Tuesday, 23 June 2009

IBM's new green alliance

IBM has today announced a new alliances around its green offerings.

To be frank, I find IBM's strategy and offerings around green IT a little confusing these days (I liked the House of Carbon approach of a year ago, but they had to drop that because someone else was apparently using the name). I suspect the company suffers from taking the marketing initiative, in that the approach is constantly evolving in line with a fast moving market.

Anyway, I listened into the pre-release briefing last week and this is how I understand it.

Smarter Planet is IBM's point of view on how interconnected technologies are changing the way the world works. Within that approach, Green and Beyond addresses the environmental aspects. Within Green and Beyond IBM has identified three areas that businesses need to address:

- Green infrastructures; to mitigate the impact of IT equipment, data and applications, and real estate and facilities

- Sustainable solutions; basically to be more aware of the environmental impact of operations and to deliver products and services in a more environmental friendly way

- Intelligent systems;apply information and technology to change the way industries operate, e.g. smart traffic, smart energy, etc.

The announcement today centres on a new industry alliance with key companies in metering, monitoring, automation, data communications and software to help companies in their move to smart solutions for energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas management

The Green Sigma Coalition, as the new alliance is known, includes Johnson Controls, Honeywell Building Solutions, ABB, Eaton, ESS, Cisco, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Schneider Electric and SAP. The coalition members will work with IBM to integrate their products and services with IBM’s Green Sigma solution.

Green Sigma is IBM's environmental consulting/solution offering based on Lean Six Sigma. It combines real-time metering and monitoring with analytics and dashboards to allow decision-making around efficiency, cost and environmental impact.

In addition to the Green Sigma Coalition, IBM announced other enhanced and new capabilities and additional alliances across the infrastructure piece, including enhancements to the Tivoli energy management portfolio to accommodate controls and sensors from several vendors including Honeywell and APC. In particular, IBM and Cisco have integrated the Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management and Cisco EnergyWise energy management solution.

It's all good stuff and it does bring home the variety of products and solutions that need to work together to give companies comprehensive information on their environmental performance and the means to manage it. Expect to see more of these coalitions forming as the market matures, as well as issues surrounding standards for data transfers between devices, as we're already seeing around smart grids.

To find out more about the green initiatives from IBM and a number of other major IT companies, see the Green IT Portal links on the web site side bar.

© The Green IT Review

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