IBM BPM Ties Cloud, Mobile And Social Into Enterprise Apps

IBM has revealed new business-integration software that is designed to help enterprises integrate the collaborative capabilities of social media, mobile and cloud computing into their enterprise apps.

The latest release of IBM’s WebSphere application server, which is used by more than 100,000 customers, serves as the cornerstone for these new capabilities, IBM said.

BPM Software

The new integration software, announced 1 May at the IBM Impact 2012 conference, includes the IBM Business Process Manager, which combines new capabilities of social collaboration, governance and mobile to improve the way enterprises work. The new BPM software enables enterprises to gain visibility into the way they change, manage, measure and improve the processes that run their business.

Meanwhile, the IBM Operational Decision Management offering speeds and simplifies the way enterprises manage the business rules that control decisions across business processes and applications. This offering features a new social-media-style user interface that provides an intuitive environment for collaboration and simplifies searching, viewing and making rule changes, IBM said.

The third piece of the new IBM business integration software puzzle is the newly announced IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Live Web Application Programming Interface (API) Services, which allows enterprises to extend their services to support the community of developers building new social, mobile and cloud applications. The new offering helps users deliver, socialise and manage business APIs, the company said.

To demonstrate the value of these new software and services offerings, IBM highlighted the case of the Ottawa Hospital, which is working with IBM to build a new system to improve the quality of patient care and help better manage the flow of patients throughout the hospital.

The hospital has seen both a hefty increase in patients resulting in some overcrowding, as well as more patients being admitted with complicated and acute symptoms. The IBM system provides extensive patient information and hospital resource availability to the clinical staff, via mobile device, to speed both admission and treatment.

“Physicians should be focused on patient care, not be tied up doing lower-value activity, like calling for consults or trying to negotiate admission for a patient,” Dale Potter, senior vice president and CIO at The Ottawa Hospital, said in a statement. “The concept behind our new system from IBM is that we are able to help our staff have one consolidated view on important data and processes, getting the right information to physicians at the right time.”

For example, an attending physician can send an electronic request to a patient’s primary physician for clarification on past diagnoses. The patient’s doctor receives the consultation request immediately on their most accessible device – a tablet, smart phone or a computer. They respond directly to the specific consult questions electronically, so the attending physician can correctly diagnose the patient, IBM said.

Analytics Expertise

The new system builds on IBM’s expertise in business process management (BPM), operational decision management and analytics, and is critical to helping the hospital rethink how it uses its IT infrastructure to cut across functional silos and better co-ordinate care, IBM officials added.

IBM has long held a lead in the middleware space, having been the overall market-share leader in middleware for 11 years running, according to market research firms. IBM now holds 32.1 percent of the market and claims to have extended its lead to nearly double that of its closest competitor, according to analyst estimates.

IBM says all this success is owed to its WebSphere application server, which continues to lead the market in performance. IBM’s recently announced WebSphere Application Server 8.5 was named the leader in middleware performance as measured by SPECjEnterprise 2010 in Enterprise jAppServer Operations per Second (EjOPS) per processor core, which measures the efficiency of middleware software servers.

Based on the latest industry-standard benchmark results, IBM’s middleware software is 16 percent faster than any other vendor’s middleware on equivalent hardware, IBM said.

Darryl K. Taft

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

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