By Brian Ng
As businesses mature and scale, cohesive digital and social integration becomes ever more critical to maintaining a competitive advantage, especially in today’s customer-centric world. Every customer and, increasingly, every interaction matters even more. The pressure is tremendous to deliver consistent, high quality customer experiences tailored to everyone, in whatever context imaginable.
Just as we build relationships with new friends or interested partners, we similarly become invested in the products or services that work well and delight us. We grow connected to the things we use and interact with on a daily basis. But unlike friendships, often one misstep with a product or service could mean the end of the relationship.
One company that prioritizes superior customer service in all of its channels is Bonobos, a leading online apparel company. They started off selling one pair of perfectly fitting khakis and have since grown their product line to include dress shirts, suits, and outerwear. The differentiator for them is the customer experience team, which it calls the Bonobos Ninjas. Continue Reading »
By Mathews Thomas
Are you facing challenges creating business process that require services from multiple cloud vendors with your enterprise? Wouldn’t it be nice to seamlessly integrate these services with large volumes of data you have to obtain key business insights?
Right now, cloud applications and services are single instances from one provider or vendor. IBM inventors have created a new technique that would make it possible to bring cloud applications and services into a single view to make it easier for business users to access these services and integrate them with in-house systems – for a single view of business operations.
IBM’s patent # 8,504,400 Dynamically Optimized Distributed Cloud Computing-based Business Process Management (BPM) System, helps combine the benefits of cloud services with in-house systems. Continue Reading »
By Michael Dixon
Cities have never been more attractive, with people all over the world migrating to them from near and far.
However, with them comes a range of significant challenges that city leaders must tackle. A new report from Frost and Sullivan looks at smart cities as a mega trend set to drive urban development for the next decade. It predicts that 26 global cities will be considered smart cities in 2025, more than 50 percent of which will be in Europe and North America.
In Barcelona last week, city leaders from around the world gathered at the Smart City Expo World Congress to discuss the best strategies for dealing with this population shift. As IBM met with mayors, CIOs and civic leaders, it was clear to all that a new level of instrumentation and interconnection within governments was needed to deal with the challenge. Continue Reading »
By Zachary Meath
Voice and data communication networks are part of the foundation of our schools, homes, businesses and daily lives. Yet, with data volumes soaring, new mobile devices proliferating, and demand for network access mounting daily, there’s still much to be solved when it comes to the world of network management.
One solution in particular that my fellow students, Marist faculty and I are collaborating with IBM on is the invention of an agile optical network that is automated and easily managed. It sounds simple enough, but in order to accomplish this feat, our team needed to create a new way to reprovision a network in a matter of minutes, not days or weeks, which is currently the norm. Continue Reading »
By Charles Weaver
The days of the cloud being used as an IT starter kit are over.
Small businesses are beginning to unlock the latent potential that lies within the cloud. They’re launching new products or expanding their offices and they’re turning to the cloud in increasing numbers to scale their computing systems to an organization can get up and running or move in new and innovative direction, in little to no time.
As small businesses embark on their cloud journey, the choices they make will have future ramifications for business and growth. One way is the limited, vendor lock-in commoditized cloud that will fulfill a one time transaction-based business with impediments in the future. Continue Reading »
By Mozhi Habibi
Cloud computing and the scalable, number-crunching power it affords, is being combined with analytics to help energy companies make sense of the mounting volumes of data coming in every day.
Consider Bharat Light and Power (BLP), one of India’s largest clean energy generators producing energy from such renewable resources as solar, wind, bio-mass, and hydro. With plants in Bangalore and Delhi, BLP is tapping into cloud and analytics through IBM and IBM Softlayer to improve efficiencies and data management, both of which will ultimately help the company produce more clean energy for an increasingly power-hungry customer base. Continue Reading »
By Jonathan Batty
Urbanization is a global trend but one with unique urgency in Africa with some cities expected to grow by as much as 85 percent in the next 15 years. As the pressure on city systems increases, IBM’s new Africa research lab is researching solutions which address interconnected urban issues such as public safety and human mobility.
According to government estimates, traffic costs Nairobi US $600 000 a day. In an effort to tackle this growing problem, IBM has partnered with Kenyan internet service provider AccessKenya, to develop a pilot solution to enable Nairobi commuters to use their mobile phones to get advice on driving routes through the city depending on estimates of traffic congestion. Continue Reading »
By John Mason
It takes a lot more than a good idea and a solid investment to succeed as a small or medium-size business today. It takes what psychologist, Urie Bronfenbrenner, described as a network of systems.
Bronfenbrenner introduced the idea of the microsystem, mesosystem, and exosystem, in his ground-breaking theory, The Ecology of Human Development, in 1979, and explained how each of these interconnected systems helps shape the individual.
As in society, the various parts of this ecology can be applied to SMBs to better understand their growth and development. Continue Reading »
By Kyu Rhee, MD
While emerging economies across the world are exploding, the sad fact is that chronic disease is taking its toll.
As the middle class grows across Africa, Asia and South America, people are living longer and also suffering from obesity and the effects of a more sedentary lifestyle. That translates into growing death rates from chronic disease.
In most African countries, cardiovascular disease is now the second leading cause of death after infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. It has been estimated that between 1990-2020, the burden of heart disease will double. Diabetes across the Middle East and North Africa has jumped 87 percent between 1990-2012, and stroke by 35 percent.
Approximately 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in developing nations, according to the World Health Organization. That number is rising: for example, cancer is expected to increase in Sub-Saharan Africa by 85 percent by 2030. But that figure is only an estimate, since less than 1 percent of the region’s population is covered by cancer registries. Continue Reading »
By Michael Karasick
As a computer scientist and director of one of IBM’s global research laboratories, I find it fascinating to trace the repeated patterns in the history of computing. Typically, the Next Big Thing spends years in incubation, either as military initiatives (the first electronic computers), consumer phenomena (the PC) or science projects (the World Wide Web). But, ultimately, these advances are adopted by business enterprises, where they’re deployed at massive scale to make organizations more efficient and effective—and, ultimately, to drive growth and dynamism in the global economy. Continue Reading »