Rod Smith, VP, Emerging Technologies-SWG, Gina Poole, VP, Innovation and University Relations, and Irving Wladawsky-Berger, VP, Technical Strategy and Innovation, talk about alphaWorks celebrating ten years of ushering in emerging technologies that have helped shape the technology landscape. And, as alphaWorks embarks on another decade of introducing emerging technology, they introduce alphaWorks Services: online delivery of emerging software services from IBM research and development labs.
[00:13 IWB]: In 1996, we had organized the Internet division, and I was talking to John Patrick, who was the head of our internet technology organization. And John was thinking about it and he said, well, maybe what we need is to put out alpha versions of our stuff out there. Maybe what we need is alphaWorks.
[00:46 RS]: It was about this thought that the internet was a very disruptive technology. It was also about broader collaboration. How can we get the innovation out into the broader communities, helping other communities impact IBM? So, how do you do that? And you know it was a cultural change not only for us, but also as the industry changed.
[01:14 IWB]: In 96-97, if you were a stodgy old company that didn’t move quickly, people said you’re a stodgy old company. And we didn’t want to be told that we were a stodgy old company. We also wanted to also move quickly. And alphaWorks let us have our cake and eat it, too.
[01:32 GP]: alphaWorks is a treasure trove of really cool emerging technologies. But it’s also a window into all of the exciting projects that are going on across IBM’s industry leading research and development teams. alphaWorks has really been a strong supporter and a strong catalyst
for driving open standards for driving open source, for driving a lot of these emerging technologies.
[02:01 IWB]: It totally transformed the way we looked at getting our technologies and products to the marketplace. It let us be agile, in a way that we weren’t before, and the market was more and more demanding.
[02:18 RS]: If you look on alphaWorks there’s 250 emerging technologies today. There’s 165,000 visitors per month that come to read, and understand, and download. The downloads are at 25,000 per month.
[02:31 GP]: alphaWorks is incredibly popular with university faculty and students, because it really is a great learning tool and things like some of our fun games that we’ve had on alphaWorks for many years — robo code, code invaders, you know — again is another great learning tool that makes learning these technologies both interesting and fun.
[02:50 IWB]: I’m expecting that alphaWorks will keep us young. That it will keep us moving fast. It will keep us in tune with the marketplace. It will lead us keep innovating where it counts.
[03:02 RS]: I think that alphaWorks, going forward, is working towards how we look at that area of creating living applications, that people can deploy and change, and share with their community, with their business constituents as they go forward.
[03:23 IWB]: So we need alphaWorks and its capabilities more than ever, given the way the world of technology going.
See also a transcript of “Three critical players in alphaWorks history reflect on IBM’s highly regarded early adopter program” | Scott Laningham interviews Irving Wladasky-Berger, Rod Smith and Gina Poole | developerWorks Interviews | September 5, 2006 at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/podcast/dwi/cm-int091206.txt .