By Lori Steele
This week, C-suite attendees representing all aspects of technology-fueled commerce will be convening at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Nashville. Among the participants will be L’Oréal USA, with whom IBM is working on a three-year project for procurement services supported by an advanced cloud analytics solution to help transform the way L’Oréal USA buys from its large network of North American suppliers.
Over the years, L’Oréal USA has rapidly grown through both acquisitions and organically through its existing brands. With the new market advancement, the company’s ecosystem of suppliers and vendors has grown exponentially. In order to continue to realize more savings from procurement, L’Oréal USA needed its procurement workforce compliant with its spending processes to attain the best buying advantage. Continue Reading »
By Jim Smith
Take a second to think about how much of our daily activity takes place online. And I don’t just mean at work. In 2012, $225 billion of retail purchases happened virtually. In the U.S., 55 percent of us book worldwide travel solely through the Internet. Even our personal relationships, from organizing social activities to calling our relatives across the country and overseas, are maintained on the web. The rise of the Internet Revolution has had such a profound impact on our lives that most of us can’t even imagine how the world would revolve without it.
Many of the activities we perform online – whether staying on top of the 24-hour news cycle or managing our bank accounts – are made possible by the Internet’s open architecture. The Internet Revolution was catalyzed by the establishing and adopting of open standards. Linux, Apache, PHP: these are just a few examples of standards that made it possible for us to do almost anything online. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Earlier this month, IBM opened the Nairobi IBM Innovation Center, the 41st center of its kind worldwide and the first in East Africa. This Innovation Center is a prime example of how IBM is helping to accelerate growth in Africa from the ground up with an ecosystem of highly skilled partners. IBM is working to support the growing network of entrepreneurs, academics, developers, and students by providing technology, business resources and a hub where they can come together to work with technology and business experts from around the world
But the opening of the NairobiIBMInnovationCenter is just the beginning of IBM’s work in the emerging ecosystem of tech and business in Africa.
To keep the conversation going and hear from expert voices, we will be hosting a Smarter Friday Facebook Chat this Friday, May 17th, from noon to 5 p.m. East Africa Time (4 a.m. – noon Eastern Standard Time). Continue Reading »
By Jim Zemlin
Businesses across China are adopting Linux at a brisk pace. According to the latest figures from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker (Q4 2012), Linux growth in the country outpaces the worldwide average where share has grown from 9.2 percent to 33.2 percent over the past decade.
The reason? Globally, businesses like those in China are looking more closely at Linux for new computing workloads such as Big Data, cloud and mobile. Linux is an easier and more cost effective choice than other operating systems, like Windows or iOS. Plus, it already powers most devices and key infrastructures such as smartphones, sensors, data centers, social media sites, and even automobiles.
My organization – The Linux Foundation – recently surveyed over 1,200 businesses for our 2013 Enterprise End User Report. We found that 80 percent of enterprises have long term Linux commitments, 73 percent are using Linux to run mission critical applications, and 72 percent are planning to use Linux for Big Data. Continue Reading »
By Jeanette Horan
Most CIOs will tell you that one of their top priorities is helping functions like sales, marketing, and HR stay agile, collaborative and equipped to make data-driven business decisions.
Take IBM for example. The information that IBM’s many departments need to do their jobs resides among more than one petabyte of Big Data (that’s one million megabytes). That’s a lot of data and business opportunities to be analyzed. For the past few years, IBM has called upon the cloud for business analytics to boost resource flexibility, departmental collaboration and enable faster, more informed business decisions.
At IBM we’ve been able to save $25 million over the past five years. Here’s what we’ve learned… Continue Reading »
By Vince Ward
What started out as a community-based energy project on the Isle of Wight has morphed into a bona fide social movement.
Encouraged by the work of IBM Distinguished Engineer, Andy Stanford-Clark, who created a “smart” house that monitored, managed and optimized energy use, three years ago the Village of Chale created the Chale Community Project, which seeks, among other things, to reduce home energy costs by up to 50 percent. While the project has indeed raised awareness and helped residents lower costs, it has also had a serendipitous outcome – it has brought the community together.
From the very beginning of the Chale Community Project – during planning and roll-out phases – we worked on ensuring the local community was on board. Going from door to door, the team would communicate with residents about the plan of action, encourage participation and try to boost morale. Continue Reading »
By Mike Ray
It started 40 years ago, before it was trendy or being taught in business school.
Thomas J. Watson, Jr., IBM Chairman at the time, said: “We accept our responsibilities as a corporate citizen in community, national and world affairs; we serve our interests best when we serve the public interest…We want to be in the forefront of those companies which are working to make our world a better place.” That was 1969.
IBM’s values shape and define our company and permeate all of our relationships; between our employees and our shareholders, our clients, the communities where our employees live and work, and among our network of suppliers. Continue Reading »
By Alfred Vanderpuije
This week at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, leaders will come together to discuss Africa’s future. One of the three focus themes is the importance of ‘Strategic Infrastructure’ as a foundation for the continent’s growth. As Mayor of Accra and Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, I would say that there are few areas as crucial for infrastructure investment as cities.
Buoyed by an emerging oil and gas industry and a rapidly growing consumer class, Ghana’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Investors are flocking to the country’s capital Accra to take advantage of new business opportunities and become part of this success story. Mastercard recently identified Accra as one of Africa’s top cities in terms of economic growth potential over the next few years. Local and foreign firms are also driving a number of urban development opportunities such as Ghana Cyber City, King City and Appolonia City which aim to set up modern, high-tech hubs within and around Accra. Continue Reading »
By Takreem El-Tohamy
There’s a wonderful word in Swahili that I think expresses one of the imperatives for the future of Africa. The word is “harambee.” It means pulling together, collaborating and supporting each other. I believe that one of the key factors in the ability of African countries to create sustainable and equitable economic growth will be the emergence of innovation ecosystems. Harambee perfectly captures an essential element of such ecosystems—the ability of institutions and individuals to pull together and build a mutually supportive environment.
Innovation ecosystems are complex organisms that are difficult to create yet tremendously powerful when they work. Think Silicon Valley. They require a melding of all of the capabilities of governments, businesses, financiers, universities, and individuals. Together, these organizations and individuals provide the web of support that makes it easier for startups to launch and grow quickly, and for established companies to innovate more aggressively. With that kind of support, African entrepreneurs and businesses will find it easier to produce new products and services, or even create whole new industries. You can think of an innovation ecosystem as a collective intelligence—harnessed for the good of society. Continue Reading »
By James Kobielus
Big Data is a bit like our solar system. It’s a brilliant system of information and analysis that emerges from the inchoate gas, dust, rocks and crystals known as “data.” Cloud computing is the galaxy wherein the stars, rocks, and particles exist and interact.
To play this analogy out, data scientists would be the astronomers. They’re the ones who explore the spinning, interconnected, system, much of which consists of scattered matter that we lump together under the term “unstructured.”
But what exactly is a data scientist? Simply put, the data scientist is among the most important developer in Big Data. The discipline includes statistical analysts, data miners, predictive modelers, computational linguists, and other professionals whose job is to find deep insights in large, complex data sets. You can’t unlock the full value of Big Data in your business if you don’t bring together your best and brightest data scientists and give them the tools they need to do their job with maximum productivity. Continue Reading »