Documentation of the commercial path to the
Part 1. The IBM Information Network, Network Services
Marketing Guide dated Feb 1985
Part 2. Various articles from news letters and announcements
from 1985 to 1988.
Business Model introduction.
When IBM first introduced the concept of interconnecting all network, the idea had
to be sold. Thus the need for a marketing guide. The basis for the marketing
activity was to help customers understand that: anything that can be recorded
electronically can be delivered electronically. In 1980, IBM had thousands of
customers with one or more isolated networks.
- IBM would do software problem determination and print a dump.
- Then go back the branch and do more PD.
- Then down load a tape through one of IBM’s networks.
- Then drive to the customer location to install the fix.
The solution was to improve IBM and it’s customers productivity and satisfaction
through electronic delivery of fixes and other IBM customer support.
- First connect IBM customers to IBM’s network for Electronic support.
- Also connect IBM suppliers for electronic order activity
- Second, Once IBM customers and suppliers were connected to IBM’s network for
Electronic business with IBM, there was virtually free capability to do electronic
communication with their business partners.
- Next was to allow individual consumers to do electronic business with all
- The last phase was to enable people like you and me to do electronic
communication with friends and family.
That concept was in place in 1988 when the Internet
developers adopted the IBM Information Network Business
In 1988, the National Science Foundation began discussion and work on a new
Internet Protocol (IP) and another network for a closed user group consisting of
academic, research and government. See the IBM page Rise of the Internet:
http://www.ibm.com/ibm100/us/en/icons/internetrise/ The site has some good
information about good hard work by many people. There is a slight error. It
tells the story of Rise of the Internet Protocol (IP). It doesn't tell the story of the
rise of the Internet.
In 1983, IBM began implementing the idea of the any to any interconnection of
all network. It was not until 1988, when the government adopted the
commercial Business Model that IBM introduced years earlier.
The Internet is like the Eisenhower Interstate system. IP is like the concrete on
the electronic highway. Concrete didn't give rise to the Eisenhower Interstate
system. Without IP or concrete both highways exist.
When Eisenhower advanced the idea for the interstate highway system, roads
already existed using many surfaces. Concrete is not required to have an
interstate highway system. The same applies to data networks. When the idea
of an any to any electronic highway was first thought of, many data networks
existed using different languages already existed. The any to any global
electronic highway began using many surfaces or protocols before switching
to just IP.
It was common for people to build closed networks. However; in 1983, the IBM
Information Network adopted an architecture and strategy that was specifically
intended to provide a single shared data network connectivity for everyone
worldwide in or outside of any business or government to do all things
electronic. The concept was based on the statement that anything that can be
recorded electronically can be delivered electronically.
The IBM Information Network gave rise to the electronic highway when it
adopted the Electronic Customer Support Architecture and Strategy in 1983.
Until IBM adopted the concept, there wasn't a shared data network designed or
intended to do all the stuff that happens on the Internet we know today. That is;
there wasn't a network design to interconnect all networks worldwide to allow
any user on any network to access any application on any network and to
exchange email or other electronic data with any user on any network.
Two different requirements will deliver two different network solutions. The
government requirement and development was to deliver IP and another closed
network to address some to some. The IBM Information Network had already
delivered a network to address any to any. The electronic highway compared
to the Eisenhower interstate system is a good analogy. The concept of IP is
analogous to concrete used on roads. The concept of Electronic Customer
Support and IBM Information Network architecture and strategy of any to any is
analogous to the Eisenhower interstate highway system.
The Information Network grew and was renamed the IBM Global Network.
During the development of another closed government Internet, the fair use
rules were officially ignored to allow the closed Internet to participate in some
of the open Global Network activity. The government business requirement
was modified to fit in with the commercial IBM Information Network business
requirement. Once the formerly closed Internet was attached to the open IBM
IN/GN, the rapid growth in the number of attached networks and users on the
Global Network could be counted as Internet attached networks and users.
Although the real attachment was to the IBM IN/GN, the numbers were also
counted as Internet numbers. The business we know of on the Internet was
already being delivered and grew without the government requested
development of IP and another closed Internet.
When the two paths joined, IBM sold off the Global Network to ATT because the
shared data network naturally fit as telephone company business. The IBM
people who worked on the government requirement for IP and an Internet
remained in IBM to tell their story. http://www.ibm.
com/ibm100/us/en/icons/internetrise/ Their work gave rise to TCP/IP which is
like concrete for a road. The IBM Global Network people went to ATT and are
there to tell their story. Their work gave rise to the Internet which is like the
Eisenhower interstate highway system. I tell some the IBM Global Network
I worked in the IBM Information Network/Global network between 1983 and
1996. Before IBM sold the Global Network, I was transferred and managed a
project to close IBM's HONE VM legacy applications and to migrate them to an
IP application environment. I provide some historical documentation about the
IBM IN/GN electronic highway concept of any to any that preceded the
government requirement for another closed network using new IP concrete.
Documentation elevates the discussion from simple recollection to valid
research. I looked through my files and selected a few parts of a few dated
documents about commercial inter-enterprise network services electronic
highway activity before the commercial providers switched to IP concrete in
the mid 1990s.
In 1982, the IBM Information Network (IBM IN) began
business with facilities in 7 major USA locations. It became
the IBM Global Network with worldwide locations. In the
mid 1990s it switched from using SNA to IP as one of many
ISPs before IBM sold it to ATT.
The IBM IN marketing Guide for Network Services includes
the a strategy to connect all users on all networks to allow
any to any. The Marketing Guide is based on my 1980 work
that describe the concept of a single shared global
network to allow any to any and included a strategy to
accomplish the goal.
I scanned selected pages from the February 1985 second
edition form number ZZ34-2240-1. I include the cover page
front and back for documentation purposes.
I include part of the table of contents to show that the
concept of any to any is included in various part of the
This page has a diagram showing multiple enterprises and
individual users using one shared commercial network.
There were thousands of closed private networks. Initially,
the Information Network was unique as the first network
designed to connect any to any world wide.
On page 1-1, I introduce the comparison of the shared
inter-enterprise data network being like the interstate
highway system or any other shared network. Just as the
Eisenhower interstate system can use concrete or any
other road surface, the shared inter-enterprise data
network can use any language such as IP.
Without IP, the electronic highway emerged and
experienced most of it's business growth in just over 10
years. The individual user growth began and was large
without IP. Individual use did experience most of it's
growth after IP was adopted by the commercial service
On page 1-2, I reemphasize the concept of a shared data
network across business or enterprise. I make a simple
comparison of the shared voice network with the new
concept of a shared data network. Actually, data is on the
shared voice network. Various individual enterprises lease
voice lines then put data on them. This comparison makes
it easy to see the value of a shared data network just as
people use a shared voice network. I find it humorous to
talk of voice over IP. That is voice over IP that is over
voice. (NOTE: This is a hint of a new technical
On page 1-3, I show various business and individual users
sharing the single data network with the concept of any to
any when authorized. That was future thinking back then.
It is a commonly understood today.
On page 3-2, I introduce the phases of growth from single
enterprise use to multi-enterprise and include the concept
of electronically doing business with suppliers and
customers. This is part of strategy to arrive at the
architecture of a single any to any shared data network.
When I originated the architecture and strategy in 1980,
there wasn't a single shared data network for all users.
There wasn't any plan or approach that would deliver the
shared data network. There were millions of users on intra-
enterprise networks. IBM had 33 separate isolated
networks. One of my contribution was to provide a
business reason to justify the cost of building a shared
data network. I advanced the idea of IBM consolidating it's
networks and to build a commercial version of it's VNET. I
called the proposed network CNET for Commercial
This page contains one of the most important productivity
concepts which is the statement about anything being
recorded electronically can be delivered electronically.
There was significant productivity improvement as a result
of the any to any shared data network concept. Most of the
productivity improvement occurred while IBM's SNA was
the road technology before the change to the IP road
technology. One type of productivity improvements
resulted in elimination of jobs that were in place to reenter
the data that had been printed then delivered through the
mail. Just in time production became realistic due to
electronic delivery of data.
Multi-enterprise electronic business already existed. It was
dial up. People were dialing in to get to information
providers and even to games. IBM was doing dial up
customer support. One of IBM's new small computers
dialed in to an IBM system for problem determination.
Things evolve. However; the prospects were for slow
growth in the dial up customer support and multi-
enterprise electronic business. The new IBM IN approach
was for all business and government to have a single
leased line from their internal networks to the shared
network connected to all business and government. Also,
individual users could dial into the same single shared
network to do electronic business and communication
with anyone. Information providers could eliminate their
dial support and simply use the shared network to expand
In 1985, IBM IN was already providing the any to any
electronic highway solution while a new IP concrete was
being considered and developed as another language for
use on another closed government network that prohibited
business and other things the Internet is know for.
The concept of a shared data network allowed simple rapid
expansion of the inter-enterprise business across multiple
industries. One connection to the shared data network
provided a global reach.
Electronic business already existed before I wrote the architecture and
strategy. It goes back to the first bit on the telegraph. It existed before
a chairman of IBM shortened it from electronic business to e business.
People were dialing in to get to information providers and even to
Electronic business would have continued in some form. The most
likely prospects were for slow growth evolution use of dial up between
business and consumer. If I hadn't written the architecture and
strategy, there wouldn't have been an electronic highway or shared
data network parade for the government to run to get in front of then
claim to be the leader of.
I simply put the parts together in an architecture of any to any on a
shared data network. I also defined the strategy to accomplish the
goal. First build a shared data network to provide an interconnection
for inter-enterprise electronic business worldwide. Use IBM electronic
support as a cost justification for the initial connection. Use inter-
enterprise electronic business of all kinds as further justification.
If the government hadn't requested a new IP concrete and another
closed Internet, then business would have developed a replacement
technology for SNA and the standards group language. The
replacement language or road technology would have include the
operating network approach and it would have included a similar
address schema that we know today. The replacement language
would have addressed requirements that can be seen today but are
On that page, I include selected articles from news letters and product
announcements. I include significant electronic customer support as
well as global activity documentation. The BITNET connection
announcement to IBM IN is shown. I include an article about all 50
state DMVs being connected to IBM IN.
|In an article called “What Is The Internet (And What Makes It Work) -
December, 1999 By Robert E. Kahn and Vinton G. Cerf” they write:
"For a long time, the federal government did not allow
organizations to connect to the Internet to carry out commercial
activities. By 1988, it was becoming apparent, however, that the
Internet's growth and use in the business sector might be
seriously inhibited by this restriction."
By definition, the Internet is the interconnection of all networks. It
can use any protocol. IP is the computer language used by the
interconnected networks. WWW is a user tool for displaying and
addressing information placed into IP packets for transport on the
When the Internet Business Model was 8 years old and in
place, it was adopted by the developers of IP.