5 Ways IBM Is Upping The Ante On The Internet Of Things

Pumping Up IoT For Partners

IBM has been hitting the Internet of Things market hard, and the company isn't slowing down anytime soon. On Monday, IBM announced it is pumping $200 million into a new global headquarters for its Watson IoT business in Munich, which will be home to some of the industry's first cognitive IoT laboratories.

In addition, IBM unveiled new IoT capabilities around blockchain and security, available on its Internet of Things Watson platform.

"IBM is making tremendous strides to ensure that businesses around the world are able to take advantage of this incredible period of technological transformation and develop new products and services that really change people's lives," said Harriet Green, Global Head of IBM's Watson IoT business, in a statement.

Following are five new IoT investments that partners will see from IBM.

Global Watson IoT Headquarters

IBM will spend up to $200 million to build its Watson IoT headquarters, which will be set in Munich, Germany.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company said its new headquarters is in response to "escalating demand from customers who are looking to transform their operations using a combination of IoT and Artificial Intelligence technologies."

IBM said it has 6,000 clients globally who are tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, up from 4,000 just eight months ago.

"Germany is at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 initiative and by inviting our clients and partners to join us in Munich, we are opening up our talent and technologies to help deliver on the promise of IoT and establishing a global hotbed for collaborative innovation," said Green, in a statement.

Investment in New IoT "Co-laboratories"

As part of its Watson IoT Headquarters, IBM is building up "some of the industry's first ever cognitive IoT co-laboratories."

These will be hands-on industry labs where clients work together with IBM researchers, engineers and designers to drive collaborative innovation in the automotive, electronics, manufacturing, healthcare and insurance industries. The labs will enable specialists to take on various challenges in their industries, as well as apply new concepts and technologies to build IoT solutions and develop and test new business models, solutions and services.

IoT Blockchain Capabilities

As part of its Watson IoT platform, IBM announced a new offering for customers and developers that connects IoT data to a private blockchain.

Businesses can share IoT data in a secure, private Blockchain to reduce the costs and complexities of doing business across a network of people and goods. This capability is fully integrated into IBM Blockchain.

For clients requiring assistance to define or implement their first IoT Blockchain project, IBM said it has experts who can help to accelerate client's adoption of these technologies.

New IoT Security And Language Interface

As part of its Watson platform, IBM is also releasing a new set of Security Solutions and Services targeted for the industrial segment, to ensure that data and systems have robust protection against industrial scale hacking. In addition, the company is releasing a set of new Natural Language Interface offerings. These solutions will enable customers to use the Watson IoT platform to develop new voice interfaces for customers – in homes, cars, stores, hotels and offices.

"Cognitive IoT Cookbook"

In addition to new services and solutions, IBM is setting its developers up for success in the Internet of Things by adding a new "cognitive IoT Cookbook" to its Watson platform. This framework offers developers the code and best practice approaches for solving IoT hurdles through using IBM Watson's APIs, helping developers and partners overcome challenges when first building applications for the Internet of Things.