Category Archives: CAMSS

A Day in the Life – Joe Barry

A day in my life will be different to another IBMers and completely different to a day in your life. Instead of telling you why you should join our Apprenticeship scheme I wanted to instead talk to you about a subject that is never the same – a day in my life.

So before I begin I will mention that I am currently a Project Management Officer in Hursley. However I am pretty new to the role so I don’t think my day now would be very helpful until I know my role fully. Also because anytime I move to a new role most of the day is taken up but listening and reading and that is hard to blog about.

The day I want to portray is back in June when I was working in Manchester for an Insurance Company. When I was working up in Manchester, I was part of the Data Governance Team, who are in charge of working out how we can transfer current data from an old system into a new one. In order to do this, I would have to talk to specialists on both sides, arrange a possible solution and show this in a presentation for the Business on Friday.

So let’s take a specific Friday where I had to create slides to represent all the info I gathered from last week. Each problem that we came across we classed as units and every week we would pick a number of units that we would present solutions for. An example of one of the units we had to solve was how to migrate customers’ occupational data into the new system. Currently customers would manually type in their occupation when applying for any level of insurance. However this resulted in some entry’s being misspelled or hard to define. It’s amazing to see how many people misspell their job title! We had job titles written as “BrickLaier” to “Bus Diver”!

The new system we needed had a drop down box that would narrow down the occupation selection for the customer. The original data would need to be categorised to fit into this new system.  I enjoyed finding out how the Build team fixed problems and added functionalist that other competitors were not doing.

From this point I would need to have a meeting with the different areas of the business, Financial, Pricing, Build, Service and Customer to highlight any issues they can raise that I might not have seen. It was very useful to have this step, as I liked to have other people’s ideas collaborated into my solution as well as it being very interesting to see how other people solved problems. After this I would go back and discuss this with an Subject Matter Expert for the new system. Usually this would not prompt any major changes as I had a good understanding of the new system as it was quite logical.

So now that I had gathered all the info and approvals from all affected sides of the business I could create the slides to present to the business. I had to make sure I tailored the slides for both technical and non-technical people. It had to connect with the rest of the slides and it had to display the areas of the business it is effecting.

This was just one day in the 2 years I have been here. If you can experience this in that time ask yourself what you could experience with 364.

IBM have really helped me progress my Presentation skills from talking to other IBMers and educational courses available in the apprenticeship. The progression I have had from doing my 3rd ever interview for the IBM apprenticeship 2 years ago to presenting my solutions to Senior members of the business has been amazing and I hope to develop my skills some more.

Thanks for reading my blog, feel free to check out other blogs on our site, and message me on LinkedIn if you have any further questions. (

Joe Barry.


CAMSS? Just another acronym?

CAMSS. It’s another acronym. Does it look familiar to you? Doing a Google search for ‘CAMSS’ will mostly yield results related to IBM as this is our ‘keyword’ for the future direction the company is taking. Yet, IBM are not the only company diverging and investing in the CAMSS space. Many other global technology corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon, Accenture and HP are also heading in a similar direction. However not many people understand just what these initiatives are.

I currently work on account which is the other side of the country to my home town, and any trips back require a number of hours on public transport. I thought one day, whilst I was bored and had just finished an IBM quiz on Cloud, to maybe do an experiment and see who else on the commute would know about cloud, analytics, mobile, social or security. While I think there may be a select few who would understand, the majority of people will probably look at me funny and some would probably tell me to go away. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually go around asking people that, it was the end of a long week of work and I just went to sleep!

If you’re not that sure about CAMSS (Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security) then be glad you have our blog. I will cover briefly what each initiative is, and how it ties in to the work we do to improve the way our clients and people in general work.


When we talk about cloud, we don’t talk about things being put on to actual clouds, but keep the metaphor in mind as it is probably the easiest way to explain Cloud to someone who is not necessarily in the know. When a company is looking to upgrade their existing infrastructure, maybe to support a new project or keep up with business demand or growth, a company will probably start costing how much it would be to buy all the networking gear and hire professionals who are able to install the new network. Many companies will probably outsource this work to a reputable company. While this means that company will have their own infrastructure, it is often very costly and, to keep their systems secure and running smoothly, they will likely have to upgrade in the next five (or less) years. So how does a company keep up with demand and technology without having to fork out money every number of years? Turn to the Cloud. Companies like IBM offer Cloud solutions using the latest hardware which can dynamically assign resources depending on the demand from a client. So in the example of an online retailer, Summer can be quiet and the Cloud infrastructure can be scaled down (saving the customer money) and once Christmas hits, more resources can be assigned to cope with the new demand. This is an example of Infrastructure as a Service. You also have Platform as a Service and Software as a Service for hosting singular or a variety of different applications in the Cloud.


Data is everywhere. An average person working a 9 to 5 job likely wakes up and checks the latest news or their favourits websites on their phone, eats their favourite cereal or breakfast, washed with certain hygiene products, drives a certain car to work, takes a certain route and when they get to work accesses certain websites or does online shopping buying certain quantities of different products. How much data could you gather from that person based on the above scenario? The same applies to businesses in terms of customer demand, current trends, buying habits, preferred products and financial predictions, for instance when the company is likely to make or lose money. All these data points are useful and Analytics can be utilised to provide a company with useful insights into how their business is operating and can assist in making informed business decisions.


In these times, you will struggle to find a person who doesn’t own a mobile phone and smartphone use is ever on the rise. If you were a company looking to improve your web or user experiences for your customers, then it would make sense to go mobile. After all, people are always busy moving around, less people are confined to a desk with one computer for their whole life and much more work is being done on commutes with smartphones or tablets (or other similar devices). A lot of companies and online websites already do a lot of work to make their business experience more mobile. For example, on this Apprentice blog, we’ve done a lot of work this year to make our website more accessible for a range of different users which includes utilising a mobile version of the site and allowing authors to create and edit content on smartphones and tablets (I am writing this article on the bus while on the way to work!). You only need to look at the sheer amount of companies who have a mobile site and initiatives such as Apple Pay to see how seriously companies are taking mobile.


As I type this, Facebook has recently announced that they are celebrating one billion active users online at any one time. Just think on that for a sec, one billion active users with a social media account, that’s 1/7 of the worlds population online at any one time, 1/7 of the worlds population with social media accounts and of those accounts, the average Facebook user has 338 friends (Six Degrees of Seperation Theory anyone?). Companies know the sheer power of social media and are utilising it in many ways such as word of mouth advertising, encouraging users to share experiences of their products, targeted advertising based on a users likes and preferences (again, back to analytics here) as well as Twitter accounts which provide a means of customer service support or providing latest updates (especially useful in terms of transport). Essentially, social media brings customers and companies closer together and the power of communication and human socialising shouldn’t be underestimated.


Increasingly, we are hearing in the news of scandals in terms of data breaches and hacks being performed on major or sensitive websites. (Quite recently, the hacking of Ashley Madison has got quite a few high profile people hot under the collar!). How do these data breaches happen? It’s quite simple: security simply was not good enough. While it’s good to have an amazing infrastructure, servicing customers effectively over social media, a good mobile experiences, it would all amount to nothing if all that customer information was illegally accessed and shared to the wrong person just because of inadequate security. The cost to a company of data breaches is highly significant and has caused companies to go bankrupt from the legal costs associated with compensation for loss of customer data.

I hope this article goes a way to clear up what we mean by ‘the CAMSS agenda’ and clarifies why companies like IBM have chosen to guide business direction toward these initiatives. Once again, I look forward to posting to you again soon. – Craig


What on earth is CAMSS? – Avtar Marway

Well, in short… CAMSS stands for ‘Cloud Analytics Mobile Social Security’. These are the five key strategies that IBM have in order to help their clients and be essential to the world. So how have these already helped?


Like a normal cloud, which stores water, one of the offerings of IBM’s cloud is to allow storage of their client’s information, data and services. Rather than buying their own data storage, clients can use IBM’s Cloud to store their data and information which means they do not have to worry about it


Do you ever think what happens with all the data we collect? The millions of data that is collected through the little things we ignore in life? By using Analytics, we are able to analyse the data we collect in order to make smarter cities and a smarter planet. So an example of this is by using traffic lights. Don’t you just hate it when you’re at a red traffic light at a junction, where there are no cars and no pedestrians waiting to cross? By using the data that is collected by traffic lights, analytics can be used to make these traffic lights smarter and better to the adapting world that we are in.


Are you reading this from your mobile? If you are, then that’s one of the big things that mobiles are able to do. Mobile is a huge part of society today and are a big part of our lives. This is due to the growth in technology over the years which has allowed companies such as banks to integrate their services into the mobile industry. IBM helps its clients with Mobile by undertaking activities such as creation, management and testing of their mobile-ready applications. For example, if a bank were to have a new app, IBM could help to create this app, test the app on mobile devices so that when the bank releases the app, there are no problems and customers are satisfied with the application as well as it’s functionality.


How often do you see the Twitter or Facebook symbol on the website of a business? The majority of businesses now link their business with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. in order to increase the social aspect of their business. IBM help to develop offerings and assets around the use of social media. IBM can analyse the data that a business’ social aspect collects. For example, say one of IBM’s clients had a twitter account where customers tweet the company. IBM could use the tweets that have been sent to their client to find out what a lot of their customers are tweeting and then use this information to help their client. For example, if tweets were about low customer satisfaction, then IBM could help the client with this problem. All this is done because the client went social.


Without Security, you would have no money, I would have no money, and there would be mass mayhem all over the world. Security is very important – especially with the growth in technology. This is because if security is breached, all kinds of information can be leaked. Remember when Sony was hacked? And the bank details of many PlayStation users were held by the hackers? Imagine if your bank details were breached, how would you have felt? IBM helps to implement high levels of security to their clients. For example, if a client uses the IBM cloud, the information and data they keep inside the cloud is protected within IBM’s security platforms. IBM have done many demonstrations to display how good our security offering is.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog, and have understood what CAMSS is. If you require more information about any of these or about anything relating to IBM as well as the apprenticeship scheme, feel free to contact me on Twitter (@AvtarMarway), LinkedIn (Avtar Marway) or email me (AvtarMar@UK.IBM.COM).

See you soon!

CAMSS – Impact on working on a Public Sector Project

CAMSS – Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Security and Social, is the key strategy for IBM, and one that we must all take into consideration and follow as much as possible. However, as within my role as Change Manager on a Public Sector project, this is not always easy. In this post, I’ll look at some of the challenges that are faced when trying to implement all of the 5 strategies within a large Public Sector project.

In the Public Sector, Security is the most important aspect of CAMSS, as you would likely expect. Ensuring that all data and applications serviced by the project are kept safe and secure is at the heart of the clients expectations, so following this is the most important thing that we as a project team can do. As a Change Manager it is important to ensure that any data we are looking after is kept secure, as well as any changes that we are managing has no security implications for the applications. As seen in the news in the past, there have been numerous virus vulnerabilities so it has been important to act quickly to ensure these do not affect any of the systems that we are monitoring and looking after.

Keeping security as the main focus for the project has often meant that some of the other CAMSS strategies are not able to be implemented as effectively, but it is important for the project to continue to look for areas to progress within the remainder of the five strategies. As the project takes on new accounts, they have tried to move these onto the Cloud, where they are now hosted. In some cases, it is not possible to do the need to be extra resilient, but as new smaller accounts are incorporated into the programme, they are being hosted on a highly secure cloud network.

Each project faces different challenges, whether it is a public sector project or not, so it is important to remain at the height of the CAMSS focus where possible, and if needed keep a high focus on one particular area of the strategy.

CAMSS: Cloud from the Apprentices’ view – Oliver Pope-Mostowicz

IBM, and IBMers, are well known for our TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms)! Occasionally however, we break the mould and for acronyms with more (or less) letters. Case in point: CAMSS – Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security.

But what are those five, seemingly only indirectly related, words actually addressing, and why are they important enough to IBM, and to the IBM Apprentice community, that they warrant their own blog series? Well, I’m very glad you asked.

CAMSS are the five key strategy paths IBM will be pursuing in our continued effort to become essential to the world (another key strategy for IBM and IBMers). They are the five key areas of technological development (at various stages of maturity) that IBM has identified as being the most important to the progression of the IT industry (the significant growth areas) and thereby, and without exaggerating too much, the advancement of the backbone of our entire world.

In this series already, other authors have explained some of the areas of CAMSS in their own words and outlined the importance of these concepts to IBM and to those authors specifically. Now it is my turn, and I’m going to take on the Cloud – the dreaded buzz word that is ephemeral by name, nature and application!

Dilbert has pretty accurately summed up the attitude towards the Cloud:




It’s a little depressing, but extremely accurate.

Now there are people who will argue until the cows come home about what the Cloud actually is, but for the sake of simplicity and understanding (something we can often lose hold of in the technical world – much to our own detriment), here is the Cloud, explained in MY own words.

Cloud is about the combination of 4 simpler concepts:

  • Virtualisation – the abstraction of hardware to allow multiple ‘virtual’ servers to run on a single physical machine
  • Elastic provisioning – allows users to quickly deploy more machines to cope with higher demand and to quickly remove (and crucially stop paying for) machines when that demand lessens
  • Usage based cost models – pay for what you need, when you need it. No more, no less
  • Geographic and Provider abstraction – most importantly, with a good Cloud platform you, the user, shouldn’t have to care about where your data and compute power is, and who is providing it – you simply have access to what you need, when you need it

Now obviously the above statements are gross simplifications – in particular the point about ‘caring where your data is’ – there are obviously needs in practical implementation to be compliant with laws and business policies (i.e. some financial business may require that data stay within a specific country), but at a high level the statements are true.

The Cloud is an incredible opportunity for business to respond more quickly to the natural peaks and troughs in the markets (for example, retail business have huge spikes in demand around Christmas but may not need the same support from their IT the rest of the year), and thereby to free up crucial cash to put into other areas that better serve their customers and employees. It is still a relatively young concept (at least in this form – it is certainly arguable that this model is simply the development of the Mainframe and ‘dumb’ client model that IBM built it’s foundations on), and it is a hugely exciting time to be a part of the industry.

The IT industry is of course notorious for ‘the next big thing’, and that very same ‘next big thing’ being a footnote in history the next year – but I don’t think (and clearly IBM doesn’t either) that the Cloud is going anywhere.

It’s time for you to get your head around it.

Thanks for reading.

P.S If this article didn’t help, I reckon this video is pretty good:

CAMSS: The mobile world is transforming – Ryan McManus

The mobile era is transforming at an incredible rate and is becoming the centre of everything we do. In this blog I shall be giving a short introduction into what the word “mobile” actually means and how it can be used to make a big impact on day to day operations. You can either look at this blog from a customer perspective – what would I like to see company’s provide me? Or a business perspective – what do I want to provide my customers?

Don’t be confused by the word mobile. It has so much more potential than just how many megapixels your camera is or how many songs your phone can hold. There are over 1.9 billion devices connected to the internet and on average someone looks at their mobile phone 150 times a day, which just shows how much potential can be utilized and transformed into something beneficial.

Why do we need to be more mobile? There are a number of reasons why we are looking to be more mobile and it’s not just for business needs. With an estimated 10 billion mobile connected devices by 2020 there is no sign of the mobile growth slowing down. Living in such a fast paced environment, people want more convenience at their fingertips and not to waste unnecessary time if it can be done faster. The use of physical money, cheques and bank cards is transforming with a contactless functionality added to cards and the introduction of Paym where all you need is a mobile telephone number to pay someone. A more recent example is Apple Pay where you pay for items using your mobile device. Just imagine if in the future you are able to diagnose medical conditions via your mobile at home. No long waiting lists to see a doctor for consultation, but instead, identifying critical conditions at the early stages to give you the best chance to get the right care and diagnostics in your own home.

Mobile can’t perform without the applications that give it purpose. It is no good having all that technology at your fingertips with the fancy memory and top of the range processor without the applications that can be used to provide people with added value. Simply having to zoom in on a web site is not good enough any more. We need applications designed for mobile to be at the centre of our thinking.

From a business perspective, Mobile is not just a tick in the box. Just to say you have an application does not mean you have kept up. It’s how you use the application and how the application can be built upon to deliver continuous benefits ahead of competitors and transform the industry. Your mobile development needs to be created with the mind set of flexibility and opportunity and not with a tunnel vision of one short term accomplishment. Mobile needs to allow quick iterations that can be supported by the infrastructure already in place, to tailor what a business wants to get from it and support their company directive.

It’s not just about what we can do on devices; it’s about what we can learn from them as well. All the data being circulated in the mobile world can be synthesized into useful information to provide knowledge to businesses to help them understand their employees, devices and customer trends. It can then be used to suggest improvements or direct their business initiatives to enable them to grow and become more efficient. Getting the right information first hand enables businesses to act faster and stay ahead of competitors.

Competition is a big factor that also contributes to how fast the mobile market is transforming. As the market has lots of unlocked potential, companies have an opportunity to explore and be proactive to give their company an advantage. Due to the competition, certain companies are forced to embrace the term “keep up or get left behind”. E.g a bank that allows sign up to products via mobile as well as the Internet browsers provides more options of convenience to its customers as opposed to one that just allows ‘in branch sign up’. Using a mobile platform to transform your industry and make processes more efficient and user-friendly could create more areas of opportunity or expansion and therefore revenue.

An application needs to provide a personalized user experience and support anyone’s goal of maximizing productivity. For example a mobile flight check-in to save time or giving employees mobile access to a system that diagnoses faults. It needs to be designed well and be responsive to ensure the user is not kept waiting. The application also needs to be compatible with a lot of different views and different devices to maintain a high customer experience. The applications should be adaptive and have the same look and feel no matter what device.

Mobile also pairs with a lot of areas to provide an ultimate experience. For example your device connects to the cloud to maximise storage and processing power. It also could be linked in with social applications. As mentioned above the mobile data can be used for analytics to gain statistics for change or transformation. A huge area is also security. With all recent things in the news about hacking and loss of personal data it’s no wonder people are nervous about becoming mobile and transforming into a technology driven world.

Although the Mobile world is transforming at a rapid pace, the security of the changes need to transform equally as fast. Security needs to transform at the same rate to keep the Mobile infrastructure, traffic, and networks secure/ private to prevent nervousness and vulnerability to the provider and the consumer.

IBM is playing a huge role in the transformation of the mobile world and a recent example of this is the pairing with Apple to explore the potential of mobile devices. IBM and Apple are working together to combine the power of enterprise data and analytics with an elegant user experience to transform how enterprises empower their professionals to interact, learn, connect and perform.

IBM is also enabling companies to operate on personal devices on the move. This enables employees and businesses to get instant, secure and fast access to essential business functions. A good example of this is IBM empowering companies with a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategy.

Mobile change aims to bring people a new, elevated level of convenience with many different benefits for both the customer and the business! I hope you found it a good insight into the mobile world and have a different outlook on the word “mobile”.