IBM Announces Industry-Specific Cloud Services

IBM is now offering a set of customized clouds for specific industries and line-of-business buyers. The tech giant announced Thursday an expansion of its Cloud Consulting Services portfolio that provides ready-made cloud services designed for such industries as insurance or human resources.

The company said that cloud services have previously mostly focused on a EUone size fits allEU approach, where a menu of online computing services were available on a usage pricing model. But IBMEUs move into templated, industry-specific solutions, coupled with such recent developments as SalesforceEUs new, business-to-customer Salesforce One platform, indicate a new wave of tailored cloud services that offer business-specific application needs, not only generalized IT services. Other companies, such as Adobe and Salesforce, already provide cloud services targeted at such needs as those of marketing departments.

The IBM fast-start solutions are hosted on a private cloud using technology acquired by the company when it purchased global hosting company SoftLayer in the summer. Big BlueEUs Global Business Services manages the solutions, which are targeted at banking, insurance, retail, telecom, and energy/utilities. According to IBM, the targeted applications can now be deployed in hours or days, instead of weeks or months.

Health Insurance Services

One timely example: the IBM Insurance Service Hub Cloud for health insurance, which provides connections to such data providers as clinics or doctorsEU offices, or to patientsEU mobile devices. At a time when the entire health industry is moving toward more efficient processes as it digests health reform, this targeted cloud provides such services as invoicing, claims processing and reimbursement.

There is also an analytics tool for semantic analysis of diagnostic texts, which provide assistance to doctorsEU ability to diagnose conditions. IBMEUs Watson supercomputer, made famous by its live TV defeat of expert human contestants on the Jeopardy game show, is being developed by the company for use...

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