Archive for the ‘ibm’ Category
That’s it, today’s the day.
The first players have already teed off at the Masters in Augusta.
Yesterday, I discussed the virtual means by which you could experience playing at Augusta National.
Today I’m going to focus on the various means by which you can follow this year’s action on and off the course.
First, and most importantly, the leaderboard.
On the Masters web site, for which IBM is the longtime technology sponsor, you can go to the virtual equivalent of the traditional Masters leaderboard.
You can also find the leaderboard on this year’s revamped iPad app, which I’m quickly leaning on as my 19th hole for following all the action from Augusta.
This year it includes live video from a number of the holes, including Amen Corner, 15, 16, as well as two “featured groups,” a Masters “in-depth” feature channel, and for those warm-ups, the driving range, and over the weekend a live simulcast of CBS’ TV coverage.
You’ll be able to access live radio, news features, and pictures from the grounds (including new 360 panoramic images that I suspect will be suitable for framing!).
As for TV coverage itself, that doesn’t start in the U.S. until 3:00 PM EST ESPN. However, live video coverage begins on Amen Corner starting at 10:45 AM on the Website and via the mobile applications, so if you’re hankering to get out to the action, that’s going to be your fastest way in.
This year, IBM is leaning heavily on its SmartCloud technology to help drive quality and continuous operations, along with the flexibility and scalability required by the Masters.
As players peak on the course, we typically see a resultant workload increase in our technology systems.
This helped lead to have the need to provision a new Presentation Services “instance,” for example, in less than 3 minutes using Tivoli Provisioning Manager, as it helps us get new virtual machine instances up and running quickly.
We are also able to move one workload to another on our POWER systems powering the Masters using our Live LPAR mobility in four minutes without service interruption.
Can you say pressure putt???
So as the tournament begins, who will I be keeping a close eye on?
Tiger, for sure. Phil. Brandt. Rory. Graeme. Garrigus. Schwartzel. Colsaerts. Poulter. Oosthuizen. Guan (the 14 year-old Chinese kid).
It’s just an incredibly talented field, as, of course, it always is. Length and shot shaping are always helpful at Augusta, especially right to left, but as Zach Johnson proved several years ago, shorter hitters can score (and win) if they play the right angles.
As for me, I went back and played another virtual round at Augusta last night in my Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 and shot 2 under.
There’s hope for me yet. That means I would currently be tied with Jim Furyk for second place in my Walter Mitty golf fantasy. But it’s only Thursday…
We’re finally getting some rain in central Texas. We’ll see how long it lasts!
And on the topic of rainmaking, this just in from our friends at Nucleus Research.
Nucleus conducted an analysis of 21 of IBM Smarter Commerce case studies and their ROI, and discovered that for every dollar spent, companies realized an average of U.S. $12.05 in returns.
According to the research, this payback occurred in an average of 9 months (with a high of 23 months, and a low of two).
The cases Nucleus analyzed included U.S. and European companies and government agencies which had deployed IBM Smarter Commerce technologies.
All the case studies were developed independently by Nucleus, following their standard ROI methodology, and IBM was privy to the results only after the research was completed.
In their analysis, Nucleus also observed some summary conclusions, finding that Smarter Commerce projects delivered both top-line and bottom-line benefits, with roughly 60 percent of returns coming from indirect benefits such as productivity, and the rest from direct savings such as reduced operational costs or hires avoided.
Specific key benefits included the following:
- Increased productivity. In many cases companies were able to accomplish more work with fewer staff or avoid additional hires as they grew by automating previously manual processes and increasing employee productivity.
- Reduced costs. Smarter Commerce customers experienced cost reductions in areas such as customer call handling costs, technology costs, and other costs associated with supply chain transactions.
- Improved inventory management. Greater visibility into customer demand and inventory levels enabled Smarter Commerce customers to gain better control over their inventory, reducing inventory carrying costs and increasing inventory turns.
- Improved decision making. Greater agility and rapid insight into data for decision making enabled companies using Smarter Commerce to more quickly make decisions and act on them with confidence.
- Reduced customer churn and increased customer satisfaction. Companies using IBM Business Analytics were able to more rapidly understand customer satisfaction and retain more profitable customers by proactively addressing customers’ propensity to churn. For example, one telecommunications customer was able to reduce customer churn by 8 percent in the first year and 18 percent in the second year by further refining its churn analysis.
Customers Leverage Prepackaged Functionality
Nucleus indicated that the $12.05 average return from Smarter Commerce was at the high end of the range of returns Nucleus had seen from other assessments of deployments such as analytics and CRM, and many IBM Smarter Commerce clients indicated they had achieved high returns by taking advantage of the investments IBM has made in providing integrated solutions, more intuitive user interfaces, and prepackaged industry functionality.
By way of example:
- Integrated solutions and prepackaged industry functionality accelerate time to deployment and time to value while reducing overall project risk.
- Usability improvements drive more rapid adoption and make it easier for companies to drive adoption of technologies such as business analytics to casual and business users beyond the data expert specialists that have historically been the primary users of analytics.
Industry-specific functionality and expertise were particularly important in the success of customers adopting Smarter Commerce technologies in the government sector, such as social services agencies and police departments, where IT often has limited resources.
You can go here to download the full report.
This week at IBM Pulse 2013, I had the opportunity to sit down with IBM Tivoli general manager, Deepak Advani.
Deepak has served in a variety of executive capacities at IBM during the course of his career, including most recently as the Vice President of IBM’s Business Analytics organization. He was also instrumental in the development and growth of IBM’s Linux portfolio, and later served e1as the Chief Marketing Officer for Lenovo.
Our chat ranged across a variety of topics relevant to the conference and the broad opportunity presented by more effective infrastructure and asset management and utilization. Deepak recapped some of the key themes he presented to the audience of 8,000+ attendees, spoke of the challenges the world’s largest organizations face with respect to their IT operations, and explained how more effective visibility, control and automation of their systems can help turn opportunities into business outcomes.
I’m not in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress which kicked off there today, but it seems like just about everyone else is.
Please, give my regards to Gaudi, have a few tapas and sangria, and I’ll aspire to visit the fair city another day.
Of course, when I say everybody else, I’m including some of my IBM colleagues, all of whom will be front-benching IBM’s recently-introduced “MobileFirst” strategy at MWC.
As I indicated in a prior post, IBM is putting some big bucks in mobile, and rightly so. And one announcement from earlier today in Barcelona demonstrates the ramping up of that commitment.
In partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks, IBM announced a collaboration to deliver the world’s first mobile edge computing platform that can run applications directly within a mobile base station.
This new platform allows mobile operators to create a truly unique mobile experience, relieve the ever increasing strain on network infrastructure and bring completely new solutions to market.
The new platform can accelerate the delivery of media-rich services by delivering content directly from the base station, ensuring enhanced quality of experience for consumers in the face of ever increasing data traffic growth.
The platform also enables a new generation of low-latency services with device presence to be delivered to consumers, creating new possibilities for mobile gaming, augmented reality, smarter traffic and public safety offerings, and more.
Improved latency can enable high-value vertical solutions that rely on big data-driven analytics to work on very large amounts of information in real time.
For example, IBM’s City in Motion solution can analyze radio information to estimate how people are moving through a city, identify their mode of transport, and configure a cities transport network in real time to ensure optimum performance.
If you’re in Barcelona for MWC, to see a demonstration at Mobile World Congress, visit IBM (Hall 3, booth 3B86) or Nokia Siemens Networks (Hall 3, booth 3B14) at the show.
For more information on Nokia Siemens Networks’ mobile broadband capabilities, including a video overview, follow this link.
And go here to learn more about IBM‘s communications industry solutions.
To share your thoughts on the topic, join the discussion on Twitter using #MWC13 and #ibmmobile.
IBM announced this afternoon fourth-quarter 2012 diluted earnings of $5.13 per share, compared with diluted earnings of $4.62 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 11 percent.
Fourth-quarter net income was $5.8 billion compared with $5.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 6 percent. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $29.3 billion decreased 1 percent (flat adjusting for currency) from the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We achieved record profit, earnings per share and free cash flow in 2012. Our performance in the fourth quarter and for the full year was driven by our strategic growth initiatives — growth markets, analytics, cloud computing, Smarter Planet solutions — which support our continued shift to higher-value businesses,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.
“Looking ahead, we continue to invest to deliver innovations for the enterprise in key areas such as big data, mobile solutions, social business and security, while expanding into new markets and reaching new clients. We are well on track toward our long-term roadmap for operating EPS of at least $20 in 2015.”
Following are key details of 4Q 2012 earnings:
GAAP: $5.13, up 11 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $5.39, up 14 percent;
GAAP: $5.8 billion, up 6 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $6.1 billion, up 10 percent;
Gross profit margin:
GAAP: 51.8 percent, up 1.8 points;
Operating (non-GAAP): 52.3 percent, up 2.1 points;
Revenue of $29.3 billion, down 1 percent, flat adjusting for currency:
Up 1 percent excluding divested RSS business adjusting for currency;
Free cash flow of $9.5 billion, up $0.6 billion;
Software revenue up 3 percent, up 4 percent adjusting for currency;
Services revenue down 2 percent, down 1 percent adjusting for currency;
Services backlog of $140 billion, flat, up $1 billion adjusting for currency;
Systems and Technology revenue down 1 percent, up 4 percent excluding RSS:
System z mainframe up 56 percent.
Full Year 2012
Diluted EPS, up double-digits for 10th consecutive year:
GAAP: $14.37, up 10 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $15.25, up 13 percent;
GAAP: $16.6 billion, up 5 percent;
Operating (non-GAAP): $17.6 billion, up 8 percent;
Revenue of $104.5 billion, down 2 percent, flat adjusting for currency;
Free cash flow of $18.2 billion, up $1.6 billion;
Growth markets revenue up 4 percent, up 7 percent adjusting for currency:
BRIC countries up 7 percent, up 12 percent adjusting for currency;
Business analytics revenue up 13 percent;
Smarter Planet revenue up more than 25 percent;
Cloud revenue up 80 percent.
Full-Year 2013 Expectation:
GAAP EPS of at least $15.53 and operating (non-GAAP) EPS of at least $16.70.
In advance of IBM’s massive event next week in Las Vegas featuring all things information management, Information On Demand 2012, IBM and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford today released a study on Big Data.
The headline: Most Big Data initiatives currently being deployed by organizations are aimed at improving the customer experience, yet less than half of the organizations involved in active Big Data initiatives are currently collecting and analyzing external sources of data, like social media.
One reason: Many organizations are struggling to address and manage the uncertainty inherent within certain types of data, such as the weather, the economy, or the sentiment and truthfulness of people expressed on social networks.
Another? Social media and other external data sources are being underutilized due to the skills gap. Having the advanced capabilities required to analyze unstructured data — data that does not fit in traditional databases such as text, sensor data, geospatial data, audio, images and video — as well as streaming data remains a major challenge for most organizations.
The new report, entitled “Analytics: The real-world use of Big Data,” is based on a global survey of 1,144 business and IT professionals from 95 countries and 26 industries. The report provides a global snapshot of how organizations today view Big Data, how they are building essential capabilities to tackle Big Data and to what extent they are currently engaged in using Big Data to benefit their business.
Only 25 percent of the survey respondents say they have the required capabilities to analyze highly unstructured data — a major inhibitor to getting the most value from Big Data.
The increasing business opportunities and benefits of Big Data are clear. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the survey respondents report that using information, including Big Data, and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for their organizations. This is a 70 percent increase from the 37 percent who cited a competitive advantage in a 2010 IBM study.
Big Data Drivers and Adoption
In addition to customer-centric outcomes, which half (49 percent) of the respondents identified as a top priority, early applications of Big Data are addressing other functional objectives.
Nearly one-fifth (18 percent) cited optimizing operations as a primary objective. Other Big Data applications are focused on risk and financial management (15 percent), enabling new business models (14 percent) and employee collaboration (4 percent).
Three-quarters (76 percent) of the respondents are currently engaged in Big Data development efforts, but the report confirms that the majority (47 percent) are still in the early planning stages.
However, 28 percent are developing pilot projects or have already implemented two or more Big Data solutions at scale. Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of the respondents have not initiated Big Data activities, and are still studying how Big Data will benefit their organizations.
Sources of Big Data
More than half of the survey respondents reported internal data as the primary source of Big Data within their organizations. This suggests that companies are taking a pragmatic approach to Big Data, and also that there is tremendous untapped value still locked away in these internal systems.
Internal data is the most mature, well-understood data available to organizations. The data has been collected, integrated, structured and standardized through years of enterprise resource planning, master data management, business intelligence and other related work.
By applying analytics, internal data extracted from customer transactions, interactions, events and emails can provide valuable insights.
Big Data Capabilities
Today, the majority of organizations engaged in Big Data activities start with analyzing structured data using core analytics capabilities, such as query and reporting (91 percent) and data mining (77 percent).
Two-thirds (67 percent) report using predictive modeling skills.
But Big Data also requires the capability to analyze semi-structured and unstructured data, including a variety of data types that may be entirely new for many organizations.
In more than half of the active Big Data efforts, respondents reported using advanced capabilities designed to analyze text in its natural state, such as the transcripts of call center conversations.
These analytics include the ability to interpret and understand the nuances of language, such as sentiment, slang and intentions. Such data can help companies, like a bank or telco provider, understand the current mood of a customer and gain valuable insights that can be immediately used to drive customer management strategies.
Update: Also check out the new IBM Big Data Hub, a compendium of videos, blog posts, podcasts, white papers, and other useful assets centering on this big topic!