IBM is now collaborating with more than 30 partners to help infuse client operations with edge technology.

By Rob High, IBM Fellow and VP, CTO IBM Edge Computing; and Evaristus Mainsah, GM, IBM Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem

We are experiencing a time of enormous change as 5G and edge computing converge in ways that were previously unimagined. We see more data than ever is now being created at the edge, and coupled with the promise of 5G, IBM and its ecosystem partners are focused on helping telco providers and enterprise clients drive new revenue and return on investment.

Last year, we introduced IBM Edge Application Manager alongside an ecosystem of partners designed to help clients move data and applications seamlessly across hybrid cloud environments, from private data centers to the edge. But we believe the true potential of edge will only be realized when enterprises can efficiently deploy, operate and manage thousands of endpoints throughout their entire operations, including remote locations at the far edge of the cloud–such as warehouses, stores, factory floors, oil rigs, and vehicles. To help achieve this, we have expanded IBM’s ecosystem to include more than 30 partners like Atos, Capgemini, Intel and Wipro, enhanced IBM Edge Application Manager to quadruple the number of edge devices enterprises can simultaneously manage, and introduced new edge solutions for telecommunications, retail and manufacturing.

Growing IBM’s partner ecosystem to drive edge innovation and scale

We are now collaborating with more than 30 partners that are committed to helping infuse client operations with edge technology leveraging hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G. Many of these partners will also help bring edge computing to the IBM Maximo Enterprise Asset Management suite. Our newest companies committed to the ecosystem include:

  • Atos leverages IoT data with video analytics solutions, powered by the AI capabilities of BullSequana Edge servers. Atos plans to leverage IBM Edge Application Manager to help provide customers with plug-and-play, industrialized and large-scale Edge deployments.
  • Capgemini offers an Edge Computing solution for Retail and Restaurant industries utilizing containerized apps on the Red Hat platform designed to enable local computing services that can empower faster business decisions.
  • ClearBlade, Inc.’s  Intelligent Assets is a no-code IoT application built for business operations, and designed to provide tracking, monitoring, control and inferencing all planned to be delivered and run edge native with IBM Edge Application Manager.
  • Colt Technology Services, a provider of agile, high bandwidth and on demand connectivity solutions, plans to work with IBM to explore innovative use cases using Cloud Satellite and Edge Application Manager for the benefit of enterprise customers globally across Colt Technology Services’ 29,000 customer sites.
  • GenXComm (GXC) delivers a 4G/5G mesh network solution designed to be secure and private, in a variety of bands including the unlicensed CBRS band; GXC can optimize communication to help transmit and receive at the same time – on the same frequency, and provides management software designed to enable a reliable and economical 4G/5G network.
  • GK Software’s flexible, open, and innovative commerce platform CLOUD4RETAIL hosted on IBM Cloud is designed to help retailers innovate and adapt quickly to the digital era by offering consumers connected omnichannel experiences.
  • FogHorn’s Lightning Edge AI Platform and Solutions are designed to enable mission-critical use cases that require real-time data analysis and closed loop control, to help unlock the full potential of 5G investments.
  • Hivecell Inc. plans to provide the Open Horizon agent on its devices to enable IBM Edge Application manager-based autonomous deployment of containerized software to its Hivecell Edge as a Service platform targeted for Q4 2021.
  • HP Inc. has announced compatibility of IBM Edge Application Manager with HP’s Engage Edge solution, designed to seamlessly help manage Edge Deployments in Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare and other verticals.
  • Lenovo helps to enable IBM’s hybrid cloud vision from IBM Cloud to the end user devices through comprehensive solutions that are designed to be secure, connected and reliable.
  • Lumen Technologies is using its global Edge Compute platform to deliver IBM Cloud Satellite to enterprises. Enterprise customers can now extend IBM Cloud services across Lumen’s robust fiber network, including more than 180,000 connected enterprise locations, and edge computing sites which are designed to meet 95% of U.S. enterprise demand within 5 milliseconds of latency, and help enable customers to consistently and securely harness IBM’s open hybrid cloud technologies designed to deliver AI and Machine Learning in near real time at the edge.
  • mimik Technology Inc. is the provider of the Hybrid Edge Cloud platform and edge-based microservices. mimik plans to work with IBM Edge Application Manager to build and deploy platform-centric edge solutions that can extend cloud-scale computing resources to end devices on the edge, and designed to reduce OPEX, Capex, TTM, and latency while addressing security and data privacy.
  • NetApp, Inc. plans to collaborate with IBM to deliver AI/inferencing services designed to enable customers to take local, real-time actions based on machine generated, edge data. NetApp directly integrates distributed workloads and data at the edge to NetApp’s AI training and data lake solutions in the core and cloud via the data fabric. 
  • Scale Computing HC3 Edge is designed to deliver a flexible and intelligent on-premises edge computing platform for zero-touch deployment of applications requiring high-availability and resilience.
  • Super Micro Computer, Inc. plans to collaborate with IBM and intends to deliver innovative, high-performance, AI enabled edge servers designed for broad edge-to-cloud deployment options to customers that address the industry’s movement toward open-source software and disaggregated hardware.
  • Vantiq Inc. offers a low-code full lifecycle development platform designed to help rapidly build real-time edge-native applications that it plans to deploy across IBM’s Edge Application Manager.
  • Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, offers a Boundaryless Universal Edge (BLUE) ready-to-service stack and 5G Edge and IoT Services Solution Suite designed to provide customers flexible business-driven alternatives, better time to market, reduced costs, faster insights and actions, and more automated, secured operations.
  • Zebra Technologies empowers the front line of business in retail, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, public sector and other industries to help achieve a performance edge by intelligently connecting people, assets and data that can help companies make business-critical decisions.

These companies join a diverse set of infrastructure, device, and solution providers announced when we first launched the ecosystem, including Cisco, CloudHedge, Dell Technologies, Eurotech, Equinix, Geniatech, Hazelcast, Humio, Intel, Juniper Networks, Portworx, Samsung, SmartCone, Sysdig and Turbonomic. IBM supports ecosystem partners by helping them integrate, test, and bring solutions to market using IBM Edge Application Manager. Together, we can help to improve the performance of business-critical applications by hosting data analysis at the source of where it’s generated. This can  lead to faster decisions, higher continuous operation service levels, increased data control, improved security, reduced network and administrative costs, and support for clients’ regulation adherence.

IBM Edge Application Manager automates across 40,000 devices

Powered by open source project Open Horizon, IBM Edge Application Manager is a hybrid cloud solution that runs on Red Hat OpenShift and allows AI, analytics, and IoT enterprise workloads to be deployed and autonomously managed through a single administrator. Today, we can help enterprises process an increasing amount of data gathered at the edge through enhancements to IBM Edge Application Manager that quadruples the number of devices clients can simultaneously manage.

In collaboration with Intel, we utilize Secure Device Onboarding (SDO), a “Zero-Touch” solution made available as open source through the Linux Foundation and designed to help enterprises securely and automatically provision the IBM Edge Application Manager agent using the equipment provider’s root of trust. SDO enables the foundation for multi-tenant support, to help enterprises deploy and autonomously manage solutions across 40,000 devices such as smart cameras, sensors, drones, and industrial robots, helping them drive the automation of edge applications across thousands of endpoints.

IBM Edge Application Manager’s integration with IBM Cloud for Telecommunications and support for IBM Cloud Satellite extends access to 500+ data centers in 60+ metro areas and 200,000+ enterprise locations, and can help to reduce network-related infrastructure costs, increase automation and speed deployment of next-gen services. This is especially important for Communication Service Providers (CSP) that are searching for ways to transform their networks and deliver new services to clients across hybrid cloud environments. 

Collaborating on edge solutions to help clients in retail and manufacturing

A recent IBV Study, The end of communications services as we know them, found that 91% of high performing CSPs expect to outperform financially as a result of using 5G and 5G-enabled edge computing in five years. We believe that our enhancements to IBM Edge Application Manager supported by more than 30 partners is already fueling this return on investment and accelerating innovation across industries, such as telecommunications, retail and manufacturing.

For example, in collaboration with Intel and HP Inc. we developed an Open Retail Reference Architecture for retailers and suppliers, designed to reduce the cost and complexity of AI, analytics, and process automation in store locations.

And in manufacturing, we are bringing a portfolio of edge compute and analytics solutions for our clients and Operational Technology partners designed to accelerate their digital transformation with hybrid cloud and open source. Here, we are working with partners like FogHorn, GenXComm, Hivecell, mimik and Vantiq, to bring new innovation and automation, and help build and deploy intelligent workflows across existing and new edge devices on the manufacturing floor. This is designed to allow clients to retain full physical control of their data and help them address regulatory requirements and data privacy.

Our growing partner ecosystem will help us scale IBM’s edge platform as part of our hybrid cloud strategy and augments IBM’s extensive work across Systems, Storage, Cloud and AI.  Our goal with this approach is to drive innovation for clients by helping them integrate technologies like 5G to automate and analyze data at the edge with better reliability and speed across connected devices, creating even more opportunities for clients to improve performance and enable continuous operations.

To learn more about how IBM is collaborating with partners on edge click here.

To learn more about IBM Edge Application Manager click here.