Turbotodd

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

IBM and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership

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IBM and Salesforce today announced an expansion of their strategic partnership, bringing together IBM Cloud and Watson services with Salesforce Quip and Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein to enable companies to connect with their customers and collaborate more effectively with deeper insights.

IBM and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership

With this expansion, Salesforce has named IBM a preferred cloud services provider and IBM has named Salesforce its preferred customer engagement platform for sales and service.

“Naming IBM as a Salesforce preferred cloud services provider demonstrates the power of the IBM Cloud to help companies fundamentally change the way they do business,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO, IBM. “This expanded partnership builds on the combined power of Watson and Einstein to help enterprises make smarter business decisions.”

“The success of our customers drives everything we do at Salesforce, including our strategic partnership with IBM,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “The combination of IBM Cloud and Watson services with Salesforce Einstein and Quip will deliver even more innovation to empower companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way, leveraging the power of the cloud and AI.”

As a part of this extended strategic partnership, IBM will build new​IBM Watson​Quip Live Apps, bringing the power of Watson and Quip together. These interactive custom-built applications will be embedded directly into any Quip document to increase the effectiveness of sales teams across the lifecycle of an opportunity.

With ​Quip’s document creation and editing platform, customers are able to bring relevant content, for any project, into a centralized document, removing the need to toggle between multiple windows and apps to get work done.

Building on the first IBM and Service Cloud integration, the companies will bring together the power of IBM Watson and Service Cloud Einstein to deliver new AI-driven recommendations for next best actions.

Now, with AI driven predictive analytics, companies will be able to create personalized, customer-triggered interactions based on the latest call or messaging chat they had, to help build stronger connections with their customers.

Today’s news strengthens the partnership previously announced by IBM and Salesforce to deliver joint solutions that leverage the power of AI and enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before.

With more than 4,000 joint customers, the partnership has already helped companies, such as Autodesk, implement new Watson solutions to connect more deeply with their customers.

“There is a perfect marriage between Salesforce and IBM,” said Rachael Cotton, senior manager, machine assisted service engagement, Autodesk. “Salesforce is where many companies like Autodesk house enormous amounts of customer data, most of which goes untapped. Combining the AI power of Watson and IBM Cloud with insights from Salesforce has helped Autodesk better understand its customers and ultimately create a transformed customer experience.”

You can earn more about the new, expanded strategic partnership between IBM and Salesforce here: https://www.salesforce.com/campaign/ibm/

And more about how to surface data from IBM Watson Discovery in Salesforce with Salesforce Trailhead here: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/projects/surface-data-from-ibm-watson-discovery-in-salesforce

Written by turbotodd

January 19, 2018 at 8:38 am

Posted in 2018, AI, ibm, ibm watson, salesforce

IBM 4Q17 Earnings: Growth is Back

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IBM today announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 earnings results. Highlights:
 
• Fourth-quarter GAAP EPS from continuing operations of $(1.14)
    — Includes a one-time charge of $5.5 billion associated with the enactment of U.S. tax reform
•    Fourth-quarter operating (non-GAAP) EPS of $5.18
    — Excludes the one-time charge of $5.5 billion associated with the enactment of U.S. tax reform
    — Consistent with the basis of previously-provided 2017 expectations
•    Fourth-quarter revenue of $22.5 billion, up 4 percent (up 1 percent adjusting for currency)
•    Full-year strategic imperatives revenue of $36.5 billion, up 11 percent; represents 46 percent of IBM revenue
    — Fourth-quarter strategic imperatives revenue up 17 percent (up 14 percent adjusting for currency)
•    Full-year cloud revenue of $17.0 billion, up 24 percent year to year
    — As-a-service annual exit run rate of $10.3 billion in the quarter, up 20 percent year to year (up 18 percent adjusting for currency)

“Our strategic imperatives revenue again grew at a double-digit rate and now represents 46 percent of our total revenue, and we are pleased with our overall revenue growth in the quarter,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.  “During 2017, we strengthened our position as the leading enterprise cloud provider and established IBM as the blockchain leader for business.  Looking ahead, we are uniquely positioned to help clients use data and AI to build smarter businesses.”

You can see the full details here.

Written by turbotodd

January 18, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Posted in 2018, earnings, ibm, wall street

IT Big Spender: AI, Blockchain, IoT

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Gartner Inc. presented its 2018 worldwide IT spending projections in a webinar yesterday, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

In its estimate, Gartner projected that worldwide IT spending this year would hit $3.7 trillion, up 4.5 percent over last year. Key areas that would help increase that spending included blockchain, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, among others.

Enterprise software spending is projected to reach $389 billion, up from 9.5 percent in 2017, as corporate budgets channel more funds into software-as-a-service.

Other big gains included devices, which are expected to grow 5.6% over last year to $704 billion.

As to AI:

By 2021, spending on AI will generate an estimated $2.9 trillion in new business value, as businesses seek to use AI-powered tools to “drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalize the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities,” Mr. Lovelock said.
– via WSJ

Written by turbotodd

January 18, 2018 at 10:32 am

Amazon’s Prime 20 Second HQ Cities

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Amazon has whittled down the list of possible homes for its second headquarters to 20, reports The New York Times.

The finalists include Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville; Newark; New York; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto; and Washington, DC.

On the process:

The company, based in Seattle, selected the finalists out of a pile of more than 238 applications submitted by local officials in Mexico, Canada and the United States — all of them eager to attract the 50,000 high-paying jobs the company says it could bring.
– via www.nytimes.com

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough — all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s head of economic development. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”
– via www.nytimes.com

Written by turbotodd

January 18, 2018 at 9:33 am

Posted in 2018, amazon, whyaustin

Millennial IT Buyers

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Snapshots from today’s Wall Street Journal article about milllennial IT buyer preferences and characteristics:

  • At the end of 2016, the number of millennials in the U.S. workforce overtook Generation X workers, by a margin of 58.1 million to 52.9 million
  • At the executive level, CIOs make up the youngest group in the C-suite with an average age of 51
  • Younger IT buyers are more likely to shop for new products or services online, via search engines and social media sites, compared to their older counterparts (who prefer to respond directly to tech marketers, especially when contacted by phone or email.
  • “Millennials are more comfortable with a broader variety of sources, while older buyers are more selective, but are more comfortable picking up a phone.”
  • Younger buyers say they responded to sales pitches that included detailed pricing information, recognizable brands and a personalized message.

You can read the full story here.

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2018 at 8:58 am

Maersk and IBM to Form Joint Venture On Blockchain

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Maersk and IBM today announced their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.

The aim of the new company will be to offer a jointly developed global trade digitization platform built on open standards and designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem.

It will address the need to provide more transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones.

The cost and size of the world’s trading ecosystems continues to grow in complexity. More than $4 trillion in goods are shipped each year, and more than 80 percent of the goods consumers use daily are carried by the ocean shipping industry.

The maximum cost of the required trade documentation to process and administer many of these goods is estimated to reach one-fifth of the actual physical transportation costs. According to The World Economic Forum, by reducing barriers within the international supply chain, global trade could increase by nearly 15 percent, boosting economies and creating jobs.

The attributes of blockchain technology are ideally suited to large networks of disparate partners. A distributed ledger technology, blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time.

By applying the technology to digitize global trade processes, a new form of command and consent can be introduced into the flow of information, empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate and establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

Maersk, a global leader in container logistics, and IBM, a leading provider of blockchain, supply chain visibility and interoperability solutions for the enterprise, will use blockchain technology to power the new platform, as well as employ other cloud-based open source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and analytics, delivered via IBM Services, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders.

Manufacturers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators and customs authorities can all benefit from these new technologies –and ultimately consumers.

“This new company marks a milestone in our strategic efforts to drive the digitization of global trade. The potential from offering a neutral, open digital platform for safe and easy ways of exchanging information is huge, and all players across the supply chain stand to benefit,” said Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer at Maersk and future chairman of the board of the new joint venture. “By joining our knowledge of trade with IBM’s capabilities in blockchain and enterprise technology, we are confident this new company can make a real difference in shaping the future of global trade.”

IBM’s blockchain platform is enabling hundreds of clients and thousands of developers to build and scale active networks across complex use cases, including cross border payments, supply chains, and digital identification.

IBM and Maersk began a collaboration in June 2016 to build new blockchain- and cloud-based technologies. Since then, multiple parties have piloted the platform including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The joint venture will now enable IBM and Maersk to commercialize and scale their solutions to a broader group of global corporations, many of whom have already expressed interest in the capabilities and are exploring ways to use the new platform, including: General Motors and Procter and Gamble to streamline the complex supply chains they operate; and freight forwarder and logistic company, Agility Logistics, to provide improved customer services including customs clearance brokerage.

Additional customs and government authorities, including Singapore Customs and Peruvian Customs, will explore collaborating with the platform to facilitate trade flows and enhance supply chain security.

The global terminal operators APM Terminals and PSA International will use the platform to enrich port collaboration and improve terminal planning. With support from Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau by connecting to its Global Quality Traceability System for import and export goods, the platform can also link users to important trade corridors in and out of China.

To address the specific needs of the industry, Maersk and IBM are establishing an advisory board of industry experts to help further shape the platform and services, provide guidance and feedback on important industry factors, and drive open standards.

The new company initially plans to commercialize two core capabilities aimed at digitizing the global supply chain from end-to-end:

– A shipping information pipeline will provide end-to-end supply chain visibility to enable all actors involved in managing a supply chain to securely and seamlessly exchange information about shipment events in real time.

– Paperless Trade will digitize and automate paperwork filings by enabling end-users to securely submit, validate and approve documents across organizational boundaries, ultimately helping to reduce the time and cost for clearance and cargo movement. Blockchain-based smart contracts ensure all required approvals are in place, helping speed up approvals and reducing mistakes.

Upon regulatory clearance, solutions from the joint venture are expected to become available within six months. The new company will be headquartered in the New York metropolitan area.

The platform is built on IBM Blockchain technology, which is provided through the IBM Cloud and powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation.

For more information about the joint venture visit: www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2018/01/digitizing-global-trade-maersk-ibm.

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2018 at 10:03 am

Posted in 2018, blockchain, shipping

A Powerful Reading

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Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s research unit has said its deep neural netowrk model is the first to beat humans in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset, according to a report from ZDNet.

Alibaba’s research unit, the Institute of Data Science on Technologies, said it had developed a deep learning model that attained a score of 82.44 in Exact Match on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset. Humans had clocked a previous score of 82.304.

More background:

Squad comprised more than 100,000 question-and-answer sets based on more than 500 Wikipedia articles, in which participants were required to build machine-learning models to respond to the questions. These models would be evaluated by Squad, which then would run the model on the test set.
– via ZDNet

Commenting on the Squad score, Alibaba IDST’s chief scientist of natural language processing Si Luo, said: “That means objective questions such as ‘what causes rain’ can now be answered with high accuracy by machines. We believe the technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials, and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way.”
– via ZDNet

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2018 at 9:19 am

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