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IBM Focuses On 'Make It Work Better Or Cost Less'

More than 8,000 customers, partners and others have joined IBM for the Impact 2011 conference, where announcements included more than 50 new products, enhancements and services centered on the company's software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolio. The annual event focuses on Big Blue's SaaS offerings, which span from business process management (BPM) to collaboration, social business, Web analytics, B2B commerce, supply chain management, marketing and enterprise systems management.

The company says more than 20 million end user customers have adopted its cloud computing software and services, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. According to IDC, $17 billion was spent on cloud-related technologies, hardware and software in 2009, and this spending will grow to $45 billion by 2013.

The announcements included the revamped and rebranded Workload Deployer V3.0, previously known as IBM WebSphere Cloudburst Appliance version 2.0, and WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8, which increases a client's security and control, and delivers automated enhancements for the installation, maintenance, testing and problem resolution of business applications.

IBM also announced new consulting and services practices for business process management, as well as two pricing and financing programs to help business partners and start-up companies more easily build their own cloud applications and infrastructures with IBM technology.

What struck Janelle Hill, VP, business process management research, Gartner, as most significant at the kickoff to Impact 2011 was IBM's emphasis on helping business transformations, to position companies for growth and optimization of performance results with a much lower amount of emphasis on IBM technologies and product brands. "There is a significant amount of emphasis on the need for leadership and cultural change, not just technology," she says.

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