Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘world cup

Rio de Janeiro’s “Mission Control”

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I’ve been extremely blessed to have traveled to many wonderful cities around the world during my tenure with IBM.

If you forced me to choose a favorite…well, it wouldn’t be an easy decision.  Far from it.

But near the top of the list would have to be a city that left me absolutely breathless, literally and figuratively, and that’s the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Forget the wonderful caiprinhas cocktails and the breathtaking views — I remember once, on my first visit in 1999, I had to do a presentation in the IBM building there, and they had to close the drapes, the view of the Christ statue in the background so incredibly stunning that I couldn’t focus!

But it’s the people that make the place.  And the people of Rio are very special.

And if it’s the people who make the place, it’s also the people who make it run.

And making it run they are, the people of Rio de Janeiro, with a little from our team at IBM.

The New York Times takes an in-depth look this weekend at how Rio’s becoming one of IBM’s hallmark “smarter cities,” as they prepare to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

And fellow IBM blogger and buddy of mine Steve Hamm goes even deeper, explaining how the torrential rains in Rio during April 2010 that killed more than 70 residents made mayor Eduardo Paes vow that such horror would not occur on his watch again.

This story provides an excellent case study as to the type of smarter building, city, and infrastructure management that we’ll be hearing discussed at this week’s IBM Pulse 2012 conference in Las Vegas!

Check out the video below to learn more about Rio’s smarter city operation.

Smarter Web Metrics

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The weekend in sports proved to be as about as exciting as I had hoped.

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke became the third man from that region to win a golf major in 3 of the last 6, and it was Clarke’s first British Open title.

And as to the U.S. Women’s soccer team, they played a nailbiter of a match, but in the end the team from Japan won on penalty kicks.

My hat goes off to both teams.  I had a whole living room full of soccer fans, and we were all nervous wrecks up to that last penalty kick that gave Japan this year’s World Cup trophy.

Still, it was an awesome game all the way around, and I wish my friends in Japan a very happy celebration.  They could probably stand some good news about now!

Now, on to business.

Later today, IBM will announces its second quarter 2010 earnings.  You can check the Investor Relations site for more details.

On the announcement front, today saw the introduction of a new cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite intended to help organizations automate online marketing campaigns across their online channels, including web sites, social media networks, and even mobile phones.

The new offering combines the best of Coremetrics and Unica, and provides analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine tune their marketing campaigns, and create personalized offers in real-time across channels.

More Digital, More Integration

With 64 percent of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it’s critical that marketers understand online behavior and refine their marketing activities accordingly.

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite automates and simplifies a company’s ability to design and deliver a tailored online experience and marketing promotions through real-time personalized recommendations, email ad targeting, and more:

  • Enables marketers to perform advanced segmentation and automate marketing execution based on multichannel data, including off-line data sources
  • Delivers real-time product recommendations for all online channels, including social, mobile, email, and display ads
  • Provides A/B testing capabilities to help search engine marketers compare pairs of search terms to determine the most cost-effective terms and associated ads
  • Incorporates best practice key performance indicators and corresponding industry-specific benchmarks
  • Supports deep analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing program is the most effective.

Using this technology, businesses will be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly.

IBM’s suite also enables businesses to deliver and fine tune digital marketing programs based on what customers are doing offline.

For example, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories.

The benefit to the customer is a consistent, relevant brand experience that reflects all of their online preferences, not just what they did, read or saw on one specific site.

Smarter Web Metrics, Smarter Commerce

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is the newest addition to IBM’s family of Smarter Commerce solutions,which is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of social networking and mobile computing.

Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.

To learn more about this and other marketing solutions please visit the IBM Enterprise Marketing Management site.

Cloud Expansion In Japan

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Ah, it’s a happy day for me.  Why, you ask??  Golf, of course!

The Open Championship kicked off at Royal St. George’s in Scotland, another of golf’s major tournaments.

In fact, it’s gonna be a very busy weekend, what with our rockin’ U.S. Women’s soccer team having taken out France in the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup yesterday evening.

Nice match again, ladies.  And good luck against Japan on Sunday!

On the topic of Japan, today in Tokyo IBM announced a broad expansion of its cloud computing services for customers there and in the Asia Pacific region.

The new IBM Cloud Data Center, along with a data center for LotusLive, IBM’s cloud collaboration service, will extend IBM’s cloud delivery network of cloud computing centers that serve in over 50 countries around the world.

To date, IBM has centers based in Singapore, Germany, Canada, and the United States; and 13 global cloud labs, of which seven are based in Asia Pacific – China, India, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.

The new IBM Cloud Data Center located in Makuhari, Japan delivers IBM’s SmartCloud enterprise-class services which include a broad spectrum of secure managed services, to run diverse workloads across multiple delivery methods both public and private.

LotusLive Expansion

In addition, IBM announced it will open a dedicated data center for LotusLive, IBM’s cloud-based collaboration services, in Japan. The data center, which will be available later this year, is designed to allow customers in Japan to more easily move to the cloud.

LotusLive offers integrated social collaboration tools that combine a company’s business social network with capabilities such as file storing and sharing, instant messaging, Web conferencing and activity management.

This secure integration allows users to share and edit information, host online meetings and manage activities easily inside and outside company boundaries.

The Japan data center is designed to help improve network performance and increase business opportunities for LotusLive users. The center will allow clients, who cannot take their data outside the country due to security and regulatory compliance, to work in a security-rich cloud environment.

You can learn more via the IBM Japan cloud computing site (Warning: It’s in Japanese!)

Go here for an English language site on IBM’s SmartCloud initiative.

Written by turbotodd

July 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

World Cup Fried Calamari

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I think everybody needs to get off Paul the octopus’ back.

I mean, really.

First, he’s a German octopus.  So he clearly could have been biased.

Second, he’s just calling these World Cup games like he sees them.

Err, correction: How he feels them.

Third, it’s a long way down from the top. 

Or rather, it’s a long way up from the bottom.

Anyhow, you know what I mean.

I find it most interesting that Paul started predicting soccer matches during the 2008 European Soccer Championships.  That year, he was four for six.

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Paul the Octopus contemplates the outcome of the World Cup final between Spain and The Netherlands.

Now, he’s on his way to six in a row, the odds of accurately picking correctly which are 216 to 1.

I’m thinking that if Paul keeps this up, he may want to find an aquarium in Vegas and soon.  He certainly has a better record in selecting winners than many of the so-called experts.

Of course, they’re not exactly crying for Paul in Argentina, whose loss to Germany led many to suggest a mission to capture, kill, and serve Paul with potatoes (Personally, I like my calimari with rice, but that’s just me).

The Germans don’t seem to be much happier with Paul now that the eight-legged traitor also accurately predicted their own loss to Spain, with many calling for grilled octopus in the restaurants of Berlin and beyond.

What’s a poor soothsaying octopus to do?

Well, Paul could follow the LeBron James model established just last evening. 

He could call his own press conference and provide some massive prediction about the fate of the Democrats in this year’s U.S. mid-term elections or something similarly yawn-inspiring.

Of course, as is so often the case with such instances, social media is the big winner for a story like this.

“Paul the Octopus” and “Pulpo” (Spanish for Octopus) are trending bigtime on Twitter search, and you can’t navigate YouTube without stumbling across Paul sliterhing his way over to the Spanish flag.

 

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I see at least a minor opportunity for helping the distressed Spanish economy:“Pulpo for FIFA Presidente” T-shirts for everybody!

Me, I’m off to Istanbul for a few days’ business.

Come Sunday evening, I plan to be firmly ensconced in a bar somewhere along the Bosphorus enjoying some kalamar tava, a Turkish-style fried calamari, as Spain proves Paul to be a true underseas Kreskin and takes World Cup 2010 to its most logical and seaworthy end.

Written by turbotodd

July 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

IBM @ Pebble Beach

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I’ve been a little lost between all the World Cup games and the NBA Finals (Game 7 tonight!), but I would be remiss in my golf fandom not to mention that the U.S. Open kicks off at Pebble Beach today out in California.

IBM has been a longtime partner with the U.S.G.A. and the U.S. Open, and this year the partnership continues in the digital realm with some exciting new social media capabilities.

Of course, the home course is the official U.S. Open Website, which is designed and hosted by IBM.  This year, IBM players will be helping to integrate a Mixx Channel into the U.S. Open home page.

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The 2010 U.S. Open Website, built and hosted by IBM on behalf of the U.S.G.A.

This will help bring fans (I’m very jealous of all you fans onsite!) attending the tournament into the coverage.  Fans who visit the “Experience Tent” at Pebble Beach will be able to provide their own real-time commentary on their Twitter accounts, and the chatter will also appear live on the U.S. Open Mixx channel.

Of course, we won’t forget our basic blocking and tackling….err, chipping and putting.

There will also be some improvements to the traditional golf leaderboard, including an overview map to enable viewers to ge a birds’-eye view of action on the course. 

For the non color-blind, there will also be a heat-mapping feature with green, red, and gray indicators to let fans know how hard each part of the course is plahing, with colors differing based on turned in score averages per hole.

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The U.S.G.A. U.S. Open Interactive Play Tracker gives avid golf fans a nice bird’s-eye overview of who’s hot and who’s not at this year’s U.S. Open.

The Website will also feature some HD Live Streaming (including to the iPhone and other mobile browsers), and a U.S. Open Facebook fan page will also share the news.

To all mi amigos from the IBM team onsite at Pebble Beach, be sure to give me a shout out if you all need any help out there!

Fore!

Written by turbotodd

June 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Posted in sports

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The Massive New IBM Mass Lab

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Anybody see that Brazil v. North Korea game in the World Cup yesterday?  Do those Brazilians play some of the most beautiful soccer in the world or what?  Wow.  Beautiful game, indeed.

As for the Celtics and the Lakers…well, with respect to this particular blog post, I’ll be staying neutral after last evening’s tidings (I have lots of friends in LA and Boston).

But here’s the net: IBM’s stepping up its own game in the great state of Massachusetts with the announcement this morning that we’ve cut the ribbon on the IBM Mass Lab, which is now IBM’s largest software development lab in North America.

The IBM Mass Lab is a campus comprised of sites in Littleton and Westford, Massachusetts, and brings together 3,400 of IBM’s leading experts to design and develop solutions to respond to our customers’ computing challenges.

The IBM Mass Lab is creating software that manages some of the world’s most complex process and infrastructure problems such as modernizing and automating the world’s physical infrastructures — from railroads, water management, food traceability and healthcare modernization.

Much of the demand for software is being created by the need to automate and modernize virtually every system today such as electronic medical records, fraud detection and energy management through smart grids.

IBM employees at the Mass Lab will also advance new technologies focused on collaboration, social networking, cloud computing and analytics.

Additionally, developers at the IBM Mass Lab are creating software for the new era of enterprise mobile computing fostering more effective collaboration and integration to support an increasingly global and mobile workforce. The explosion and sophistication of devices have generated a mountain of data, countless transactions, and increased complexity leading to a convergence of IT and mobility.

"The IBM Mass Lab helps demonstrate to the world that Massachusetts is a global leader in the innovation economy," said Deval Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of the announcement. "The IBM solutions developed right here in Massachusetts are helping to advance the Commonwealth’s economic prosperity, and quality of life for citizens around the globe."

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IBM Mass Lab, Littleton Campus

IBM Mass Lab Positioned for Growth

While it’s the largest in North America, the IBM Mass Lab is one of 70 IBM Software Labs around the globe.

With more square footage than Boston’s Fenway Park or the TD Garden, the IBM Mass Lab will foster collaboration among employees while leaving space for organic growth and future acquisitions.

Since 2003, IBM has acquired fourteen Massachusetts-based companies to broaden its software portfolio including Rational Software, Cognos, Ascential Software Corporation, and most recently Ounce Labs and Guardium Corporation.

IBM has partnered with more than 100 Venture Capital backed, small technology companies in Massachusetts, and has more than 1,600 business partners in New England.

"IBM views Massachusetts as an innovation hotbed," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software. "IBM is committed to nurturing the human talent and economic strengths of the growing Massachusetts tech hub. The IBM Mass Lab is a critical component of our growth strategy for the state of Massachusetts."

IBM selected the towns of Littleton and Westford for its combined campus due to the proximity of its geographically dispersed employee population and burgeoning high-tech belt along I-495.

IBM’s Massachusetts presence also includes IBM Research in Cambridge, Mass., and the IBM Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., celebrating its 15th year of helping local companies enable their skills and applications around IBM products.

The IBM Mass Lab can accommodate 59,000 square feet of Lab server space and contains 31 miles of copper and fibre-optic wiring for data networking, virtualization and power monitoring.

There’s over two petabytes of data in the Mass Lab that allows the IBM engineers to harness an exceptional level of computing power and storage to develop software on the latest hardware technology.

The IBM Mass Lab also includes an Executive Briefing Center where IBM clients from around the globe can meet with subject matter experts from the Mass Lab to learn more about IBM Software.

About IBM in Massachusetts
IBM is a truly global company and for 96 years (since 1914) IBM has been a key economic contributor to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Currently, IBM is the second largest technology employer in Massachusetts.

IBM engineers in Massachusetts have developed ground-breaking and innovative technologies to the marketplace that have changed the way people work and collaborate.  Since 1995, IBM employees in Massachusetts were awarded 2,950 patents.

In 2010, IBM received a Gold award from MassEcon for its economic contributions to the Central Massachusetts region.

MassHighTech listed IBM as the largest IT consulting firms in New England in 2010, and the largest software developer in New England for 2009.

In 2009, the Boston Globe named IBM #1 on its National 25 list of publically held companies based outside Massachusetts with a major presence in the state, ranked by competitive performance. Also last year, the Boston Business Journal named IBM one of the top 25 charitable contributors in the state, and MassHighTech honored IBM for its leadership in TechCitizenship.

To all my IBM colleagues and friends in the Bay State, congratulations on this exciting announcement.  Keep the clam chowder warm!

Written by turbotodd

June 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

World Cup Digital

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If you’re a fan, I don’t have to tell you what’s coming up in South Africa starting Saturday June 11th.

If you’re not a fan, you probably don’t care, anyhow.

But you should.

Because I expect this is going to be the largest demonstration of global social media in the history of mankind.

Seriously.

I’m talking, of course, about the World Cup futbol championship being hosted this year in the great country of South Africa.

Once again, my tickets didn’t show up in the mail, but that’s okay, because back to my previous point, this will be the most covered sporting event, or event of any kind, ever when it comes to the social media.

Hyperbole, dear Turbo, you say?

Well, let’s start with the estimated 1B+ expected “watchers” around the globe (I suspect that number is too conservative, but it’s a good starting point).

The World Cup is, after all, the biggest sporting event in the world, bar none.

In 2010, there will be 32 teams from countries around the globe competing for the World Cup championship.  In 2006, during the last World Cup (it’s hosted every four years), social media as we know it today was nascent.

There was no Twitter until about the time the tournament started, and only in September of that year did Facebook open up fully to the public.  YouTube was still a wee lad.

Facebook now has over 400M users, Twitter over 150M, and who knows how many YouTubers are out there.

So, what’s my recipe for following the action?

Well, in these United States, for starters get yourself a big screen TV, access to ESPN, and a DVR.  Some games will logically appear in U.S. primetime, but for others you’ll want to watch the DVR replay at your convenience.

Which means you’re going to have to carefully watch and possibly hedge your social media habits.

The last thing you want to do is find out the U.S. beat England in the opening round of Group C (Hey, it happened in 1950 in Brazil, and I can certainly wish it to happen again!).  Or, whomever your favorite team might be.

Which means you’ll need to carefully keep track of the schedule, so you know which of your teams is playing when, and instigating your own self-propelled social media blackout until such time as you can watch that replay without some Twit ruining it for you!

For my money, the World Cup Schedule iPhone/iPad app (V. 1.1) was key.  I think it cost me $.99 U.S. cents and gives me a full view of the groups and playing calendar (up through currently scheduled games, as well as mid-tourney games the teams for which will be decided in the first two weeks).

I also downloaded the 2010 FIFA World Cup application from ESPN (see screenshot below), which also provides schedules, as well as team and venue overviews and a countdown clock (as of this writing, we’re 8 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes, and 28…27…26…seconds away from the first kick).

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If you are a highlights junkie, your iPhone or iPad won’t be complete without the “100 Best Soccer Goals” application (also $.99 U.S. cents).

Once downloaded, don’t forget to watch Roberto Carlos’ “Best Goal Ever” during a France/Brazil Tournoi de France match in 1997, a free kick in which the ball bends it into the net way beyond David Beckham.

Of course, let’s also not forget the official FIFA Web site, fifa.com, which is also intending to interact with a number of key social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.

And I’m sure there are a gazillion other resources that I don’t yet know about.

The key is this: Find the ones that work for you, get them ready in advance of the tournament, and be prepared to talk trash to your friends around the world throughout the tournament.

As to who the winner is…well, the U.S. is generally given around 80-1 odds to win.

Though I’ll certainly be rooting for them (and give it up, we do have one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers in Tim Howard), I have a feeling the winners this year are going to be either Brazil or Spain.

But why should you listen to me, I’m an American!

What in the world do I know about soccer???

Written by turbotodd

June 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

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