IBM revamps its Rational delivery model

ORLANDO In an effort to improvesoftware development practices, IBM Corp. on Monday rolled out a new licencingmodel for its Rational software portfolio and moved some of its software andsystems development tools to the cloud.

The company referred to its newlicencing option as “token term pricing,” which it said would giveorganizations tremendous flexibility when accessing IBM’s cloud-based softwaredevelopment and delivery capabilities. Users will be able to purchase “tokens”from IBM to get access the “right software at the right time” during theirprojects.

Additionally, the tokens will beinterchangeable among services and users, which means that when an organizationno longer needs to access a particular product and moves on to a new phase inthe development cycle, they can simply transfer over these tokens to anotherproduct or service.

The news came from IBM’s Innovateconference in Orlando, its newly renamed annual event for RationalSoftware users.  While previousRational Software conferences have kept a narrow focus on the Rational productline, this year’s event branched out into other IBM services, including cloudcomputing and security.

Scott Hebner, vice-president ofmarketing and channel management for IBM’s Rational Software group, said thenew pricing model would cut costs for customers. He added that the offering isgeared toward organizations with multiple software development projects andteams.

“Customers are not buyingindividual products that sit on the shelf and may not be used,” Hebner said,referring to the savings opportunity the pricing model can bring to IT shops. IBM also added a term licencingoption to its pricing package.

To complement these changes, thecompany is also making its entire Rational product portfolio available via thecloud. This included Rational Software Delivery Services for Cloud Computingsupport for IBM’s Cloudburst offering, which is a prepackaged service deliveryplatform for data centres looking to access production cloud services.

These services will also help ITdepartments use the cloud to development and test their software acrossmultiple platforms, the company said.

In addition to the new licencingand cloud options, IBM also looked to address the difficulties that companieshave in building out software and implementing it into actual, physicalproducts. The company unveiled itsIntegrated Product Management offering, which it says will bundle over 30different IBM hardware, software and services that will manage the entireproduct development and integration spectrum.

Throughout the show, IBM executives continually pushedthe idea that software will play a vital role in the way businesses driveinnovation over the next several years.

Hebner said that every businesswill have to become a software business.

“The successful businesses of thefuture are those who build strong competencies in software,” he said. “So manycompanies are suffering due to a lack of competency in this space.”

Danny Sabbah, general manager ofIBM’s Rational group, said software is the “invisible thread” that will enableto large scale, interconnected systems of the future. An typical ambulance,which he called “a data centre on wheels,” contains about 50 million lines ofcode and 1,000 different software components.

Robert Hall, environment fleetmanager with UPS Inc., said his company is using Rational software to helpdevelop ways to reduce the amount of miles its delivery trucks drive.

Hall said the company is usinghardware and software to optimize route planning, which helps drivers avoidroutes with lots of left-hand turns and traffic lights. UPS also uses softwareto determine which railways can provide the most optimal delivery routes.

He added that UPS, entering intoa partnership with power management firm Eaton Corp., has developed the world’sfirst hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle, which can reduce fuel emissions by storingenergy. The vehicle can also reuse energy while breaking by pumping fluid fromthe low pressure reservoir into the high pressure accumulator.

Related to the world ofautomobiles, IBM closed out its list of major first day announcements byannouncing a partnership with Daimler AG subsidiary, Hughes Telematics Inc., towork on computing technology in automobiles. The terms of the deal were notmade public.

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