IBM Signs 10-Year IT Deal With Emirates Airline

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£200 million IT services deal for app building, passenger management and encryption. IBM also pushes out Apache Spark data science application

IBM has signed a ten-year IT services deal with Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline.

The deal, worth around $300 million (£200m), will give Emirates use of IBM’s IT infrastructure and cloud services, with a focus on boosting its passenger handling capabilities.

Using IBM services, Emirates will also be encrypting data in near real-time, said IBM. The airline also wants to build new apps as it turns to the API economy to improve its business.

Managed services

“By moving its IT Infrastructure delivery into a managed services model, the airline will benefit from improved business application performance, resilience, scalability, an agile service delivery model, and significant operational savings,” said IBM in a statement today.

The deal comes as IBM also launched a new application for Apache Spark in an attempt to make shifting data through the cloud easier for scientists and developers.

ibmThe application, called the Data Science Experience, is what IBM is calling the first enterprise application for Apache Spark.

The application is essentially a cloud-based development environment for real-time analytics, whereby data scientists and developers can sift through large dumps of data and turnaround business insights.

“The Data Science Experience’s open and collaborative environment allows data scientists to accelerate and simplify data ingestion, curation and analysis by bringing together the content, data, models, and open source resources from IBM and others including H2O, RStudio, Jupyter Notebooks on Apache Spark in a single security-rich managed environment,” said IBM.

The Data Science Experience runs on IBM’s Bluemix platform, and provides 250 curated data sets, open source tools and a collaborative workspace to help data scientists.

“With Apache Spark, we see an opportunity to significantly transform the role of the data scientist by providing access to curated data sets, open source tools and a collaborative platform to accelerate innovation,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president IBM Analytics.

“IBM’s Digital Science Experience is the killer enterprise app for Apache Spark, and gives data scientists new opportunities to deliver insight-driven models to developers, and opens the door for unprecedented innovation from the open source community.”

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