Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘smarter cities

IBM SmartCamp Global Finals…The Winner Is?

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Greetings from the Big Apple.

I haven’t disappeared to another planet.  Just another city.

And speaking of cities, we’ve got some serious competition going on for the “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year,” many of whom have been working on technologies that help improve the conditions and operations of cities around the globe, which are facing growing and substantial challenges.

According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050, with most of the growth occurring in urban areas.

This rapid population increase requires new approaches to complex challenges cities face such as aging infrastructure, the need for better healthcare systems, traffic and overpopulation.

IBM is working with a new generation of entrepreneurs, helping to drive the creation and development of new ways to address these challenges with advanced technologies such as analytics, cloud computing and mobile computing.

SmartCamp Global Finals: Entrepreneurs In Action

Next week, I’m going to have the rare opportunity to see some of these finalists’ technologies at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals competition in San Francisco.

Technologies that enable skin cancer detection on a mobile device…help commuters avoid traffic…deliver better shopping experiences…all will be on display next week in the city by the bay.

Here’s some background, in case you missed my posts on this effort last year: IBM SmartCamps are designed to help entrepreneurs bring innovative new solutions to market quickly by providing mentoring and access to advanced technology and expertise.

The nine finalist startup companies will meet with IBM and the venture capital community from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in San Francisco to vie to be named the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.

The finalists, with solutions designed to solve problems facing cities, were selected from nearly a thousand startup companies that applied to IBM startup events in 2011.

As the world becomes more connected through trillions of sensors, the ability to transform data into insight that can better monitor, manage and predict potential issues and opportunities is critical. Each startup participating at the SmartCamp Global Finals has created software that is designed to analyze large volumes of data.

The finalists are:

  • BitCarrier: BitCarrier’s traffic management solutions analyze real-time traffic information, providing current travel times, estimations on congestion rates and accident alerts (winner, SmartCamp Barcelona).
  • C-B4 Context Based 4Casting: CB4 has created a context-based system for identifying and analyzing hidden data patterns in large-scale data warehouses. The system is particularly suited to the retail trade and customer relations management (winner, SmartCamp Tel Aviv).
  • ConnectM: ConnectM’s machine-to-machine technology uses advanced analytics to collect information from disparate systems to provide business intelligence. The solutions are developed specifically for the telecommunications, utilities and transportation industries (winner, SmartCamp Bangalore).
  • IDXP: IDXP’s consumer behavior solution installs sensors in stores and shopping carts to help retailers understand consumer behavior (winner, SmartCamp Rio de Janeiro).
  • Localytics: Localytics’ real-time analytics service provides makers of mobile phone and tablet applications with a better understanding of peoples mobile application preferences and tendencies (winner, SmartCamp New York City).
  • Palmap: Palmap’s mapping solution provides mobile users with instant information for indoor activities such as navigating airports and shopping malls (winner, SmartCamp Shanghai).
  • Profitero: Profitero helps online retailers maximize profits via competitor analytics (winner, SmartCamp London).
  • SecureWaters: SecureWaters’ patented technology continuously monitors, detects and identifies toxins in surface water. An early warning alarm system alerts clients to potential issues (winner, SmartCamp Austin).
  • SkinScan: SkinScan’s mobile application enables users to scan the moles on their bodies to measure skin cancer threat levels. They also offer a cloud infrastructure for medical histories of patients and doctors (winner, SmartCamp Istanbul).

Goin’ To California With An Entrepreneurial Achin’ In My Heart

Speakers at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals will include California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, leading venture capitalists and investment bankers including Bill Reichert, Promod Haque, Guy Kawasaki, and John China, IBM Watson Solutions General Manager Manoj Saxena, and Gerard Mooney, general manager of IBM Smarter Cities.

Past winners from IBM SmartCamp competitions have captured the attention of the venture capital community with nearly $50 million in investments, and have expanded to new global markets.

For example, Streetline, which was named 2010 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year as the winner of the 2010 SmartCamp World Finals, received a $15 million round of venture capital funding, and built several new products including a smart parking analytics offering based on IBM Cognos platform.

The solution is a combination of Sensor and Software applications from Streetline and IBM that allows a city to reduce congestion by quickly matching citizens with vacant parking spots. CEO Zia Yusuf will share his experiences with this year’s SmartCamp finalists, along with other past SmartCamp winners.

Park, Watch, And Vote

People can vote for their favorite finalist to determine the People’s Vote Award winner for the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals.  Go here to view each of the finalist videos and to vote.

To watch the final presentations from the companies and hear from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at the event visit www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

Live blogging of the event will be available at www.asmarterplanet.com.

Join the conversation on the event, entrepreneurs and technologies that make the planet work better at People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook and on Twitter at hashtag #IBMSmartCamp.

Written by turbotodd

January 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

IBM To Acquire Cúram Software

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IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cúram Software Ltd. to help governments improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of social programs for smarter cities.

Today, IBM acquired Curam Software, a leading provider of social program software solutions, delivering best-in-class solutions for social enterprises globally including, health and human services, workforce services, and social security organizations.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cúram Software is used in more than 80 government agency projects around the world to provide the most appropriate social programs to citizens and their families in a timely manner, deliver services more effectively, and continuously monitor progress toward achieving people’s social and economic potential.

Who Is Cúram Software?

Cúram Software is the leading provider of social program software solutions, delivering best-in-class solutions for social enterprises globally including, health and human services, workforce services, and social security organizations.

Using Cúram’s solutions, agencies can immediately reap the benefits of client-centric business processes and an outcomes-driven integrated service delivery model Cúram’s solutions, underpinned by the Cúram Social Industry Platform, combines the advantages of software built specifically for social programs, an enterprise platform and service-oriented architecture with the business and technical flexibility required to allow agencies to implement solutions to meet their strategic objectives.

Cúram, which means “care and protection” in Irish, was founded in 1990 and is based in Dublin, Ireland, with offices throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and India.  One of the company’s investors was Enterprise Ireland, which helps Irish companies achieve global success.

How Is Cúram Software Used?

Cúram social managment software is used by health and human services, workforce services, and social security organizations around the world to deliver welfare, social insurance and both individual and employer based social programs.

It allows cities and governments to provide a single view of benefits and services available across agencies, levels of government and private and not-for-profit organizations.

The Social Industry Platform includes processes to deliver all types of programs and offers the flexibility needed to quickly update them as policy makers react to different economic times.

Cúram Software’s Platform also allows government and providers to focus on lowering overall program costs by ensuring that the benefits and services provided address core issues and that people become more self-sufficient.

Cúram And IBM’s Smarter Cities Initiative

Through its Smarter Cities initiative, IBM helps cities and governments serve citizens better by adopting more intelligent and efficient ways to analyze data, anticipate problems and coordinate resources.   IBM has led more than 2,000 projects to achieve these goals and through its acquisition of Cúram Software, IBM expects to extend its leadership in this area.

IDC Government Insights estimates the new Smarter Cities information technology market opportunity at $34 billion in 2011, increasing more than 18 percent per year to $57 billion by 2014.

Today’s news also builds on IBM’s Smarter Cities initiatives in Ireland.  Last year the company opened its first Smarter Cities Technology Center in Dublin at IBM’s R&D Lab,  where IBM works with city authorities, universities, small and large businesses to research, develop and commercialize new ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable and intelligent.

With the addition of the Cúram Research Institute — which is working to develop and deploy new business models for managing social programs — IBM will enhance its ability to help clients increase the social and economic potential of people and their families.“

We are working to help cities and governments at all levels transform the way they interact with citizens while improving efficiency,” said Craig Hayman, General Manager of IBM Industry Solutions.  “We all have stories to tell about standing in long lines or making countless phone calls to gain access to government services, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Together with Cúram, IBM can transform the way citizens do business with government in a way that benefits everyone.”

Since 1999, IBM and Cúram have collaborated on federal, state, local, and provincial-level social program solutions around the world.  More than 90 percent of Cúram’s clients use IBM WebSphere middleware and nearly 70 percent of its clients use IBM hardware.  Cúram’s software is certified for use with the IBM Government Industry Framework and has been part of IBM Global Business Services’ Integrated Case Management solution since 2001.

“After 13 years of experience working with IBM, we know our companies are an excellent fit”, said John Hearne, CEO, Cúram Software.  “Many of our clients already use IBM technologies and services, and they will benefit from working with Cúram and IBM as one.  Through IBM’s global reach, we can grow our client base by bringing the benefits of Cúram’s Social Industry Platform to citizens around the world.”

IBM’s announcement of its plan to acquire of Cúram Software follows a series of moves IBM made this year to enhance its offerings for cities and governments.   In June, the company introduced the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, which provides a unified view of all city agencies so officials can predict events and quickly respond.  Shortly thereafter, IBM announced it planned to acquire i2, a leading provider of intelligence analytics for crime and fraud prevention.  The acquisition was completed in October.

After the acquisition is completed, Cúram Software will be integrated into IBM’s Software Group, which is a key driver of growth and profitability for the company.  Cúram has approximately 700 employees.

In addition to its headquarters in Dublin, the company has offices in Herndon, VA.; Toronto; Frankfurt, Germany; Canberra, Australia and Bangalore, India.  The acquisition is anticipated to close by the end of December subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and applicable regulatory reviews.

To learn more visit www.cúramsoftware.com.

Blame It On Rio

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IBM CEO Sam Palmisano attended a forum in Rio de Janeiro today which had a special focus on Latin America and the world's growth markets, and which convened forward-thinking government and business leaders to examine real-world approaches on how cities can tackle serious urban issues and improve the quality of life of their citizens.

Rio de Janeiro.  One of my favorite cities in the world.

The land of churrascaria (eat meat until you tell them to stop feeding it to you!) and caipirinhas, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches…oh, man, I’d better stop daydreaming.

True story: I was giving a presentation in an IBM building one time in Rio, and the view behind the people I was presenting to was breathtaking.  I was presenting to a crowd of IBMers with the backdrop of the Cristo Redentor statue atop Corcovado, when someone had the big idea of closing the curtains because the view was too distracting!

Flash forward to today: With both the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2014 World Cup being hosted in Brazil, IBM has partnered with the city of Rio de Janeiro to add new capabilities that improve the city’s emergency response system (not much unlike what IBM did for the City of Madrid), and also to give Rio citizens access to information that will help them better manage their daily lives.

The new automated alert system will notify city officials and emergency personnel when changes occur in the flood and landslide forecast. This is expected to dramatically reduce emergency response times using mobile communications.  Details of these expanded capabilities were revealed today at SmarterCities Rio, a two-day forum hosted by IBM Chairman, President and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano.

With a special focus on Latin America and the world’s growth markets, the forum convenes forward-thinking government and business leaders to examine real-world approaches on how cities can tackle serious urban issues and improve the quality of life of their citizens.

 

Also in Rio today, IBM announced the finalists for its SmartCamp in Brazil.

IBM’s Smart Camp, scheduled for November 10th and 11th in Rio, brings startups together with senior government and business leaders from Latin America’s most progressive cities to mentor them and examine how we can spur economic development, modernize infrastructures and transform our cities to create a new urban model. The five finalists have developed technology solutions that address some of the world’s most pressing issues – such as traffic, healthcare and food safety.

The SmartCamp in Brazil is the most recent of nine global SmartCamps this year. The winner will be invited to the next SmartCamp World Finals to square off against other winners from around the globe to claim the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Here are the finalists from Brazil:

  • Easy Taxi: With Easy Taxi’s mobile transportation solution people can call a taxi with a click on their smartphone. The application locates and calls the nearest taxi, calculates the fare and processes the payment online.
  • IDXP: IDXP’s consumer behavior solution installs sensors in stores and shopping carts to help retailers understand consumer behavior in real time.
  • Mobwise: Mobwise’s mobile application combines various sources of information on traffic conditions including real time data generated by users to suggest best routes and to offer rewards and discounts at partner establishments.
  • Opara: Opara‘s food traceability system for fruit monitors the entire production chain, from farm to supermarket shelf, in a more automated fashion and allows for food origination tracking end-to-end.
  • Prime Health: Prime Health uses business analytics to help improve patient health and reduce the cost of treating chronic diseases.

The event will be webcast November 10 and 11 at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware. You can also follow the action on People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/9S1Jp8, and share your thoughts on Twitter at #IBMSmartCamp.

Consider this the official point at which I volunteer to fly down to Rio to be a judge.

Viva Brasil!

IBM Industry Summit: Smarter City Operations Center With Mike Kehoe

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I did some more roaming around the IBM Industry Summit Expo this past Thursday afternoon just as the action there started to wind down, and I seguewayed from trying to better understand smarter video analytics to that of smarter city operations.

If you’ve seen the IBM TV commercials, you’ve seen our experts talk about the opportunities to make cities smarter around the world.

Well, IBM Smarter City expert, Mike Kehoe, provides a 5-minute video helicopter ride in the video below over what a typical smarter cities operation might look like.

…Oh yeah, and for the five minutes I interviewed Mike, he made me the honorary mayor of Barcelona!

Check out Mike’s excellent flyover below:

Written by turbotodd

November 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

CityOne: Real World Game, Real World Impact

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It’s not often you can play games at work and get away with it.  At least, not games that you want to let on to with your boss.

Today, all that’s changed.  Today, IBM is announcing the availability of CityOne, the world’s first Smarter Planet interactive simulation designed to help business and civic leaders discover how to make their cities and industries smarter by solving real-world business, environmental, and logistical problems.

CityOne is a gaming environment that presents a unique opportunity for business leaders, city planners and government agencies to develop and budget improvements that address the challenges facing today’s global cities.

Delivered as a simulation game, players have the opportunity to explore more than 100 real-world scenarios to transform cities through technologies that reduce traffic congestion, save water, streamline supply chains and tap alternative energy sources through a series of crisis scenarios.

In all of the missions, players must determine the best way to balance the city’s financial, environmental and sociological interests. They are challenged with improving the city by attaining revenue and profit goals, increasing customer satisfaction, and making the environment greener with a limited budget.

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CityOne’s virtual simulation enables decision makers to deal with real-world scenarios and outcomes without having to pay the real world consequences.

In short, they are asked to deal with real-world scenarios and outcomes without having the real-world consequences be real.

In parallel, players will learn how to embrace technologies such as business process management, service reuse, cloud computing and collaborative technologies to help make organizations in city systems more intelligent.

It’s Not Entirely A Game

As urban populations continue to grow, civic and business leaders face an unprecedented set of problems.

With an estimated one million people around the world moving into cities each week, experts predict the population in the world’s cities will double by 2050.

Today, these cities consume an estimated 75 percent of the world’s energy, emit more than 80 percent of the greenhouse gases, and lose as much as 20 percent of their water supply due to infrastructure leaks.

Within these cities, retailers will see global supply chains bloat with $1.2 trillion in excess merchandise, and bankers will see their trading systems subjected to extreme stress, handling more than 25 billion market data messages each day.

City infrastructures that deliver vital services such as transportation, energy and water must rely on a wealth of new information and technologies that will allow them to sense and respond intelligently to the needs of their growing populations and businesses within the cities must learn how to integrate with these new technologies.

For these reasons, IBM’s mission is to help cities become more intelligent, and CityOne offers a virtual environment that will help tomorrow’s leaders learn how to apply advances in technology and better understand how these systems work.

Real World Scenarios

CityOne game scenarios include:

  • Water Crisis Management: A city is struggling with water usage increases twice as fast as the population, supplies are becoming strained and possibly polluted, and the municipality is losing almost half of its water through leaky pipes. On top of all that, energy costs continue to rise. To complete the mission, players must come up with a way to deliver the highest water quality at the lowest cost in real-time.
  • Smarter Retail:  The player represents the owner of an electronics store that requires a redesign and expansion. In order to increase sales, players must streamline and increase the visibility of their supply chain process to better track items in real time and react to problems and delays.

IBM has also linked content from CityOne with clouddelivered business process management capabilities that allow real-time communication with other players and with IBM industry experts. As a result, a player can have conversations about how the process models from the game relate to real world implementations.

Since plans for the game were announced in May, more than 8,000 people have pre-registered to play CityOne. Additionally, key organizations have worked with IBM to enhance the design of the game. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided content and resources to the CityOne.

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CityOne players can compete with, and using the global snapshot, identify other players of the game from around the globe.

IBM: Serious Games For Serious Challenges

IBM is not new to the serious games space. Over the years, IBM has released a number of games such as INNOV8, RoboCode and PowerUp that are used by schools, businesses, museums and conferences.

In fact, the INNOV8 series is now being used by 1000 universities and organizations worldwide and is offered for free to schools through IBM’s Academic Initiative.

Historically, simulation gaming has been used extensively in the military, by athletes and by scientists to discover effective new strategies and techniques and develop the skills needed to implement them.

Businesses have realized the value of this and are deploying their own games to create life-like simulations of real markets, customers and business situations that they deal with every day.

One of the businesses that piloted INNOV8 is the Farmer’s Insurance Group.  The company’s national training facility, The University of Farmers, offers training to tens of thousands of Farmer’s employees and used INNOV8 with their call center agents.

“We see serious gaming as an ideal delivery system for a number of learning opportunities,” said Mike Cuffe, VP of Learning at University of Farmers. “Since my team redesigned Farmers Claims’ curriculum to give it a learn-by-doing focus, our employees now achieve competence more quickly, serve our customers more effectively and compassionately, and are better prepared for advancement opportunities.”

To download CityOne, or for more information on IBM serious games and details on how IBM is helping clients and Business Partners to make smarter, faster decisions, please visithttp://www.ibm.com/cityone.

The Summit At Start

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Imagine your city or town transforming itself before your very eyes.

Imagine several years down the road that your city’s power systems are increasingly green, dependent more on renewable energy sources and less on carbon-based fuels.

Imagine that you’re able, almost by involuntary response, to reroute your electric car or moped around any traffic jams and reach your destination ten minutes early.

Imagine being able to walk down to the local farmer’s market to get organically grown vegetables which were grown in the same county as where you live.

Imagine your local government making material decisions about managing resources or serving the citizenry not by way of back room deals or little sunshine, but rather through open, transparent decisions driven by the gathering of community input via a social network and thoughtful, intelligent analysis of real-world data.

These are just some of the types of scenarios that may be being imagined across the pond in London at IBM Summit at Start, an eight-day national initiative in the U.K. by The Prince’s Charities to promote and celebrate sustainable living.

The Start initiative aims to demonstrate just what a more energy efficient, cleaner, and healthier future might look like, and is engaging experts and citizens from across the U.K. and around the globe to fuel this important discussion.

The IBM Summit is the business-to-business component of Start, and over the next eight days is going to engage 120 global leaders in business, the public sector, and academia to discuss the varying economic, societal, and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Each day of the Summit will have a unique theme: Cities. Energy. Transportation. Skills and People. Youth. Supply Chain. Finance. And Analytics.

On the final day of the Summit, there will be a synthesis of the previous eight days in the form of a wrap-up discussion on “Smarter Business.”

IBM CEO Sam Palmisano will be speaking and in attendance, along with a host of other luminaries from industry, the public sector and civic organizations from around the globe.

If you’d like to follow the action up close and personal, you don’t have to hop a plane to the U.K. (although it’s a lovely time of year to visit!).  Simply check out the IBM Summit at Start online press room.

You can also learn more about this type of sustainable future in a series on Smarter Cities published by The Guardian.

And if you’d like to join in the discussion, join our new People for a Smarter Planet group on Facebook, where there are a range of discussions and projects you can learn more about and even participate in.

Written by turbotodd

September 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm

SXSW Interactive 2010: John Tolva Talks Smarter Cities

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John Tolva has a very cool job.

And in his capacity as IBM director of citizenship and technology in our corporate philanthropy group, John has also worked on some very cool projects.

Take, for example, the Virtual Forbidden City, which launched in time for the Beijing Olympic games in 2008 and helped bring a Chinese cultural landmark to life in virtual reality.

These days, John is very much living and breathing in the real world, helping identify cities around the globe to be candidates for IBM’s “city forward” efforts.

In the process, he’s demonstrating how IBM can help cities become smarter in the way they are built, revised and run, and in the services they can provide their citizens.

You can learn more about IBM’s smarter cities efforts here.

Considering that 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by the year 2050, we all have a vested interest in helping city systems improve no matter where in the world we live.

Listen to this podcast (16:25, MP3) we recorded recently at SXSW Interactive in Austin to hear John explain smarter cities in more and fascinating detail, and also to discuss his experience in the IBM Corporate Service Corps, IBM’s equivalent of the Peace Corps.

Written by turbotodd

March 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm

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