allowed for:

  • Production capacity of over fill billion transactions per week
  • Scaling up and down within minutes

Open Technologies Utilized
OpenPower Consortium

The Open Success Story with HPS is just a small example of how IBM is becoming a leader in Open Technology. Need more proof? Look no further than IBM’s open licensing model and their leadership in the OpenPower Consortium.

IBM is working with over 149 member organizations to build open ecosystems using POWER architecture.

IBM – Build with Collaborative Innovation

Open technologies are at the core of IBM’s Cognitive Business concept. As we continue to tell this story we’ll dive into how this concept requires more than just open technology, it requires that organizations have a choice for optimization.

We will discuss the importance of optimized systems that are built for the dynamic needs of economics, data access, workloads, machine learning, compliance and performance.

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Choose what services run where with choice in platforms, runtimes, and deployment models on purposeful architectures.

Building Purposeful IT Environments for the Cognitive Business Era

Your applications are unique; so why shouldn’t you be able to have a choice in where your various services run? In the cognitive business era you’ll be able to have a choice in platforms, runtimes, and deployment models.

The technology leaders of tomorrow will have to architect for the dynamic needs of economics, data access, workloads, machine learning, compliance and performance. This means that they’ll have to build with a purposeful and strategic architecture of all elements.

They’ll have to focus on innovation, because tomorrow’s technology will be different than todays—more data focused and mobile intensive. To get there will require purposeful architectures that are adaptable to inevitable changes.

One-size-fits-all: Not a fit for the Cognitive Business Era

Building with purposeful architectures requires a clear infrastructure strategy for both the known and the unknown. Building for the unknown may sound tricky, but it’s a requirement in an age where technology is constantly changing.

Future innovations are out there, and if your architecture isn’t ready to ensure perpetual motion then you risk falling behind. Today’s connected economy requires both open technology described above and choice for optimization in order to accelerate technology breakthroughs.

IBM: Building with Collaborative Innovation

In the first part of this communication we talked about how Open Technology is going to be a driver in the Cognitive Business Era. What is Open Technology though if we’re using it in closed ways. IBM is working to make sure that you have a choice to run your services where they can be best optimized.

If that means working to combine the best of IBM open technologies with the best of another vendors’ open technologies, then so be it. They took just such an approach by working closely with NVDIA on a project for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Choice for Optimization – IBM Success Story

US Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy knows about Big Data environments. They know that they’re different and that they require new architecture that embeds compute power everywhere. This is at the core of IBM’s move toward Data Centric Design.

Current approaches of data repeatedly moving back and forth from storage to processor becomes unsustainable because of the significant time and energy that these massive and frequent data moves entail. Data centric design allows for speed. Speed allows for the convergence of analytics, modeling, visualization, and simulation. The old approach wasn’t going to work for the DOE’s needs. They needed a system that was optimized for their unique needs.

IBM and NVDIA to the Rescue

This is where IBM and fellow OpenPOWER member NVIDIA came together to help DOE drive new insights at incredible speeds with a new solution NVLink.

The NVLink interconnect technology will enable CPUs and GPUs to exchange data five to 12 times faster than they can today.

This optimized solution will help the Department of Energy’s developers more easily accelerate applications with GPU accelerators by incrementally moving parts of the application and data to the GPU. Check out the press release for more details on how IBM and the DOE are working together to optimize for Big Data.

Are you Ready to Build with Collaborative Innovation?

Let’s be honest, we know that the department of Energy’s supercomputing systems at the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories are probably bigger than what you’re working with. But the goal of the Cognitive Business era is to bring technology like this to organizations large and small.

This is a bold approach, one where we’re asking you to re-evaluate the way you do business. We’re asking you to put technology at the forefront and make it a driver of business innovation.

Let’s get started with a conversation with one of the IBM cognitive business experts to start to evaluate your organization’s cognitive business journey.