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IBM To Use Game Chips to Enhance CRM Experience
[April 27, 2007]

IBM To Use Game Chips to Enhance CRM Experience

TMCnet Contributing Editor

It looks like IBM (News - Alert) is counting on its expertise in video gaming to improve its CRM experience.

Industry observer Ben Ames is reporting that "IBM has a plan to stop the computing delays familiar to users of virtual worlds and online games, simply by adding its Cell gaming chips to its mainframe servers."

Nicknamed the "Gameframe," Ames says that in addition to solving "performance problems in delivering rich graphics for the 3D Internet, future versions could handle business applications like ERP, CRM, virtual stores and meeting rooms, collaboration environments, data repositories and mapping."

Industry observer Ann Steffora Mutschler writes that IBM officials say it'll be a "blazingly" fast and powerful hybrid platform: "Big Blue said the project leverages the mainframe’s ability to accelerate work via specialty processors, as well as its unique networking architecture, which allows the ultra-fast communication needed to create virtual worlds with millions of simultaneous users sharing a single universe."

IBM developed the Cell Broadband Engine chip in conjunction with Sony and Toshiba (News - Alert) for use in industries ranging from aerospace and defense to gaming, Ames says, including Sony's PlayStation 3 video-game console.

The idea, says Ames, is for IBM to "create a hybrid machine through the integration of the Cell processor with its System z9 Business Class (z9BC) mainframe server. The z9BC is the vendor's entry-point product for businesses that need less capacity than the System z9 Enterprise Class mainframe."

Last month IBM and 3Com Corporation announced what officials from both firms are calling "the industry's first product to integrate IP telephony with e-mail, messaging and core business process applications on a single, secure platform."

The System i Integrated Collaboration is described by IBM officials as featuring "unified communications capabilities to help customers increase productivity, lower costs and streamline operations." Because it runs on a single System i, IBM officials say, "it is easier and less expensive to manage than competitive Windows-based, multi-server offerings."

The Integrated Collaboration product builds on the System i IP Telephony product IBM and 3Com produced last November. It uses open standards such as Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) to create a platform for innovation by enabling the 3Com VCX system to be "more easily integrated with collaboration and business applications running on the System I," IBM officials say.

IBM and 3Com officials say they have seen "substantial interest" from the community of System i product- providers and business partners.

IBM and 3Com expect to work with over 100 independent product vendors to integrate their applications with the new product. IBM officials give the example of iMessaging Systems, Inc., an ISV which provides a native System i IP telephony integration product by enabling its iNspire product with SIP. System i customers and ISVs use iNspire to integrate business applications and telephony even more easily to provide intelligent call routing, screen pops and interactive voice response.

CRM application provider Vacava used iMessaging's iNspire product to sell Vacava Customer Care -- a telephony and call center-enabled product requiring minimal effort to implement. Other ISVs planning to bring their application to the System i Integrated Collaboration product include Touchtone Corporation, RJS Software Systems, Inc. and KMR Systems.

And in early March Genesys (News - Alert) Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., an Alcatel-Lucent company, announced that IBM has earned the Genesys Gold Certification in Europe for the full Genesys software suite. Genesys and IBM have collaborated to integrate the Genesys 7.2 Customer Interaction Management (CIM) platform with IBM voice, middleware and technology platforms.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) Net.  For more articles please visit David Sims' columnist page.

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