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LAS VEGAS, NV
08 Apr 2008:
Today's Information Technology departments are under enormous pressure to allow business users to interact with information on demand, including text, audio, video and data from the Web -- but must often prioritize enterprise-wide issues ahead of the needs of individual departments and end users. This balancing act frequently leads to frustration and missed opportunities, and causes increasingly tech-savvy business users to embrace new, simpler technologies, in some cases bypassing central IT departments.
IBM understands the challenges of both sides, and has created a mashup portfolio to help all types of individual users and teams get the information they need. The portfolio is centered around two key products: IBM Mashup Center and WebSphere sMash. Together, these new products enable everyone from the non-technical business user to the IT Manager to develop dynamic applications to satisfy an immediate need.
IBM Mashup Center -- for the non-technical line of business user
IBM Mashup Center allows non-technical users -- anyone in a business -- to literally drag and drop mashup components from personal, enterprise and Web sources to easily create, deploy and share customized Web applications in minutes. In addition to the ease-of-use, the product also includes the management, security and governance capabilities that IT departments require. The IBM Mashup Center is planned to begin Beta on April 15, 2008.
An early Mashup Center customer is already using these capabilities to improve their sales force effectiveness. The company is combining core enterprise ERP and CRM data with a line of business application to show accounts by region, sales history, customer service incidents and projected sales pipeline by product line. Sales reps can then upload their own planned travel and spreadsheets of account forecasts into IBM Mashup Center which generates feeds to allow them to plan their most effective customer engagement strategy with better insight about the account including external Web-based information on the customer's business environment and even competitor activity.
Business users interact with IBM Mashup Center's browser-based tool to provide easy assembly of new mashups. The software includes a set of out-of-the-box, business-ready widgets, as well as a catalog for finding and sharing widgets and mashups. To create new widgets, IBM Mashup Center includes an easy-to-use development environment to access enterprise systems and the Web. Users can also take advantage of built-in Web 2.0 community features like ratings, tagging and commenting.
It also provides the environment for unlocking, transforming and mixing enterprise, departmental, Web and personal systems while enforcing enterprise-class security and governance. IBM Mashup Center stores information feeds from enterprise sources in RSS, ATOM or XML formats to maximize the types of information that can be unlocked and remixed. With the ability to merge, transform, filter, annotate or publish information in new formats, the software helps create a single view of disparate sets of information in minutes.
The new IBM Mashup Center Product is powered by intuitive user mashup capabilities from Lotus Mashups, and information access and transformation capabilities provided IBM InfoSphere MashupHub.
According to research firm Gartner, more than 30 percent of Global 2000 organizations will enter a new era of end-user computing via user-assembled, composite applications created with enterprise mashup environments by 2010. IBM is building on nearly three years of leadership in the mashup space, and working with clients, partners and industry organizations to help unlock the value of the Web.
"The power of the Web is now in each person's hands," said Kristof Kloeckner, Vice President, Strategy & Technology, IBM Software Group. "And businesses are made up of individuals who can be innovators and problem solvers on their own, without waiting for, and straining IT support."
IBM WebSphere sMash -- development environment for the technical developer
WebSphere sMash provides an agile development environment that supports today's hottest dynamic scripting languages, enables rapid aggregation of disparate services and feeds, and employs RESTful approaches to unleash critical information and services found within a company. This powerful combination allows companies to use technology to extend the reach of SOA, better align with business goals and uncover new opportunities to boost productivity or reach new markets. IBM WebSphere sMash can easily be used to create widgets for IBM Mashup Center.
For example, a U.S based retailer can use the WebSphere sMash to help accelerate the start-up of new stores opening overseas. The retailer has new local partners and employees that need a combined view of internal SOA services, such as pricing and inventory levels, and external services, such as currency exchange rates, and external carrier shipment verifications. This consolidated view of information helps the local partners and employees quickly uncover new business insights, more effectively communicate and provide consistent and accurate reporting of sales and inventory levels to headquarters at the end of each quarter.
A developer's version of WebSphere sMash will continue to be available from www.projectzero.org as a free download, while the commercial platform will be sold on a per license basis and will be available in the second quarter direct from IBM and its partners.
IBM's deep history in open standards, information integration and emerging Internet technologies, make the company an undeniably strong partner in a new technology era.
To learn more about IBM's Web 2.0 initiatives, please visit: www.ibm.com/software/info/web20
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source