IBM’s bringing Watson to a whole bunch of new developer tools

Watson is coming to the financial services industry; IBM adds Kubernetes support

IBM Watson developer cloud Kubernetes

As IBM welcomes an estimated 20,000 developers, customers and partners to Las Vegas this week for its InterConnect conference, a running theme throughout the three-day show is providing application builders with cognitive and analytical tools based off the company’s Watson platform.

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“We’re seeing a lot of clients moving beyond the base capabilities of cloud, which were leveraged perhaps for cost reduction, and shifting to examine higher-level IaaS services that are focused on really creating business value,” says Don Bulia, a general manager in IBM’s cloud division. “We’re taking cloud as the foundation, then bringing data analytics and cognitive as the value on top of that.”

Many of these announcements are focused on attracting developers to IBM’s cloud platform, and providing them tools that have built in analytical capabilities. This plays out across a number of announcements that IBM is making this week, including:

-Additions to Cloud Integration Suite

Integration Suite helps customers incorporate existing data into new cloud-native applications. IBM updated three specific products that make up the Suite (which can now be purchased together or separately): IBM Cloud Product Insights is a new offering that allows customers to view, track and report usage metrics in an analytics dashboard; IBM Digital Business Assistant is a multi-cloud management platform that uses machine learning and process automation; and IBM Cloud Automation Manager provides automated provisioning, orchestration and governance in multi-cloud environments.

-New Watson capabilities for mobile device management and financial developers

IBM announced plans to extend Watson’s capability into its MaaS360 unified endpoint management (UEM) product. IBM says it is training Watson on concepts such as device enrollment, identity management and regulatory compliance to help identify zero-day threats and malware.

-New Cloud Storage offerings

IBM introduced two new storage offerings for its cloud, including a new Cold Vault option for data that is infrequently accessed. Unlike IaaS cloud competitors like Amazon Web Services, IBM says it delivers stored data in “hundreds of milliseconds” instead of minutes. A second new offering is named Flex, which allows customers to move data between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ data storage tiers, based on how frequently the data needs to be accessed. IBM also announced a partnership with NetApp, which allows the company’s AltaVault customers to automatically send backups to IBM’s Cloud’s object storage platform.

-New Kubernetes deployment for managing containers

IBM has introduced new support for the Kubernetes container management platform in its Bluemix cloud, meaning that customers can use code and APIs from the open source project to manage clusters of containers.

-Watson gets smart in finance

IBM is launching a new focus for developers that work in the financial services industry, and are giving them access to Watson tools. This follows up on an earlier commitment to develop Watson capabilities for the health care industry. Bulia was scant on details regarding how services will be tailored to the financial services industry, but he said IBM would work with customers to build apps that are compliant with regulations and secure.

-New analytics for game developers

In partnership with backend gaming platform PlayFab – which is hosted in Amazon Web Services – IBM will now offer customers advanced insights in player behavior, using Watson and IBM’s other machine learning technology.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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