Cloud Options 101: Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, SaaS, or PaaS?

Cloud Options 101:
Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, SaaS, or PaaS?


There are a lot of options these days for cloud offerings.

If you are looking for a deep dive into the complexities underneath the covers, this document might be a bit too 101 level for you. We’ll discuss here at a high level, some of the different terms used to discuss cloud options, and some of the major players as well.


Simply put, the old joke goes “there is no cloud, there’s just somebody else’s computer”; this is pretty accurate, really.

This is more of a marketing term than a hard definition. Cloud refers to someone else’s data center, usually (more to come on this…); where usually some level of virtualization is in play. By some level, I refer to the many layers of virtualization in use today: from hardware, to OS, to network and storage, and I/O.
To back up a minute, a data center I will assume is a construct we all understand. Basically it’s an empty building with power, climate control, and high speed (hopefully) redundant internet feeds into which companies (or a single company) puts their servers and storage.
Most of the websites we know and love, live in someones data center, somewhere. Space in a data center can be rented out to store YOUR systems, that you move there, or ‘bare metal’ servers onto which you load whatever you like. Or, as we will discuss, the operator or Cloud Services Provider (CSP) may have a proprietary layer, or a ‘platform’ they offer to run certain types of applications.
So if you have an application, and want to run it somewhere else, not on site, that’s moving to the cloud, no matter the vagaries or the options used.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud is a mixed solution; mixed, in that it means there is some software that still runs on premise, and some that runs in the cloud.
Hybrid: This doesn’t mean necessarily splitting applications, though sometimes that is done, this is just a general term referring to a situation where not everything is moved to the cloud.

SaaS: Software as a Service

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is where one accesses a ‘canned’ software product that just simply runs in the cloud, and is delivered via browser. The most obvious example of this is, though there are countless others.

PaaS: Platform as a Service

Finally, we have PaaS, or Platform as a Service.
While a little more involved than other cloud options, there are CSPs that offer platforms for .net applications, Linux applications, specialized IBM centric applications requiring DB2, WebSphere, and more. The licensing for the application subsystems (database, OS, web app servers, etc.) is included in the base metered price.

Which cloud options are right for you? 

Reach out for a consultation with us, and we’ll help you begin the journey to find the best cloud options for you.

MQ In The Cloud: How (Im)Mature Is It?

Everyone seems to have this concept that deploying all of your stuff into the cloud is really easy – you just go up into there, set up a VM, install your data and you’re done. And when I say “everyone” I’m referring to CIOs, software salespeople, my customers and anyone else with a stake in enterprise architecture.
When I hear that, immediately I jump in and ask: Where’s the integration space in the cloud today? Remember that 18 or 20 years ago we were putting up application stacks in datacenters that were 2- or 3-tier stacks. They were quite simple stacks to put up, but there was very little or no integration going on. The purpose was singular: Deal with this application. If we’d had a bit more foresight, we’d have done things differently. And I’m seeing the same mistake right now in this rush to the cloud.
Really, what a lot of people are putting up in the cloud right now is nothing more than a vertical application stack with tons of horsepower they couldn’t otherwise afford. And guess what? That stack still can’t move sideways.
Remember: We’ve been working on datacenter integration since the old millennium. And our experience with datacenter integration shows that the problems of the last millennium haven’t been solved by cloud. In fact, the new website, the new help desk, the new business process and solutions like IBM MQ that grew to solve these issues have all matured within the datacenter. But the cloud’s still immature because there’s no native, proven and secure integration. What we’re doing in the cloud today is really the same thing we did 20 years ago in the datacenter.
I’m sounding the alarm, and I’m emphasizing the need for MQ, because in order to do meaningful and complicated things in the cloud, we need to address how we’re going to do secure, reliable, high-demand integration of systems across datacenters and the cloud. Is MQ a pivotal component of your cloud strategy? It’d better be, or we’ll have missed the learning opportunity of the last two decades.
How mature is the cloud? From an integration standpoint, it’s 18 to 20 years behind your own datacenter. So when you hear the now-familiar chant, “We’ve got to go to the cloud,” first ask why, then ask how, and finish with what then? Remind everyone that cloud service is generally a single stack, that significant effort and money will need to be spent on new integration solutions, and that your data is no more secure in the cloud than it is in a physical datacenter.
Want to talk more about MQ in the cloud? Send me an email and let’s get the conversation started.
(Photo by George Thomas and TxMQ)

IBM WAS Enhancements Deliver Internet-Scale Clustering For Applications

IBM recently announced enhancements to its WebSphere Application Server (IBM WAS) version 8.5.5 that deliver more functionality and services to the Liberty and full profiles. The enhancements are geared toward both development and production environments and are said to provide “significant enhancements in terms of developer experience and high-end resiliency.”
The features can largely be installed optionally from the WebSphere Liberty Repository and used in conjunction with features previously available and active.
Developers now have new programming models and tools. The result: A better developer climate that should result in a more rapid pace of application deployments. Administrators and businesses can leverage new Intelligent Management and security features to lower the administrative overhead of managing, scaling, and securing servers.
WAS in general is gearing itself more and more toward cloud and mobile development and deployment, hence the rollout of these new features.
Specific enhancements to WebSphere Liberty include:

  • Java EE 7-compliant programming model support for WebSockets 1.0 (JSR 356) and Servlet 3.1 (JSR 340) to enrich applications with responsive dynamic content
  • Additional Java EE 7 components in support of APIs for processing JSON (JavaScript] Object Notation) data (JSR 353) and Concurrency utilities (JSR 236)
  • Auto-scaling capabilities to dynamically adjust the number of Java virtual machines (JVMs) that are based on workload and auto-routing to intelligently manage your workload
  • Improved operational efficiency of large-scale, clustered deployments of tens of thousands of Java virtual machines (JVMs) in a Liberty Collective
  • Configurable, global Web Service handlers for extending and customizing payloads to Web Service applications
  • REST connector for non-Java clients to extend client access to Java Management Extensions (JMX) administration infrastructure through a RESTful API.
  • Simplified configuration processing for feature developers to enable customization of WebSphere Application Server Liberty profile capabilities
  • Enhancement to the distributed security model using OpenID and OpenID Connect to simplify the task of authenticating users across multiple trust domains
  • Enhancement to WebSphere Liberty Administrative Center for usability and management of large collectives of application servers
  • Enhancement to WebSphere Application Server Migration Toolkit – Liberty Tech
  • Preview includes new binary scanning capability to quickly evaluate applications for rapid deployment on WebSphere Liberty.

TxMQ is an IBM Premier Business Partner and we specialize in WebSphere. For additional information about IBM WAS and all WebSphere-related matters, contact president Chuck Fried: 716-636-0070 x222, [email protected].
TxMQ recently introduced its MQ Capacity Planner – a new solution developed for performance-metrics analysis of enterprise-wide WebSphere MQ (now IBM MQ) infrastructure. TxMQ’s innovative technology enables MQ administrators to measure usage and capacity of an entire MQ infrastructure with one comprehensive tool. Visit our MQ Capacity Planner product page.

IBM Worklight Foundation Now Available In Cloud Version

IBM Worklight Foundation is a tool that helps users easily extend their business to mobile devices. It’s best-known known for its open, comprehensive platform that allows users to build, test, run and manage native, hybrid and mobile web apps. It reduces both development time and maintenance overhead (hence the “light” name).
If you’re competing against other businesses to bring an app or use case to mobile, Worklight slices the time-to-market and helps beat the competition.
IBM recently announced the availability of a new Worklight Foundation Cloud Edition V6.2. With this new option for deployment, current Worklight Foundation customers can leverage their existing Worklight investment by deploying their applications in the cloud.
The Worklight Cloud edition also helps clients to:

  • Accelerate web, hybrid, and native mobile development
  • Engage users by integrating applications with existing enterprise data
  • Facilitate application security and trustworthiness
  • Provide support for mobile IT operations

In terms of platforms, Worklight Cloud simplifies the development of mobile web, hybrid, and native applications across iOS, Android, BlackBerry, WindowsTM, Windows RT, Windows Phone, and JavaTM ME.
Also of note: It provides visual-development capabilities and source-code enhancements to help developers accelerate the development, test, and deployment of mobile applications in the cloud.
Interested in mobile development, deployment or integration? TxMQ can help. Initial consultations are free and communications are always confidential. Contact vice president Miles Roty for more information: (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected].

AT&T Partners With IBM Cloud To Extend MPLS Services

AT&T NetBondSM is a network-enabled cloud solution that allows customers to extend their MPLS VPN to cloud-service providers with enhanced speed and security.
AT&T and IBM recently announced a partnership under which AT&T will extend its NetBondSM services to IBM’s SoftLayer cloud platform. That’s good news for customers because MPLS offers stronger security and performance above standard public Internet. Plus, the IBM and AT&T alliance will allow customers to easily create hybrid-cloud computing solutions. AT&T VPN customers can use NetBondSM to connect their IT infrastructure to SoftLayer’s cloud services. These are highly secure, highly-reliable, high-performance connections.
The official announcement quoted Jim Comfort (GM of IBM’s cloud services). According to Comfort, the alliance provides options for customers to better leverage hybrid cloud. Coast-to-coast secure connectivity is critical, and the MPLS-based, dedicated NetBondSM network is ideal. In essence, customers can move workloads to and from SoftLayer platforms as if they were on a LAN. Furthermore, the bandwidth is dynamic and allows customers to use as much or as little bandwidth as they need.
Here’s a brief look at some AT&T NetBond benefits:

  • Simple: Works seamlessly with existing AT&T VPN through APIs, creating an automated experience. Customers don’t need to order or manage any other equipment or access lines.
  • Savings: Network elasticity that automatically flexes with the needs of the cloud service. Companies can save as much as 60% on networking costs.
  • Performance: Delivers as much as 50% lower latency and three times the availability when compared with the public Internet.
  • Security: Isolates traffic going directly to cloud platforms using the AT&T private global network, providing more protections from risks such as DDoS attacks.

The combined AT&T/IBM services are expected to be available sometime in Q1 2015.
Want to move into the Cloud but not sure how to do it? TxMQ can help. Initial consultations are free and confidential. Contact vice president Miles Roty: (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected].

IBM Cast Iron Options: Appliance Vs. Live (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is fast becoming the deployment du jour, but appliances haven’t lost favor yet. The decision over an on-premise install or appliance versus an SaaS solution should still be made on a case-by-case basis. IBM Cast Iron offers both options and each enables cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise and on-premise-to-on-premise integration and real-time, near-real-time and batch.
Here’s a brief look at both options.

Cast Iron As Appliance

Cast Iron can be deployed as either physical hardware or a virtual machine. With this style of deployment, the Integration Appliance is installed on-premise – normally behind the firewall, but not within a DMZ.
The runtime environments for the dev, test and prod lifecycles are typically separated, each with its own Integration Appliance to access necessary endpoints within the environment.
The user maintains full control of projects and their orchestrations on the appliance through the WMC. The orchestrations are started through activities which include polling, scheduling or an incoming request – an HTTP Receive Request, for example. Data flows through the Integration Appliance and is stored internally as XML variables. Users control the logging for each orchestration.

Cast Iron Live

This multi-tenant, browser-accessed deployment model includes key components for users to design, run and manage integrations all in the cloud. Those components are:

  • A clustered runtime engine that runs the integrations with built-in fault-tolerance and recovery mechanisms
  • A multi-tenant, highly available system to store the designed integrations
  • A load-balancer to intelligently manage the loads throughout the various runtime engines
  • Highly available file systems to store and manage logs that are related to the integrations

The Live version also includes a Design environment with the same capabilities as the on-premise Studio environment
TxMQ specializes in application integration. Initial consultations are free and communications are always confidential. Contact vice president Miles Roty for more information: (716) 636-0070 x228, [email protected].

WebSphere Cast Iron Hypervisor Delivers Xen Support

WebSphere Cast Iron Hypervisor fix pack version became available on June 30, 2014, and with it came support for the Xen server as hosting environment.
Cast Iron Hypervisor delivers rapid cloud integration for companies that want to harmonize business processes across a hybrid landscape. Cast Iron delivers elegant integration solutions like the ability to:

  • Quickly connect cloud and on-premise applications
  • Chaperone legacy integrations into the cloud
  • Collaborate with IBM Worklight to externalize mobile-app enterprise data and processes

With the fix pack, Hypervisor can now run on one of these following hosting environments:

  • VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1, 5.0 or 5.1
  • IBM PureApplication System W1500
  • Xen server 4.1.2 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server release 5.6 and later 6.0

TxMQ offers full Cast Iron service and support. Contact VP Miles Roty for more information: [email protected], 716-636-0070 x228.

Predicting Tech: Is This The True Rush To The Cloud?

A few thoughts on cloud with an hour left at work on a Friday.

Hosted services aren’t new. Virtualization isn’t new. The practice of hosting applications grew out of advancements in virtualization technology. Remember it was mainframes that began offering “virtualized partitions” – what we know of today as logical partitions, or what were called LPARs in the 1960s. This technology eventually moved to the distributed world and allowed single physical boxes to host multiple, isolated environments or clients. Thus was born the first hosted applications, or what we can consider early cloud solutions.

Today the technology has advanced far beyond these simple examples. Hardware’s virtualized. So are applications. Memory, IO and network connectivity are not only virtualized, but now also managed (either by the hardware, the operating system or third-party software) to involve real-time redundancy and failover to produce nearly 100% uptime availability.

Thus we see old factory buildings and warehouses being repurposed as datacenters. Add in some redundant power, cooling and network connections and anyone can set up and host a cloud server farm. Seems like the rush has arrived, right?

Not so fast. There is a bullrush to move everything possible into the cloud. For the public at large, it’s a great way to store and access music, share photos, run productivity applications like Salesforce and Word and stream video. For a business, it’s a great way to add functionality without increased overhead. You don’t need a cross-company hardware upgrade or extra seat to support a new bit of enterprise software. The software is hosted, it runs through a browser and the cloud services provider handles backup, availability and most support (which you’ll want to confirm and evaluate, of course).

Yet for all the hype, the true rush-to-cloud hasn’t yet begun. Remember, when you move any portion of business or functionality into the cloud, you’re inevitably going to face bandwidth issues like massive upload queues, taxed servers, partial data loss or decay and all the other headaches that come from relying on someone else to deliver functionality that used to reside in-house. Total solutions have not yet arrived, but are on the way.

That’s why I argue that the true cloud rush probably won’t come until sometime in late-2015/early-2016.

What do you think? And why? Sound off in the comments section below.

Want to know more about how to move into the cloud? Contact TxMQ: (716) 636-0070 or [email protected].

New Year, New Technology Trends

By: Crystal Miller
As 2011 begins, here are some of the technology trends we’re seeing that business IT Professionals should have an active eye on to increase their value… both for themselves and the companies they work for:
1. Cloud Computing – As Cloud Computing continues to evolve it becomes more of a reality in the investment schedules for 2011. There is the obvious economic business advantage of being able to essentially leverage operations’ expense budgets by reducing the capitalization needed in ASPs. When many sectors are still looking at decreased budgets in 2011 but increased project loads, Cloud brings forward a strategic model that’s both financially compelling to large enterprises and well-timed. Look for utilization of IaaS and PaaS to increase in 2011 – especially PaaS cloud stacks as it allows for a more nimble environment for testing, conversion runs and temporary processing power boosts with less drain on company resources.
2. ‘Business Unit IT’ – Since the 80s, IT has been organized along functional, organizationally-centralized service lines, but times are changing. Look for notable movement to the ‘business-unit IT’ model where IT is more of a business partner for individual business segments within a corporation.  It will act as both a project manager and an analyst that can turn data into information that the business can act on. This movement continues the trend of the ‘business-aligned’ services units that was started by the HR BP replacement of HR Managers in the last decade.
3. Project Management – More than 40% of US companies are looking to add permanent project managers to their ranks this year; many of whom say they’re looking to professionals with PMP certifications first. That being said, this may be the year to invest in your continuing education if project management is an intended notch on your career ladder. Also, as the aforementioned Business Unit IT model grows; new PM hires will also have the added responsibility of increased ‘remote team’ management, off-site data security, and vendor/third-party oversight.
4. Application Development – As mobile enterprise workers continue to increase in number, and the smart-phone and tablet computing continue to gain popularity, the demand for JIT development professionals with rapid programming or agile methodology expertise is high on the ‘must-have’ lists for CIOs, CTOs, and IT HRBPs in 2011. Also, look to an increase in development professionals with experience in security design as the financial sector moves more towards the Cloud, creating additional emphasis is on the emerging trend of 360 security.

IBM's key solutions for company growth and success

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Nancy Pearson, VP BPM, SOA, & WebSphere Marketing, SWG at IBM about their solution categories and what it can do for your business.Check out her responses regarding what’s new and exciting with IBM technologies. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
TxMQ: Can you please give a brief overview of the following IBM solution categories?


  • BPM: The basic operational value proposition of business process management (BPM) is the ability to process more with less effort and higher quality. BPM provides three core benefits – efficiency, effectiveness and agility. We’re continuing to invest in our market-leading BPM portfolio, which includes products many of you may already be using, such as WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Business Modeler, WebSphere Business Monitor, and WebSphere Lombardi Edition. You can discover, document, automate, and improve revenue-generating processes to drive growth, reduce cost, and optimize execution across your business network. IBM can help you get started with a BPM solution that will help deliver business agility by providing a prescriptive approach based on best practices from more than 5,000 customer engagements.
  • SOA: As business processes evolve, suppliers and regulations change. Organizations need to have seamless integration and connections within the boundaries of the organization and across trading networks. It’s vital to share services across domains to optimize business performance and improve flexibility.  They also need any-to-any connectivity to allow easy integration within and beyond the company – connecting systems throughout their dynamic business network.  In addition, it is also useful to have a federated approach that helps manage complexity – even as they share services across different domains.  We have leading integration and SOA capabilities that include WebSphere Message Broker, WebSphere DataPower, and WebSphere MQ products. We’re improving our capabilities in this area with WebSphere MQ Telemetry, which enables intelligent decision making based on remote real-world events. We’re also enhancing IBM Cast Iron appliances. IBM Cast Iron appliances help integrate on-premise applications with cloud-based apps. And you can build, run and manage an integration between applications and deploy it using a physical on-premise appliance, a virtual appliance, or completely within a multi-tenant cloud service.
  • Cloud: Your company needs to be able to respond quickly to business changes that effect your applications and services, all while managing costs. Virtualization and Cloud are key technologies that enable you to control costs while adding flexibility to the infrastructure that supports your applications and services. With Virtualization and Cloud technologies, you can simplify management of applications and services while optimizing the usage of your infrastructure resources. Given the inherent flexibility of virtualized infrastructure, you can roll out new products and services more dynamically. And you can ensure immediate application response with through elastic scalability. We’re continuing to invest in our core application infrastructure portfolio that includes CICS, WebSphere Application Server, and WebSphere Virtual Enterprise. We are announcing a new Feature Pack for Modern Batch for our WebSphere Application Server, which provides support for a Java Batch programming model for the development and deployment of batch applications. You can also migrate applications developed using the feature pack to IBM’s comprehensive batch platform, WebSphere Compute Grid, without making any application changes.

TxMQ: Can you describe the type of company or the business needs best served by one or more of these technologies?

IBM: Think about today’s business structure. It is a growing network of relationships between employees, customers, suppliers and partners. It encompasses the people, processes and systems inside and outside the organization. It continues to get broader and more complex. Above all, it’s always changing. Suppliers come and go. Regulations change. New relationships emerge. It’s become a truly dynamic business network.
The ideal business looking to integrate these products is businesses is looking to successfully deal with this change and complexity that are using these technologies. The new business environment will favor companies able to execute faster, with more dexterity, across their dynamic business network. That’s why the ability to help deliver agility with these capabilities is so important.
TxMQ: What benefit will be derived from implementing one or more of these integrated technologies?
IBM: Agile businesses have higher EPS growth, ROI and return on capital, with faster revenue growth than their industry peers.
Only IBM has the products and expertise to deliver on the promise of business agility. Using the best practices from thousands of customer engagements, deep industry expertise and market leading products, IBM can deliver a road map to help you achieve profitable growth and enable business agility. To get you started with a project that meets your business objectives, IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) offers IBM QuickStart services to accelerate the delivery of a deployed solution, helping you realize value quickly around BPM, rules, events, SOA, cloud computing and virtualization. IBM will get you up and running with a high ROI project in just 90 days, delivering great business value you can showcase around your organization. They’ll also set you up with a great proofpoint for taking further steps, should you choose to do so in the future. As business value is realized, you can extend those projects both vertically and horizontally to make your organization even more nimble. Such an integrated approach encompasses your business processes, relationships and infrastructures, helping you fully realize true business agility.
TxMQ: What company officials generally need to be a part of the decision to implement IBM technologies?
IBM: That’s an interesting question, because the issues being solved here are top-of-mind with many CEOs.  Just this year we published our most recent research based on interviews with over 1500 CEOs worldwide.  The full study can be found here:
CEOs are clearly interested in the power of these capabilities to transform their business.  More directly involved are the line of business executives that own the outcomes and the key processes used to deliver them.
I started with the business executives because these technologies are very much about aligning IT with the business – so it’s important for that connection to occur, as it makes sense for a project.  When an initial project begins, you typically see the LOB executives, their IT counterparts, and the IT managers in charge of the applicable applications and associated software infrastructure directly involved.
Clearly though, other IT executives, from the CIO to the chief architect, play a critical role in making sure that initial projects can be leveraged down the road , as capabilities are extended for the broader benefit of the organization.
TxMQ: How will the new technology allow companies to strengthen existing customer relationships?
IBM: A Smart SOA approach can help any business manage complexity and improve agility by enabling integration, interaction, and business execution across distributed value chains. With solutions for seamless, any-to-any integration and connectivity, within and beyond the organization, IBM can help you:

  • Maximize service reuse across your enterprise
  • Federate within and across SOA domains, including cloud and smart devices
  • Enhance flexibility and security across your enterprise

New IBM solutions simplify integrating your software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud applications with on-premises applications. With configurable access to today’s most prevalent SaaS and cloud applications, integration takes days versus weeks or months.
IBM, together with Sterling Commerce, helps you gain greater control over, and flexibility with, critical business processes within and beyond the enterprise. Sterling B2B Integration extends connectivity across channels to trading partners so you can:

  • Communicate efficiently across, and extend management of, trading partner communities
  • Eliminate “blind spots” and improve business performance with real-time business transaction visibility and performance metrics
  • Minimize business risk and achieve consistent policy enforcement and compliance

TxMQ: How difficult is the transition into these products and how much downtime can a company expect?
IBM: We continue to invest in making our solutions as simple and effective as possible.  To help our clientele transition to our products, we have introduced innovative new cloud-based offerings that enable you to get up and running quickly with minimal IT investment. Our new IBM Blueworks Live offering is a great example, allowing you to automate simple processes in just 90 seconds! We have also introduced WebSphere Hypervisor Editions for many of our offerings that significantly speed time to value for deploying and configuring environments. WebSphere Hypervisor Editions allow you to install and configure defined standard topology patterns in a matter of hours, and easily manage installation and deployment.
TxMQ: Are there any new and particularly exciting product updates within a specific industry?
IBM: We have delivered a lot of exciting product enhancements across multiple industries.  One of the really exciting announcements we have made is around IBM Blueworks live – a new BPM in the Cloud offering that allows knowledge workers to leverage the benefits of BPM in a cloud environment to capture, understand, collaborate on, and improve everyday processes that drive their businesses. Blueworks Live combines the best of our two previous BPM in the cloud offerings: the community from BPM BlueWorks and the process documentation of BPM Blueprint. On top of that, Blueworks Live adds in exciting new automation capabilities, creating a first-of-its-kind, best in class new offering to improve processes. BlueWorks Live helps turn the unstructured  activities of real business people into automated processes, with the added benefits of visibility, understanding, insight and control.
We also have enhanced our industry accelerators to include updated support for industry standards, more pre-built assets, and an enhanced industry asset navigator tool.  These industry accelerators cover a wide range of industries including Banking, Insurance, Healthcare and Telecommunications.
TxMQ: What’s the best way for a company to choose the right product to fit their needs?
IBM: The first step is to identify your business objectives. With all the complexity of a dynamic business network, starting down the road to business agility can seem challenging. The key to success is to use the right approach, an approach that starts with careful analysis that is focused on business value, and then expands slowly leveraging incremental successes along the way. By first documenting what your business pains and goals are, you can understand which area to focus on first. Are you trying to solve a process issue?  Do you need to establish better linkages across your dynamic business network with customers, suppliers and partners? Are you looking to control costs and add flexibility to your application infrastructure? IBM can help you identify the best solution to meet your business objectives and provide a roadmap for achieving those business goals.
TxMQ: How are the new versions of the aforementioned products better and more efficient than previous editions?
IBM: I’ve mentioned several of the updates already. The bottom line is that we’re bringing forward improved ways to be prescriptive in delivering business agility. With things like the new IBM Blueworks BPM in the cloud offering and new IBM QuickStart services, we’ve brought together the technology and expertise of IBM to engage both business and IT in projects that return real value in the short term, and set the foundation for extended value in the longer term.
TxMQ: Can you share any new and exciting products that companies can look forward to in 2011?
IBM: I can’t provide specific details around our planned announcements for 2011, I can tell you that we have a lot of exciting things planned. I would encourage you to register at for our Impact 2011 conference, which is being held in Las Vegas April 10 – 15th, 2011. At the conference, you can learn about our new products and announcements across BPM, SOA and Application Infrastructure. Impact 2011 will feature a world-class Technology Program with over 400 sessions on WebSphere BPM, SOA, commerce and cloud technologies. We will also have a Forbes sponsored Business Program with over 40 sessions addressing critical business topics and issues, and a state-of-the-art EXPO and Product Technology Center featuring the latest technologies from IBM and IBM Business Partners.