Perficient IBM blog

Subscribe to Emails

Subscribe to RSS feed


Follow IBM Technologies on Pinterest

2 Time Savers Working With the Transformer Stage in DataStage

Over the years of working with DataStage I have come across some tips that I find can be huge time savers when working with the DataStage Transformer stage.  Here are two that I find really useful in real world projects – Propagate Values and Derivation Substitution.

Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: The Cognitive Boardroom powered by IBM Watson

Imagine sitting in a conference room discussing potential targets for a merger or acquisition.  You say to the staff lets find the top 10 companies in the robotics space that have annual revenue between 20 and 50 million dollars.  This is where our M&A search will start.  The staff goes off and researches data and pulls together a list by the end of the week.  Then you say, “tell me which ones have high revenue per employee”.  Off the staff goes to find that information.  And so on.  Obviously the research effort for this is fairly intense.

Now imagine you are sitting in the same conference room but are connected to a Cognitive Processing Cognitive Environmentsystem like IBM Watson.  You say, “Watson, show me the top 10 companies in the robotics space that have annual revenue between 20 and 50 million dollars.”  Immediately (or really quickly) Watson responds with a display of those companies on the large wall of screens.  You ask the follow on question and Watson delivers the answer in seconds.  You ask Watson to suggest a suitable merger candidate from the list and Watson performs an deep analysis and ranks the targets.

IBM Research is working on this concept of a Cognitive Boardroom where you interact in real time with the very powerful Watson Cognitive Environment.  At IBM Connect, Dan Gruen from IBM Research talked about the research they are doing into “The Future of Cognitive Environments for Strategic Decisions”. Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: Content Management for Mobile

Barry Pellas from PointSource spoke about several options for delivering content to mobile devices. Imagine you want to display a coupon to a user has they navigate your mobile app. But you also want to deliver that same coupon to someone browsing on a desktop browser. You don’t want to create two different coupons and manage them separately, so you want to use your IBM Web Content Manager to store and manage that content.

IBM WCM has all the tools you need to provide this content- it provides REST APIs to access content from a mobile app, it has integration with the personalization features with Portal, it can easily deliver pre-rendered content, and has caching facilities.


Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: Considerations for The Cloud

Chris Miller, a man who knows how to run the room, presented at IBM ConnectED on cloud considerations when preparing to move to the cloud. Chris took a cloud agnostic approach to deployment. In reality, Chris outlined what you should be asking and thinking as you plan a deployment.  Most of the issues come less from server sizing and more from network bandwidth sizing and pricing.

Keywords and definitions

  • Business Continuity:   Goal is to fail over to “somewhere else” to access everything.  More than just a data center.
  • Disaster Recovery: not just a physical location, where can I go get my data. Treat as a living breathing site. Can’t just go there without testing once a year.
  • Fault Tolerant: Just redundancy.
  • Redundancy: an always available path.
  • Fully hosted environment
    • Get rid of everything I have and put it in the cloud
    • Purest form of service with options giving you control levels
    • dedicated servers (physical or VM)
    • Full management rights to your system
    • Part of your existing domain (or not)
    • Single SLA
    • Backup retention standard with modifications allowed
    • Contract bandwidth caps- you get charged a ton of money if you go beyond that.
    • and more

Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: Optimizing Mobile Applications

Tyler Tribe, IBM’s Product/Offering Manager, IBM Digital Experience Software, presented a great session at ConnectED 2015 titled “Optimizing Mobile Applications with IBM Digital Experience, IBM MobileFirst, and IBM ExperienceOne.”  The session focused on keys to delivering successful mobile experiences.  Some of the key points and messages from the session were:

 Mobile Statistics

  • People check their phones on average 150 times a day
  • By 2018 smartphones will grow from 71% to 91% of the market
  • 102 billion apps are expected to be downloaded this year

Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: IBM’s Mobile Strategy and Social Way to Work

Dan Swango, Director, IBM Collaboration Solutions, and Baan Slavens, Sr Product Manager, IBM Connections presented a session at IBM ConnectED 2015 on IBM’s Mobile Strategy in the collaboration space, which includes IBM Verse, Connections, Sametime and Traveler applications.

Baan presented some market statistics:

“The average person unlocks his or her smartphone 110 times each day.”

“25% of Americans Use ONLY mobile devices to access the internet”

“Average person takes 90 seconds to respond to text vs 90 minutes for email”

“There are 5x phones to PCs.”

IBM has recognized the mobile market and is making big investments in mobile.  IBM delivered over 100 updates in 2014.  Here is a summary of those updates. Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: Integrating Digital Experience and Connections

The Digital Experience has many components. IBM makes the case that they can create an empowering and relevant experience based on all the tools in the Digital Experience Suite.

  • Commerce
  • Integration
  • Marketing Management
  • Analytics Optimize
  • Cloud
  • Portal
  • Personalized targeting
  • Social and UCC
  • Mobile
  • Content Rich Media
  • e.g. lots of products

Example: Jyske Bank. They used IBM’s Suite to delivery to more than 1,000,000 customers.  They highlighted web site, mobile apps, mobile web, etc. Case study highlighted the lower costs over time to deliver that experience.

Value of social business comes in many areas. Here are a few: Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: What’s New in IBM Connections

IBM’s ConnectED 2015 conference is off to a great start with many great speakers and sessions lined up. Today I attended David Brooks’ session “What’s New in IBM Connections and IBM Connections Mobile.” What I find most impressive is how much effort and has gone into the user experience making the tools much richer, easier to use and overall much more useful. Some of the key new features include:

Usability improvements

  • Personalized navigation – End users can now customize how they see content
  • One tap access to content that matters to and individual
  • View and manage Community events
  • Recent history quick view

Community Owner Customization Capabilities

  • Community owners have complete control over layouts and content
  • Community navigation is streamlined in the left column so widgets can be rendered on the left
  • Widgets (such as Members) can be moved through drag and drop
  • Widgets are all responsive
  • Widgets titles can be renamed

Other features Read the rest of this post »

IBM Connected 2015: Collab in The Cloud, Strategy and Directions

At IBM Connected today, Rebecca Buissan and her team presented on where SmartCloud for Social is going. Jacob Anders, corporate systems manager for Verisure, Dave Durazzano and Alan Marshal of the technical team also presented.

The cloud has come a long way:

  • 2011: cloud was designated as one of 4 growth plays
  • 2013: invested $2B
  • 2014: additional $1.2B in cloud expansion with Cloud Marketplace and BlueMix.
  • 2014: relaunched as IBM Connections Cloud.  Now have more seats in SaaS than any other property
  • 2015
    • Cloud revenue of $7B
    • More than 100 SaaS apps
    • Complete reorginization of IBM Business Units

In 2014, IBM Connections Cloud:

  • 8th most visited IBM homepage
  • Verse launched
  • 3,000 new capabilities in cloud
  • Symetry with on premise app
  • More seats than any other IBM SaaS property
  • Quadruple growth in three of the last 5 quarters
  • 100% growth in the partner ecosystem

What are customers saying: Read the rest of this post »

IBM ConnectED 2015: What’s New in WebSphere Portal & Web Content

It’s time again for Rob Will’s semi-annual presentation on What’s New in IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Manager. Rob is IBM’s Chief Architect for Portal and WCM and always has lots of slides showing off what the latest version of the product does and what has been implemented in the last year.portal2015

IBM’s vision is that they help you realize the art of the possible for engaging your users through a digital experience. IBM has been focused on better integrating Portal and WCM, enabling separation of responsibilities through projects and workflow, creating templates, and citizen development (opening development up to non developers).

Rob stated that they don’t intend to produce distinct releases, but rather will enhance the product through cumulative fixes released throughout the year.


For portal, mobile isn’t about building a single app, its about composition – how to build multichannel experiences by integrating multiple applications. On 8.5, they have now added a mobile simulator. You can now preview your digital experience on a variety of devices.

Worklight integration has also been enhanced. New Worklight modules are available and enabled out of the box.  Single Sign On between the mobile app and the website is one example. Content can now be stored offline so its accessible when you are connected to the internet. Read the rest of this post »