IBM’s PureSystems—an Impressive First Year

Thursday May 16th 2013 by Rob Enderle

The one-year-old solution has already achieved quite a bit of success.

This month is IBM PureSystems' anniversary, and they’ve actually made an impressive amount of progress in the year they have been in market. This was an ambitious operation designed to differentiate IBM’s servers.

The market appeared to be drifting towards the generic. IBM anticipated that the market needs were changing, however, and decided to bet on a unique solution that could better deal with these changes.

Anticipated Market Changes

Perhaps the largest change IBM had anticipated when they created the PureSystems solution was the trend toward analytics. This is the large-scale analysis of increasingly massive amounts of captured data to assist executives in making critical decisions.

They saw data—we call it “Big Data”—and likened it to a huge natural resource that was being significantly underutilized. They knew that only advanced analytics systems running on properly tuned hardware would provide the results needed at an acceptable price.

Cloud was also becoming a common term, and it appeared that the concept was coming of age. This was bringing scalability to the forefront, and IBM saw that it would need to develop and ship quickly a system that could be as flexible as the solution required.

Mobile and social solutions were also becoming dominant trends, thanks to products like the iPhone and the hosted services that made these devices useful.

What PureSystems Became

IBM decided to take an appliance approach to creating solutions. It shipped five unique configurations: PureFlex System, PureApplication System, PureData System for Transactions, PureData System for Operational Analytics and PureData System for Analytics. The sixth system, due for launch shortly, will be the PureData System for Hadoop. Each of these systems was designed to address a specific problem that IBM was anticipating.

They took an appliance approach because they realized that companies were learning themselves and didn’t have the bandwidth or skills to create custom systems. IBM could get enterprises up and running for far less time and money if they created targeted bundles that could be installed quickly and easily.

These time-to-production and cost advantages carried into the deployments and went to the core of the program’s success. IBM can now argue, with a significant degree of credibility, that they have the best offerings for the current market in the segment. And that is an impressive claim in a market this young from a company of IBM’s size.

Reported Results

According to IBM, they have deployed over 4,000 PureSystems offerings in 90 countries using 275 partners. They have on file more than 110 case studies and positive references, which clearly helped drive their sales wins. Their efforts have been popular socially, with over 14 million impressions from related social conversations and more than 520,000 views of related YouTube videos.

Wrapping Up: Happy Birthday PureSystems

This is an impressive first year for IBM and PureSystems. They are well poised to carry that success into 2014.

The market appears to be increasingly driven to this idea of creating data appliances because the benefits from the capital expenditures appear quickly. They also minimize risk because the systems heavily leverage the experiences of the companies that have deployed these systems before.

And PureSystems dovetails nicely with IBM’s overarching Smarter Computing initiative, which increasingly seems to apply as much to the buyers as it does to the solution. Smarter Computing has been an unprecedented success for IBM.

Given IBM’s recent announcements on heavy medical use for some of these solutions, it is increasingly likely that reaching my own next birthday may be tied to IBM’s future success in this area.

Happy Birthday, PureSystems. Not bad at all for a one year old.

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