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Smarter Planet
February 4th, 2015
9:00
 

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Steve Hamm in

Takreem El-Tohamy, GM, IBM Middle East and Africa

Takreem El-Tohamy, GM, IBM Middle East and Africa

By Takreem El-Tohamy

IBM has been doing business in Egypt in 1954, and we’ve continued to invest in the country and support our clients ever since.   We’re committed to helping Egypt develop a world-class tech infrastructure, even through the turbulent changes in government of the past few years. I’m proud of that track record, both as an Egyptian and a long-time IBMer.

I believe information technology is essential for Egypt to fulfill its potential as a peaceful, diverse society, a thriving economy and a business hub for the region.

We renewed our commitment to Egypt this week when CEO Ginni Rometty made a three-day visit to Cairo to meet with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and other top governmental leaders. She and her senior management team also exchanged views with government and industry leaders at an IBM ThinkForum, one of the conferences that we hold around the world to explore seismic shifts in business, technology and society. This is Ginni’s and her team’s third trip to Africa in the past three years.

Egypt is a major market opportunity for us. With 85 million citizens and one of the largest economies in Africa, there’s strong demand for our  technologies, services and business advice – especially cloud, analytics, mobile, social, mobile and security. It’s imperative that we succeed there.

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Katie Keating, Social Content and Engagement Strategist, IBM

Katie Keating, Social Content and Engagement Strategist, IBM

By Katie Keating

Brands live in fear of the errant tweet, the insulting Facebook post, the lewd Instagram photo. And sometimes they are hacked. Sometimes a disgruntled employee does act out of spite. But all too often those social media gaffes come down to user error: a human juggling several channels – including their personal accounts – and hitting the wrong button, for the wrong site, at the wrong time.

A colleague of mine, software developer Aaron Quirk, and I submitted the patent “Preventing Messages From Being Sent Using Inappropriate Communication Accounts” to prevent just such embarrassments. Using natural language processing and the Bluemix cloud service, the invention monitors your activity across your email, social channels and more and “learns” your voice over time. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Jan Camenisch and the cryptographic algorithm behind Identity Mixer.

Dr. Jan Camenisch and the cryptographic algorithm behind Identity Mixer.

By Dr. Jan Camenisch

How many cryptographers do you know were influenced by their grandmothers?

It all started around 20 years ago in a picturesque Swiss village or “dorf,” as we say, with fewer than 400 citizens. And as with any small town scuttlebutt travels fast, whether its about the new village romance or what is more likely in Switzerland, which cow is producing the best milk – after all we are known as the land of cows with more than 700,000 of them (2010).

But back to my story. It was the 1980s and I was supporting a citizen initiative related to animal rights. In Switzerland, as in other democratic societies, initiatives can reach the highest levels of government by collecting signatures and I started with my closest relatives including my dear grandmother. Continue Reading »

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Major (Ret.) William Lyles (Photo: Montgomery Cty. Police Reporter)

Major (Ret.) William Lyles

I have always wanted to work in an area that requires athletic skills. From original aspirations of being a baseball player to my eventual calling as a member of the U.S. Army and Green Berets, I have always loved physical activity.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 2010, my unit came under heavy fire in Afghanistan. During the attack, I stepped on an improvised explosive device. As a result of the explosion and infections that followed, I had to receive partial amputations in both legs. I am now a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, restricting my physical activities.

I am incredibly grateful to the Military Health System (MHS) for saving my life. And much of my experiences with the system over the past 11 years have been positive. However, I have also seen firsthand areas that could be improved with a more advanced electronic health record (EHR) system. Continue Reading »

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January 21st, 2015
3:00
 

ICE chefs, including Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, prepare a Baltic Herring Salad at the Chef Watson cookbook preview dinner in New York.

ICE chefs, including Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, prepare a Baltic Herring Salad at the Chef Watson cookbook preview dinner in New York.

By Florian Pinel

IBM Watson, the same cognitive computing system that has been put to work in healthcare, insurance, and retail, and which debuted the world’s first cognitive cooking food truck at SXSW last year, will soon be coming to your kitchen counter in the form of a new cookbook put together by IBM and The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).

The cookbook is a result of IBM’s two-year collaboration with culinary partner, ICE, to pair the recipe expertise of world-class chefs with the cognitive power of Watson to generate never-before-seen recipes, many of which will be included in the cookbook, available April 14. 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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January 2015 Detorit Michigan North American International Auto Show

The American super car, Falcon F7, at the North American International Auto Show this week in Detroit.

By Benjamin Stanley

If recent vehicle sales are any indication, the automotive industry has seen a resurgence of energy in recent years.

However, selling cars, and cars alone, is not going to sustain this renewed momentum and automakers and their partners will have to weather the transformative forces rising up around them. The good news, is that if you look closely, it will become clear that a new industry identity is emerging—one that is more inclusive and without borders.

It is with this new identity in mind that we decided to investigate what the automotive industry will look like in 10 short years. 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!

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SP Yolanda Wang

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.)

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