As Munich tech scene grows, new IBM Cloud Garage fuels innovation
April 18, 2018
Written by: Steve Robinson
Munich, Germany has often been compared to Silicon Valley. With its lively developer scene, corporate-backed incubators and a new tech hub expected to create 5,000 jobs, it’s not hard to see why.
This thriving technology sector is one of the many reasons IBM decided to anchor its global Watson Internet of Things (IoT) headquarters in Munich. Today, IBM is expanding its footprint in the city and further across Europe. The IBM Cloud Garage in Munich, located inside the Watson IoT headquarters, will be the 12th Cloud Garage in our global network and will bring our strengths in cloud, agile tools, blockchain, data and AI to the region.
Innovation happens at IBM Cloud Garages
IBM Cloud Garages are a network of physical hubs all around the world, designed to help companies spark new cloud innovations by bringing together a solution’s critical stakeholders — designers, product managers and software architects — to work side-by-side with IBM experts. This enables teams to build cloud strategies across public and hybrid cloud models, opening up the potential of tools such as blockchain, AI and data services. These projects are anchored by the IBM Cloud Garage Method, a unique and agile approach to building with cloud and the technologies it delivers.
For every business and across any industry, the Garage Method can be adopted to deliver ideas faster. The aim is to not only speed up the process, but to perfect it and make it repeatable. To do so, IBM Garage teams create personas to understand user pain points, define the right cloud strategy and tools, rank backlogs to deliver a minimum viable product, build user experience prototypes, and validate with test users.
The Watson IoT hub in Munich already hosts startups and enterprises such as BMW, Capgemini and Deutsche Telekom to solve complex IoT and data challenges. This new Garage will bring perspectives on cloud-powered agile development and design to this space, as well as projects that combine the potential of hybrid and cloud-native foundations with blockchain and AI tools. Additionally, it will tap into the nearby IBM development facility in Boeblingen, Germany, for deep expertise in data science, quantum computing and blockchain.
European resources for innovation expand
Expanding our network to Munich grows the overall IBM investment in Europe, adding to existing IBM Cloud Garages we’ve already launched in London; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Nice, France. This continues our mission to deliver European companies, as well as those operating in Europe, a secure and accessible way to design and build with cloud, especially as new data regulations such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are implemented, and the demand for data control and privacy grows. Last year, for example, we rolled out a wave of new security controls in our IBM Cloud Data Center in Frankfurt, giving companies complete sovereignty over who accesses their data, where it resides and how it’s used.
Clients benefit with IBM Cloud Garage Method
Deutscher Sparkassenverlag (DSV), a think tank and service provider for savings banks as well as for financial services firm Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, has already been working with the IBM Cloud Garage team in Munich to build a new, digital experience for the often lengthy and complicated process of construction financing. In just a few weeks, DSV created a trusted and simple app for its customers to apply and be approved for mortgages.
The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe team first began with the IBM Cloud Garage Method to work rapidly with IBM Cloud tools such as machine learning, Watson Visual Recognition, analytics and cloud object storage services. This helped the combined IBM and client team to produce an app that enables customers to quickly identify which documents they do or do not need for mortgage approval, as well as approval status.
Oliver Gutmann, head of business operations at DSV, sums up the value and perspective they achieved by tapping into the IBM Cloud Garage:
“Working on the IBM Cloud and with the Garage’s team of experts, we were able to better focus on the needs of our users and identify the technologies that would deliver the best solution for them. The agility of the Garage Method, combined with the open and high-value services on the IBM Cloud, enabled us to rapidly launch a prototype on schedule and on budget. Judging from the early and frequent tests we’ve done so far, I am confident that this project will bring a value not only to us, but to our customers as well.”
Today’s newest IBM Cloud Garage comes on the heels of a new location in Sao Paolo, Brazil, which just opened its doors last month. These Garages join a worldwide network across San Francisco, New York, Austin, Toronto, London, Copenhagen, Nice, Melbourne, Singapore and Tokyo.
This story first appeared on the IBM Thoughts on Cloud Blog.