By Dan Pingree
Businesses large and small are feeling the effects of huge snowstorms sweeping into the Northeast.
For some, wintry weather is derailing activity creating disruption to northeastern seaports, airports and rail lines.
Other businesses more attuned to the vagaries of the seasons, however, such as Madison Heights, Michigan-based Moosejaw Mountaineering, thrive even when the weather turns wintery.
Weather normally has a temporary impact on the economy. For retail, however, the impact varies by segment. Thanks to weather forecasters, snowstorms are known days in advance. In many instances consumers rush out ahead of the storm to stock up on key supplies such as food, ice melt and more. Timing is everything. Continue Reading »
By Tahir Ali
When a group of volunteers launched City of Hope in 1913 as a tuberculosis sanitarium on the outskirts of Los Angeles, they initially treated patients in two canvas tents. In spite of those modest circumstances, the founders and staff were dedicated to harnessing the latest advances in medical science on behalf of their patients.
That drive is even stronger today. At City of Hope’s main campus in suburban Duarte and at 12 community practices in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, the organization provides an expressway between scientific breakthroughs and patients suffering from cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Continue Reading »
By Shanker Ramamurthy
In today’s world, it can be difficult to stay abreast of the latest technological trends and distinguish true opportunities from over-hyped fads.
Despite tremendous advances in cognitive computing capabilities, organizations have only begun to scratch the surface of potential for this innovative technology.
The first in a series of reports based on research from the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study, Your Cognitive Future, identifies multiple opportunities across industries to apply cognitive computing today, as well as examines how the technology will evolve. Continue Reading »
By Michael Karasick
When IBM Watson was first created, it was designed to use English and to answer “factoid” questions. Since then, as we expand Watson’s capabilities to transform industries and professions, we are adapting it for other languages and forging strategic alliances to accelerate adoption globally.
Our alliance with Japan’s SoftBank, announced today, is a powerful example of both of those imperatives at work.
SoftBank, one of the most innovative companies in Japan, has signed on as our strategic partner to help introduce Watson and cognitive computing to the world’s third-largest economy. We’re working with SoftBank to train Watson to “think in” Japanese, and SoftBank will build a powerful ecosystem of partners, including entrepreneurs, app developers and venture investors; as well as take its own Watson-based applications and services to market. Continue Reading »
By Solomon Assefa
When I first visited South Africa more than a year ago from IBM’s research center in New York, I was impressed with the advanced level of science and technology in the country. The country boasts four Nobel laureates in science and medicine and some of the world’s best research organizations.
Among them is the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH). IBM Research is working with them to address one of Africa’s most pressing problems: Tuberculosis. TB is the leading cause of death in South Africa. Roughly half a million people contract the disease each year, and, according to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of the country’s young adults are infected, which exacerbates the spread of HIV. Continue Reading »
By Samir Mahir
Each January, the world’s greatest tennis stars meet in Melbourne to kick off a new year of Grand Slams. They’re greeted, of course, by more than 640,000 tennis fans – ready to watch each serve and volley.
At Tennis Australia, we strive to provide a premier tournament experience both on and off the court. That’s why we’ve teamed up with innovative technology partners to not only enhance the consumer tournament experience but also find new ways to offer some of the world’s best athletes deeper insight into the game they love. Continue Reading »
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 »
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 »
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!
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 »