IBM announced last week that Gartner has ranked IBM as the worldwide market share leader in the portal products and user interaction tools enterprise software segment. The ranking was based on total worldwide software revenue for 2008.1
A rise in IBM's healthcare client engagements contributed to its portal success. More than 6,500 IBM clients use IBM's Web 2.0-enhanced WebSphere Portal software. IBM has seen an especially large jump in new portal business from healthcare clients worldwide including Catholic Healthcare West, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Healthways, MedStar Health, Memorial Health, and Trillium Health Centre. IBM WebSphere Portal is also used by four of the top five US healthcare insurance companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations in 33 states, more than 30 major hospitals, clinics, and delivery networks worldwide, and more than 12 on-line healthcare provider sites servicing more than 20,000 users each.
"Portal software connects all stake holders, enables communication, collaboration and process efficiency, and promotes better work flow and information sharing," said Benoit Long, vice president and CIO of Trillium Health Centre, an Ontario, Canada, hospital that has developed multiple portals over the last five years. "We connect thousands of staff and clinicians at our multiple locations, and we are now in the process of connecting patients involved in chronic disease management, particularly diabetes, and their providers through patient and provider portals."
IBM portals have also been well received in the financial industry. This IBM software is being used by the top 10 global banks, nine of the top 10 U.S. banks, seven of the top 10 European banks, and eight of the top 10 Asia Pacific banks.
"Portal technology is exploding due to the unique combination of cost savings and exceptional Web experiences achievable with the latest technologies. IBM WebSphere Portal software has delivered Web 2.0 innovations, and preserved customers' existing investments, all with reliable security and manageability," said Larry Bowden, vice president, IBM Portal and Mashups.
IBM portal customers in other industries include Abbott Labs, Australian Social Security, Bayer Schering, Bombardier, Border States, College.gov, Isuzu, Finnish Defense, Harley Davidson, Knoxville Utilities Board, Lamborghini, Nissan, the Navy Federal Credit Union, Prudential, Volkswagen, University of London, Yulon Motors, and TRI-WEST, a flooring company. IBM clients that use IBM WebSphere Portal for service-oriented architecture-based IT systems include the Stockholm-based Swedish Road Administration and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings of Purchase, N.Y.
"IBM's portal and Web Content Management software has helped Slumberland survive and thrive in a challenging economy," said Jamie Page, Director of Information Services, Slumberland, a Minnesota-based company that does business in 10 states. Slumberland corporate headquarters needed a better way to communicate with its more than 100 geographically dispersed stores.
It had been relying on phone calls, faxes, and the postal service, but those methods were inconvenient and sometimes expensive. In addition to a better communication option, Slumberland sought a Web-based portal that would enable store agents to access the company's critical information and applications.
Using IBM WebSphere Portal software, Slumberland developed an intranet portal that enables its headquarters to disseminate corporate messages to stores. It also allows employees to access several of the company's applications. Slumberland also installed IBM's Web Content Management application to act as the Web content repository for the portal. In addition, the client deployed IBM Lotus Sametime for instant messaging.
By installing IBM software, Slumberland changed the way it works by allowing automated work flow and updates to critical software. The stores benefit from faster, simpler communication among stores, reduced paper consumption and operational costs. Self-service functions within the portal reduce the number of calls to the corporate help desk and afford each store a personalized view of the intranet for every store through an easy-to-access, easy-to-use interface. Most importantly, Slumberland has created a foundation for all future applications and activities on IBM software.
IBM WebSphere Portal software, version 6.1 is designed to securely combine information from both corporate enterprises and the Web. The new software has Web 2.0 features that help people be more productive and find information faster. Its live text feature allows a user to click on text --in the context of the business process being used--and see supporting information related to the job at hand. For example, when a salesperson clicks on the address of a client, a map with driving directions could appear, or an electronic business card could pop up when clicking on a person's name.
IBM just made available a new offering called Industry Toolboxes for WebSphere Portal which provides a resource forum for customers and partners to give best-practice guidance for specific industry challenges. This vertical industry focus aligns with the way customers are purchasing IT today. See www.ibm.com/websphere/portal/industry for more information.
In addition to its use by healthcare, insurance, and financial organizations, IBM WebSphere Portal is also popular with governments worldwide. IBM WebSphere Portal is used by every G8 country, 10 of the 16 Middle East countries, 22 U.S. states, and 40 U.S. Federal agencies. IBM prospective clients can experiment with the latest version of WebSphere Portal software through IBM Lotus Greenhouse, a Web site where anyone can register to try out IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM's new Mashup Center, Lotus Connections, Lotus Forms, Lotus Quickr and Lotus Sametime. This provides clients with a safe and easy way to evaluate these products without installing them in their own environments.
For more information about IBM WebSphere Portal software, visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus. For more information on IBM's business partner program, visit www.ibm.com/partnerworld
1 Source: Gartner, Inc., "Market Share: Application Infrastructure and Middleware Software, Worldwide, 2008," Fabrizio Biscotti, 29 April 2009