Turbotodd

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

Archive for October 2012

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: Big On Business Analytics

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Day two of Information On Demand.

Note to self: Bring a hot water boiler next time. Check bathroom for Bengali tiger.  Pack a vaporizer.  And bring some 5 Hour Energy Drinks.

Oh, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Today, I missed the general session, as I was in my room preparing a presentation and also tuning in to the Apple webcast where CEO Tim Cook announced the new iPad Mini, among other products.

IBM Business Analytics general manager Les Rechan explains to the audience how over 6,000 clients and prospects have now taken the “Analytics Quotient” quiz since it went live last year.

But I did make it down to the Business Analytics keynote, led by IBM Business Analytics general manager Les Rechan, and I was glad I did.

The session started with a motivating video featuring a number of IBM customers on the vanguard of using business analytics to improve their businesses.  When Les came onstage, he first highlighted several of IBM’s BA “Champions,” clients from around the globe who were in the “Advanced” category of business analytics.

Les’ birds-eye view centered on the Analytics Quotient, a self-analyzing quiz IBM created and released for customers last year. About 70 percent of the 6,000+ respondents year-to-date indicated they are in the “novice” or “builder” categories, and only 30 percent in the “leader” or “master” categories.

Where IBM can help move the needle is through a variety of resources Les pointed out, including the Analytics Zone, as well as through enablement services and training.

He also highlighted a new book, “5 Keys To Business Analytics Program Success,” a book recently published that features a number of IBM business analytics customer success stories (written by them!).

Over 70 percent of respondents to the IBM “Analytics Quotient” online exam find themselves in the “novice” or “builder” categories, indicating there’s plenty of upside yet in pursuing basic business analytics capabilities across a great diversity of organizations.

Michelle Mylot, the Business Analytics team’s chief marketing officer, then came onstage and pointed out that those organizations that integrated analytics into the fabric of their businesses are the ones that drive the most impact.

She highlighted a number of key areas around which IBM’s business analytics team has been increasingly focused, including social network analyis, entity resolution, decision management, and operational analytics.

Doug Barton, whose interview I’m attaching below at the end of this post, came on stage and gave a brilliant presentation that should provide financial analysts everywhere (including CFOs and all their staffs) incentive to run directly to their nearest reseller and purchase Cognos Disclosure Management.

It’s difficult to describe a demo, but basically, Doug presented a scenario where a company was preparing to announce its earnings and, rather than operating from a plethora of disparate spreadsheets, he demonstrated how Cognos Disclosure Management could create a symphony of collaboration as a CFO prepared for a quarterly earnings call.

Isolated spreadsheets and PowerPoints became integrated narratives of the earnings statement, where an update in one part of the report would magically alter the performance graph in another.

Pure financial geek magic. Doug, take it away in our Q&A below.

Think Big, iPad Small

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It’s a big day in tech, all the way around.

We’ll continue our mission to “Think Big” here in Las Vegas at the IBM Information On Demand 2012 event.

We’ll also get a glimpse into how big the mobile market is becoming as Facebook announces its earnings after the bell later today.

But of course, one of the biggest stories of the day has to do with the downsizing of one of our favorite tablets, the Apple iPad.

Rumors abound about the new iPad “Mini,” which I very look forward to referring to as my “MiniMePad.”

If you’re using an Apple device (including an AppleTV), you should be able to tune in to watch the announcement live starting at 10 AM PST.

If not, there will be shortage of bloggers out there giving you the blow-by-blow.

Why am I so interested in the Mini iPad?

First, Apple set the bar for tablets with the original iPad, which I still use to this day.

Second, the smaller form factor is raising a lot of questions about price. Can Apple afford to take down the price from $499 to the $200 range, especially when their iPod Touch is still priced at $299 (the last time I looked…I can’t look this morning, as the Apple store is down getting busy for the Mini introduction).

I’d say the question more is, can they afford not to? Like the early browser wars, this is a market AND mindshare battle.  iOS and Android are lined up for a full cage death match, and if Apple’s to maintain its market share lead of 69.6% (as of Q2 2012), they’re going to have to compete aggressively on price.

The new Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDs are coming in at under $200, and while I doubt that’s a price Apple can match, they’re going to have to strive to stay somewhat price competitive, figuring the Apple premium could be worth $100 per unit or so.

Third, the original iPad was the starting line of the shift away from desktop-centric technology, and as Microsoft attempts to come into this market with its Surface tablet, a key question emerges: Can Apple continue to entice productivity hounds away from the Microsoft ecosystem, despite the advent of the Surface, and stay price competitive in a burgeoning competitive market?

As for me, you might ask, will I buy one?  I’ll never say never. The iPad has become a full-on personal entertainment and productivity workhorse for me, an elegant blended use case of both the personal and the professional.

I watch movies on the thing, I use it for blogging and broadcasting, I play games, I do email, I read books, I hold conference calls.  There’s not a lot I can’t do on it.

So, I can easily justify the upgrade, and I’d love to get a faster iPad, but like with the original, I may wait for an initial software upgrade so Apple has the opportunity to work some of the kinks out.

Then again, I may not.

(Almost) Live @ Information On Demand 2012: A Q&A With IBM’s Jeff Jonas

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Jeff Jonas sat down last evening with Scott and I in the Information On Demand 2012 Solutions EXPO to chat about privacy in the Big Data age, and also gave a sneak look into the new “Context Accumulation” technology he’s been working on.

You really ought to get to know IBM’s Jeff Jonas.

As chief scientist of the IBM Entity Analytics group and an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Jeff has been instrumental in driving the development of some ground-breaking technologies, during and prior to IBM’s acquisition of his company, Systems Research & Development (SRD), which Jonas founded in 1984.

SRD’s technology included technology used by the surveillance intelligence arm of the gaming industry, and leveraged facial recognition to protect casinos from aggressive card counting teams (never mind the great irony that IBM’s Yuchun Lee was once upon a time one of those card counters — I think we need to have an onstage interview between those two someday, and I volunteer to conduct it!)

Today, possibly half the casinos in the world use technology created by Jonas and his SRD team, work frequently featured on the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, and the Travel Channel.

Following an investment in 2001 by In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, SRD also played a role in America’s national security and counterterrorism mission. One such contribution includes a unique analysis of the connections between the 9/11 terrorists.

This “link analysis” is so unique that it is taught in universities and has been the widely cited by think tanks and the media, including an extensive one-on-one interview with Peter Jennings for ABC PrimeTime.

Following IBM’s acquisition of SRD, these Jonas-inspired innovations continue to create big impacts on society, including the arrest of over 150 child pornographers and the prevention of a national security risk poised against a significant American sporting event.

This technology also assisted in the reunification of over 100 loved ones separated by Hurricane Katrina and at the same time was used to prevent known sexual offenders from being co-located with children in emergency relocation facilities.

Jonas is also somewhat unique as a technologist in that he frequently engages with those in the privacy and civil liberties community. The essential question: How can government protect its citizens while preventing the erosion of long-held freedoms like the Fourth Amendment? With privacy in mind, Jonas invented software which enables organizations to discover records of common interest (e.g., identities) without the transfer of any privacy-invading content.

That’s about where we start this interview with Jeff Jonas, so I’ll let Scott and myself take it from there…

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: Smarter Marketing Analytics

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Big Data is the digital convergence of structured and unstructured data. Those organizations that can capture and analyze their data, regardless of what type, how much, or how fast it is moving, can make more informed decisions. At Information On Demand 2012 today in Las Vegas, IBM announced a new digital marketing system to help CMOs conduct smarter marketing analytics.

The news dam has begun to break at the IBM Information On Demand And Business Analytics Forum here in Vegas.

One of the highlights of today’s announcement was IBM’s unveiling of a new digital marketing system and big data software designed to help organizations gain actionable insights.

These tackle the most pressing big data challenges facing organizations today — accessing and gaining intelligence into an enormous stream of data generated from mobile, social and digital networks.

Big Data for Chief Marketing Officers 

The emergence of big data technologies is driving the transformation of marketing for every channel. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are now responsible for analyzing consumer demands from social media, mobile devices, and traditional channels and align these demands with product development and sales.

The new IBM Digital Analytics Accelerator helps CMOs tap into consumer sentiment to create targeted advertising and promotions, avoid customer churn, and perform advanced Web analytics that predict customer needs.

Now, CMOs can bring advanced analytics to all their social media, web traffic, and customer communication behind their own firewall.

The industry’s first big data solution in the digital marketing arena is powered by Netezza and Unica technologies. With this integrated offering that includes the recently announced PureData System for Analytics, clients can run complex analytics on petabytes of data in minutes, and arm marketing professionals with instant insights.

CMOs can use new insights to accelerate marketing campaigns and better meet consumer needs based on the broadest range of data.

Trident Marketing: Gaining Visibility Into Consumer Behaviors

For Trident Marketing, a direct response marketing and sales firm for leading brands such as DIRECTV, ADT and Travel Resorts of America, performing analytics on big data has helped the company gain unprecedented visibility into consumers — from predicting the precise moment in which to engage with customers to anticipating the likelihood a customer will cancel service.

Working with IBM and partner Fuzzy Logix, the company has realized massive growth including a tenfold increase in revenue in just four years, a ten percent increase in sales in the first 60 days, and decreased customer churn by 50 percent.

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: Analyze This

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Jason Silva explains to the gathered IBM Information On Demand 2012 his utopic vision of a technology-rich future, one where everything is connected to everything else.

Techno DJ futurist Jason Silva (formerly of Al Gore’s Current TV) kicked off the Information On Demand 2012 event here at the Mandalay Bay Arena by telling us all to “Think Big.”

Though I’d known this was the conference theme, I didn’t realize how big big was until the small, but limber, Silva gave his big presentation.

As he kickstarted the event with a blend of hyper animations and visualizations reeling behind him on a huge video screen in post-MTV fashion, I wanted to stop him and explain that to talk about big things so rapidly would allow a lot of his big ideas to disappear into the ether and to just slow downnnnn.

Jason’s look at the big picture was an interesting one, wherein he described a world that was “hyperconnected,” where we extended sensors into everything…on planes, bridges…even our conference IDs for IOD!

But Silva’s utopian vision could easily merge into a dystopia, if proffered without regard to some of the more realistic and mundane issues presented in a Big Data universe.

Small, and petty human concerns like agendas, and greed, and lack of privacy, and bias, and the other nasty little buggers which make us human.

So, though I wanted to go along with Silva’s optimistic joy ride snowblind to those considerations, someone has to be the buzz kill at this emerging Big Data party and explain there are some very real and concerning issues that will need to be dealt with, none of which Silva seemed even to allude to.

Steve Mills explains to the Information On Demand 2012 press conference Monday morning how economics has made big data not only possible, but inevitable.

But, as techno joy rides go, his was fun even as it went by in the blink of an eye.

Once he blinked, it was IBM Software vice president Robert LeBlanc who really set the stage for the week’s tidings, explaining to the gathered audience of 12,000+ in the Mandalay Bay arena how smarter analytics would be required in the new era of computing.

As always, Leblanc started with some facts: Like how Big Analytics is what’s driving innovation and market growth in IBM’s recent CTO study.

How “technology factors” has risen to the top of the CEO agenda as the number one issue during the study’s last six years.

And how it’s no matter what part of the world you inhabit or what industry you’re in…all and everywhere will be impacted by the need for smarter analytics.  This kind of transformational change is a movie we’ve seen before, first with transaction processing in the 1960s, with Internet-enabled e-business in the mid-1990s, and now, the move towards analytics becoming foundational to computing.

Two IBM customers provided two very different, yet compelling, views into this future, one they’re each already living.

ConocoPhillips principal scientist Dr. Phil Anno explained how his organization is utilizing big data analysis to maximize the economic performance of petroleum extraction in the Arctic (and prevent damage to their drilling rigs by shifting ice flows!)

Keith Figlioli, senior VP with Premier, a U.S.-based healthcare IT provider, explained how they’re using IBM technologies to drive substantial costs out of the U.S. healthcare system (he explained that 30 cents on every dollar is wasted on unneeded care and fraud in the U.S.)

Also in the opening general session, we heard from Inhi Cho Suh, VP of Information Management at IBM, who gave an excellent, if quick, summary of the three PureData systems options.

Deepak Advani, who gave an excellent flyover of how big data analytics is bringing about the rapid integration of structured and unstructured data, also highlighted www.analyticszone.com, where you can download some free tools for conducting your own personal analytics.

As the general session concluded, I scooted on over to the day one press conference, where I heard some opening comments from IBM senior vice president Steve Mills.

Mills explained how IT economics laid the red carpet for big data, that it wouldn’t have been possible had the economics of hardware, in particular, been driven down to such an affordable level so as to enable these higher performing systems required for big data analytics.

Mills also highlighted the fact that smarter analytics is a delivery of the real promise of information technology, that now customers are “buying outcomes, and time to value,” as opposed to systems and processes, and that it made sense for them to invest in such projects.

More on the actual announcements as details emerge…

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: Think Big…Really Big

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Though David Copperfield may be keeping an eye out over the Las Vegas Strip, this year’s mantra to “Think Big” at IBM Information On Demand 2012 is no illusion. There are big issues to tackle, we’ve got more data than ever, being acquired at a pace unmatched in recorded history, and amidst all that information are insights that we all can use to better run our businesses — if we could just find them. Our time in Vegas this week should prove to be a great start.

Greetings from Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s Sunday, and if it’s Sunday, it’s football…and, Information on Demand 2012.

It seems like I was only here a short year ago…and come to think of it, I was!

How time, and technology, flies…but, as the industry goes, so goes IOD.  This year, there are more issues to discuss, more folks to talk to, and more technologies to cover, even as all we IOD attendees are being asked to “Think Big.”

Which is a good thing, because there are some big issues on the information management table that need discussing.

We’ve got more data than ever, being acquired at a pace unmatched in recorded history, and amidst all that information are insights that we all can use to better run our businesses, our governments, even our lives, yet not necessarily with any clear boundaries about who can do what with who’s information and when and under what circumstances!

But boy, if only we could make sense out of it all.

It reminds me of the magic show I went to see yesterday afternoon at the MGM Grand here in Vegas, starring none other than the world-renowned illusionist, David Copperfield.

If you’ve never seen him perform, first of all, I highly recommend you taking in his show at the Hollywood Theatre there.

Copperfield is the genuine article, an illusionist whose humanity surpasses his skills as a magician.  An entertainner who made a Studebaker appear onstage from out of nowhere, the story behind which that explained the import of that car to Copperfield and his family nearly bringing tears to my eyes.

One minute I was laughing, one minute I was surprised and astonished, and the next minute I was crying…in my book, the mark of a superior entertainer who understands his audience.

And such is often the case in the realm of effective information management.  One minute, we have our handle on the situation, making sense of the information at our disposal…and the next, a new requirement, a new technology, a new methodology comes along and throws a wrench in our proverbial analytical fan.

But like Copperfield, we must always be thinking of our audience.  Who are they, what motivates them, what do they need from us, what do they NOT need.  Often it’s not what you say but what you don’t that most makes the point.

Which is why we’re here in Vegas, to Think Big. To put our big boy and girl thinking caps on to figure out how we can handle this additional onslaught of information effectively and efficiently, with grace under pressure.

As part and parcel of that, we’re here to attend the over 700 technical education sessions, the 110 hands on labs, and to hear the 300+ customer speakers who have been there, done that in Information On Demand 2012.

And finally, to also hopefully have a little fun along the way.  It is Vegas, after all.  And all that nonsense about what happens here, stays here??  You don’t really believe any of that bit, do you?

It IS 2012, after all.  What’s not picked up by a smartphone will be Tweeted by your colleagues and read by your boss back at the home office.  So behave yourself!

Because all of that, and much, much more is what constitutes the Information On Demand experience, and that’s what myself and our extended IOD 2012 social team will be here to cover for you.

So, check your IOD Smartsite or program guide in your badge, and get going, and please keep an eye on Twitter, hashtag #ibmiod, for all the latest.

IBM Announces New Security Solutions, Focuses On Cloud, Mobile, Big Data

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Today, IBM made a move designed to reduce the biggest security inhibitors that organizations face in implementing cloud, mobile and big data initiatives with the announcement of a broad set of security software to help holistically secure data and identities.

I blogged about IBM’s 2012 Global Reputational Risk and IT Study recently, the headline of which was this: Managing reputational risk is crucial to many organization’s business, and managing IT is a major part of their efforts.

I also interviewed Brendan Hannigan, the general manager of IBM’s Security Systems Division, at IBM InterConnect last week about some of these critical security matters.

Today, IBM made a move designed to reduce the biggest security inhibitors that organizations face in implementing cloud, mobile and big data initiatives with the announcement of a broad set of security software to help holistically secure data and identities.

New IBM Security Solutions

IBM’s new software capabilities help clients better maintain security control over mobile devices, mitigate internal and external threats, reduce security risks in cloud environments, extend database security to gain real-time insights into big data environments such as Hadoop, and automate compliance and data security management.

Along with IBM Security Services and IBM’s world-class research capabilities, this set of scalable capabilities supports a holistic, proactive approach to security threats spanning people, data, applications and infrastructure.

“A major shift is taking place in how organizations protect data,” said Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, IBM Security Systems. “Today, data resides everywhere—mobile devices, in the cloud, on social media platforms. This is creating massive amounts of data, forcing organizations to move beyond a traditional siloed perimeter to a multi-perimeter approach in which security intelligence is applied closer to the target.”

IBM is unveiling ten new products and enhancements to help organizations deliver real time security for big data, mobile and cloud computing.

Real Time Security for Big Data Environments 

State of the art technologies including Hadoop based environments have opened the door to a world of possibilities. At the same time, as organizations ingest more data, they face significant risks across a complex threat landscape and they are subject to a growing number of compliance regulations.

With today’s announcement, IBM is among the first to offer data security solutions for Hadoop and other big data environments.

Specifically, Guardium now provides real time monitoring and automated compliance reporting for Hadoop based systems such as InfoSphere BigInsights and Cloudera.

Highlighted data security solutions:

NEW: IBM InfoSphere Guardium for Hadoop

ENHANCED: IBM InfoSphere Optim Data Privacy

ENHANCED: IBM Security Key Lifecycle Manager

To learn more about the data security portfolio go here.

Mobile Security: Improving Access and Threat Protection

Today IBM is also announcing risk-based authentication control for mobile users, integration of access management into mobile application development and deployment as well as enhanced mobile device control.

IBM is also announcing a comprehensive Mobile Security Framework to help organizations develop an adaptable security posture to protect data on the device, at the access gateway and on the applications.

Highlighted mobile security solutions:

NEW: IBM Security Access Manager for Cloud and Mobile

ENHANCED: IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices

Go here to learn more about specific mobile security product attributes.

Cloud Security: From Inhibitor To Enabler

While the cloud can increase productivity with anywhere, anytime information access, it can also introduce additional challenges for enterprise security.

IBM today is announcing security portfolio enhancements designed to address these new challenges, providing improved visibility and increased levels of automation and patch management to help demonstrate compliance, prevent unauthorized access and defend against the latest threats using advanced security intelligence.

With IBM’s new SmartCloud for Patch Management solution, patches are managed automatically regardless of location and remediation cycles are reduced from weeks to hours thereby reducing security risks.

Additionally, IBM is announcing enhancements to its QRadar Security Intelligence Platform that provides a unified architecture for collecting, storing, analyzing and querying log, threat, vulnerability and security related data from distributed locations, using the cloud to obtain greater insight into enterprise-wide activity and enable better-informed business decisions.

The new IBM Security Privileged Identity Manager is designed to proactively address the growing insider threat concerns and help demonstrate compliance across the organization.

IBM Security Access Manager for Cloud and Mobile which provides enhanced federated single sign-on to cloud applications is now available with improved out-of-the-box integration with commonly adopted SaaS applications and services.

Highlighted cloud security solutions:

NEW: IBM SmartCloud for Patch Management

NEW: IBM Security Access Manager for Cloud and Mobile

NEW: IBM Security Privileged Identity Manager

ENHANCED: QRadar SIEM and QRadar Log Manager

Visit here to learn more about specific cloud security product attributes, please visit

Enhanced Mainframe Security Capabilities

In addition, IBM is announcing mainframe security capabilities that enhance enterprise-wide security intelligence based on QRadar security solution integration that provides real time alerts and audit reporting.

The mainframe offers Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ (EAL 5+) certification for logical partitions, providing a platform for consolidating systems, helping protect private clouds, and helping secure virtualized environment.

New IBM Security zSecure improvements help to reduce administration overhead, automate compliance reporting, enforce security policy, and pro-actively detect threats.

Highlighted zSecure security solutions:

ENHANCED: IBM Security zSecure

Through IBM Global Financing, credit-qualified clients can take advantage of 0% interest for 12 months on qualifying IBM Security products and solutions.

About IBM Security 

With more than 40 years of security development and innovation, IBM has breadth and depth in security research, products, services and consulting.

IBM X-Force is a world-renowned team that researches and evaluates the latest security threats and trends. This team analyzes and maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive vulnerability databases and develops countermeasure technologies for IBM’s security offerings to help protect organizations ahead of the threat.

IBM has 10 worldwide research centers innovating security technology and nine security operations centers around the world to help global clients maintain an appropriate security posture.

IBM Managed Security Services delivers the expertise, tools and infrastructure to help clients secure their information assets against attacks, often at a fraction of the cost of in-house security resources.

The Institute for Advanced Security is IBM’s global initiative to help organizations better understand and respond to the security threats to their organization. Visit the Institute community at www.instituteforadvancedsecurity.com.

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