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business analytics
February 4th, 2015
21:01
 

Luis Lastras, Research Team Leader, IBM Watson Group

Luis Lastras,
Research Team Leader,
IBM Watson Group

By Luis Lastras

One of the most common features of online news sites, blogs and many other Web pages is the list of “related” items. Those links are produced using simple keyword associations, and, often, they’re basically the same information in a different package.

But what if you had a feature that helped you find items that lead you off in surprising new directions?

That’s becoming possible now thanks to a new service, Concept Insights, that my research team at Watson Group created.

Rather than using keywords to discover relationships, the technology digs deeply to understand the concepts contained in documents, maps those concepts in a giant knowledge graph, and surfaces linkages between the documents on Web pages. We think this new capability will be revolutionary–greatly enriching the online experiences of consumers, business people, scientists and students. Continue Reading »

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Nick Adams, Director of One to One Marketing, Telstra

By Nick Adams

For today’s customers, online engagement is often the first point of contact with a brand and sometimes their only measure of customer service.

At Telstra, we recognized that as part of our continual customer focus, we needed to establish a two-way digital dialogue with our customers and get better at delivering a seamless, multi-channel experience. We also wanted to meet their changing expectations and speak to them on a more personal level.

To do it, Telstra embarked on a data-driven digital overhaul in 2011. Back then all 1.8 million weekly visitors to the Telstra website were being presented the same digital experience. The discrepancy between online and offline interaction was not acceptable – for us as a company, for our staff and our customers.

Together with IBM, we strengthened our CRM capabilities and developed a first-of-a-kind Enterprise Marketing Suite. The result is a 360 degree view of customer engagement and the capability to deliver targeted, real-time marketing, and ultimately, higher satisfaction levels for our customers. Continue Reading »

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Bri Connelly, student, The University of Texas at Austin

Bri Connelly, student, The University of Texas at Austin

By Bri Connelly

I just got back to Austin from a whirlwind trip to New York City where my classmates from The University of Texas at Austin and I stayed in an Airbnb on the Lower East Side, visited the September 11 Memorial and ate meals at as many different restaurants as we could pack into a short stay. The centerpiece of the trip, though, was the day we spent at IBM Watson Group headquarters at 51 Astor Place competing in the first-ever IBM Watson University Competition.

Last Friday, we were among teams from eight notable universities who showcased prototype apps we had built using Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing technology.  It was like being on an episode of Shark Tank – the judging was really tough. And our app won!

Continue Reading »

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Yolanda Wang, Retail Consultant, IBM Global Business Services

By Yolanda Wang

Even in a world where consumers consult multiple online sources for every purchase they make, the store associate remains the most important face of the retail establishment.

With over 70 percent of shoppers making their most recent purchase in a brick-and-mortar store, it makes good sense for retailers to invest in tools that allow their store associates to provide individually-tailored, real-time customer engagement.

Lately, that’s meant simple and intuitive mobile apps that can turn even inexperienced associates into expert advisors equipped with insights drawn from data and analytics, the collective intelligence of the enterprise, the latest market trends, and data specific to each customer.

And that’s just for openers, because retail customers want more savvy associates who can ensure each shopping trip has a successful outcome. According to IBM’s recent retail study, the number of consumers who consider it important for an associate to solve an out-of-stock problem via a mobile device increased from 41 to 46 percent in the past year. Continue Reading »

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Ross Mauri, GM, IBM z Systems

Ross Mauri, GM, IBM z Systems

By Ross Mauri

Over the holidays, I spent a few days skiing with family and friends in Vermont. Or, it would be more accurate to say my family and friends skied and I spent much of my time on the phone and email planning today’s launch of the IBM z13, a new  generation of IBM z systems built to redefine digital business and enable the new possible.

I was so preoccupied with work that my daughter’s boyfriend, a 21-year-old university student, asked me what was up. Like many of the millennials I meet, he knew next to nothing about the mainframe. And, like other young people I speak to, he was wowed when I explained to him that many of his day-to-day activities depend on mainframe computers operating in the background–including banking, shopping, getting car insurance, traveling, registering for classes, interacting with the DMV and IRS, and, yes, talking on the phone.

This new generation represents a great leap forward for IBM, our clients and society at large. (Thoughts? Tweet to #innovation.)

Continue Reading »

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SP Kohls Store

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By Ratnakar Lavu

Kohl’s has put its stake in the ground with a new goal to be the most engaging retailer in America. Technology and analytics are a major part of reaching this goal.

Since the first Kohl’s store opened in 1962, so much has changed in the retail industry. Digital and mobile technologies are transforming the business landscape in key ways – blurring the line between physical and digital space and changing the way people and businesses interact.

Companies need to constantly redefine and innovate their strategy to keep up with the pace of change and this is especially true for retailers. At Kohl’s, we are constantly listening to our customers for insights into how we can best serve them. Continue Reading »

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Stacy Hobson, IBM Research

Stacy Hobson, IBM Research

One of our young inventors grew up in a small town in rural South Carolina; another came from Bangladesh; and a third got hooked on computers at age seven in Haifa, Israel. What these three have in common is their youthful optimism and their dedication to one of IBM’s core values: innovation that matters for our company and the world.

This is no empty slogan: Today, IBM announced that it received a record 7,534 US patents in 2014, marking the 22nd consecutive year that the company topped the list of US patent recipients. Amazingly, on average, we receive more than one new US patent for every hour of every work day.

Hidden behind the raw statistics is an exciting insight: IBM’s young scientists, software programmers and engineers are making important contributions to the company’s innovation achievements. (Thoughts? Tweet to #patent, #invent.)
Continue Reading »

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Marc Altshuller

Marc Altshuller, Vice President, Watson Analytics, IBM

By Marc Altshuller

The rapidly rising flood of data – and the demand from all types of users for quick access to it – is beyond the capacity of traditional processes today. As a result, big-time bottlenecks exist for those who need the information and those who are tasked with providing it.

How serious is the issue? Studies show that people engaged in analytics today actually spend more than 50 percent of their time finding, moving and storing data and only a quarter of the time doing analysis. Staying on top of processes, having the relevant information at hand, and soliciting feedback from others are time consuming tasks.

On top of that, the expectation for organizations to quickly gain insights into their business is higher than ever. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) report, for example, shows that 74 percent of respondents anticipate the speed at which business executives expect new data-driven insights will continue to accelerate. Continue Reading »

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December 17th, 2014
16:00
 

SP Cloud

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By Robert LeBlanc
and Erich Clementi

Cloud computing has gone mainstream in the United States and it’s poised to become the predominant way computing is done in American business and government. But what about the rest of the world? That’s a different story.

Analysis from major IT market researchers shows that cloud adoption in Western Europe lags the US, and it’s just getting off the ground in some other regions and countries. Continue Reading »

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SP shopping

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In today’s omni-channel retail environment, companies strive personalize the consumer experience by customizing interactions with individuals.

But, an even bigger challenge is at hand behind the scenes: efficiently getting products to customers in the myriad places and ways they want them.

Retail C-suite executives are under extraordinary pressure to not only interact with customers as individuals, but to give them flexible ways to purchase and change orders, as well as receive and return products.

In fact, the number of options for placing an order today, whether it’s in-store, online or via a mobile app, is dizzying. But that’s just the beginning. After placing the order options abound for fulfillment – including online reservations, in-store pick-up, same-day delivery, lockers, drive-up service, and don’t forget…drones. Continue Reading »

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