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IBM extends e-commerce into cloud with ExperienceOne suite

Ellen Messmer | May 15, 2014
IBM also spending US$100 million on Interactive Experience Labs in 10 cities

Newell Rubbermaid, based in Atlanta, wanted to quickly introduce an online marketplace to countries around the world to directly sell some of products, said Vinh Tran, senior manager of e-business, PMO and operations.

Newell Rubbermaid wanted to use WebSphere for this expansion of product information and sales, but the IT and e-business teams debated whether to use it as on premises server-based software or a cloud service that IBM was making available. Tran said the decision was made to try the cloud-based service both because it seemed more versatile and cost-effective. IBM's cloud-based WebSphere Commerce as a service is based on a monthly charge.

The consumer and commercial products maker, which got implementation help from IBM partner Rosetta, has found the cloud-based WebSphere to be a "rich and scalable platform," said Tran. "You're not limited." The implementation, which has been put to use in 32 languages, is hosted at IBM's data center in Raleigh, N.C.

IBM says it has about 40 data centers around the world where this type of cloud-based e-commerce service can be put into action. Tran said one advantage of going with the cloud model is that it is likely much faster to turn on a similar benefit of going with cloud email, etc.

IBM's acquisition of Aspera, which provides software for encrypted transfer of large digital files (and also encrypts those files at rest), brought a foundational piece of technology that IBM is expected to integrate into its e-commerce offerings.

Speaking at the conference, Sony Pictures' Glen Marzan described using Aspera software to transmit both whole films and daily footage from films being made. "Aspera has changed  everything," said Sony Pictures' vice president of ITPS digital content technology, noting what used to take 26 hours via software based on FTP can now be done in 3 hours. It's been critical in transmitting movies to places such as China over the Internet, he noted.

IBM has integrated Aspera into its SoftLayer cloud platform, and plans call for the Sterling File gateway to have Aspera technology embedded as well. For the future, it means Aspera will be a valuable option available for secure and fast delivery of a wide range of content, from customer analytics to videos, that are part of the digital e-commerce process. "Video is pervading everything we do," said John Mesberg, vice president of B2B and Commerce Solutions at IBM, noting Aspera brings a way to move it around securely.


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