IBM and Openwave today announced a 10-year worldwide strategic alliance designed to help wireless service providers grow revenue, lower costs and reduce customer turnover. Through this strategic alliance, the two companies will develop, deploy and market open solutions, combining IBM's leadership in e-business infrastructure and Openwave's strength in messaging and mobile software.
As a result, the companies will enable service providers to grow revenue through the rapid introduction of innovative data applications, products and services as well as reduce the cost of managing an increasingly complex operational environment. Consumers will benefit from better service and faster access to more data applications delivered to mobile devices.
IBM and Openwave have already begun collaborating on an open joint reference architecture, which will be demonstrated in IBM's Network Innovation Labs and Openwave demonstration centers in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The architecture is planned to be updated every three to six months to ensure its relevance given the industry's rapid technical and market transitions. IBM and Openwave are initially assigning a combined total of over 200 personnel to the alliance.
The new set of turnkey solutions will be based on the integration of Openwave's Services OS portfolio of messaging and mobile software with IBM's WebSphere middleware. Openwave's messaging and mobile software includes e-mail, Mobile Instant Messaging, unified messaging, multimedia messaging, downloading, browsing, provisioning and subscriber and services management. IBM components include WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Voice Server and WebSphere Everyplace Server, WebSphere Business Integrator, Tivoli technology management software and DB2 data management software. To maximize performance and reliability, the new IBM and Openwave solutions will be optimized on IBM pSeries eServers and Shark storage.
One of the initial joint solutions already available is IBM's WebSphere Portal combined with Openwave's Mobile Access Gateway. This integrated solution gives service providers the ability to offer their subscribers a highly personalized information portal capable of handling rich multimedia content, transactions and multi-modal user interfaces. Services providers benefit from reduced churn and commerce opportunities.
The companies will offer these new solutions with IBM Global Services, which includes approximately 150,000 professionals, and IBM Global Financing. IBM's Lotus division will create and integrate interoperable messaging solutions between Openwave service provider customers and Lotus enterprise customers.
These new solutions will be delivered using IBM's Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE), an open standards-based architecture designed to give wireless service providers the flexibility to introduce new revenue-generating voice, text and Internet services to their customers faster, easier and at a lower cost. Service providers will be able to mix components to match subscriber demand. SPDE will build a bridge for a seamless transition as carriers transfer from 2.5 to 3G-based networks.
"We are in the middle of a fundamental shift to a more standards-based, IP-centric world," said Rod Adkins, general manager of IBM's Pervasive Computing Division. "We are driving a global initiative to help service providers and device manufacturers adapt to a world where computing moves off the desktop and into pervasive devices.
"At the same time, traditional voice networks increasingly require more of the capabilities found in traditional IP networks, things like device management, application deployment and Web technology. Data is no longer an add-on. It's a lead-with," Adkins added.
"Combining IBM's multi-platform strength with Openwave's wireless industry expertise, this unique alliance plans to offer the first comprehensive, integrated platform for next-generation mobile data services," says Kevin Kennedy, chief operating officer, Openwave. "This joint solution based on open standards will give customers the freedom of choice and the ability to move with speed and flexibility to meet the demands of the expanding dynamic environment."
The IBM Openwave Strategic Alliance is another example of IBM's commitment to go to market with leading independent software vendors through the PartnerWorld for Developers program (www.developer.ibm.com). Less than one tenth of one percent of IBM's approximately 90,000 business partners are considered Strategic Alliances. These alliances target industries such as financial services, retail, and manufacturing, and solution segments including enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, customer relationship management and business intelligence. The goal is to provide developers with access to new customers and revenue opportunities through IBM's marketing, sales, and solutions resources.