Home Live Blog from IBM Pulse: The Data World – Buildings, Homes…You Name It

Live Blog from IBM Pulse: The Data World – Buildings, Homes…You Name It

Today’s live blog comes from IBM Pulse where we will explore how data moves to the greater physical world, be it buildings or physical objects.

It’s also an event that demonstrates how deep Tivilo is still embedded into the enterprise data center for the management of IT assets. We’ll be sure to hear more about that in the keynotes this morning.

Let’s get started.

8:13 A.M PST: The event is just getting started. IBM is setting the stage with three main themes:

  • Better optimization
  • Developing better systems
  • Analytics

8:30 a.m. : Dr.Danny Sabbah of IBM is on stage. He is discussing the instrumented world that is interconnected and intelligent.

8:39 a.m: Starting to get into instrumentation, discussing DC Water, the Washington D.C. water system with pipes that date back to the Civil War. Instrument data on the pipes and in the system allows for the assets to communicate with the people who administer the system. That’s cool.

8:43 a.m: The Amsterdam airport needs to be better optimized. They can do that with robots, software and analytics to create intelligence, learning and continual optimization. It’s creating space where there was none before. Robotic luggage system saves 40% in costs.

8:48 a.m.: IBM is developing an integrated service management platform on a Web-oriented architecture. They say it is an open initiative on an open architecture and federated systems. It means transparent interaction in a Web environment. The process is designed to be collaborative from strategy to the actual devices in the world that are instrumented to collect data, transmit and analyze for predictive capabilities.

8:54 a.m. Steve Mills of IBM is taking the stage. Information technology and computing improves just about everything we do. The size of businesses would not be what they are without it. But like fire, you need to control it. And there are budgets. How to be innovative with those constraints is a challenge.

The world is made of zettabytes of information. There are 32.6 million servers worldwide. Data centers have doubled their energy use in the past five years. IT operating costs are out of control. The IT infrastructure is costing them too much to run. Their run cost, in some cases, is 70% of the budget. Power and cooling costs are going up. Server management is increasing and new server spending is up as a result.

9:01 a.m.: How you decrease the costs is what we hear a lot about. You need to work on the sprawl. Eliminating redundant software and data is critical. There is too many of the same thing. And you want to deliver service delivery. Mills says this shows we are at an inflection point. It’s a time for smart computing. You need to move from sprawl to consolidation and federation. You need to pool services. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of ideology. Mills is getting tough. “You are entitled to your own opinions. Not the facts.”

9:07 a.m.: Getting into server consolidation and storage efficiency. Questions about storage: How do you stop storing so much? How do you make the storage smarter? Mills is saying clean the attic, clean the basement – clean it out. Put it on eBay. Make your systems programmatic. Make it elastic. Mills is now pushing the mainframe, the big box. zEnterprise.

Mills says people say stupid stuff every day. Of course Dell says it is best. Intel says the same. Duh!

9:16 a.m. It’s all about economics. If you can use Solaris you can use IBM AIX. Mills sounds fed up. “Give me a break,” he says.

9:18 a.m.: Talking through customers. Ending by telling people that they have to get past the religious debates. Let’s ground in facts and numbers, he says. What a pitch.

9:25 a.m. Video time! Now it’s on to Watson, the virtual genius. Discussing the applications such as healthcare where natural language is the best technology for determining context. It changes the processes.

9:29 a.m. Dean Kamen is the keynote. We’ll be back later.

10:58 a.m. Now at the press event. There are 7,000 people here at IBM Pulse. And the talk is about optimization. Water systems, airports – there are hundreds of projects and there will be millions some day, to optimize the world in which we live. Why? The replacement costs are prohibitive. We need to find new space in an old world.

11:05 a.m. Information collection and management will be dominating themes for decades to come, Mills says. But can you collect all of the data from the devices on the power grid in the operation? Can you see where you get surges and dropouts. By analyzing the data can you do a better job of deploying crews? It comes down to understanding the patterns to discover the problems.

Moving on to Watson – Mills say it served as an entertaining way to show how real language can be defined and understood to come up with answers. There are other real-world problems that apply in a similar way. You can do a better job in treating diseases and what approach is taken to treat the person. The computer brings a certain determination that the human mind can’t do.

11:16 a.m. What can you do with human sentiment? Mills talks about defining the data from Twitter and other social technologies where people converse. It, too, is being analyzed and will add another context entirely.

11:26 a.m.: As chips get better, the data coming off the infrastructure can be immense. There may be temporal or spatial problems. Formatting becomes an issue.

11:31 a.m.: IBM is being asked if Watson can become a pharmacy assistant. They want more accuracy to the delivery of its service due to the complexity that can come with prescriptions. Assistants are in greater need for a more complex world. The nice thing is the computer does not get angry. It does not get tired. It does not quit.

11:38 a.m.: Why not connect Watson to the Internet? Mills says, If you understand Google, its business is to displace direct mail. They sell positioning. They’re moving money to them. He says they speculate on its use in a general public Web access in a way to scan the Web and caching. He says they are not interested in that business. They are interested in developing and applying Watson to business applications.

4:17 p.m.: I am with Steve Mills. When Mils talks with clients about smarter planet, they begin to see the opportunities but they wonder where they get their seed funding. They have to know that all the costs can be earned back pretty fast. Information technology as the transforming tool is something that provides power in a company. It goes beyond cost accounting.

Mills sees cities rapidly adopting smart technologies. Why? It’s in part due to being able to see gaps where they could not before. You can find space where there was none before. Previously, you could not get to it. Now computers are ideally suited to do these things. The computer fills in the gap.

Mills say the world we see now is more evolutionary than anything new. Systems evolve. As human beings we experience the benefits. We are dependent on our infrastructure. We evolve with it. The more real-time things become, the more you can find the gaps.

4:30 p.m.: Customers start with the business outcome. IT is a means to an end. They are trying to differentiate. How can I use technology?

Conversation turns to the cloud. Mills says definitions do not recognize the sea change over the span of decades. We only started referring to it recently as cloud.

Mills put me on the spot, asking if I think ADP is a cloud company. I say the cloud is about data. He says it’s more than that.

UPS, for instance, is now more of a logistics company. What are they trying to do? They are delivering what they do as a service. It is the use of information technology.

4:40 p.m. Conversation turns to the Internet of Things. Mills gives a historical perspective.

He says that in the mechanical age, we made things stronger than we were. The computer does that for the human brain. Machines augmented our muscles. Watson will augment our brain. The computer operates in a different domain and dimension.

4:55 p.m. I closed with asking why Watson was so popular. He said Jeopardy is a popular game show that has been around for decades. They know it is not easy. They saw the computer compete and it won. The computer seemed to understand things. It was fed data. It captured people’s imagination about what computers will do in the future. Our great grandparents worked by hand. They then moved into plants. They built using machines. Today, the computer can be an assistant with enormous amounts of knowledge that no one can have in their heads. The computer comes up with the answer.

See you tomorrow!

Disclosure: IBM covered Alex Williams’s travel expenses for this event.

(Lead image courtesy of @nitinraut

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