Archive for the ‘acquisitions’ Category
Scott Laningham and I are starting to think about repacking our suitcases and preparing to head back out on the road, this time across the pond to Madrid for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit May 22-24.
In Madrid, we expect to hear quite a bit about IBM’s investment in the analytics space, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait to visit the Prado to relate some interesting details about business analytics.
Specifically, predictive analytics that can help companies across the span of industries to prevent fraud.
Here’s a sound byte you may not have yet heard: Did you know that insurance fraud has reached an estimated $80 billion per year in the U.S. alone??
And in South Africa, the rate of short-term insurance fraud is about 15 percent of all premium costs.
And yet, we’ve also found that organizations that effectively apply predictive analytics are 2.2 times more likely to outperform their peers.
One such client of IBM is Santam, South Africa’s leading short term insurance company, which has saved $2.4 million on fraudulent claims in the first four months of using IBM business analytics software.
This new analytics solution has not only enhanced Santam’s fraud detection capabilities, however — it has also enabled faster payouts for legitimate claims.
In partnering with IBM, Santam’s claims division developed a new operating model for processing claims, depending on varying risk levels. IBM’s predictive analytics software has enabled Santam to automatically assess if there is any fraud risk associated with incoming claims and allows the insurer to distribute claims to the appropriate processing channel for immediate settlement or further investigation, which in turn optimizes Santam’s operational efficiency.
In turn, Santam is able to reduce the number of claims that need to be assessed by mobile operatives visiting the customer or claim site, resulting in further considerable cost savings for the company.
IBM: Investing In Analytics, Predicting Results
In the last five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in acquisitions. With investments in SPSS, Clarity, OpenPages, i2 and Algorithmics, and others, IBM is building business analytics solutions providing clients with capabilities for managing fraud, risk and threat. In addition, IBM has assembled almost 9,000 dedicated analytics consultants with industry expertise, and created a network of eight global analytics solution centers.
The Santam project also illustrates IBM’s leadership in analytics in Africa. IBM is also actively laying the foundations for a major presence throughout the African continent, with offices in more than 20 African countries, where the company is assisting businesses and governments in building strategies, expertise, solutions, frameworks and operating procedures to help improve performance.
IBM ImpactTV 2012 Instant Replay: IBM’s Steve Mills On Big Data Analytics, PureSystems, And The Continued Importance Of Transaction Processing
At last week’s IBM Impact 2012 event at the Venetian in Las Vegas, my collaborator and fellow blogger Scott Laningham and I spent much of our week interviewing thought leaders from IBM, our Business Partners, our clients, and even our keynoters, and to help spread the word, we’ll be incorporating some of those interviews in our respective blogs over the next days and weeks.
First up, the big man himself, IBM senior vice president and group executive, Software and Systems, Steve Mills.
If you’ve been in or around the software or IT industry for any length of time, it’s very likely you’ve heard from Steve. And, as you well know, Steve always delivers — to customers, and to audiences.
This time around, Steve reminded us about the importance of transaction processing, explained the economic drivers that led to the development of IBM’s new PureSystems line of technology, and debriefed us on two recent IBM Software acquisitions in the big data analytics realm.
IBM yesterday announced a definitive agreement to acquire Tealeaf Technology, Inc., a leading provider of customer experience analytics software that helps organizations to gain intelligence and react more swiftly to consumer trends in today’s digitally transformed marketplace.
Financial details were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.
The need to deliver a seamless mobile experience has become increasingly critical to CMOs with global online commerce expected to hit $1 trillion by 2014 and mobile commerce $200 billion by 2015. Organizations today are struggling to meet the demands created by the rapidly shifting buying patterns of their customers, who increasingly turn to online, social and mobile channels to gather information, make purchases and receive services.
This new digital marketplace requires companies to be highly responsive to their customers’ behaviors in order to both compete and grow. The opportunity to better understand a customer’s experience on websites and mobile devices presents a major competitive advantage for businesses.
Mobile Analytics On The Go
With this agreement, IBM extends its Smarter Commerce initiative by adding qualitative analytics capabilities that provide chief marketing officers (CMOs), e-commerce and customer service professionals with real-time and automated insights into online customer buying experiences across online and mobile devices.
As a result, organizations can gain actionable insight that allows them to improve customer support, transform site usability, tailor marketing campaigns and increase online conversion rates.
Tealeaf provides a full suite of customer experience management software, which records and analyzes a customer’s website and mobile interactions. As a result, marketers can spot patterns and address issues in website and mobile application design and provide a more streamlined online customer experience that leads to improved revenue, customer satisfaction, customer service productivity, and profitability.
TeaLeaf: Over 450 Customers Worldwide
Tealeaf has over 450 customers worldwide including 30 of the Fortune 100 companies. These customers are predominantly in financial services, travel, retail and communications services. Current clients include: Dell, Wells Fargo, Air Canada, GEICO, Orbitz, Crate & Barrel, Neiman Marcus, Expedia, Zappos, ING Direct, Best Buy, DirecTV, McKesson and StubHub.
Tealeaf will extend IBM’s leadership in Smarter Commerce by giving companies qualitative web and digital analytics capabilities, allowing them to capture and replay a customer’s web and mobile interactions to provide a more granular and richer view of a customer’s experience.
This insightful view helps marketers answer the question of “why” customers interact as they do and thus provide a more optimized online customer experience leading to improved revenue, customer satisfaction, customer service productivity and profitability.
Tealeaf is based in San Francisco, California with additional offices in Europe.
IBM continues to romp and stomp its way through the Big Data space.
Today, it announced a definitive agreement to acquire Vivisimo, a leading provider of federated discovery and navigation software that helps organizations access and analyze big data across the enterprise.
Vivisimo is a privately held company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Of course.
IBM estimates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day from a variety of sources including sensors, social media, and billions of mobile devices around the world, making it difficult for businesses to navigate and analyze it to improve competitiveness, efficiency, and profitability.
IDC estimates the market for big data technology and services will grow at an annual rate of nearly 40 percent to reach $16.9 billion by 2015
That’s where Vivisimo software comes into play. Vivisimo excels in capturing and delivering quality information across the broadest range of data sources, no matter what format it is, or where it resides.
It automates the discovery of data and helps employees navigate it with a single view across the enterprise, providing valuable insights that drive better decision-making for solving all operational challenges.
Today’s news accelerates IBM’s big data analytics initiatives with advanced federated capabilities allowing organizations to access, navigate, and analyze the full variety, velocity and volume of structured and unstructured data without having to move it.
The combination of IBM’s big data analytics capabilities with Vivisimo software will further IBM’s efforts to automate the flow of data into business analytics applications, helping clients better understand consumer behavior, manage customer churn and network performance, detect fraud in real-time, and perform data-intensive marketing campaigns.
“Businesses need a faster and more accurate way to discover and navigate big data for analysis” said John Kealey, Chief Executive Officer, Vivisimo. “As part of IBM, we can bring clients the quickest and most accurate access to information necessary to drive growth initiatives that increase customer satisfaction, streamline processes, and boost sales.”
Vivisimo brings over a decade of experience and innovation in data navigation and visualization technologies for both structured and unstructured data, making it easier for business users to get value from all of their data and content. Vivisimo’s ability to index and search data across multiple repositories is a distinguishing capability, applicable to all industries and clients.
Vivisimo has more than 140 customers in industries such as government, life sciences, manufacturing, electronics, consumer goods and financial services. Clients include Airbus, U.S. Air Force, Social Security Administration, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Navy, Procter & Gamble, Bupa, and LexisNexis among others.
Upon the closing of the acquisition, approximately 120 Vivisimo employees will join IBM’s Software Group. IBM will incorporate Vivisimo technology into its big data platform.
There’s some early coverage here from TechCrunch.
IBM just announced a definitive agreement to acquire Varicent Software Incorporated, a leading provider of analytics software for compensation and sales performance management.
Varicent is a privately held company, with headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Varicent software automates and analyzes the collection and reporting of sales data across finance, sales, human resources and IT departments to gain efficiencies, uncover trends andimprove sales performance.
This acquisition accelerates IBM’s “smarter analytics” capabilities across line of business operations in all industries, and will be combined with IBM’s existing software offerings that are delivered to clients through on-premise or cloud computing models.
With growing volumes of data, companies are increasingly looking for ways to automate and gain faster, more accurate intelligence on sales and financial management data in order to increase competitiveness.
According to Gartner, organizations that adopt compensation management solutions can expect to reduce errors by more than 90 percent and reduce processing times by more than 40 percent.
Varicent’s software automates and integrates all aspects of sales, client and financial performance management across the enterprise, which is traditionally a labor intensive process. Unlike traditional tools, Varicent provides a single management system that relies on a sophisticated calculation engine to model and analyze the effectiveness of incentive spend.
The software allows clients such as banks, insurance companies, retailers, information technology and telecommunications providers to more accurately determine compensation, streamline territory assignments, manage quotas, and report and analyze sales activities. The software also strengthens audit and compliance readiness and provides transparency for all aspects of incentive compensation.
Varicent was founded in 2003 and has more than 180 customers using its software, including Starwood Hotels, Covidien, Dex One, Manpower, Hertz, Office Depot and Farmers, among many others.
IBM will combine Varicent with its R&D and prior acquisitions including Algorithmics, Clarity Systems, OpenPages, Cognos and SPSS, to expand IBM capabilities in business analytics and optimization across finance, sales, and customer service operations.
These acquisitions are part of IBM’s larger focus on analytics, which spans hardware, software, services and research. IBM has established the world’s deepest portfolio of analytics solutions, business and industry expertise.
This includes almost 9,000 dedicated business analytics and optimization consultants and 400 researchers. IBM secures hundreds of patents a year in analytics, and continues to expand its ecosystem, which consists of more than 27,000 IBM business partners. IBM has also created eight global analytics solution centers in Berlin, Beijing, Dallas, London, New York, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. With the closing of this acquisition, it is expected that all of Varicent’s employees will join IBM’s Software Group.
When it comes to being an entrepreneur, IBM’s general manager for its Watson Solutions group has been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Twice.
When Manoj hit the stage at this afternoon’s IBM SmartCamp Global Finals in San Francisco to explain why he’s back at a big company like IBM, he started with his own start in mind.
Though he’s been with IBM for five years, and had an early background in corporate America at 3M, he started his own company in 1998 (Exterprise), which was acquired in 2001 before he started another company, Webify, which was later acquired by IBM.
One of the reasons he has since stayed at IBM, Manoj explains, is that “it’s the place to be if you want to have impact and change the world.”
He continued: “As you grow older, you start to understand what your core competence is, and mine is converting PowerPoints to products to profits.”
Manoj explained how startup culture and reality has changed dramatically from the dot com boom to present times. In the past, you would build it and they would come, and it was all about eyeballs, traffic, and the amount of money raised as a badge of honor.
Today, if they come, you can then go build it, but you’d be well advised to validate THEN scale, and that actual revenues are the path to profitability. Moreover, it’s advisable to take as little money up front as possible, so that you can focus on building value, a business, and not just a startup.
Ultimately, Manoj explained, companies are bought, not sold, and if you focus on building a business around a greater purpose, the riches will come.
He then turned to Watson, and the role the Watson technology is playing as IBM works to build a smarter planet.
Watson, Manoj explained, was a part of an IBM research project that followed in the spirit of the Deep Blue/Kasparov chess match of 1997, but that this time around, more focus was put on the commercialization of the technology.
What made Watson so unique was that not only is it smart at answering questions, but also that it can process and analyze 200 million pages in three seconds. The business implications of such a capability in our emerging data-drowning environment are critical. There are now 2 billion people on the Web, and “businesses on a smarter planet where people are dying of thirst in an ocean of data.”
So, Watson has been geared towards some select industries initially, namely healthcare and financial services, with others yet to come.
On the healthcare front, Manoj revealed some startling statistics. One in five diagnoses today are estimated to be inaccurate or incomplete, and there are 1.5 million errors in the way medication are prescribed, delivered, and taken in the U.S. alone each year.
And yet 81% of physicians report spending five hours or less per month reading medical journals, even as medical information doubles every five years.
Which is where Dr. Watson’s technology can help doctors with their diagnoses. Not to replace doctors, but to help them winnow down to the most likely diagnosis based on Watson’s ability to rapidly analyze millions of likely scenarios and generate and evaluate those hypotheses to identify the “best” outcome.
As Manoj suggested, think of it as a navigation system for doctors.
Today IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Worklight, a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software for smartphones and tablets, in a move that will help expand the enterprise mobile capabilities it offers to clients.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, IBM’s mobile offerings will span mobile application development, integration, security and management.
Worklight will become an important piece of IBM’s mobility strategy, offering clients an open platform that helps speed the delivery of existing and new mobile applications to multiple devices. It also helps enable secure connections between smartphone and tablet applications with enterprise IT systems.
In a recent study conducted by IBM of more than 3,000 global CIOs, 75 percent of respondents identified mobility solutions as one of their top spending priorities.
In fact, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones exceeded total PC shipments in 2011.
“Our clients are under increased pressure to meet the growing demands of a workforce and customer base that now treat mobility as mission critical to their business,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM application and infrastructure middleware. “With the acquisition of Worklight, IBM is well-positioned to help clients become smarter mobile enterprises reaching new markets.”
Worklight accelerates IBM’s comprehensive mobile portfolio, which is designed to help global corporations leverage the proliferation of all mobile devices — from laptops and smartphones to tablets. IBM has been steadily investing in this space for more than a decade, both organically and through acquisitions.
As a result, IBM can offer a complete portfolio of software and services that delivers enterprise-ready mobility for clients — from IT systems all the way through to mobile devices.
This builds on IBM’s deep understanding of its clients and their evolving IT needs over the last several decades. Today, the world’s top 20 communications service providers use IBM technology to run their applications, while every day more than one billion mobile phone subscribers are touched by IBM software.
Worklight supports consumer and employee-facing applications in a broad range of industries, including financial services, retail and healthcare. For example, a bank can create a single application that offers features to enable its customers to securely connect to their account, pay bills and manage their investments, regardless of the device they are using.
Similarly, a hospital could use Worklight technology to extend its existing IT system to allow direct input of health history, allergies, and prescriptions by a patient using a tablet.
Worklight Builds on IBM’s Comprehensive Mobile Software and Services Offerings
Ubiquitous connectivity provides businesses with unique opportunities to better connect with their customer base, interact with external users and employees in more efficient ways, drive productivity and reach new audiences.
IBM’s strategy is to offer its customers a complete set of the software and services they need to effectively bring mobile devices into their business infrastructure. These capabilities include:
- Build and Connect Mobile Applications: The explosive growth of mobile has created a fragmented landscape for enterprises to support, often with limited budgets and skills. IBM’s development and integration tools, complemented by Worklight, help clients to develop mobile applications and their supporting infrastructures for a variety of platforms just once – including Apple iOS and Google Android – while offering capabilities to securely connect to corporate IT systems.
- Manage and Secure Mobile Devices: As Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” gains popularity, IT departments are looking to find an efficient and secure way to enable employees’ use of mobile devices in the work place. Rather than implement a separate infrastructure solely for mobile devices, IBM’s offerings are helping customers deliver a single solution that effectively manages and secures all endpoints. These unified capabilities can now extend from servers and laptops, to smartphones and tablets.
- Extend Existing Capabilities and Capitalize on New Business Opportunities: The rapid adoption of mobile computing is also creating demand for organizations to extend their current business capabilities to mobile devices, while capitalizing on the new opportunities that mobile devices uniquely provide. For instance, IBM’s software, services and industry frameworks offer clients the ability to use mobile to engage with their customers around growing business opportunities such as analytics, commerce and social business applications.
In addition to Worklight, IBM today is also unveiling IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, a new software system that will enable corporate users to manage and secure their mobile devices these applications are running on.
The acquisition of Worklight is expected to close in 1Q12. Worklight will sit within IBM’s Software Group.
IBM today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Green Hat, a leader in software quality and testing solutions for the cloud and other environments.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1996, Green Hat is jointly headquartered in London, England and Wilmington, Delaware.
Green Hat helps customers improve the quality of software applications by enabling developers to leverage cloud computing technologies to conduct testing on a software application prior to its delivery.
Historically, to run simulation testing on a software program, a development team must construct an actual testing lab made up of both hardware and software.
This time consuming and labor intensive process has become even more compounded with the short development cycle needed to compete in rapidly expanding markets such as those for smart phones and tablets.
By using Green Hat’s solutions, a virtual test environment can be set up in a matter of minutes versus weeks, and for a fraction of the cost.
According to recent industry reports, software testing represents more than 50 percent of overall development costs, and testing teams often spend upwards of 30 percent of their time managing the complexity of the test environment.
Green Hat creates a virtual environment that simulates a wide range of IT infrastructure elements, without the constraints of hardware or software services. This continuous test environment enables developers and quality professionals to test software earlier and more frequently throughout the software development lifecycle.
Upon the acquisition close, Green Hat will join IBM’s Rational Software business. When combined with the IBM Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management, developers and testers can achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration while delivering quality software to their business.
IBM and Green Hat will help customers maximize continuous integration of an application, including creating virtual protocols, message formats, services, customization and engagement with third-party software.
Development teams can avoid scrap and rework and dramatically reduce costly delays while achieving greater business agility and accelerating the delivery of software applications.
The Green Hat software testing solutions also will be offered through IBM Global Business Services’ Application Management Services (AMS). IBM AMS provides strategy, design, implementation, testing and managed services for application virtualization to accelerate customer results.
Green Hat is an automated testing technology leader, operating worldwide with a Global 2000 customer base. Green Hat makes automated testing simple for complex systems relying on Cloud, Web Services, messaging, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), BPM (Business Process Management), CEP (Complex Event Processing), SAP and other distributed technologies. Their diverse range of customers includes prestigious representation in financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, transportation and the energy industry.
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!
And apparently, it was.
I didn’t try to track Santa via Santa Norad, but apparently Santa didn’t need nearly the help he might have.
According to some more IBM Benchmark e-commerce tracking numbers from the holiday shopping season, lots of folks were ready for more virtual commerce even on Christmas Day.
I count myself among the guilty.
The IBM data discovered that online shopping jumped 16.4 percent on Christmas Day, compared to last year, and the dollar amount of those purchases that were made using mobile devices leaped 172.9 percent.
IBM tracks shopping at more than 500 websites (other than Amazon.com, which is where *I* was shopping!).
It also found a huge increase in the number of shoppers making their purchases via iPhones, iPads and Android-powered mobile devices. In fact, nearly 7 percent of all online purchases were made using iPads, just 18 months after the tablet computers were released by Apple Inc..
The online shopping increase continued on Monday. As of 3 p.m. Eastern time, shopping was up 10 percent over Dec. 26, 2010, and the expectation was that the pace of buying would increase as the day wore on and consumers clicked on sales at various retailers.
The data did not show what portion of purchases was made using gift cards, which typically see a big bump just after holidays as folks start cashing those gift cards in and make purchases (online and off).
Speaking of online gifts, IBM has been making some pretty heavy duty investments in Santa’s e-commerce play, what we’re calling “smarter commerce.” Between the numerous acquisitions and continued organic investment, IBM’s smarter commerce effort recognizes that the final sale is just one aspect of the overall commerce experience.
Last year, IBM researchers surveyed more than 500 economists worldwide and estimated that our planet’s system of systems carries inefficiencies totaling nearly $15 trillion, or 28 percent of worldwide GDP.
Much of this waste is found in our systems of commerce — in inventory backlogs, failed product launches, wasted materials and ineffective marketing campaigns.
Today’s customers have no patience for this kind of waste. They will not remain loyal to products or brands while the cost of inefficiency is passed along to the buyer. And it will not take them long to find the same product or service from a competitor.
These customers are empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information. They expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital and mobile means.
They want a consistent experience across all channels. They compare notes. And they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse.
Nowhere is this shift more visible than in the retail industry, where companies are rapidly adapting to this new reality, integrating their marketing efforts and using analytics to better understand their new, more fickle customers.
But retail is only the beginning. It is merely the front line of a customer revolution that will eventually reshape the entire value chain, from the way raw materials are sourced to the way they are manufactured, distributed and serviced.
Keeping up with today’s customer will take more than an email marketing campaign and a Facebook page.
It’s going to take a better system of doing business. It’s going to take smarter commerce.
Just as with traditional commerce, the customer is at the center of all operations, and smarter commerce turns customer insight into action, enabling new business processes that help companies buy, market, sell and service their products and services and, in the process, make for happier customers.
Smarter commerce reaches deep within the businessto-business supply chain, integrating business partners, suppliers, and vendors, enabling the entire value chain to anticipate customer needs, not react to them.
And it identifies and addresses the unsustainable inefficiencies of our global systems of commerce.
Visit here if you’d like to learn more about IBM’s smarter commerce strategy.
In the meantime, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Santa’s post Christmas holiday sales!