Turbotodd

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

Archive for October 25th, 2010

Unleash Your Intelligence With Cognos 10

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At this afternoon’s Business Analytics session, IBM Software Business Analytics’ general manager Rob Ashe introduced Cognos 10, new software that combines the most sophisticated business analytics and optimization capabilities for today’s evolving workforce.

For the first time, the new offerings combine social networking and collaboration capabilities for the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013, bringing informed decision-making to people on the front lines.

Call it the democratization of informed decision making.

With this news, IBM is bringing business analytics capabilities to the masses with a new look and feel that more closely mirrors people’s every day use of technology including support for new mobile devices and integrated social networking capabilities for faster, more collaborative decision-making.

The new software takes analytics out of the traditional format of reports and charts to a more interactive design and broader analysis and insight making it easier by providing built-in images and videos to guide business users.

They can now gain instant insight with analytics in an easy to use format anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices.  These new capabilities will have a profound impact on the way all business users interact with their teams, partners, managers and customers around the globe.

Rob Ashe and his team demonstrated some of these new capabilities in the afternoon Business Analytics keynote, providing some very cool demos and an explosive (literally) introduction of the long awaited Cognos 10.

Rob Ashe, General Manager, Business Analytics, IBM Software, prepares to "unbox" the long-awaited Cognos 10 onstage at Information on Demand 2010.

Goin’ Mobile: New Analytics Software Brings Speed to Insight with Social Collaboration and Mobile

Spurred by the growth of mobile transactions, expected to grow by 40 times by 2015, the increase in the rate and pace of data is accelerating the IT opportunity around business analytics and optimization.  When combined with the unprecedented growth of the mobile workforce, this presents an opportunity for businesses to embrace the borderless office and extract intelligence to better interact with customers.

A recent IBM study with 1,900 CFOs globally revealed analytics-driven organizations had 33% more revenue growth with 32% more return on capital invested.

To address these changing market dynamics, IBM announced a set of new business analytics capabilities in the form of Cognos 10.

Cognos 10 is a new version of Cognos software that brings together the power of social collaboration and analytics for business users to gain real-time intelligence in a single, user-friendly interface  — online or through mobile devices such as iPad, iPhones and BlackBerries.

Today, with the launch of Cognos 10, IBM is delivering the most significant analytics offering since the acquisition of Cognos, one of the largest acquisitions in IBM history.

For the first time, this new software brings together the power of social collaboration with Lotus Connections software and business analytics with Cognos in one unified experience with intuitive navigation capabilities and simplified user experience.

This removes the frustration of having to interrupt user train of thought resulting from the need to switch between views to get the right information. The software supports the natural path of seamless views from browsing to investigation to decision making.

End-User Driven Analytics

This new software provides business users with an integrated view of historical information with real-time updates to give users a complete picture of their business.

Now, business users can benefit from accessing information with a range of views from simple real-time information to advanced predictive “what if” analysis.
The integrated social networking capabilities with analytics allow the employees to interact with each other in real time in communities, wikis and blogs.

This combination fuels the exchange of ideas and knowledge that naturally occurs in the decision-making process, but is typically lost in meeting notes, manual processes and emails.  Users can now initiate activities, engage others with their expertise, post messages, files, links, and discuss or review opinions – all in real time for faster, more accurate decision making.

The new Cognos 10 dashboard empowers the end user decision maker to manipulate their reports and make informed business decisions. No visit to the IT back office required (unless you just like making those visits.)

For example, a regional sales manager can spot a spike in sales in a popular pair of shoes with the store manager and marketing team in real time to identify the cause and brainstorm to resolve the issues around managing supply and demand.

Another scenario: Doctors can spot trends for patient treatment of certain diseases, share insight with other doctors, and agree on a preventative course of action and treatment with a team of doctors, all without having to change a single view with this in-depth information.

And yet another: A brand manager sees product sales declining and needs to discuss the issue with the store manager, production department, and marketing team – all at the same time. The manager can instantly set up a decision network to connect the right people and information to share insights and capture annotations.

Rob Ashe explained in his keynote that this was most exhaustive overhaul of the Cognos platform ever, and, appropriately enough, was driven largely by customer feedback and insight.

IBM continues to expand its multi-billion dollar investment in the business analytics and optimization market.

Over the past five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions. Today, more than 7,000 IBM business consultants are dedicated to analytics.

Written by turbotodd

October 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Visa: Winner Of 2010 Information on Demand Innovation Award

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Visa Inc., the global payments technology company, and IBM today announced that Visa is the winner of IBM’s annual Information on Demand 2010 Innovation Award.

This is in recognition of Visa’s leadership in using cutting-edge information technology and real-time data analytics to drive growth, prevent fraud, and improve the consumer payment experience.

More People Go With Visa

With more than 1.8 billion Visa cards accepted at millions of retailers and ATMs around the globe, Visa’s global network, VisaNet, processes a growing number of increasingly complex electronic payments.

Visa’s ability to not only manage but master information in real-time, providing its clients and Visa cardholders with a growing number of information-based services, sets the company apart as a leading innovator in payments today.

“Few people recognize the critical role VisaNet plays in not only transaction processing, but delivering business intelligence and real-time information that empowers financial institutions, retailers, and Visa account holders,” said Mike Dreyer, Chief Information Officer, Visa, Inc. “Only because Visa is able to touch each transaction generated from our products can we deliver this level of innovation that fuels commerce globally and expands the utility and reach of digital currency worldwide.

Dreyer was in attendance at the event and spoke during this morning’s keynote session in an interview conducted by IBM Software VP, Robert Leblanc, about Visa’s progress with information analytics.

Visa was recognized by IBM for achievements to date in information management and a visionary plan to further transform Visa’s business. By harnessing and analyzing the data behind each transaction, Visa is adding value to the traditional payment transaction and providing its clients with improved business intelligence.

VisaNet, the world’s largest retail electronic payments network processes more than 100 billion transactions each year representing more than $4.8 trillion in value. Its centralized processing architecture enables Visa to analyze information in real-time and is a catalyst for innovations. Visa information-based services are among the most advanced in the payments industry, they include:

  • Real-Time Fraud Monitoring: Visa’s Advanced Authorization risk scores are based on a global view of fraud and spending patterns across the entire Visa network. Because VisaNet processes more electronic payments globally than other networks, Visa has unique capabilities to identify fraud on individual accounts and coordinated attacks on multiple accounts across the system, enabling an issuer to potentially stop fraud at the check-out, before it occurs.
  • Transaction Alerts: Visa transaction alerts are sent on behalf of financial institutions directly from VisaNet, Visa’s global processing network, typically within seconds of a transaction occurring. Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria the account holder has selected and are delivered directly to the account holder via email or SMS text message. Visa’s transaction alerts let consumers monitor their accounts for unusual activity and take immediate action if they believe a potentially fraudulent transaction is taking place.
  • Offers: Visa account holders are able to receive offers from merchants directly to their mobile phone. Offers range from discounts and loyalty points that can be redeemed at the point of sale. For consumers and merchants alike, this service ensures the most relevant offers are sent in a timely manner, helping increase merchant traffic, loyalty and customer satisfaction. Merchants benefit from better targeting and more efficient marketing spend and cardholders get more of the offers they want.

Visa is currently working with IBM as part of a global initiative to continue Visa’s heritage of analyzing payment system data to deliver ever-greater value to customers and cardholders. The initiative is designed to further enhance Visa’s ability to deliver real-time business intelligence to global clients and account holders, and will help ensure Visa’s information-based services remain a key competitive differentiator.

IBM’s Innovation Awards are given out annually at IBM’s Information on Demand Conference. Winners are selected among thousands of clients that are using IBM technologies to transform their business.

Written by turbotodd

October 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Hertz and IBM: Catching The Voice Of The Customer

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At the Information on Demand event here in Las Vegas today, IBM announced that the Hertz Corporation and Mindshare Technologies, a leading provider of enterprise feedback solutions, are using IBM analytics software to examine customer survey data including text messages to better identify car and equipment rental performance levels for pinpointing and making the necessary adjustments to improve customer satisfaction levels.

That, and no more running through airports.

Hertz has partnered with IBM to use "Voice of the Customer" data, gathered from social media data, to gain new insights and improve the car rental customer experience.

As the world’s largest airport car rental brand with more than 8,300 locations in 146 countries, Hertz continually receives feedback from customers. To retain its competitive edge, the feedback is analyzed so that real-time identification of issues and rapid problem solving solutions can be deployed.

Using IBM Content Analytics software together with a sentiment-based tagging solution from IBM business partner, Mindshare Technologies, Hertz introduced a “Voice of the Customer” analytics systems that automatically captures customer experiences in real-time, transforming the information into actionable intelligence.

Hertz: Putting Front Line Employees Into The Decision-Making Driver’s Seat

Using a series of linguistic rules, Hertz’s “Voice of the Customer” system categorizes comments received via email and online with descriptive terms such as “Vehicle Cleanliness,” “Staff Courtesy,” and “Mechanical Issues.”

The system also flags customers who request a callback from a manager or those who mention #1 Club Gold, Hertz’s customer loyalty program (and of which I am a longtime member).

In the ultra-competitive world of vehicle and equipment rental, Hertz recognizes that understanding customer feedback and adapting the business accordingly is what drives market share and success.

But, most of this information is trapped inside free-form customer feedback surveys.  Prior to working with IBM and Mindshare Technologies, Hertz location managers read each customer comment submitted online via email or by phone and then manually categorized it for basic reporting and analysis.

This approach proved to be labor-intensive and inconsistent, as comments were categorized based on a manager’s personal interpretation.

IBM content analytics software has improved the accuracy and speed of the tagging and analyzing process, almost double what had been achieved manually, and setting the stage for more reliable analytics.

Free from manually tagging comments, Hertz field managers can now focus their attention on performing deep-dive analysis on the information, and allowing them to quickly identify trends or issues and adjusting operational service levels accordingly.

For you social media advocates, you know the Internet and new social media technologies have made consumers more connected, empowered, and yes, even demanding.

Like it or not, the average user is three times more likely to trust peer opinions over retailer advertising, underlining the importance for retailers to tap new technologies that pay close attention to what customers are saying.

This effort with Hertz reflects IBM’s focus on helping new customers get the most out of their information using analytics.

IBM recently created a new Business Analytics & Optimization services organization, with 7,000 consultants who can help clients get up and running with deep analytics capabilities.

IBM has invested more than $14 billion in the analytics space in the last four years with more than 24 acquisitions.

Blogger’s Addendum: The following video provides an excellent overview of the IBM and Mindshare “Voice of the Customer” solution they partnered on with Hertz:

Written by turbotodd

October 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Breaking News: New IBM Analytics Software To Help Organizations Gain Faster Insight For Smarter Business Outcomes

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At the Information on Demand 2010 event today here in Las Vegas, IBM introduced new software that combines the most sophisticated business analytics and optimization capabilities for today’s evolving workforce.

For the first time, the new offerings combine social networking and collaboration capabilities for the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013.

With this news, IBM is bringing business analytics capabilities to the masses with a new look and feel that more closely mirrors people’s every day use of technology including support for new mobile devices and integrated social networking capabilities for faster, more collaborative decision-making.

The new software takes analytics out of the traditional format of reports and charts to a more interactive design and broader analysis and insight making it easier by providing built-in images and videos to guide business users, and it also reflects the democratization of information we’ve witnessed in recent years through what many have called the “consumerization” of IT.

Business users can now gain instant insight with analytics in an easy to use format anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices.  These new capabilities will have a substantial impact on the way all business users interact with information teams, partners, managers and customers around the globe.

Making Decisions Mobile

Spurred by the growth of mobile transactions, expected to grow by 40 times by 2015,  the increase in the rate and pace of data is accelerating the IT opportunity around business analytics and optimization.

When combined with the unprecedented growth of the mobile workforce, this presents an opportunity for businesses to embrace the borderless office and extract intelligence to better interact with customers.

A recent IBM study with 1,900 CFOs globally revealed analytics-driven organizations had 33% more revenue growth with 32% more return on capital invested.

To address these changing market dynamics, IBM is announcing a set of new business analytics and information management offerings:

  • Cognos 10: New software that brings together the power of social collaboration and analytics for business users to gain real-time intelligence in a single, user-friendly interface  — online or through mobile devices such as ipad, iphones and blackberries.
  • DB2 10: New database software that helps businesses combine data – from past, present and future, delivering 40% performance improvements.
  • IBM InfoSphere Server: New software that redefines how an organization handles data behind the scenes with faster and more accurate integration of diverse forms of data, and the ability to see the quality of data before it’s used.

A technology preview of  Hadoop-based big data analytics software running on premise and the IBM Test Development cloud.

New Analytics Software: Bringing Speed to Insight with Social Collaboration and Mobile

Today, with the launch of Cognos 10, IBM is delivering the most significant analytics offering since the acquisition of Cognos, one of the largest acquisitions in IBM history.

For the first time, this new software brings together the power of social collaboration with Lotus Connections software and business analytics with Cognos in one unified experience with intuitive navigation capabilities and simplified user experience.

This removes the frustration of having to interrupt user train of thought resulting from the need to switch between views to get the right information. The software supports the natural path of seamless views from browsing to investigation to decision making.

This new software provides business users with an integrated view of historical information with real-time updates to give users a complete picture of their business. Now, business users can benefit from accessing information with a range of views from simple real-time information to advanced predictive “what if” analysis.

The integrated social networking capabilities with analytics allow the employees to interact with each other in real time in communities, wikis and blogs. This combination fuels the exchange of ideas and knowledge that naturally occurs in the decision-making process, but is typically lost in meeting notes, manual processes and emails.

Users can now initiate activities, engage others with their expertise, post messages, files, links, and discuss or review opinions – all in real time for faster, more accurate decision making.

New Database Software Brings Simplicity of Analyzing Past, Present, Future

Developed out of IBM’s Silicon Valley Lab, IBM is introducing new DB2 database software for System z, that simplifies analyzing past, present and future data for faster, more accurate decision making.

Typically, a timely and costly process for database administrators to correlate, access and integrate information from a variety of sources,  new DB2 Time Travel Query enables seamless access to all data for faster analytics.

Because of the explosive growth of data it is more critical now than ever before that businesses have high-performance cost-effective data management systems.  New DB2 10 database software delivers up to 40 percent performance improvements while also providing 10 times more scalability to manage future growth.

This translates into more efficient use of systems resources and cost savings for System z servers, including the recently introduced zEnterprise System. .

As one of the world’s most successful car manufacturers, the BMW Group is at the forefront of automotive innovation. DB2 for z/OS plays a key role in managing the company’s global supply chain from manufacturing to managing third party suppliers and producing custom-ordered parts.

BMW has been evaluating DB2 10 on System z and is already seeing significant performance improvements of many of these critical production workloads. According to BMW, they have measured an almost 40% reduction in processing power required for insert-intensive workloads for their data, which translates directly to lower costs for their IT department.  Also, the reduction in time to process critical supply chain data helps BMW deliver its parts even more efficiently to its customers.

Fueling the Analytics Engine With Trusted Data

The new version of InfoSphere Information Server 8.5 acts as the data backbone for organizations, integrating all relevant data resources and governing the quality and completeness of information.

For instance, new pop-up menus integrate data quality and lineage information directly into business applications so users can monitor the quality of their data before they use it. In addition, new quality capabilities improve how data is standardized and combined, making it easier to integrate diverse sources of information into a single view.

For example, a business with operations in multiple countries can now easily integrate customer data across systems in multiple languages and ensure it adheres to consistent name and address standards.

As part of today’s news, IBM is showcasing a technology preview of its InfoSphere BigInsights portfolio running on IBM’s commercial Development & Test Cloud and launching the beta program for the same software in on premise deployments.

Invented by IBM researchers and software developers and powered by Apache Hadoop, an open source technology designed for analysis of big volumes of data, IBM’s Big Insights portfolio helps organizations analyze and visualize petabyte sized quantities of structured and unstructured data.

The preview highlights the benefits of a test cloud development model including simplicity of set up, straight forward cost structure and lack of infrastructure changes.

Having this software on the IBM Cloud environment makes it simple for an organization to get started with Big Data analytics and determine how they can best use big data before bringing the actual deployment in house for operations on sensitive data. By simply adding their test data to the cloud they can get started with Big Data analytics and show the long term benefits of enterprise Hadoop deployments.

IBM continues to expand its multi-billion dollar investment in the business analytics and optimization market.  Over the past five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions. And there are more than 7,000 IBM business consultants dedicated to analytics.

Written by turbotodd

October 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Information on Demand 2010, Opening Session Keynote: Gain Insight, Optimize Results

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At this morning’s opening keynote session of the IBM Information on Agenda 2010 event, Robert Leblanc immediately got down to the business at hand: Telling organizations everywhere the basic rules of the road on how to work towards establishing their own effective Information Agenda.

With Blue Man Group-ish performance troup Cobu first setting the agenda for the conference with a beat all its own, Leblanc answered in turn and explained the conference theme: “Gain Insight, Optimize Results.”

Robert Leblanc, IBM VP Middleware for IBM Software, expounds on the opportunities of an information agenda at Information on Demand 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

Leblanc is the Senior Vice President, Middleware Software, for the IBM Software business, and opened his comments by citing from the IBM 2010 Global CEO Study, which had three key findings in terms of what CEOs are looking for these days: 1) Embody creative leadership; 2) Reinvent customer relationships; and 3) Build operating dexterity.

Leblanc posed a few key questions to set the stage: How do I share information in more of a two-way manner with my clients?  How can I modify my products and services to better serve clients? How can I draw insight from the organization that is specialized to the client set I’m going after?

In other words, information management professionals, CEOs need your help!

A quick sound byte, related Leblanc: There will be 44X as much data and content over the coming decade, from 800K petabytes in 2009, to 35 zettabytes in 2020.

Yet people are starved for the right info and insight.  More sound bytes:

  • 1 in 3 make critical decisions without the information they need.
  • 1 in 2 don’t have access to the information they need to do their jobs.

Clearly, there’s a gap between information and outcomes.

That’s partially due to the Information Explosion, wherein organizations haven’t aligned their information needs with their business processes, or determined how to make the right information available when and wherever it’s needed throughout the organization.

In short, how to get to one version of the truth.

After being joined by customers CenterPoint Energy and Visa, who explained how their own organizations are using an IBM Information Agenda to get the right information to the right people when and wherever they need it, Leblanc summarized the roadmap for establishing your own Information Agenda.

First, he said, you need to plan an information agenda that aligns with your business decisions.  Second, you need to master your information to ensure it is accurate, relevant, and governed (and with a nod to increasing governance and regulatory requirements around the globe).

And finally, you must work to apply business analytics to anticipate and shape business outcomes, because increasingly, information is going to come from everywhere, requiring a response characteristic of radical flexibility and extreme scalability.

Leblanc summarized that no matter where in the organization you sit — C-Suite, Business Analystcs, Executive — you can take the lead on mapping out and setting your own information agenda.

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