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ARMONK, N.Y. - 08 Oct 2009: 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.
Among the offerings in today's announcement that address discovering these insights are:
WebSphere Industry Solutions
In addition, IBM's new BPM FastPath accelerates BPM deployments focused on departmental or contained projects that require significant human interactions throughout the process lifecycle.
Interact - Maximize the value of business information
The IBM CIO survey also showed that when the right information is delivered within the right business context, business leaders view the value of information with increased interest. In the study, 42 percent of respondents said they are forced to make decisions with the wrong information at least once per week. A truly dynamic business network relies on the ability to seamlessly connect all disparate elements within a company's IT infrastructure. The products announced today help provide clients with the ability to service enable their applications and information assets and change from a rigid and inflexible business to one that is agile and efficient.
"The new WebSphere software provides Kingdee with a market operation platform that easily integrates customer data and related processes across our systems," said Dr. Robert Y. Chu, Kingdee SOA Innovation Center Vice Chairman. "By giving our service reps this integrated customer view, we were able to reduce response time by 50 percent and customer complaints by 60 percent."
To address business connectivity IBM has today announced:
WebSphere Business Events and Extreme Scale v7
WebSphere Message Broker v7 and WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus v7
Optimize -- Improving productivity and resources
Organizations around the world are recognizing the need to reinvent their processes and IT infrastructures to gain the increased agility they need to meet changing market conditions. However, in order for these processes to increase productivity and optimize performance, they need to be able to automate both human tasks and workflows. IBM is providing the technology backbone that helps clients manage this complex, variable and evolving business process. For example, products from IBM's recent acquisition of ILOG, including the recently announced IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules 7.0, are proving critical for clients seeking to manage and automate decisions in their legacy applications.
Swiss Medical, a leading medical services provider in Argentina, is using ILOG JRules to automate its medical claims processing. Using the new Claims Excellence Application, Swiss Medical has been able to reduce unnecessary medical treatments, provide faster payments to practitioners, and lower incidents of fraud and abuse.
"We've been getting great results using IBM Business Rules Management System because of its ease-of-use, advanced rule management capabilities, and consistent high performance," said Rodolfo Viola, IT and Operations Manager, Swiss Medical. "The agility provided by IBM WebSphere ILOG JRules allows us to automate our business rules and reduce costs."
Building on successes such as this, IBM is announcing new process support products including:
WebSphere Process Server v7
WebSphere Registry and Repository and Advanced Lifecycle Edition v7
Today's announcement reinforces IBM's commitment and investments in SOA and BPM. With an SOA community of more than 8,000 clients and 7,400 Business Partners, and a BPM community of 5,000 clients and 2,500 Business Partners, IBM continues to build on both its SOA and BPM leadership. This leadership has been recognized by leading independent analyst firms who have all cited IBM as the industry leader in BPM, SOA and BRMS.
For more information on all of the new products and services or for details on how IBM is helping clients and Business Partners to make smarter, faster decisions by using SOA, visit: www.ibm.com/smartwork/businessagility.
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