IBM Launches $1Billion Mobility Game Changer: How Will Your Organisation Benefit?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

The culmination of $1billion in investment, five years of development and around 500 new patents was announced yesterday, in the form of IBM’s z13 Mainframe.

The z13 is being touted as one of the most powerful, secure and sophisticated systems ever built. It is set to deliver scale and economics, together with real-time encryption and analytics, to help organisations fulfill the expectations of consumers for speed and safety with trillions of transactions in the growing mobile ecosystem.

IBM’s commitment to delivering true innovation to its global base of clients is evident in this ground-breaking new system, the first mainframe with embedded analytics that can provide real-time transaction insights, reportedly 17 times faster than any competitive system, at a fraction of the cost.

The z13’s capabilities include the ability to securely process 2.5 billion transactions per day (the equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays every day of the year, or around 30,000 transactions per second), thorough real-time encryption of all mobile transactions at any scale, as well as immediate data insight into all transactions to help prevent fraud on an unprecedented 100% of business transactions.

Consumer behavior has been transformed by the meteoric rise of mobile apps, meaning mobile transactions must now be virtually effortless for users, and offer a positive customer experience to ensure retention of business wherever possible. This demand transcends the difference between mobile platforms for all retailers, brands or services. As a result, businesses have been forced to revaluate their IT infrastructures, to ensure mobile apps that meet these consumer expectations are supported. IBM’s research and development has been reactive to this trend, resulting in yesterday’s release of the z13 solution.

Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems explained, "Every time a consumer makes a purchase or hits refresh on a smartphone, it can create a cascade of events on the back end of the computing environment. The z13 is designed to handle billions of transactions for the mobile economy. Only the IBM mainframe can put the power of the world's most secure datacenters in the palm of your hand. Consumers expect fast, easy and secure mobile transactions. The implication for business is the creation of a secure, high performance infrastructure with sophisticated analytics."


Exploring the increasing requirement for this kind of performance from an enterprise point of view, it is obvious that the number of mobile transactions is growing in correlation with the adoption of mobility among the consumer market. When a mobile transaction takes place, a series of interactions is triggered across multiple computing systems, such as past purchase comparisons, data encryption and decryption, bank-to-bank reconciliations and customer loyalty discounts. This can effectively involve as many as 100 additional interactions between separate systems.

Therefore, the need for reinforced security at each interaction point is crucial; so much so that 71% of CIOs and IT managers indicated that security is their most significant mobile enterprise challenge, according to a recent survey conducted by IBM. The prominence of this challenge derives from the consumer-driven need for appropriate security measures when making a mobile transaction, which the z13 will look to address.

Combining the z13 with the latest IBM MobileFirst solutions, enhanced performance, availability, analytics and end-to-end security are in place to drive optimal mobile user experiences. This includes the MobileFirst range of applications contributing seamless management of client infrastructures, devices, content and transactions.

Furthermore, businesses will be better equipped to enhance their customer loyalty strategies across mobile channels, by leveraging a more personalised and highly intuitive view of consumer behavioural patterns, to offer up-sell and cross-sell promotions based on a number of variables and predictive analytics.

IBM has identified the z13 as an ideal private or hybrid cloud architecture, with an unprecedented ability to scale and reliably handle multiple workloads, able to run up to 8,000 virtual servers to significantly lower software, energy and facilities costs.

Speaking exclusively to Enterprise Mobility Exchange about the IBM z13 Mainframe, Hyoun Park, Chief Research Officer, Blue Hill Research commented, "The most important aspect of the IBM z13 Mainframe is its ability to process mobile transactions quickly, with encryption and real-time counter-fraud analysis. As both mobile commerce and the internet of things continue to grow on a global scale, companies require appropriate cloud infrastructure with the performance, security, and appropriate cost structure to handle these transactions.

"The biggest question is simply how IBM plans to win business from existing mobile deployments that have already deployed on other cloud infrastructures. IBM can maximise their opportunities by creating a compelling roadmap for transferring mobile data and transactions off of other public clouds."

In addition to the launch of the z13, IBM also unveiled a preview of their new z/OS software that facilitates advanced analytics and data serving features. When made available, this new operating system will expand the ability of z13 to process in-memory analytics, and provide analysis on mobile transactions, helping clients to further extend mainframe enterprise applications to the mobile user.

This announcement has reiterated IBM’s relentless hunger to enable clients to drive mobile innovation across the enterprise.