IBM recently announced the launch of its first BlueMix garage composed of a “physical location where developers, product managers and designers can collaborate with IBM experts” based in San Francisco’s “Galvanize” startup incubator and workspace located in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. The BlueMix garage will enable Galvanize developers to collaborate with BlueMix experts to determine how best to utilize BlueMix, the Cloud Foundry-based Platform as a Service to accelerate application development and integrate applications with cloud-based infrastructures. Densely populated by startups, investors and students, the Galvanize entrepreneurial community is expected to house more than 200 startups by the end of 2014. Jim Deters, co-founder and CEO of Galvanize, commented on the significance of the proximity of the first BlueMix Garage to the Galvanize community as follows:
Galvanize is a co-learning campus, providing digital startups with the industry-critical tools, mentoring and connections they need to learn, grow and launch. The inclusion of IBM’s first BlueMix Garage within the Galvanize community will equip our strong network of developers with the ability to competitively innovate apps with speed, using the power of cloud and open standards.
The partnership between Galvanize and IBM includes the addition of educational content about BlueMix to Galvanize coursework such as its developer training program. IBM’s launch of its first BlueMix garage coincides with its announcement of over 30 new services on the BlueMix platform focused around Cloud Integration, The Internet Of Things, Data and Analytics and DevOps. Since its inception in February, BlueMix has witnessed impressive traction marked by clients such as GameStop, Pitney Bowes and Continental Automotive. Michael Garel, CEO of EyeQ, another of BlueMix’s clients, noted that, “With BlueMix, we are able to reduce the amount of time spent on monthly server maintenance by 85 percent, and turn our attentions back to greater innovation.” The garage in San Francisco is expected to be fully operational in June with an emphasis on providing mentorship focused on agile application development and deployment in the context of cloud-based infrastructures.
The launch of IBM’s first BlueMix garage represents a highly original, bold attempt to render its Cloud Foundry-based PaaS more amenable to the developer community both as a means of increasing its adoption as well as obtaining feedback on its platform in order to accelerate product development. BlueMix is also available on IBM’s recently launched cloud marketplace, along with 100 SaaS applications and the SoftLayer IaaS platform. The larger point here is that IBM is pushing its cloud strategy on multiple fronts by making an aggressive push into the PaaS space with a platform built on the Cloud Foundry infrastructure. The launch of its first BlueMix garage constitutes a “high-touch” attempt to woo developers in Silicon Valley’s startup community that illustrates the seriousness of Big Blue’s interest in the cloud as part of its overall business strategy. Given IDC’s recent survey that claims U.S. companies ranked IBM #1 as a cloud computing provider over Google, Microsoft and Amazon, which placed 5th, 6th and 7th, respectively, IBM’s cloud strategy appears to be bearing fruit, although Big Blue is set to receive stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft, Google and Amazon as the battle for cloud market share matures.