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By Ron Ambrosio

Later this month the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project (PNW-SGDP), the largest smart grid demonstration in the U.S., will be completed.

This five year-long project is the largest of 16 such projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It spans five states and involves about 60,000 metered customers. The goals of the projects include helping create a more efficient and effective electricity infrastructure that does a better job of containing costs, lowering emissions, incorporating more renewable energy sources, improving grid reliability, and giving consumers greater flexibility. Continue Reading »

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Jeff Marshall, CIO, Havas Creative North America

Jeff Marshall, CIO, Havas Creative North America

By Jeff Marshall

When you think of marketing and advertising, the common thread between them is clear: communication. One group seeks to effectively communicate a message to another group. It’s pretty simple.

At Havas, one of the leading international marketing agencies in the world, communication is our lifeblood. But the discipline continues to evolve. Massive shifts in technology and society dictate that we – that everyone – rethink and advance the way we all communicate.

In a report we released last year called The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy, we unearthed some profound statistics about people and the way their lives and business operations were changing as a result of three things: overconsumption, new technologies and newly accepted behaviors. Continue Reading »

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Deepak Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce

Deepak Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce

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 »

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Steve Hamm, Chief Storyteller, IBM

Steve Hamm, Chief Storyteller, IBM

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 »

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March 31st, 2015
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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 »

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Carolyn Pampino, Design Director of Collaboration Solutions, IBM

Carolyn Pampino, Design Director of Collaboration Solutions, IBM

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 »

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Greg Godbout, 18F Executive Director

Greg Godbout, 18F Executive Director

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 »

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March 25th, 2015
8:00
 

Ajay Royyuru

Ajay Royyuru, PhD and Director, Computational Biology Center at IBM Research

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 »

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March 24th, 2015
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Kirill Korniliev, General Manager, IBM East Europe/Asia (Russia & CIS)

Kirill Korniliev, General Manager, IBM East Europe/Asia (Russia & CIS)

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 »

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Robert-Jans Sips and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, head into the Gobi desert on their Russia-Central Asia trek to combat water problems.

Robert-Jans Sips and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, head into the Gobi desert on their Russia-Central Asia trek to combat water problems.

By Robert-Jan Sips

Last September, I left Amsterdam by car with friend and colleague, Gert Jan Keizer, to embark on the Poseidon Project – a community effort to fight the root causes of regional water problems with Internet of Things, cloud and analytics technology.

The epic journey took us across Russia and Central Asia to some of the most climate-challenged regions in the world. By the end, we had clocked a grand total of 34,000 kilometers.

Of all the Central-Asian water concerns, one of the most visible is the decline of the Aral Sea, lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. As recently as 1960, this inland sea occupied the same amount of area as Ireland. But since that time, is has gradually dried out and in 2014, it almost disappeared completely. Continue Reading »

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