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Matt Gross, editor, BonApetit.com

Matt Gross, editor, BonAppetit.com

By Matt Gross

For nearly 20 years, I’ve observed the South by Southwest festival from afar, fascinated by the list of bands, movies, and tech companies coming every year to Austin, Texas—but frustrated beyond measure that I’ve never been able to go, catch a hot band on its way up, eat late-night migas, and feel like I was on the creative cutting edge. This past February, however, was particularly bittersweet. That’s because SXSW was host to something that seized my attention and wouldn’t let go: a food truck dishing up Austrian chocolate burritos and Belgian bacon pudding, recipes inspired not by an overly tattooed mad kitchen scientist but by Chef Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing system. Continue Reading »

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Toby Lewis, Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

Toby Lewis, Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

By Toby Lewis

IBM made a hugely exciting move in the world of venture capital a few months ago when it committed $100 million in a bid to boost its new IBM Watson Group business unit, which provides cloud services using Watson cognitive computing technology. The goal is to use targeted venture funding to help establish a sprawling ecosystem of companies that build web services and mobile apps on top of the Watson platform.

The strategy is a pioneering move within the field of corporate venturing. Typically corporations invest venture money in companies that are aligned with their technology and strategy. Sometimes they end up buying the companies they invest in. But IBM is pushing the model further than others by using its investments to help establish a new business ecosystem for a particular business unit.

For this reason, Global Corporate Venturing, the only media publication exclusively dedicated to tracking how corporates are investing in venture capital, gave IBM our Fundraising of the Year Award.

Continue Reading »

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Bart Jansen, winner of the 2014 Christiaan Huygens Prize for his research on Big Data analytics

Dr. Bart Jansen, winner of the 2014 Christiaan Huygens Prize for his research on Big Data analytics.

Christiaan Huygens was the Neil deGrasse Tyson of the 17th century. Huygens like Tyson was a prolific writer and a popular scientist particularly in the fields of astronomy and physics. He also invented the pendulum clock and studied the rings of Saturn, but he is probably most remembered for his wave theory of light, which helped to improve the design of optics and telescopes.

 Huygens was also Dutch, which is why an award recognizing researchers from Dutch universities was named in his honor in 1998. The award, for which IBM is a sponsor, is granted each year to a different scientific field, this year going to a researcher in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). To qualify the research needs to have clear social and scientific relevance.

Young researcher, Dr. Bart Jansen, thinks he can help in this area, which is why he is being awarded the 2014 Christiaan Huygens Science Prize for his research The Power of Data Reduction: Kernels for Fundamental Graph Problems.  Continue Reading »

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Paul Segre, CEO, Genesys

Paul Segre, CEO, Genesys

By Paul Segre

When it comes to customer experience, there is overwhelming evidence that getting it right is great business. It lowers customer effort, increases sales, and creates more loyal customer advocates. At the same time, only one in three companies deliver a positive customer experience today.

That’s one of the reasons that Genesys, a leader in technology solutions for customer experience and contact centers, teamed with IBM to bring the power of Watson to customer service. Together we are developing a learning system that combines the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to transform how organizations engage with their customers. Companies and organizations can now tap into a virtually unlimited range of information to provide more accurate and complete responses to customer inquiries – within self-service and agent assisted engagements. Continue Reading »

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Anna Hodge, IBM Communications Intern, Journalism Major, Syracuse University

Anna Hodge, IBM Communications Intern, Journalism Major, Syracuse University

By Anna Hodge

Insight is central to any decision. Whether it’s where to go to dinner or the platform to focus on in a political campaign, information and insights are crucial to making the best choice. Now, imagine if you could get insights in real-time. How might you use them to make better decisions?

That’s the idea behind IBM’s Social Sentiment technology, developed by IBM Brazil. The technology examines in real-time what is being posted on social networks. From this, we are able to learn from the things people are saying – good, bad and indifferent – about any given topic, company, person, idea, trend, etc. The technology was originally piloted by IBM Brazil Research which used it to analyze more than 10 million tweets during the 2013 FIFA Confederate Cup. The sentiment-sifting technology is now analyzing social media sentiment during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  Continue Reading »

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Michael Dixon, General Manager, Smarter Cities, IBM

Michael Dixon, General Manager, Smarter Cities, IBM

By Michael Dixon

By 2030 the urban population on the planet is projected to reach almost 5 billion. This unprecedented growth gives rise to new challenges for city leaders seeking to grapple with long standing gnarly problems while encountering unprecedented complexity in new ones.

Emboldened by the levels of service they now take for granted from the private sector, people are demanding more from their cities. They are seeking a better quality of life through access to more and better services, at increasing levels of cost effectiveness. Continue Reading »

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Chandu Visweswariah, IBM Fellow & Director of the Smarter Energy Research Institute

Chandu Visweswariah, IBM Fellow & Director of the Smarter Energy Research Institute

By Chandu Visweswariah

When the Smarter Energy Research Institute (SERI) was formed in 2012, bringing together IBM, Hydro-Québec, DTE Energy, and Alliander, it began with a simple goal: to use data analytics to build the energy utility of the future.

Two years later — armed with client data and 9 showcase applications — our three partners and 20 utility companies from around the world attending the second annual SERI conference are set to learn how utilities can make use of data to transform how they operate and serve their customers.

Think of SERI as a utilities innovation mechanism. It pairs IBM’s open analytics toolkit platform of application-specific code with energy and utility companies’ ideas, needs and expertise to develop new software applications that solve their operational problems. Continue Reading »

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Sam Seddon, Wimbledon Client Executive, IBM

Sam Seddon, Wimbledon Client Executive, IBM

By Sam Seddon

The Wimbledon Fortnight is nearly here and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) once again transforms itself from a small private tennis club in South West London into a massive, data hungry environment!

During The Championships, IBM and AELTC create a unique digital environment providing an immersive experience to tennis fans around the world. This is achieved through insights and visually innovative content delivering to fans an experience intended to be “the next best thing to being here.”

This year, to mark our 25 year partnership, we are introducing the Wimbledon Social Command Centre, powered by IBM Softlayer cloud, as well as enhanced mobile and iPad apps and a redesigned SlamTracker. Together, we plan to deliver the most engaging Championship yet. Continue Reading »

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Dr. David Rudolph, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University Of Waterloo, and member of Southern Ontario Water Consortium

Dr. David Rudolph, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University Of Waterloo, and member of Southern Ontario Water Consortium

By Dr. Dave Rudolph

We all live in watersheds; areas of land so defined because the water that falls within its boundaries, circulates through it and is influenced by how the land is managed and by the demands that are placed on it. They supply our drinking, agricultural and manufacturing water needs and sustain ecological systems. As regions swell through urban sprawl and population growth, our impact on watersheds increases.

Because of this, those who are responsible for ensuring the health and welfare of watersheds desperately need research and statistical data that enable them to accurately predict and manage watersheds in sustainable ways into the future. This is what drives my work through the University of Waterloo with the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) and IBM Canada. Continue Reading »

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Jessica Carroll, Managing Director, Information & Digital Technologies, United States Golf Association

Jessica Carroll, Managing Director, Information & Digital Technologies, United States Golf Association

By Jessica Carroll

“Service to the business,” is how IT is often described. For the last 25 years or so, this is the mantle technologists have proudly worn. We have been people supporters, system feature order takers, and brilliant all-around problem solvers. But, to the business, this cloak is threadbare. If you are scratching your head as to why the business isn’t pulling your team into the conversation, or hires their own technology vendors, it’s time to take a look in the mirror and be honest with the ensemble staring back at you.

Corporate IT must become the business enabler and that means a shift in perspective and approach. Thinking strategically and focusing on organizational priorities is step one. Step two is embracing today’s evolving technology landscape (think of cloud, mobile, social, and big data). Step three is fostering the above in collaboration with the business. IT leaders must get the IT team to think fresh and work with the business to take advantage of these change agents. Continue Reading »

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