By Deepak Advani
The marketing experiences that we receive, whether via email, snail mail or the phone, say a lot about us.
For example, by taking one look at the mail I receive each day, you will quickly learn a few things. First, I have personal interests and I’ve developed strong relationships with brands based on these interests.
They know who I am, things I may be interested in, they offer me deals and more. I have become a brand advocate based largely on their commitment to personalizing campaigns to me rather than throwing out messages and waiting to see what sticks.
Unfortunately, these experiences are just one example of the campaigns I receive most days. Now let’s go back to my email example. In taking another glance you will find a far greater number of messages from recognizable brands that clearly do not know me. It’s called spam of course. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Last November in a championship powerboat race off Key West, Florida, Nigel Hook, skipper of Lucas Oil 77, was knifing along at more than 140 mph when he got a heads up from his support team that one of the main batteries was about to fail. That would have left the boat dead in the water. Instead, Nigel quickly switched to another battery and completed the race–finishing in 3rd place.
How did the support team know the battery was about to fail? Lucas Oil 77 is not only a monster of a motorboat; it’s also a node on the Internet of Things. Hundreds of sensors attached to the engines, navigation system and crew members monitor their health and beam the data wirelessly into the cloud, where it’s analyzed, and, when the system spots trouble, Nigel and the support team get alerts. Continue Reading »
By Joel Cawley
As climate change advances, the frequency and severity of weather and climate disasters is increasing. That’s bad news for all of us, and it’s particularly dire for the people who lose property or loved ones as a result.
But what if insurance companies had much more timely and detailed understanding of weather events as they happened? They could help people avoid the worst and recover more quickly when they’re hit hard.
Imagine this scenario: A string of tornados is heading toward a city. An insurance company, supplied with a stream of real time weather information, issues up-to-the-minute alerts to its customers with more details about the path of the tornados than they can get on TV. Immediately after the twisters whip through the area, the company sends out text messages to policyholders inquiring about their safety. It asks customers to send photos of damage through a smartphone app. Continue Reading »
By Carolyn Pampino
We may be drowning in a deluge of email, but our research has found that email is not dead. The tools we use to access our email, however, are outdated and were invented before the word “Internet” became a household name. Instead of our managing email, what we need is a better way to communicate, which is focused on deeper engagement and better outcomes.
Social tools, and mobile and cloud technologies have significantly changed the expectations of consumers about mail, social interaction and other collaboration tools. We bring these expectations to the workplace. While at work, many of us experience significant information overload from disconnected applications built for an earlier era. Continue Reading »
Big Data, once thought to be the answer to unlocking insight, has itself become a challenge. From the vast amount of digital content online to new types of data streams from social, mobile and other sources, information overload pervades all aspects of our lives.
Identifying true insights trapped within that data is a difficult task. How do you sift through the 95 percent of information that doesn’t matter to find the five percent that does?
Enter IBM Watson and the era of cognitive computing. Watson has both an insatiable appetite for Big Data and the unique ability to contextually analyze that information to unlock meaningful insights. Continue Reading »
18F, an organization within the General Services Administration (GSA), was launched in 2014 to help drive innovation across government. Along with its sister organization, the U.S. Digital Service, 18F is transforming government in new ways using a combination of cloud, mobile and agile services.
Greg Godbout, Executive Director at 18F, and a 2013 Presidential Innovation Fellow, helped start the organization and led the team responsible for its success. Next month, Godbout is stepping down from his role to take on new challenges at another government agency. The Smarter Planet blog caught up with him at a recent IBM-sponsored Government Executive federal cloud event to get his perspectives on the roles of cloud and innovation. Below are excerpts. Continue Reading »
By Pamela Induni
It’s been a busy start to the year for IBM’s Watson University Programs as we expand our efforts to bring together the best and brightest student minds to apply Watson and cognitive computing technology in new and interesting ways.
In fact, I’m just stepping off a plane from our very first international University Case Competition which took place in France last weekend. Continue Reading »
By Ajay Royyuru
A physician once told me that “your genes load the gun. Your lifestyle pulls the trigger.”
We were talking about how genetics play a role in the likelihood of a disease manifesting itself – and how the way we live also influences that likelihood. And it’s getting easier and faster for doctors and scientists to precisely understand which genes influence which diseases, and by how much.
This improved access and understanding of the genome, though, brings up challenges to the notion of ownership, consent, and privacy. Should a patient ask her siblings, parents and grandparents for permission to reveal genetic information? How much of a person’s genome should be tested, disclosed, or archived, per analysis? Continue Reading »
By Kirill Korniliev
Financial institutions are beginning to fully grasp the banking habits of millennials and are rethinking their customer experience to better engage with a generation that uses their smartphones for everything – the first true digital natives.
Millennials do have financial needs, but their goals are altered by the cultural shifts of their generation – more social, more eco-sensitive, and maybe less focused on accumulating wealth.
Their goals include experiences and contributions as much or more than mortgages and financial planning. They haven’t had time for long standing financial relationships. And when it comes to technology, mobility and convenience, millennials have high expectations that financial institutions will need to fulfill if they hope to maintain relevance with this target market and capture a huge market opportunity. Continue Reading »
By Inhi Cho Suh and Kris Lovejoy
Innovation is born out of people thinking differently and from the various perspectives each person brings to the table. And it’s up to companies to create an environment where diversity of thought is valued – where employees feel comfortable stepping outside the mainstream and taking risks. We need to encourage employees to be open, curious and ask questions. Urge them to think deeply and challenge the conventional thinking. They need to be able to take chances and experiment and ask the question that everyone else is too embarrassed to ask. If they make a mistake, challenge them to step back and learn from the experience. Encourage them to view every process, policy or financial hurdle as an “opportunity” as opposed to a barrier. These diverse viewpoints are the very fuel of innovative thinking. Continue Reading »