Editor’s note: In the first of a three-part report, Technology Business Research takes an in-depth look at IBM’s unfolding strategy for blockchain.

HAMPTON, N.H. – IBM’s blockchain platform provides businesses with a foundation to build on to adjust and optimize their workflows

Recently, IBM unveiled its approach to putting blockchain to work for both large and small businesses. According to IBM executives, blockchain is not a technology challenge but rather a business process challenge and, in many respects, an ecosystem building and management challenge. To that end, IBM is leveraging its broad reach to implement blockchain technology in its products and services.

The company is also fostering collaboration among multiple parties, including founding an ecosystem of ecosystems, allowing businesses to leverage blockchain to alter their processes and improve services while managing costs.

TBR believes that while implementing blockchain is at the top of most technology vendors’ to-do lists, IBM is among the first to put the technology into action with a set of products and services. In August the company outlined its approach to blockchain for businesses based on the culmination of its learnings from 400 client engagements, numerous industry partnerships and participation in 10 blockchain networks, along with its blockchain development.

IBM benefits from blockchain through platform sales, the ability to drive customers to its Bluemix cloud and services opportunities. Given IBM’s position as a technology and services provider, building its blockchain platform on the Bluemix cloud, supported by Bluemix composable services, TBR sees few, if any, major end-to-end blockchain challengers in the near future. Instead, competitors will gather their own networks of affiliates, which we expect IBM will simply embrace.

IBM’s blockchain foundation is built on technology and processes that optimize business workflows

IBM outlined a series of market motions and developmental activities, suggesting a groundswell of demand for proof-of-concept (POC) testing around where blockchain technology can cut operating costs, develop new business streams and services, and reduce corporate risk. The basic elements of the IBM blockchain market motions revolve around the following:

 Lead in the development of an open blockchain architecture through IBM’s active involvement in the Hyperledger initiative that future-proofs early investments based on open source IP.

 Layer Hyperledger IP onto its cloud platform for easy replication and performance consistency around the globe to attract businesses and niche-specific ecosystem builders by highlighting trust and consistency along with open standards compliance.

 Apply IBM’s years of deep industry business expertise to stitch together the right IP assets for blockchain deployment for high-reward use cases.

 Leverage IBM and partner industry experts to translate these enabling technologies.

Part Two: But the devil will be in the details — the ecosystem governance details