Software people don’t just code, it’s a problem solving mindset. The proof is in the cloud. Every part of the IT infrastructure has moved to the cloud because software people have made it reliable, scalable, and secure.
Jeff Lawson, who developed “software people” chops at Amazon, StubHub and others, saw an opportunity to move one of the few remaining industries to the cloud: telecommunications, where installing boxes in closets, and upgrading them every 10 years is still the norm.
In 2008, he and co-founder Evan Cooke started Twilio – a solution that took the communications out of the closet and onto the cloud for others to create new and innovative services. The Smarter Planet blog caught up with Lawson recently to get his views on scaling audio and video on the cloud, its impact on the industry, and innovation. Continue Reading »
By Sanjay Rishi
Cloud is enabling more than just opportunities to improve IT operations. It’s enabling organizations to transform entire business strategies.
According to a recent IBM survey, over the next three years cloud computing’s strategic importance to top decision makers across virtually every area of business is expected to more than double from 34 percent to 72 percent – leapfrogging competing IT concerns by 58 percent.
In this new reality, the cloud is the ultimate source of connectivity, helping smarter enterprises rise above the competition. In many ways, cloud is the new dial tone, becoming as seamless and reliable to business as the dial tone of the telephone.
However, one cloud does not fit all. When we look at the potential of cloud to not only shift a business’s technology, but its strategy, it seems obvious that the same cloud solution that works in healthcare may not fit banking. Or a solution that works for a CMO might not work for the HR department. Large enterprises are complex, dynamic. As such, a cookie-cutter cloud solution would not provide a fully-optimized cloud experience. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
At IBM, Watson seems to be everywhere these days. The cognitive computer that beat two grand champions on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy!, has a team working on enhancements in IBM Research; software programmers developing services for businesses and whole industries; programming and ideation contests in universities; two books about it (Final Jeopardy! and Smart Machines); and, now, an Off-Broadway play.
That’s right, Playwrights Horizons is presenting The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, by playwright Madeleine George—which opened on Nov. 15 and will continue through Dec. 29. It’s an exploration of the relationships between people and the people and machines we depend on. The play draws on parallels between IBM’s Watson, the character Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame and the Watson who Alexander Graham Bell called in the first-ever telephone conversation. At times funny and other times emotionally wrenching, the play examines our mixed feelings about being helped by others. George is featured here.
By Shashi Bellamkonda
The mobile revolution isn’t only having a profound influence on the lives of consumers, it’s also changing the way business owners—especially small business owners—are marketing their business.
Research has found that 42 percent of small business owners say it would be a huge challenge to operate their businesses without mobile services. An additional one-in-three business owners say their businesses could not survive without some type of mobile service.
So how can small businesses stay ahead of the mobile curve?
Think about how you, as a consumer, go through your day with your smartphone or tablet. You may scan comments, compare prices, and shop on the go. As you work, sit in the doctor’s office, ride the train, and even stand in line at the grocery store, it’s never been more important for the businesses you frequent to have your information up-to-date and accurate across all online channels. Gleaning analytic insight on all this mobile Web activity and seeing what kind of content, feedback and posts are driving the most engagement will be key. Continue Reading »
By Jay Henderson
With another peak holiday shopping season upon us, retailers and marketers across the country have high hopes for another record-breaking weekend of online sales.
They may very well get their wish.
Based on early data from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, Thanksgiving Day online sales grew 19.7 percent over 2012, led by department stores, which increased 60 percent using the same comparison. As expected, mobile was once again a key driver of that overall growth, increasing 49 percent year over year as a component of all online sales.
As holiday shoppers become more diverse, connected and digitally savvy, retailers are looking to cloud, mobile and big data analytics to deliver personalized experiences for millions of consumers. The winners this year will be those that rely on real-time insight to adapt their mix of in-store, online and mobile promotions to make the sale whenever and wherever their customers choose. For retailers like Moosejaw, that means building a connected physical and digital shopping experience that is integrated, from the ground up, across the entire commerce cycle. Continue Reading »
By William Rusnak
We are just beginning to see the full potential of the use of sensors in healthcare.
In fact, the day may soon come when acute changes in a patient’s vitals may be sent as an alert to the phone of a primary care physician. Giant fluctuations of glucose levels in the blood of diabetics may be detected without the need to repeatedly prick finger tips. Food diaries, home blood pressures jotted down on notepads, and face-to-face follow-up appointments will likely be a thing of the past.
The typical check-up that we know today may transform into the equivalent of getting your car’s computer inspected when the “check engine” light is on. Sensors will lead to more pertinent data collection, and with the right analytics, will significantly improve outcomes. Continue Reading »
By Mark Daley
The tools and methodologies of “Big Data” provide us with new – necessarily automated – ways to boil down vast quantities of data into a form that is easier to digest. Critical tools include algorithms for dimensionality reduction, machine learning and large-scale visualization.
Beyond Big Data, many researchers are also beginning to face the related challenge of “fast data” – that is, real-time, streaming data for which an analysis is only useful if the results can be had quickly. For example, imagine a system designed to predict adverse weather events to mitigate losses to human life or damage to property. Clearly, the prediction is not useful if it comes 12 hours after the event. Continue Reading »