InterConnect is IBM’s premier conference for cloud education and skill development, equipping attendees with the right tools to learn and move their business and career forward. This year, the size and depth of the show were incredible; with attendance in the thousands, InterConnect hosted countless topics, sessions, and labs to satisfy every developer’s curiosity when it came to practically every technology.

Surrounded by innovation, guests were treated to interactive demos and talks from partners and industry leaders discussing a wide range of exciting topics, from Blockchain and Watson to quantum-computing, multi-cloud/cloud object storage, and ways to become key players in the cognitive era.

For many attendees, one of the best opportunities to hear these stories was through visiting the Open Technology Summit (OTS). Despite running 3 hours, the OTS was rapidly-paced and featured 10-20 minute talks for each topic, allowing guests to learn the latest on a variety of tools, such as Openstack, Cloud Foundry, Blockchain, and others.

While InterConnect’s foremost themes this year focused on Cognitive and Cloud, IBM presented these two topics closely linked through API management and gateways highlighting tomorrow’s integration trends. One of the best explanations came when a presenter shared, “While Watson can’t exist without the IBM Cloud foundation, the IBM Cloud foundation can’t power innovation and a secure environment without Watson.”

In a keynote welcoming guests, IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Ginni Rometty expressed how powerful cloud and cognitive can be when used together to solve difficult challenges. Ginni also announced several IBM developments and offerings, including:

  • Its Security Cloud Virtualization Service to tackle the security barriers preventing companies from adopting the cloud.
  • Blockchain as a Service to control transactions in large user ecosystems by giving enterprise players the option to build their own scalable and secure Blockchain networks.
  • A recent deal signed with Wanda group to introduce IBM’s Cloud Platform to China.
  • New services for Watson, such as a financial services developer cloud and functionality improvements in the Watson Discovery Service to help better identify useful patterns and insights from large sets of data.

During the conference, CEO Ginni Rometty described companies using Watson to transform their data as the biggest bet for IBM’s future growth. IBM was optimistic that through the introduction of these new Watson services, developers could have new ways to build applications to leverage Watson in combination with technologies such as Blockchain, cognitive analytics, and big data.

A big takeaway observed from its many announcements is that IBM is making huge strides to enable companies to digitally transform and innovate. As an IBM Gold Partner, KS2 Technologies is committed to this same stride, providing clients with the latest tools and platforms designed to drive growth and success.