IBM beefs up hybrid cloud software portfolio with automation and data

In its ongoing quest to be a leader in the hybrid cloud sector, IBM announced new automation and data capabilities to its hybrid cloud software portfolio.

The new updates are on IBM Cloud Pak for Data and Cloud Pak for Automation, which offer integrated data and AI capabilities that run on Red Hat OpenShift. With more businesses accelerating their digital transformations by moving workloads and applications to the cloud due to the pandemic, the updates were designed to better manage and automate data-intensive processes.

The updates will help businesses streamline software provisioning and patching, while also improving data discovery and document processing across hybrid cloud environments.

“Cloud Pak offerings are integrated with AI and give companies a consistent experience from Pak to Pak,” said IBM's Michael Gilfix, vice president and chief product officer, Cloud Paks, in a statement. “And because they run on Red Hat OpenShift, clients can deploy and manage them on any cloud environment, be it on-premises, and/or public cloud. With today’s announcements, we’re driving automation and data management capabilities even farther across the enterprise.”

The updates for Cloud Pak, which will be available Nov. 20, include industry accelerators for banking, warranty management, supply chain forecasting, and retail. With the latest additions, IBM has more than 30 industry accelerators, which are sample data science assets built for specific industry use cases.

The assets include sample data sets, prebuilt machine learning models, and sample dashboards.

The Cloud Pak updates also include Watson Machine Learning Accelerator (WML-A), which is a new deep learning service capability to optimize training models and monitor workloads. Also added to Cloud Pak for Data is a new feature called Federated Learning that enables users to train common models using remote, secure data sets.

Lastly, IBM's Quick Scan was updated to perform more scalable automatic data discovery to support deeper analytics and generate more insightful outcomes. The results of the analysis can be published to one or more catalogs directly from the results page, which speeds up the process.

Cloud Pak for Automation now includes Automation Document Processing, which was designed to help enterprises eliminate manual document processing in order to allow employees to focus on higher value work. Available now, the new tool combines AI with deep learning and low-code tooling, making it easier to accurately design, configure and deploy document classification and extraction for any document type and format.

Cloud Pak for Automation also includes Process Mining capabilities from IBM partner myInvenio. It provides a data-driven means to help identify the most impactful areas of business and IT to automate. Available in December, features including simulation, business rules, multi-level process, and task mining, will be integrated into IBM Cloud Pak for Automation. The addition of process mining to Cloud Pak for Automation enables IBM to now offer a set of hyper automation capabilities for both businesses and IT teams.

Credito Emiliano (Credem), a large Italian bank, is using myInvenio process mining with IBM Cloud Pak for Automation to make its operations more resilient by automating and streamlining its processes. So far, Credem Bank has analyzed more than 50 processes and plans to scale up to 400.

In addition to those updates, IBM also announced an expansion to its growing hybrid cloud ecosystem. Cloud Pak for Data is available on Tech Data’s Stream One Marketplace, as well as the new Red Hat Marketplace.

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As part of its ongoing hybrid cloud build up, last week IBM announced its Cloud for Telecommunications platform, which is new hybrid cloud platform that draws a bead on 5G.

IBM Cloud for Telecommunications was the latest step up the cloud evolutionary ladder for IBM. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, who was formerly in charge of IBM's cloud division prior to taking over as CEO in April, has doubled-down on IBM's hybrid cloud business as it seeks to close the gap on market leaders Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google. Last month, IBM announced it was splitting into two companies by the end of next year in order to better focus on its high margin cloud growth. 

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