UPDATE: 21Vianet Group (VNET) Shares Active; Enters IoT Pact with IBM for China

October 19, 2016 12:46 PM EDT

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(Updated - October 19, 2016 12:49 PM EDT)

IBM(NYSE:IBM)and 21Vianet Group, a leading Internet data center services provider, today announced they will fuel greater cloud innovation in China by incorporating blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced cloud data services on Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform.

With a rapidly growing population of developers, industries in China continue to progress the ways in which they use and build with advanced technologies via the cloud. The potential is tremendous across China’s vast network of enterprises and startups, including its manufacturing and financial services industries. The opportunity in China for IoT alone is expected to reach a value of $121 billion by 2022, growing at an annual 41 percent clip.1

In 2015,
IBM formed a partnership with 21Vianet to bring IBM Bluemix to China. Since the partnership was announced, IBM Cloud has helped to place technology at the center of a new wave of entrepreneurship and innovation within the country. With today’s news, IBM now brings a comprehensive set of blockchain and IoT services to China’s burgeoning developer community.

“Today’s launch of blockchain and our IoT platform through the IBM Cloud is a tremendous boon for Chinese companies,” said Ernie Hu, General Manager, Cloud, IBM China. “Providing the infrastructure of Bluemix, combined with these latest technologies from both IBM and a growing roster of partners and Chinese service providers, will equip our country’s developers with the set of tools they need to fuel more intelligent and advanced innovations across China’s fastest-growing industries, including manufacturing and financial services.”

This vast and expanding network of partners will continue to transform how advanced technologies are used in China, and will advance the evolution of new cloud tools that can be adopted to foster innovations.

IBM Brings Its Blockchain Cloud Service to China

Accessed through IBM Bluemix,
IBM’s blockchain technology is based on the Linux Foundation’s open-source Hyperledger Project, and provides an open infrastructure to quickly begin building and testing new blockchain applications and industry use cases.

The availability of IBM Blockchain services on IBM Bluemix in China complements IBM’s recent announcement of the availability of signed blockchain code image, which will allow Chinese companies to download, easily install and run a Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain network on Docker-enabled environments.

This same set of services will be available and delivered on the cloud via IBM Bluemix. This will make blockchain’s potential available to a large community of developers and help to drive greater blockchain technical and business innovations in China for a number of industries, including financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare.

IBM, Global Partners and Chinese Companies, such as Cisco and CCTV.com, to Roll Out China’s Next Wave of IoT Apps and Connected Devices with IBM Bluemix

IBM’s Watson IoT platform enables developers to connect devices and things, capture and sort IoT and other data, build apps and generate valuable insights leading to operational efficiencies, improved client experiences and new business opportunities. These technologies are of particular interest to Chinese industries such as manufacturing, automotive, electronics and healthcare equipment companies that are looking to build with a greater volume of external data.

As part of today’s news, IBM and Cisco are expanding their global collaboration, announced in June of this year, to provide critical, real-time data analytics to companies managing remote operations in China, such as oil rigs, factories, shipping companies and mines. These new services can help improve the performance, efficiency and safety of operations. By tapping the power of Bluemix and IBM’s IoT technologies, combined with Cisco’s specialized analytics for data at the edge of a network, Chinese companies can monitor their remote equipment in real-time, helping to increase productivity and reduce maintenance costs.

Businesses of all sizes will now be able to quickly build apps which learn, gain insight from the physical world, and drive operational efficiencies.

For example, CCTV.com is currently tapping IoT services on IBM Bluemix to improve the fan experience and viewer engagement of its Tibet Challenge series, which documents 40 cyclists as they journey from Sichuan to Tibet. By leveraging data analysis and sensor tools available on IBM Bluemix, the show can live-broadcast biometrics of the riders in real-time, including vital statistics such as geo-location, altitude, speed, and heart rate.

“Tapping into IoT technology on IBM Bluemix has enabled our broadcasts to interact with viewers in an entirely different way,” said Ma Hua, Director of the Interactive Operation Center at CCTV.com. “Being able to stream and interpret critical data from our cyclists in real-time has resulted in a much more engaging experience, and we expect to continue to build and implement even greater ways in which this data can be used to bring fans even closer to the action.”

Yungoal, a cloud-based startup company and another member of IBM’s cloud ecosystem in China, has been working closely with IBM to develop a retail-focused app on Bluemix. Using the cloud platform, various Bluemix services and runtimes, and agile methodology, Yungoal built a technology to automate photo data processing, which can help retailers cut photo processing cost from RMB 0.6/piece (USD 0.09) to within RMB 0.1/piece (USD 0.01).

"Strategically, with China’s domestic cloud, the international cloud and high performing data centers as the starting point, 21Vianet Group is committed to creating an open hybrid cloud ecosystem. IBM has long been a vital partner for 21Vianet’s cloud strategy, and in the future we will work together to facilitate a wider range of cooperation,” said Steve Zhang, CEO, 21Vianet.

“Today, IBM Bluemix operated by 21Vianet is able to help Chinese companies transform and extend their cloud services to developers, helping to support entrepreneurship,” said Zhang. “We also plan to continue working with IBM to build a robust and comprehensive cloud ecosystem in China, combining our 20 years of experience in data center operations with IBM’s advanced cloud services and deep technical expertise. This will give Chinese businesses the right mix of tools to innovate and succeed.”

IBM Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, has grown rapidly to become one of the largest open public cloud deployments in the world. Based on open standards, it features over 150 tools and services. IBM Bluemix will help to ensure that future evolutions of Chinese cloud apps remain interoperable, giving the country’s tech economy a solid foundation to springboard future innovation. In addition to the platform’s existing broad catalog of open tools and languages, such as OpenWhisk and Node.js, IBM Bluemix will also offer access to the Go open programming language. IBM will also offer Swift to Chinese companies, which will help the globe’s largest population of iOS developers to more rapidly design and deploy mobile apps.

1. MarketsandMarkets Report: China IoT Market by Hardware, Software, Platform, Service, and Application – Global Forecast to 2022 http://ca.sys-con.com/node/3873293



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