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IBM to Help Businesses Better Compete Against Industry Rivals


ARMONK, NY .-IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new industry-focused software and services to help clients spanning multiple industries including banking, telecom, healthcare and insurance, compete more effectively against competitors across the street, around the world or over the Internet.
The new products help identify a client’s performance against important business processes in their industry and then compare that performance to industry averages. IBM then helps develop a plan to increase a client’s business performance, measure and track business goals and more effectively manage business processes across an organization to help clients become best in industry class. Specifically, today’s announcement includes a Globally Integrated Enterprise Assessment, key agility indicators, business process management software and industry specific content.

“IBM further differentiates itself in the SOA market with these new offerings that enable customers to measure their company’s level of performance and compare those results to industry peers,” said Robert LeBlanc, general manager, Global Consulting Services and SOA, IBM Global Business Services. “These tools provide clients with a competitive edge that will help them surpass previous business goals while also advancing the entire industry by raising the competitive bar.”

The first new offering is the IBM Globally Integrated Enterprise Assessment. The assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation of a company’s current status, determines a strategy for identifying and seizing new global market opportunities and helps make recommendations for closing skills gaps and new business strategies. It is closely integrated with IBM’s approach to helping customers use a service oriented architecture (SOA), a business strategy to reuse existing technology to more closely align with business goals helping to result in greater efficiencies, cost saving and productivity.

New Key Agility Indicators
An agile business is able to quickly respond to changes, opportunities and threats. IBM has defined Key Agility Indicators that determine a client’s ability to become a globally integrated enterprise that can sense and respond to fluctuations in customer demand, detect and alert changes in real time and proactively monitor key business processes. It is the combination of new KAIs and traditional Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that provide today’s business leaders with a complete set of information to support business decisions.

To help clients measure agility, IBM is announcing the IBM Benchmark Wizard with KAI for supply chain. This tool -- which measures the performance of a business processes compared to industry norms -- is based on IBM intellectual capital from over 16,000 client engagements worldwide in all key industries and contains over 1,200 industry standard performance metrics from APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking Collaborative(SM) (OSBC) research. The results help organizations to take corrective action to address underperforming business processes and adjust resources accordingly in a service oriented architecture. IBM will introduce this capability across a wide range of additional vertical industries throughout the next year.

For example, the tool may reveal that a bank’s credit card account opening process performs well below the industry average and identifies specific areas that may need improvement such as speeding up the application process, reducing errors or marketing to higher credit worthy consumers.

Focus on Business Process Management
Managing end-to-end business processes in an SOA allows clients to examine the behavior of individual process that can be modified to adapt to change. Business process management (BPM) also helps define and manage business areas that provide strategic differentiation and are critical for growth.

A new version of WebSphere Business Monitor helps business managers track performance of key business processes, detect, decide and respond rapidly to anomalous situations, identify trends, help predict future events and take proactive, corrective actions.

Business dashboards provide additional monitoring capabilities to help business leaders assess how well the business meets the corporate strategy and goals. They provide multiple views of the status of operations, processes, and transactions in real time. New offerings include a human task dashboard view that tracks the performance of people in business processes and identifies bottlenecks; a KPI dashboard view that creates, updates and tracks the performance of KPIs; and a Google map dashboard view that combines geographical data with delivery location data to optimize and determine delivery routes.

These personalized dashboards show the business metrics and KPIs of interest and the views of that data. Data can be filtered and prioritized and multiple views can be consolidated to provide a complete picture of key activities, including those which need immediate attention. Business reports can be generated for specific time periods and advanced algorithms are capable of identifying hidden patterns or trends.

Industry Specific Content Packs
Automating business processes that are common to a given industry can increase a client’s performance against competitors by freeing up additional resources that can then be applied to business areas that provide a strategic advantage. IBM industry content packs now available combine services expertise with the WebSphere Business Services Fabric to allow customers to quickly automate end-to-end business processes in an SOA. These software packages deliver pre-built business service templates that contain industry specific frameworks and tools common to a particular industry. All IBM industry content packs use an industry glossary which contains a common vocabulary and taxonomy of industry terms that can be used across disparate IT systems and with business leaders. Customers can also use WebSphere Business Monitor along with WebSphere Business Services Fabric and the industry content packs to consolidate reporting and gather feedback on reaching business goals. IBM industry content packs now available include:

* IBM Banking Payments Content Pack for WebSphere Business Services Fabric
* IBM Telecom Operations Content Pack for WebSphere Business Services Fabric
* IBM Healthcare Payor Content Pack for WebSphere Business Services Fabric
* IBM Insurance Property & Casualty Content Pack for WebSphere Business Services Fabric


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