Cloud Foundry /Bluemix Ecosystem – 14th December 2016

By Shannagh Bennett.

Date: 14 – 12 – 2016 –  Time: 18:00 – 20:30

Attendees: Simon Baker (IBM), Shannagh Bennett (IBM), Alan Flower (HCL), Aureliu Galasanu (InTown), Dan Johnson (Equitable Law), Leon Koutsovasilis (Xaeus Blue) and Michael Lung (Bluebridge)


Bluemix is a PaaS service that is based on Cloud Foundry technology. DevOps is used to build, run and deploy applications on the cloud, along with an extensive list of services supporting many programming languages including Java, Swift and Node.js.


Watson combines both AI and analytics to perform as a supercomputer. It can be used in various scenarios to analyse and interpret data given to it in many forms, such as images, audio and text.


BlockChain is a decentralised ledger technology that can be used to exchange both digital and physical assets. It works by creating a digitised chain of transactions that can’t be modified. The benefits of using BlockChain in a company include reduction in settlement time, reduced risk of collusion and increased trust in processes.


InTown is a property market start up, which aims to reduce the cost to landlords and reduce the effort for tenants in relation to raising an issue with the property and finding a solution.


Bluebridge is a FinTech start up that is focused on using BlockChain technology to help financial industry companies reach their optimum business potential. As increasing cybercrime, regulation and fraud inhibit business growth within the industry, BlockChain can be used to increase trust in a company through shared processes and record keeping to promote enterprise growth.

Xaeus Blue…

Xaeus Blue is a technology and digital business consultancy that helps individuals, ideas and technology come together to produce a solution for current market issues. They aim to help companies by working with them to deliver new digital platforms, create digital services, provide investment strategy support and help define digital business strategies.

Equitable Law…

Equitable Law is a Solicitors practice based in London that offers business law legal services, including corporate, finance and commercial matters. Dan Johnson had an interest in the discussion on Lucy and Watson, as it is a direction that is becoming more likely that law firms will take; to have smaller legal issues and help desks based around automation and cognition.

BlockChain has the potential to become pivotal in law practice; both as an area of law and in the smooth running of a firm. Steptoe & Johnson LLP have recently launched a BlockChain specific practice to aid BlockChain companies with issues related to the technology. In practice, the use of Smart Contracts and  has the potential to become very important; allowing firms to reduce the time taken with each client and allowing easier record keeping of any dealings within the company.


HCL is a multinational IT services company, which offers services such as Technology Consulting, IT Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing. They are an engineering led software company, having worked on projects such as the Boeing Dreamliner, Azure and the Xbox.


Lucy combines both automation and cognitive technologies to give rise to a smart global help desk. Having been built around Watson, Lucy analyses unstructured data, understands complex questions and presents solutions to common technical problems. She combines 10 services from Watson including Personality Insights and Retrieve and Rank.

HCL are currently trialing a further piece of software, Melvin, which aims to completely remove human involvement from help desk situations. They are aiming to do this by further training cognitive services to be able to answer and deal with more complex questions and to be able to detect problems before any human has detected a fault. This will then allow the system to send out an alert to get the problem fixed before it becomes an issue for any user.


More details:


Cloud Foundry /Bluemix Ecosystem – 23rd November 2016

By Shannagh Bennett.

Date: 23 – 11 – 2016 –  Time: 18:00 – 20:30
Attendees: Simon Baker (IBM), Shannagh Bennett (IBM), Davide Casarin (Future Workshops), Joseph Remesar (MobileID), Monica Medina (The Walt Disney Company), Alan Flower (HCL), Sara Colombini (Mysis), Richard Voaden (IBM)

The purpose of the meet-up was to learn how to bring together value from services through micro services, enable networking and sharing of opportunities and knowledge.

Future Workshops
Davide Casarin, COO of Future Workshops, was first to present.

The company consists of a team of 27 people, with 8 years of experience in API development. The company focuses on user-led agile discovery, design and development.

The company has been an ISV partner of IBM since 2014. They have attended World of Watson, have coverage of ECM on-prem and trained the BBC on Swift. Their use of Bluemix includes Insights for Twitter, Personality Insights and AlchemyAPI. The company chose Bluemix because it is a complete platform and ecosystem, it is enterprise ready and it provides inexpensive access to unique tech.

For 2017, they are aiming to have live products created from projects on Kitura.

MobileID & PortID
In attendance was Joseph Remesar; the CEO of MobileID Ltd.

MobileID is a high-end encryption mobile and API verification service that facilitates facial recognition, anti-money laundering checks, social media profiling and border control services.

The app is Cloud, Softlayer and Bluemix hosted, and is supported by an instantly scalable SaaS platform. No data is stored on the phone that hosts the app; all that the image is taking in is data. This data can then be used and is stored in the cloud.

The app is intended to be able to verify documents and individuals, such as passports, driving licenses, social security numbers and national IDs. The software also has access to council tax records, the electoral roll, DPA and Interpol. Each item that is checked on the software is verified against 3 separate sources, to ensure that results of whether a document is false are accurate.

Examples given of the industries where the software can be used were Border Control and the Construction Industry, whereby companies could use the application to ensure that individuals are who they say they are and to protect the security of any projects being worked on.


HCL Technologies
HCL is a multinational IT services company, which offers services such as Technology Consulting, IT Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing. Projects they have worked on include engineering for Boeing 787, Tesla and Xbox.

VP & CTO Alan Flower spoke briefly about what the company does and the way the industry is changing.

Every company is focusing on protecting their business as technology is advancing. The traditional world of business is rapidly changing; this is evident by companies portraying a need to survive. The nature of cloud services wanted and used by companies shows a clear hierarchy; SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

HCL are developing a system whereby they will use AI to resolve ticket issues. This will allow the customers to have a more efficient service, and will allow support employees to focus on delivering improved customer service when dealing with tickets that the AI does not solve. They are also building out API ecosystems.

A main point of discussion was over the changing role of the CIO. As technology advances and companies must reinvent, the CIO must quickly come to terms with the changes in digital innovation to give an experience that is more focused on the customer rather than sales.

The meet-up was also attended by Sara Colombini; IT Program Director of Misys.

Misys focuses on providing financial services, covering aspects of both retail and corporate banking, investment management and enterprise risk.

Only a brief overview with the company was given, with details being added around how the company is currently working with various vendors on what is the next step in their business.

Possible Projects

  • Assist Misys in following up with the queries they made about working with IBM.

Create a “Catalogue of Talent”, which states what companies/individuals are proficient in what areas, so that if asked connections to relevant people can be suggested


More details:

Cloud Foundry / Bluemix Ecosystem – 2nd November 2016

The first meeting of the Cloud Foundry / Bluemix Development House UnConference place at the IBM South Bank offices this evening with a small and illustrious group of interested participants.

The plan with the meeting is for like minded companies engaged in Cloud Foundry /Bluemix projects, who know how to bring together value from services through micro-services, to share of skills and insight to help overcome business challenges to drive customer solutions and revenue opportunity.

This is in a new, growing and important market where teaming and collaboration will benefit all.

The early design is for outcomes such as:

    • Learn something new
    • Gain a new partnership
    • Identify an opportunity with mutual benefit and value

And over time:

    • Build a set of agile SIs /SW Houses – more skills/developer resources
    • Drive more revenue through apps on Bluemix

The software houses interested are:

  • Armakuni
  • Chelsea App Factory
  • CodeTen
  • Cognitive Factory
  • DeeperThanBlue
  • EngineerBetter
  • Future Workshops
  • Hanno
  • HedgeHog Labs
  • KnowNow
  • Loft
  • Mars Spiders
  • R/GA
  • RNF Solutions
  • Softwire
  • Spica
  • Super Being Labs
  • The App Garden
  • VirTrade
  • Virtual Technologies
  • Xaeus Blue

However we were and will be joined by some larger systems integrators:

  • TCS
  • HCL
  • Wipro
  • Tech Mahindra

The thinking is also to widen and bring in the services providers and innovative solutions such as:

  • Signalbox
  • TransportAPI
  • Push Technology
  • Flock
  • Entocycle

Hence the name change to Cloud Foundry / Bluemix Ecosystem.

This evening the discussion was very interactive and stimulated good debate:

  • Ben Fry – Armakuni shared the fact they are the providers of the Comic Relief donations platform support 500 donations/second and 100,000 concurrent users, running across multiple Cloud Foundry instances
  • Paul Tanner – Virtual Technologies – shared his interest in IoT specifically around energy assisted living, health and home accomodation
  • Vinod Balakrishnan and Prasad Rangnekar  both from TCS shared their support of solutions around the layers of OpsTech and InfoTech where the line between the two is ripe for disruption through new services provider integration between the two worlds with services made available via a platform as a service.
  • Prasad’s specific interest is in the area of Handling Cargo and the associated operations with consideration for Environmental factors, Safety and Health.


  • Prasad presented a interest 7 layer diagram of the OpsTech and InfoTech
  • Rahit N also from TCS told us of AIDA UK a Watson based advisor for key words across multiple domains
  • Dan Young from Engineer Better who another Cloud Foundry systems integrator with  good skills in XP, TDD and Pairing alongside Engineering/Operations, Training, Consultancy skills with a focus on Cloud Native Apps

The discussion considered that we are just at an inflexion point where the interest in services on a PaaS is just starting upturn and that they are being recognised as platforms for change. However this is up against a certain amount of resistance from the more traditional part of IT who are responsible for the legacy systems. We must continue to recognise there are two types of IT, two architectural approaches and two speeds.

And what agile development centered on PaaS for innovation can bring to the legacy world is that through such practices as pair programming, for example, the recognition that application development in a social activity from which comes great collaboration, creativity and innovation, including a new face and a new life for legacy.