By Mary P. Murphy
IBM Leadership Series editor
There I was, in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s busiest passenger airports, after 15 hours of travel from Syracuse to Detroit to Amsterdam but with a full day to go between me and my final destination. Based on past experience, I was sure my bag, which was checked through to Florence, would not be there when I arrived. But, with a few quick keystrokes, an Amsterdam KLM agent pinpointed my bag and said, “no problem,” and indeed, it was one of the first bags to emerge onto the carousel in Florence 13 hours later.
I tell this story because we had just finished publishing a Smarter Planet Leadership Series story about Schiphol Airport’s new baggage handling system, and it was great to experience its success first hand (especially because it meant having my suitcase during my vacation). To create this system, Schiphol had to overcome severe physical plant constraints and coordinate the diverse stakeholders and operational groups involved in making sure passengers stay connected with their bags. It struck me, there in the airport, just how important it was for the Schiphol team to think systemically in creating the new baggage handling system.
By Steve Hodgkinson
Research Director IT Asia/Pacivic
Here’s a link to the Ovum StraightTalk blog, where this post was originally published.
I attended the Smarter Cities Forum in Rio, the centerpiece of which from my perspective was the Centro De Operações Prefeitura Do Rio – a NASA-style city operations centre created by Rio in partnership with IBM. This is a good example of a smart city initiative which is deploying technology in a practical way to drive day-to-day efficiency as well as to act as a catalyst for deeper cultural and organizational transformations across Rio’s public sector agencies.
The idea of smart cities has continued to gain momentum through 2011 as cities look for ways to enhance their ‘product’ in the global competition for citizens and commercial talent. Competition, and “coopetition”, between cities is emerging as a significant driver of public sector IT investment in a decade that is otherwise kicking off in a climate of austerity.
People vote with their feet to adopt successful cities because they are better places to live, work, learn and play. Popularity breeds age old problems of congestion and infrastructure stress, and new problems of environmental sustainability, but smarter cities are finding ways to use new technology to plan for growth and to more efficiently deliver critical infrastructure and services.
By Eric Bloom
Check out the Pike Research blog, where this post was originally published.
At the IBM Smarter Cities forum in Rio de Janeiro last week, I had the chance to go behind the scenes and take a first-hand look at Rio’s smart city project. My main impression is that the project represents one of the purest emerging examples of a smart city project that is simultaneously developing smart solutions on multiple fronts – natural disaster management, public safety, health, utilities, to mention a few – and is starting to achieve a true “system of systems” – nirvana in smart city terms. This level of integration and interoperability across city agencies – and the successes Rio has had so far – bodes well for the smart city opportunity not only in emerging markets but worldwide.
The City of Rio de Janeiro has accomplished this by deploying smart technologies ranging from broad, continental-scale weather tracking down to mobile device-enabled notification systems for potholes and burnt-out streetlights. The centerpiece, of course, is the Rio Operations Center, which features Latin America’s largest screen and dozens of stations that provide visualizations of real-time data feeds. Within the center, 35 city agencies work together to synergize their responses to city events. (One interesting detail is that the operators wear uniforms modeled after NASA that create a sense of camaraderie and homogeneity across the historically separate city agencies, which creates something of a spectacle.)
by Kal Gyimesi, Automotive Leader IBM Institute for Business Value
Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been around since the beginning of the twentieth century. However, it isn’t until now we are beginning to truly realize the potential that EVs are ready to offer. Green transportation aside, this next generation of EVs will lead the way from intelligent driving to proactive servicing and remote vehicle access, safety and convenience. They provide a connected experience that today’s digital consumers crave. Continue Reading »
By Jennifer Bélissent
Last week, I attended IBM’s Smarter City Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the fourth in a series of global events highlighting the opportunities for cities to improve their systems, and themselves as a “system of systems.” This event felt different from the previous summit I had attended in Shanghai. Obvious political and cultural differences aside (not to dismiss them as they were significant), the big difference I observed here was that the sessions were more real. And, I don’t mean that as a slight on the Shanghai event. In Shanghai, the focus was on creating the blueprints for smart cities. In Rio, we had moved from blueprints to proof points. (Yes, you can quote that… it is mine.) Mayors from cities across Latin America and some from even farther came to share their experiences.
For example, representatives from Singapore, London and Lima shared the challenges and successes of implementing new transportation initiatives. Singapore deals with a growing population on an island, meaning there is no opportunity for sprawl and therefore “private cars are no longer an option.” As a result, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has a goal that 70% of all circulation or “daily trips” will be by public transport. They are almost there. The strategy was twofold. LTA makes it really expensive to drive a private car: cars are taxed at 120% and the ownership license distributed via auction was $60,000 in the latest round. Not to mention the congestion-based tolling system when you actually do use your car. On the other hand, LTA has improved the experience of public transportation through an integrate transport system, predictive arrival times, and notification of arrivals among other things.
Continued on the Forrester blog, where this post was originally published.
Recently, I traveled to Newfoundland, Canada, my first visit to this beautiful province. Newfoundland is on the eastern most reaches of North America and from Cape Spear, where I am standing, you can truly be the first to watch the sunrise from the continent.
This province learned a painful lesson on sustainability. Since the 1600’s Newfoundland was one of the worlds most plentiful fishing grounds, but overfishing in the 80’s resulted in a large scale cod fishing ban which has still been ineffective in reconstituting the population.
It therefore seemed appropriate for our first Green Sigma panel discussion on sustainability and energy management for buildings at BOMEX 2011. Consider these sobering projections. Buildings are projected to be the biggest energy user and contributor to global warming by the year 2025 and Newfoundland is rapidly moving to energy exploration in these coastal waters as their key new industry to replace fishing. The need for smarter buildings is clear.
Our topic at BOMEX was ‘Excellence through Innovation: Key Learning’s from the Green Sigma Coalition.’ This coalition represents a first for smarter buildings in bringing together many companies for the good of our collective customers and to tackle the sustainability challenge. Key members from the coalition joined Michael Hayes(IBM) and myself in St. John’s for a conversation that addressed the next stage in the evolution of smarter buildings in the context of our collaborative experiences. We discussed how our companies are enabling leading edge practices in building energy, space, and operations to meet key sustainability challenges that we have faced.
Colorado’s Front Range is known for it freakish weather, including early snowfalls, fierce thunder storms and wildfire-fanning winds. All of this puts a lot of pressure on the emergency response teams in Front Range cities like Boulder. Pete Lorenzen, IBM’s senior location executive for Boulder, writes in an opinion piece in Boulder’s newspaper, the Daily Camera, that the city could learn valuable lessons from the example of Rio de Janeiro. Leaders in Rio created a city-wide operations center that coordinates the activities of more than 20 departments–helping the city respond quickly and effectively to all manner of emergencies, especially floods and mudslides.
by Robin Willner, vice president of IBM’s Global Community Initiatives
When IBM’s Watson computing system bested two human competitors on the Jeopardy! game show, The Scripps Research Institute received some of the $1 million first-place prize money. Now, Scripps is launching a project to identify treatments for malaria, partially funded by the winnings — and it needs help from the general public to make it even more successful.
Why malaria? For one thing, this is one of the world’s three deadliest infectious diseases. Many strains of malaria have become resistant to available drugs. In 2006, 247 million people became infected with malaria — the leading cause of death in Africa for those under age five. According to the World Health Organization, malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty. Where prevalent, the disease can account for 40 percent of all public health costs.
To find a cure for this scourge, Scripps is is compressing 100 years of research into just one year by crunching numbers and performing simulations on IBM’s World Community Grid, which pools the spare power of volunteers’ PCs all over the world. Researchers will use it to evaluate millions of compounds that might advance the development of drugs to cure mutant, drug-resistant strains of malaria. Data from the experiments will be made available to the public. If we can grow the number of laptops and PCs providing idle computer cycles to the research, we can find new treatments even sooner. It’s safe and secure, and just takes a couple of minutes at www.worldcommunitygrid.org.
by Teresa Zobrist of Zobrist Consulting, an IBM Business Partner
A high fashion retailer began selling a perfume exclusively on its Facebook Page already made popular through a Facebook sampling campaign where consumers provided their feedback on the fragrance last spring.
A shoe retailer’s use of Foursquare launched a campaign with women running all over London in order to secure a pair of the company’s new line of trainers. The company used the location-based service to check in at various fashionable locales; checkins were broadcast over Facebook and Twitter, and the first person at each site was awarded a free pair of trainers.
What skills do you need to develop or deploy business analytics technology? This Wordle highlights what more than 4,000 IT professionals from 93 countries and 25 industries shared in the 2011 IBM Tech Trends Survey.