IBM is offering its Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) as a garage-style operation in Toronto. The space is intended to give startups and established businesses alike a place to go and test-drive the tools, processes, and procedures of IBM's cloud-based software development system.
IBM is playing off a concept that it previously tried out in San Francisco and London. The idea is to make the Bluemix platform available in a low-risk space for newcomers to try out. The startup setting gets a project outside an organization's dominant culture and loosens the restrictions on ideas a group may be willing to test out.
The Bluemix "garage" is also a place to get quick access to IBM design, hypothesis-testing, and rapid-development expertise. The garage tries to create "a bridge between the scale of enterprise and culture of startups" through a collaboration space in an entrepreneurial district, IBM spokesmen said in an Aug. 5 announcement.
Bluemix won't literally be offered in a garage. Rather, it'll be available in a startup incubator setting known as the DMZ (formerly, the Digital Media Zone) of Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. Ryerson is one of Canada's most successful startup locations. It moved from 25th to 5th best university startup location in the world in 2014, as ranked by the Swedish University Business Incubator index.
[ Want to learn more about IBM's efforts to expand Bluemix use? See IBM Takes Bluemix To Europe Via Sogeti. ]
Tangerine is a member of the garage. It's a direct, everyday bank in Canada based on a mobile app strategy. It uses the IBM Mobile Quality Assurance for Bluemix service. Through the service, Tangerine gathers customer feedback and insights on its latest service additions.
"Tangerine's goal is to change the status quo in banking by offering simple, relevant products to our clients," said Charaka Kithulegoda, Tangerine CIO, in the Aug. 5 announcement. "Bluemix provides the advanced tools and technologies we need … to improve the customer experience," he said.
"Our entrepreneurs will greatly benefit from access to IBM's expertise and vast business network," said Abdullah Snobar, DMZ executive director, in the announcement.
IBM's Bluemix development platform is an implementation of the Cloud Foundry open source PaaS. A version of Cloud Foundry as open source code runs on Amazon Web Services. IBM takes the open source and adds its own tools, coding samples, and middleware to the platform and offers it in IBM cloud data centers.
The next targets for Bluemix garages will be locations in Nice, France, and in Melbourne.