IBM Launches New IoT Business Unit

After pledging billions of dollars to advance its IoT capabilities, Big Blue makes it official by launching a new business unit.
Posted September 15, 2015

Pedro Hernandez

IBM formally launched its Internet of Things (IoT) business unit, the company announced on Sept. 14. The development comes months after the IT giant announced it was investing $3 billion over the new four years on IoT research and products.

In March, in support of the effort, the company launched new programs including the IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries and the developer-focused Bluemix IoT Zone. "Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, in a statement of the time.

Now, IBM announced a new business unit that will apply its expertise in Big Data, analytics and cognitive computing to the IoT markets. Also in the works is a new Education division.

The units will be headed by Harriet Green, the former CEO and executive director of the Thomas Cook Group and Premier Farnell, both British companies. She also held executive positions at Arrow Electronics.

Green's group will Green will lead a team of 2000 consultants. The education-themed unit will officially launch later this year.

"The Internet of Things will help enterprises and governments at every level unlock entirely new areas of opportunity and growth, and no company is better positioned than IBM to be the partner of choice as these organizations embrace its potential," said Green in a statement. "Likewise, education is being transformed by technology and IBM is incredibly well positioned to help leaders in the field enable this change."

Of late, IBM has been rapidly expanding its IoT capabilities.

After snapping up Aspera and its cloud-friendly Big Data transfer technology in 2013, IBM announced this summer that it adapting Aspera's FASP protocol and related technologies for IoT communications. In the summer of 2014, the company unveiled its second-generation SyNAPSE chip, a processor patterned after the way brains work.

The company hopes its low-power SyNAPSE technology will one day lead to smarter IoT systems and mobile devices that can process sensory information. "These brain-inspired chips could transform mobility, via sensory and intelligent applications that can fit in the palm of your hand but without the need for Wi-Fi," said Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha, chief scientist at IBM Research's Brain-Inspired Computing division.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Tags: IBM, IoT

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