Continuing its focus on networks and "e-business," IBM
today unveiled a new service that lets corporate computing
managers track and manage PC hardware and software on their networks.
The Asset Services offering from
IBM Global Services, designed for companies with 1,000 to 5,000 desktops,
is delivered via the Internet and Lotus Notes.
Other Big Blue initiatives unveiled today included a set of infrastructure
software for ISPs dubbed "an ISP-in-a-box," a streaming video technology
with hot links called HotVideo, new Web hosting options, and a $10 million
research effort on business applications for Internet technologies.
HotVideo, a beta technology available for download free from IBM's alphaWorks Web site, allows
hyperlinks to be embedded into digital video from a Web site, disks,
CD-ROMs, and server files.
IBM expects HotVideo to appeal initially to Web advertisers, educational
multimedia developers, video and computer games developers, broadcasters,
and content sites such as CNN
Interactive, a HotVideo beta site.
HotVideo, which runs on top of the new Java Media Framework, can be applied
to digital video formats including AVI, MPG, DAT, RealMedia, and MOV video
types. It comes in a suite with an authoring tool, a player for browsing, a
Java implementation, a browser plug-in, and an ActiveX control.
One new hosting option, through IBM Global Services, lets
customers have a dedicated server for just their own content, rather than
sharing a service, as the current offering requires. The second is a
high-bandwidth option (10 megabits per second) for high-volume Web sites.
By March, IBM plans to add other hosting features to support multiple IP
addresses and domain names for each server plus firewall support for
databases and Web servers.
IBM's Java unit also just
finished working with Eddie Bauer
on a 12-week pilot project to test building a single Java-based system that
links the retailer's Web storefront, catalog sales, and stores. The project
is being built with IBM's VisualAge for Java tools.
AMP's e-Merce Internet commerce consulting
unit also announced it will resell IBM's e-business
As reported earlier this week,
the ISP product, IBM Subscriber Management System (ISMS), includes features
that help ISPs manage subscribers, balance traffic among multiple servers,
create personalized "start" pages for subscribers, and operate services
such as email, renting applications, Internet fax, and virtual private
Big Blue's new Institute for Advanced Commerce, as reported last week, will
include more than 50 IBM researchers delving into e-commerce technologies
full- or part-time. It begins operation January 1.
In another e-business initiative, senior IBM executives have been running
an online forum on how to buy
and sell holiday gifts over the Internet, advising both shoppers and