Key takeaways from IBM Analyst Insights 2015

PAC India attended IBM Analyst Insights 2015 in Bangalore this week. This was a two day event where IBM showcased its plans, strategies and capabilities to the analyst community. The participation in the event was impressive. Top executives from IBM Asia Pacific came in with their respective capabilities to show.

Since the event was focused on Asia Pacific, it is imperative for IBM to showcase the importance of India as a technology and R&D hub. Day one began with Duncan Hewett, VP, Software IBM Asia Pacific presenting IBM’s APAC strategy followed by Vanitha Narayanan, MD, IBM India and regional General Manager, IBM India/South Asia showcasing India and South Asia strategy for the company.

Here are the key points we picked up from the event in our conversations with executives from IBM:

  • Focus on Digital transformation: There is a huge focus on digital transformation. IBM calls those clients who are taking high levels of interest in digital transformation of their businesses as “Generation D”. These clients are using data generated from their business to analyze and use it for key decision making leveraging cloud and social media. They tend to take a systematic approach to digital transformation. IBM invited some clients and showcased how it has helped them transform their business using its digital capabilities. The focus is on convergence of hybrid IT, data & analytics and digital business transformation. IBM is strategically looking for new digital markets, new partners and new buyers through its digital capabilities.

  • Expansion of partner ecosystem: IBM has a clear focus on expansion of its partner ecosystem. It is investing heavily in new partners, technologies and geographies. The company is focusing especially on open ecosystem partners. It has partnered with the likes of SAP, Tencent, OpenPower, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, and more. These partnerships are focused on leveraging its cloud and digital capabilities for new business and clients. Partnership with Apple was one such win-win partnership that IBM showcased.

  • Transformation towards enterprise centric economy: The Company has transformed itself from organization centric approach in 1990s to individual centered approach in 2010 to today’s enterprise centric economy. In an enterprise centric economy the focus is on disruptive technologies that is changing the way business is done. The decision making is now a collaborated effort where CxOs (CEO, CFO, CHRO, CIO, CMO, CSO) are collaborating across the enterprise to drive business performance. The focus remains on cloud, analytics, mobility, social and security.

  • Leverage cloud capabilities through SME driven business: Traditionally IBM’s portfolio was not SME driven. However, with cloud driving the business and the huge opportunities that SMEs in India, China and other developing countries present, IBM is now strategically focusing on leveraging its cloud capabilities. IBM is now partnering with telecoms and vertical and horizontal ISVs to capture this market. It has partnered with Telstra in Australia and PLDT in Philippines for this. IBM has also done a partnership with a leading Indian telecom player for which it has not shared the name yet to provide cloud based services to SMEs on its Softlayer platform. The company is focusing on Bluemix which is a devops platform for developers. It is estimated that IBM is now getting 8-10 Bluemix deals per day with a ticket size of $400-$800 per month on a subscription basis. This may sound too small for IBM but looking at the number of SMEs in the market, this can turn out to be big market for IBM.

Additionally, IBM has its focus on smart cities in India. There are three areas of opportunities in India in this area. India has over 600 existing small and big cities. So brownfield projects to make this cities smart will be coming and IBM can play an important role here. Then there are greenfield opportunities from government of India in building its 100 smart cities. Additionally there are private real estate developers developing their own greenfield projects with lots of smart components in them. This is another opportunity to cater. Hopefully, IBM will make up for the delay it did in transitioning to changing market demands. And it is on the right path of another era of increased growth.