IBM Midwest Ecosystem Development Key Leaders July 2015 Update: 55% of Enterprises Predict Cloud Computing Will Enable New Business Models in Three Years, Free Academic Initiative Cloud and Additional Resources, Wall Street Journal Article on Cloud Confusion: Separating Real Outcomes from Marketing Hype, The Economy of Things-Extracting New Value from the Internet of Things (IOT), Chicago PaaS Bluemix and Cognitive Computing Meetups and The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program and August Smartcamp

The warm days of summer brings with it new cloud resources for academics, startups and developers.   We will start this July update with an article titled, “55% of Enterprises Predict Cloud Computing Will Enable New Business Models in Three Years” to help position why cloud is such a key topic today for so many business. This leads into the IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud and the additional resources available for faulty to incorporate an industry cloud into curriculum.   Then an article by the Wall Street Journal provides a quick summary of cloud options along with the business perspective of why it is important and what’s coming next making an understanding of the cloud even more important to us all.   Then we will go through the Chicago Paas Bluemix and Cognitive Computing Meetup Events planned for August.   Followed by an brief from Institute for Business Value on the Economy of Things: Extracting New Value from the Internet of Things (IOT) then concluding with the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program with an upcoming Smartcamp that will highlight new ideas leveraging today’s technologies.   Let’s begin….

55% of Enterprises Predict Cloud Computing Will Enable New Business Models In Three Years Forbes Article by Larry Columbus June 8th, 2015

This is a excellent article to read to understand the forecast of what cloud means to the business world looking forward with the academic oversight of Oxford Economics this makes for a excellent primer on why academic, startups and developers may want to understand and look to maximize cloud technology.

IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud

On July 22nd, 2015 the new IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud offering was announced globally for faculty and students to be able to use the IBM Cloud in the classroom at no-charge. Faculty have access for 12 months available to be renewed annually and through the faculty students will have 6 months of access. Here is a excerpt from the press release:

Starting this fall, universities around the world will commence more than 250 courses and programs that will utilize educational materials, technologies and methodologies from IBM with a focus on using Bluemix in a variety of courses ranging from computer science, information technology, analytics and data science to mobile and entrepreneurship. The list of over 210 marquee institutions includes:

  • Ben-Gurion University (Israel)
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Imperial College of Science (England)
  • International Institute of Information Technology (India)
  • National College of Ireland
  • National University of Singapore
  • Northwestern University
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Stuttgart
  • University of Tokyo

In addition to the above website link, this brief video provides further details on the announcement and how it can be used at your institutions: Watch this video (00:27:45) that describes the Academic Initiative for Cloud offer

IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud Additional Resources

With the new access for faculty and students have as outlined in the above announcement, the IBM Academic Initiative site has been enhanced with content to make it easier to bring this content into the classroom. The below shows how these assets are organized to make it easy for faculty to decide how to bring the cloud, IOT, and other technologies into the business discussion and into the classroom. These assets provide a starting point/template to get started. This snapshot shows how one key page in the updated website is organized. To begin experimenting, use the website link below this sections title and explore (also remember once you go into the link to click the “View More” text to see even more resources under each topic area):

Cloud Confusion: Separating Real Outcomes from Marketing Hype

Wall Street Journal March 9, 2015 By John D. Halamka

To help in why cloud discussion are not just limited to Computer Science and Information Technology discussion. This excerpt from a Wall Street Journal Article discusses why cloud is becoming a key component of many industries and it also gives insight into why major markets, developing marketing and new markets business leaders would want to understand this technology historically left to the “teckies”:

“in health care, payment could be made based on improved care coordination as measured by reduction in redundant/wasteful care. Or, payment could be made to a bill processing service when cash is successfully processed and received. Economic incentives are aligned perfectly with an “Outcomes as a Service” model because downtime or poor application functionality results in immediate reduction in cloud vendor income.

Ideally cloud vendors should create a consistent version of their service offering, updated frequently, and secured by a world class multi-layered defense. These are selling points of the cloud, but not always a reality. CIOs need to study the track record for meaningful updates as part of the vendor selection process. Ask if the vendors are fostering an ecosystem around their service offerings, enabling third party innovators to add components which enhance functionality. It is possible through the use of modern software standards to enable the crowdsourcing of novel functionality while protecting security. This is a critical component of consistently improving outcomes.”

Chicago Paas, Bluemix and Cognitive Computing Meetup August Events

For free hands-on exercises with instructors to walk you through creating IOT apps, IOS apps, and more, meetup provide a great environment for that learning experience. As the co-organizer of the Chicago, PaaS, Bluemix and Cognitive Computing Meetup, I encourage to you join the this meetup group and attend events as they work with your schedule.   This will provide an opportunity for you to get hands on and a chance to ask the experts questions while learning and growing your skills in this ever-changing space and networking with others who are at various points in developing their own cloud skills. Below is a summary of upcoming August events:

Hands on Lab Creating IOS apps in the IBM Bluemix Cloud

  • Wed Aug 05
    5:30 PM

71 S Wacker Drive

Sixth Floor and Please Bring a Photo ID for Building Security, Chicago, IL (map) our meetups are free. Come join us and spend time with Dennis Schutz, Solution Architect and build an IOS app in the IBM Bluemix Cloud. All you need is to bring is your appetite and your laptop and Dennis will guide you through creating your first (or second or tenth)  IOS app.  For new users the ease in the cloud makes this a useful… Learn more

Virtual Academic Initiative Office Hours: Business Analytics

  • Tue Aug 04
    8:00 AM

Virtual Meeting

Dial in number: USA Toll: 1-215-861-6239 USA Toll free: 1-888-426-6840, participant code: 70622814, Chicago, IL (map)

All our meetups are free. For the academic community, our goals are to help you get started with the IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud offer, see how you can bring… Learn more

Hands On Lab in the Cloud Analyzing Twitter Data

  • Wed Aug 19
    6:00 PM

71 S Wacker Drive

Sixth Floor and Please Bring a Photo ID for Building Security, Chicago, IL (map) All our meetups are free. Come join Russell Beardall,  a cloud technical expert,  to build an app using IBM’s Insights for Twitter in the IBM Bluemix Cloud. All you need… Learn more

Seaching And Identifying Faces–Hands On Lab with Alchemy in the Cloud

  • Wed Sep 09
    12:00 PM

71 S Wacker Drive

Sixth Floor and Please Bring a Photo ID for Building Security, Chicago, IL (map)

All our meetups are free.  All you need to bring is your appetite and your laptop. Use the IBM Bluemix Cloud and the Alchemy capability to create a new app or expand an… Learn more

IBM Global Entrepreneur Program Cloud for Startups

If you are an LLC, in business less than 5 years and less then 1M in revenues then the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program Cloud for Startups is worth your time to investigate. The program provides up to 120K of cloud access over a year to use IBM’s PaaS (Bluemix) Cloud platform or IBM’s Infrastructure (Softlayer) Cloud Platform as the cloud environment for your startup.   Thus, free cloud for a year to help you get established without the financial burden of the cloud infrastructure costs being a major inhibitor at the beginning of your company’s life.   In Chicago, working with Northwestern University, we hold office hours at 1871 to answer startup and cloud questions (   A new partnership has been formed with Blue1647 ( to provide workshops and training for their members and a new relationship with Technori has been form to hold an IBM Smartcamp at Technori ( on August 25th.

The Economy of Things: Extracting new value from the Internet of Things

As we continue to discuss the advantages the cloud brings to established and new businesses, the IBM Institute for Business Value report on economics from the Internet of Things can make the discussion on why the ability to leverage the could is such a critical component for academics, startups and developers who want to be able to have hands on opportunities with an industry cloud for the Internet of Things experience to access data can potentially provide a platform for better economic outcomes.   Here is one example from the brief:

The Economy of Things: Extracting New Value From the Internet of Things

With the above articles and resources, we are seeing the cloud area become a key technology for businesses to understand and leverage even more in 2015 and looking forward.   As faculty leverage the cloud with students in class (traditional and on-line classes), students leveraging the cloud to take a project from a class project to new business and established businesses breaking into new spaces, we are clearly experiencing the impact cloud technology is having to create the opportunity for new business(es) whether you are in Africa, Europe, or the USA.

Beckley, West Virginia Picture By Adam Kennedy 7/30/2015

In driving back from West Virginia yesterday, Adam took this picture. The clouds in the sky over these mountain ridges show endless possibilities for those who see the possible. This is one of the most amazing places in the world to see the endless mountain ridges that go on and on with nothing to stop them as far as the eye can see.   The only thing visible from every mountaintop of opportunity are the clouds in the sky!

Looking forward to seeing you on your mountaintop!



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