Looking Backwards and Forwards

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In this issue:

  • Backwards – World’s First Smartphone, Music from Mainframes
  • Forwards – IBM 5 in 5, The Era of Cognitive Computing
  • Forwards – IBM’s Green Initiatives

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Looking Backwards – World’s First Smartphone, Music from Mainframes

Our December theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ‘corporate history’, and Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist, has shared with us some very interesting highlights from IBM’s history such as the fact that IBM invented the world’s first smartphone.  It was also fascinating to learn of the musical compositions done from mainframes, perhaps the forerunner of the digital music trend of today.  Here are the some of the highlights from looking backwards:

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Looking Forwards – IBM 5 in 5, The Era of Cognitive Computing

Each December, IBM unveils the 5 in 5 — five predictions about technology innovations that will change the way we work, live and play within the next five years. The ideas come from the thousands of biologists, engineers, mathematicians and medical physicians in our Research labs around the world — IBM has the world’s largest industrial research organization.

In the next five years, computers will begin to mimic and augment the senses, helping us become more aware and more productive.  Today, we see the beginnings of sensing machines in things like self-parking cars–and the future is wide open.  From the company that built Watson, the Jeopardy!-winning computer, here are five upcoming technology advances that will change your world:

Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone
Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousands words
Hearing: Computers will hear what matters
Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter
Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell

Read more about it here:  http://wp.me/p2kcos-Bp

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Looking Forwards – IBM’s Green Initiatives

Building a Smarter Planet is a fundamental part of who IBM is as a company, and green initiatives are a key part of the focus for the present and future.  Here are a few highlights from the past week:

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Stay Connected with The Greater IBM Connection by:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

The Mainframe: Making Good in Africa, with IBM Business Partner CFAO

By Jean Noel Le Foll, General Manager, CFAO Technologies

Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, South Africa and Mexico are the fastest growing markets for computer equipment, making up 14% of the global IT market. The regions increasing their IT purchases the most are the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, according to Forrester Research. A growing list of companies in these emerging economies is relying on the IBM System z mainframe to build their infrastructures.

The Ministry of Senegal brought all of its import and export processes from across the country on-line with System z, and is now recovering 30% of Gross National Product, which amounts to two billion Senegalese francs in customs revenue every day. In the process, the Ministry increased the performance of its systems by 70%, reduced power consumption by 20% and cut operating costs by 30%.

The System Z Mainframe goes global

Customs officers in Senegal and their partners now have real-time access to information across all of the country’s border checkpoints. They can check to see if the correct duty has been paid on shipments of goods coming through the country’s main border checkpoints This is a vast improvement over the Ministry’s previous system, which was limited to two border checkpoints. The Ministry of Senegal is using technology to apply critical information to boost the country’s economic growth.

Logo of CFAO TechnologiesMy company, CFAO, also worked with the government in Cameroon to help them build their infrastructure on the mainframe. In Cameroon, the Cameroon Ministry of Finance is using a System z mainframe to help with smarter banking and modernize the payroll processes for government employees in the country. The new system is helping to increase the security of the Ministry’s payroll system and improve the efficiency of processes such as generating pay slips.

Mainframes provide enterprise clients in growth markets with an efficient platform for growth as they transform their businesses to become smarter in their industry. CFAO’s System z business in Africa has grown 15% over the last three years. And IBM’s System z revenue in growth markets was up 11% year to year in the second quarter of 2012, per IBM earnings.

Today, IBM announced a new mainframe that has been built with features that will appeal to clients in growth markets, such as the capability to run without a raised datacenter floor. IBM has been making changes over the last five generations of mainframes to enable clients to do this.

The new family of mainframes will also allow enterprises in growth markets to grow their business by 50 percent without increasing their energy usage, IT investment or system size.

CFAO expects the new mainframe will allow us to help more clients in Africa operate smarter to grow their economies and better serve citizens by more effectively making use of available data.

CFAO Technologies is an IBM Business Partner in West Africa.