Impact 2011: The Premier Business and IT Event
of the Year

Attend Impact and get the latest on SOA, WebSphere, and cloud computing

SERVICE MANAGEMENT IN ACTION In business today, the only constant is change. As organizations strive to create and deliver new services, swiftly adapt to new competitors and threats, and transform a problematic economy into a growth opportunity, IT can play a key role in making that happen. That said, moving from abstract business strategies to a specific, optimized implementation in a complex IT infrastructure is no easy feat.

This is why, for business and technology leaders today, IBM's annual Impact Global Conference is a great resource—nothing less than an educational extravaganza. And this year's conference, to be held in Las Vegas from April 10-15, will be no exception.

More than 6,000 IBM customers and business partners are expected to be on hand for the event—an opportunity for them to network with professional contacts, experience IBM's leadership in emerging areas, contribute their own insights and expertise, and get up-to-speed on the latest trends and developments, all in a single, eventful week.

Among other hot topics to be addressed at Impact 2011, for instance, will be:

IBM Tivoli will offer a wide array of key information at Impact 2011

“More than 6,000 IBM customers and business partners are expected to be on hand for Impact 2011—an opportunity for them to network with professional contacts, experience IBM's leadership in emerging areas, contribute their own insights and expertise, and get up-to-speed on the latest trends and developments, all in a single, eventful week.”

Intersecting all three of these areas—and many more besides—is the IBM Tivoli Integrated Service Management platform, which delivers enhanced visibility, control, and automation for even the most complex infrastructures.

And at Impact 2011, Tivoli will have a substantial presence. More than 40 different sessions will explore the specifics of how Tivoli solutions can play a part in generating a better business outcome, in any context or industry, via more straightforward alignment of business technology and business strategies. Twelve of these sessions, in fact, will be personally led by Tivoli experts.

In the Solutions expo, there will be a Tivoli pedestal dedicated to Integrated Service Management (specifically automation, image management, cloud, and security). And augmenting this will be significant Tivoli participation in three additional pedestals:

Get the latest insights and solution demos from IBM Tivoli experts

Beyond the pedestals, of course, many leading Tivoli experts will be on hand for sessions that discuss some of the most compelling topics in business and technology today—and how IBM can play a part in helping your organization explore or implement them for a competitive response to today's exceptionally challenging economy.

For instance, Jamie Thomas will be the executive speaker for the session "Business Agility Through Service Management and Operations Excellence." It's one thing to talk about aligning IT with business objectives; it's another thing to accomplish that, especially given the incredible complexity of today's IT infrastructures. How can organizations accelerate service rollout? How can they assess the experience end users or customers get from a given service—and swiftly make the appropriate adjustments to make that experience a better one? What's the best way to integrate technological management and business management—using one set of solutions to do both jobs? And at a time when most organizations spend two-thirds of the overall IT budget on operations, how can that ratio be reduced—creating more resources to invest in the strategic development of in-demand services? These and other questions will be asked and answered.

In "Enhancing Cloud Strategy and Architecture with IBM's Integrated Service Management," executive speakers Mo Abdullah and Dave Lindquist will similarly turn a spotlight on an area of considerable business significance. While cloud architectures have received tremendous attention in recent years, they also require expert insight to fulfill their full promise. Getting best business results from a cloud will require careful planning and implementation from the start, such as choosing the specific cloud model and creating a tailored strategy to monitor and optimize end-to-end service management. Fortunately, IBM offers an industry-leading, modular range of cloud solutions and services that can help. By combining these, as suggested by their specific business goals and contexts, organizations can ensure that a cloud deployment or service migration will deliver the intended value.

One specific area of pressing concern in enterprise IT today is image management—the overall strategy of creating and provisioning servers, whether virtual or traditional, via a library of system images. IBM's Doug McClure will present a session in the Expo Theater titled "Revolutionize IT Processes from Application Development to Deployment," showing how optimized image management can help enhance services from their cradle (in IT development) through every stage of in-production use.

Also in the Expo Theater will be a session offered by Michelle Lowe titled "Smarter, More Dynamic Businesses Align Priorities Using Tivoli and WebSphere Solutions." Here, the focus will be on automation—and the portfolio of solutions IBM offers to pursue it. In areas such as business process management, for instance, automation can drive a superior outcome by creating a more consistent, efficient, accelerated, and resilient infrastructure in which everyday tasks execute without human oversight—instead executing based on business policies, scripts, or real-time, automated evaluation of the infrastructure and changing workload requirements.

As suggested earlier, an entire Tivoli pedestal will be offered on the topics of automation, image management, and security. This pedestal, run by an IBM team including Stephanie Walter, Todd Kindsfather, Randy Scott, Aaron Tobin, Michelle Lowe, and Ravi Srinivasan, will spotlight IBM's vision of Integrated Service Management. Thanks to their support for open standards and modular design, IBM Tivoli solutions can be combined to improve service levels, reduce operational costs, and drive down business risks of many kinds—in almost any infrastructure.

And in the specific area of composite application management, IBM Tivoli's Allison Kingberg will deliver an Inner Circle session titled "Leverage Application Performance Management to Capitalize on Complexities." With the help of IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager, even the most complex application dependency chains can be tamed—and the root cause of performance bottlenecks can be discovered and addressed. In many cases, in fact, they can be addressed before users even have a chance to notice a decline in service quality.

Experience IBM's innovative Watson technology

Few technology providers have been as consistently creative as IBM in the development of new solutions to emerging problems—or new ways to create value from existing resources.

Both of these strengths are evident in the case of IBM's new Watson technology, to be showcased at Impact 2011. IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano describes Watson as “the latest example of IBM’s 100-year history of scientific discovery,” and that’s no overstatement. Thanks to major advances in deep analytics and system design, this technology represents a dramatic leap forward in information searches—a smarter solution, delivering smarter answers for a smarter planet.

Essentially, Watson empowers users to submit everyday queries—such as "What is the third-closest star to the Earth?"—in natural language. Watson then evaluates these queries using many dozens of different algorithms running in parallel. The results from these different algorithms are aggregated, evaluated, and rank-ordered for confidence to determine the answer that is most likely to be correct, and the whole process takes place with incredible speed.

At Impact 2011, show attendees interested in learning more about Watson will have a wealth of opportunities to do so. The Solutions Center, for instance, will offer an interactive experience that will illuminate just how Watson works, discussing its algorithms, analytics, and underlying system technologies. In particular, DeepQA—the natural language processing and deep analytics system—will be explored.

Additionally, attendees will get a chance to actually experience Watson for themselves in a simulated game. This will demonstrate clearly just how effective its artificial intelligence really is when confronted with real-world, unpredictable questions, and how quickly it can arrive at accurate, useful answers—actually rivaling human insight and response time.

And because IBM is committed to helping drive a better future via both smarter technology and smarter utilization of it—literally, a smarter planet —Watson will also be shown to have a broad range of possible applications.

At Impact 2011, you'll see how Watson might be used in the future to enhance not just IT, technology, and business, but also entire industries, many types of scientific research, and society as a whole—a truly fundamental advancement for our world.

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