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IBM Connect Conference: Key Takeaways

by Tom McKinney | Mar 28, 2017


Last week, HMS Industrial Networks attended IBM Connect. At the conference the primary IoT solutions were Bluemix Cloud, Watson for IoT, Blockchain, and Maximo.


Here’s a quick breakdown the four IoT solutions:

Bluemix is IBM’s cloud platform.  The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) supports scalable processing and data.  Watson for IoT is a translation and analytics engine for ingesting data including IIoT devices.  Once the data is on the platform new applications can be created, or data is transformed for transfer to one of the IBM applications like Maximo.


And for an extended version on IBM IoT solutions:

IMB Bluemix is a cloud platform.  A scalable platform that allows developers to quickly create and deploy their systems on the cloud. IBM Bluemix brings multiple data sources together to better drive insights.


IBM Watson is a data assimilation tool.  Watson ingests written data, audio, and video.  After ingesting the data, it is cataloged and made available for search.  Large companies can input their entire documentation set and make it searchable.  For example, all corporate training videos can be entered into the system. Employees can then search for a specific topic and Watson will direct the employees to the specific video and point in the video where the keywords are discussed.

Watson is similar in many ways to Google search and it could be seen clear applications for service technicians and help desk workers.  It was unclear how many companies were using Watson today, but I’m sure Watson would tell us if we asked?


IBM Blockchain was heavily hyped throughout the conference.  IBM has already created some software applications that can leverage Blockchain solutions (write to, read from).  The solution is used to verify the integrity of a list of information.

The system is extremely useful when a number of different entities would like to share a list.  One example given is Diamond tracking.  Here is an article that explains how the system works: Blockchain Diamond Tracking


Maximo is IBM’s asset management system which has been in existence since the early 2000’s and is a derivative of a program created in the 90’s. The system is incredibly complex with 100’s of possible entries for a single machine (asset).

The system tracks everything about an asset from the original purchase order to real-time sensor data.   The most logical application to support Industrial IoT is Maximo.  Data can be sent directly to Maximo via JSON or data can be sent to IBM’s Bluemix using multiple protocols and then pushed over to Maximo using JSON. 

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