Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘steve mills

Information On Demand 2011: Steve Mills On Big Data

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Greetings from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

Steve Mills explains to the Information On Demand 2011 audience why "Big Data" will require new ways of working but also bring organizations new and valuable insights.

I’m pretty sure I saw Elvis in the hallway yesterday, joined by Marilyn Monroe, and they were taking pictures with IODers.

My mom would have been proud (Elvis used to write on her arm after shows at the Louisiana Hayride), but I was too busy getting my fill of big data.

Speaking of which, BBC presenter Katty Cay returned in this morning’s general session to remind us of some big data statistics, including this one: There are now over 34K Google searches per second!

And in our Information On Demand polling overnight, the most popular name at IOD 2011 was tomorrow’s keynote speaker and Moneyball author, Michael Lewis.  We’re all looking forward to his discussion with Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane.

And I, of course, will continue to root on my Texas Rangers as they go 3-2 in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now, enter Steve Mills on the big stage at IOD to tell us more about Big Data.

In his keynote session, Mills explained that we’re all living in a world where the reality is that the art of the possible has only been improving with the advent of new technologies.

Scott Laningham and I interviewed IBM senior vice president and group executive, Steve Mills, on a range of info management related topics, including Watson and "Moneyball." You can view this and other interviews from IOD 2011 at http://www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware

Mills recalled the days when he had to pick up extra RAM — all 128KB of it — to pick up from Endicott, NY, to deliver to IBM customers in Albany.

Nobody talks about data or RAM in terms of “Ks” anymore — these days, we’re talking petabytes.

The challenge, Mills suggested, is that we can now turn all that additional data into useful information, to hone in to identify patterns and relationships and what the data could be telling us.

It’s like mining for gold, Mills went on, but there’s a lot of dirt and rock you have to remove to get to get to the “vein.”

Mills explained that though data is increasing in volume, it’s also metamorphosing in a way: Data is no longer a static thing, but that increasingly we’re dealing with “data in motion.”  Think about traffic data, or sensor outputs from pipelines — the stream is never-ending, so the data is always moving.

There’s also the issue of variety we have to contend with, Mills explained: We’re dealing in all kinds of data types, from audio to video, and certainly no longer just numbers and text.

The big data challenge, then, is how to take advantage of all the possibilities, including high performance hardware and rich bandwidth, and pull together comprehensive solutions to enable governments and businesses to deal effectively with this new volume.

Watson, the IBM computing system that won the “Jeopardy!” match earlier in the year, is a good example of how all these different capabilities can come together. It included big data technologies like Hadoop, as well as DB2, language understanding, and an alert system that allowed Watson to iterate and improve. It was a system of elements brought together to target a specific problem.

Which is exactly what we’re doing with our customers, Mills explained.

Take Catalina Marketing, a supermarket chain that deployed real-time analysis of current transactions and past purchasing history to trigger printouts of customer specific offers — that’s some 300 million retail transactions per week, and some 195 million shipper households and 400+ billion market-based records!

The solution: IBM Netezza, which allows them to do real-time database analytics.

Or Banco Bilvao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), which deployed IBM Cognos Consumer Insight based on IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and Apache Hadoop to analyze internet and social media sentiment (5.8 terabytes of data) about the bank.

Mills went through several more examples, and his message was this: No problem is the same.

There is a constant need for customization, which IBM solutions can provide.

But, patterns do emerge and you can deal with them creatively, and it does require a very broad range of technical capability up and down the line.

“Let’s have a great big data day,” Mills concluded.

Blogger’s Note: Read this blog post by Steve Mills to learn more about the opportunities and challenges presented by Big Data.

Live From Impact 2011: IBM Software’s Steve Mills On Business Agility

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Katie Linendoll, the “chic geek” technojournalist for both CNN and CBS, spiritedly kicked off today’s Impact 2011 morning keynote.

Scott and I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie yesterday afternoon for Impact TV, whereupon Katie went out of her way to give Scott a hard time about his pad and paper “Think” pad (Us cool kids both had iPads, albeit mine, a 1st generation, Katie’s the iPad 2).

Katie explained that for today’s session, we were going to focus on the how of building towards business agility, and then promptly introduced IBM Senior VP, Software and Systems, Steve Mills.

Steve had also joined us for an Impact TV interview, on Sunday, and continued to relay to the gathered 8,000+ member audience some of the key messages he had communicated during our interview.

In his comments, Steve pointed out for the audience how well received the IBM customer participation in both keynotes and breakouts has been, and he highlighted several in his talk: Caterpillar, NY State Tax Authority, Isbank (in Turkey), all of whom have realized great efficiencies and agility via business process management.

Mills explained that over the past decade, we’ve collectively been on a journey with SOA to build towards business agility, seizing the opportunity to leverage open standards and start to build more horizontal business processes that were no longer isolated to vertical applications.

SOA, Mills explained, has been about trying to unlock those applications and assets which define your business and the particular processes that make your business run, but that you can’t get there without unlocking your own data and assets.

But Mills also pointed out that there’s not a lot of new things in IT.  Watson, for example, the computer system that recently took on and beat “Jeopardy!” world champions, is not 4 years old. “There’s over 40 years of IT science behind Watson.”

Applause from the Impact audience. Mills continued: “The last four years were really fun. The past 40 were really hard.”

Business agility requires a robust SOA infrastructure, Mills explained, and we at IBM have worked on helping build a complete infrastructure because we understood our customers wanted to tie a lot of services together and to have flexible, high-performing infrastructures.

This, in turn, could help organizations build less, reuse more, and realize significant economic benefit by bringing down the cost of execution (Most businesses today spend 70-80% of their resources managing the runtime of thousands of programs).

Mills comments about the backstory of SOA served as a perfect segueway to the customer story video Katie introduced about how the City of Madrid built a coordinated emergency management response system after the horrible 2004 bombings there, and is now realizing a 25% faster response time for emergencies (and improving all the time).

And, to Phil Gilbert, IBM VP BPM, and his demo of the new IBM Business Process Manager.  Gilbert observed that there are $1T in losses in process inefficiencies every year, and yet both good and bad events have increased in both severity and frequency.

Citing Alfred Sloan, former CEO of General Motors and process improvement guru, he explained that “good management rests on decentralization with coordinated control.”

IBM’s approach to BPM can deliver such coordination.

Written by turbotodd

April 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Live from Impact 2011: Q&A With Steve Mills

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Greetings from The Venetian Hotel and Casino in lovely Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m writing you from a breakfast of thousands (well, it’s so early, it’s only hundreds, but give it time), which means I had to hoof it to the far nether regions of the Venetian’s inner conference sanctum to grab my imitation Egg McMuffin (which was actually pretty good).

I arrived yesterday afternoon via Southwest Airlines. Fortunately, my flight wasn’t a convertible, but it was a couple of hours late. Which, of course, meant that I wasn’t going to arrive in Vegas in time to see the end of the Masters.

Which, of course, proved to have an incredibly dramatic finish. Thank Heavens for the Masters Web site (which IBM helped produce). I was able to get updated scores from the leaderboard on the ground in Phoenix between flights.

When I arrived at McCarran airport, the cab stand line was so long, I thought they might be giving away free rides or something. Needing to be at the Venetian for our opening Webcast by 5:30, I considered walking to my hotel, but figured I might not survive the trek.

So, it was on to a local shuttle which, of course, dropped me off next to last. I was starting to think I wasn’t destined to make it to Impact.

But I finally arrived, successfully, and the rooms at the Venetian were large enough to build our own personal Webcasting studio (if I could just figure out how to raise the blinds!)

Scott Laningham and I met with our IBM media team to prepare for the evening’s Webcasting, a Q&A with IBM Vice President and Group Executive Software and Systems, Steve Mills.

Steve helped set up the big picture for Impact 2011 (he’ll be keynoting tomorrow, Tuesday), discussing everything from SOA to cloud computing to the possibilities presented by the IBM Deep Q&A technology, Watson. You can see our interview with Steve and all the Impact videos here. We’ll be talking to many more IBM execs, partners, and experts over the next three days.

For now, I’m off to catch today’s opening general session, which the calendar handout at breakfast indicates will provide a key SOA announcement from Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Software’s Application and Integration Middleware (AIM) organization.

Stay tuned for more from Impact!

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Having An Impact

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I’m heading out to Las Vegas on Sunday.  Again.

And I’ve worn out all the “what happens in Vegas” and “Hangover” jokes, so I’ll get straight to the point:

I’m heading to Vegas to have an Impact.

Seriously.

Impact 2011 starts this weekend and kicks into high gear on Monday, and I’m going to be there to blog and provide some live videocasting support.

The IBM Impact 2011 Global Conference is expecting to bring together more than 6,600 technology and business leaders at a single event to learn how to work smarter for better business outcomes.

At Impact, IT professionals will be able to master the latest business process management, SOA and Cloud solutions and obtain certifications, and business professionals can sharpen their leadership skills and learn best practices for overcoming complexity with increased agility (including a track on marketing!)

The event will be hosted at The Venetian and Palazzo Hotels in Las Vegas, April 10 to 15, but if you can’t make it live and in person, there will be plenty of folks providing social media coverage.

Here’s how you can keep up with Impact both at the event and remotely:

First, follow TwitterID @ibmimpact and hashtag #ibmimpact

Second, check the IBM Impact Conversations site at ibm.com/social/impact.

Third, check the IBM Impact blog.

Fourth, keep an eye on the Impact Livestream channel.

And keep an eye on the main Impact portal to get a bird’s eye overview of the event agenda, speakers, and topics.

So, come on down to Vegas, leave your ATM card at home, stop by the trade show floor, keep an eye out for the klieg lights and stop by to say “hey” to Scott Laningham and I.

P.S. Speaking of having an impact, I want to take a moment to wish my esteemed IBM social media colleague, Adam Christensen, a bon voyage and best of luck in his new position as the social media lead for Juniper Networks. Adam has been a shining social media beacon at Big Blue these past few years, and I know I speak for many of his colleagues when I say we’re all very sorry to see him go, and that he’ll be very much be missed as he helped us all make IBM’s world-class social media efforts what they are today.

Clearly, our loss is Juniper’s gain, and we expect great things from him there.  But, as Adam himself Tweeted earlier, “once an IBMer, always an IBMer.”

Good luck in the new venture, buddy…we’ll all be eagerly awaiting the latlong of the best taco stands in Silicon Valley.

Written by turbotodd

April 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Steve Mills Keynote: Big Data, Big Picture

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In this morning’s first general session keynote at IBM Information on Demand, IBM Senior VP and Group Executive, Systems and Software, Steve Mills, got right to the bottom line on how organizations can go about implementing a smart information agenda and use business analytics to help them make better decisions.

IBM senior VP Steve Mills addresses the challenges of Big Data in his 2010 Information on Demand keynote.

As always, Mills painted in broad brushstrokes to help his audience see what has become something of a George Seurat “pointillist” painting, a sea of data, a mosaic of million and billions of bits and pixels of information that is piling up around us.

It’s increasingly daunting, both in terms of size and volume and velocity, and yet is an enormous business and knowledge insight opportunity as well.

So, you can either run for the hills, or you can buck up and dive into that sea, finding ways to organize it and make sense of it all…and maybe even learn something valuable for your organization.

The world is becoming more instrumed, interconnected, and more intelligent, but by leveraging this massive amount of new information, you can create a new kind of intelligence for your business, suggested Mills.

But it won’t come without some pain, trials, and tribulations.

Mills joked about the explosion in data and real world events, nodding his head to the ever-growing (but meaningless) Twitter and Facebook stream.

What Happens In Vegas…

“Remember,” he seemed to be warning the parents of teenagers in the audience, “what happens in Vegas…will stay on the Internet for a hundred or more years.”

Of course, with 44X as much data and content being generated over the coming decade, and with 80% of world’s data being unstructured (much of it that flow from the Internet, as my friend Ron ironically observed via Twitter), there’s a huge need for a structured approach to managing all this data.

Customers are clearly wrestling with this issue: 35% of customers will look to replace their current warehouse with a pre-integrated warehouse solution in the next 3 years, and only 14% have today.

And yet 83% of CIOs cited “Business intelligence and analytics” as part of their visionary plans to enhance competitiveness.

So, the IBM approach to mastering information for the purpose of optimizing business results is to build a flexible platform for managing, integrating,  analyzing, and governing information.

This is not a random path, but rather a structured, well thought through approach that takes an holistic look at information management.  Mills acknowledged we’re living in a federated world, one with a disparate set of information sources.

That’s why the Big Data challenge requires a Big Data approach, one that can help organizations deal with and benefit from massive and growing amounts of data, that can handle uncertainty around format variability and velocity of data, that can handle all that unstructured data, and one that can exploit big data in a timely and cost effective fashion.

IBM is offering a comprehensive set of solutions for Big Data, one in which interoperability will be key to addressing the unique challenges of the big data ecosystem.

Mills concluded with a big picture statement about all this Big Data: “We’re at an inflection point where IT is going to change the world in the next decade in ways even greater than that which we witnessed over the last 50 years.”

Written by turbotodd

October 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Turbo Video Dispatch #4: Turbo Finds Some New Intelligence

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No jokes about the headline, please.  I’ve always been a little slow, so I need as much new intelligence as I can get.

Before you click on the video, a quick housekeeping tip: Tonight’s networking event is being moved indoors to Baynote rooms A, B, and C (not the Mandalay B rooms A, B, C, as I reported in the video).

As if it makes any difference…by the time I figure out how to navigate this place, it’ll be time to leave!

Enjoy the video update!

Written by turbotodd

October 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm

New Intelligence for a Smarter Planet

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Steve Mills kicked off today’s keynote session at the Information on Demand Conference here in Vegas with a look at how we can build “New Intelligence for a Smarter Planet.”

As an IBMer myself, I’ve followed the evolution of this initiative (I hesitate to call it a “campaign”) with great fascination, both as a marketer but also as a student of the world.

For me, the essence of smarter planet is this: We on the globe face some substantial challenges, but if we do things smarter, and if we better gather and use information and data that is everywhere around us, we can make some substantial forward progress, save lives and resources, and create a better world.

It’s a hard value proposition to argue with.

Yes, we believe IBM technology can, and already is, playing an integral role in facilitating this evolution towards a smarter planet. Specifically to this conference, IBM Software and Information Management software.

Steve started his discussion with a few thousand attendees this morning by articulating some of these pressing problems: We live in an incredibly fast changing world, we have enormous inefficiencies, there are loads of opportunities to change things for the better.

By way of example, he mentioned that fresh water is soon to be the scarcest commodity on the planet, but that if we work smarter, not harder, we can improve our use of the limited water resources we do have.

He explained that a smarter planet is one that is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.

Instrumented meaning the opportunity to measure inputs and outputs in ways previously unimaginable, to the end of obtaining new and invaluable data.

Interconnected meaning everything, including people, objects, pipelines…use your imagination…are connected one to the other.

And intelligent, meaning we use the instrumentation and interconnectedness to derive new value and insights about the world around us.

Sounds easy, but with the information explosion we’re witnessing, we generate and collect more data than we take advantage of.

Steve informed us that 52% of users say they don’t even have confidence in their everyday information.

All of which leads many to pose the question: What does it mean, and what does it take, to be smarter?

And to provide an answer, Steve then discussed a number of IBM customers who are already well on their way to creating new intelligence (with some assistance by a distinguished panel of several of the IBM customers featured):

  • Galway Bay, Ireland, for example, which is creating a smarter water management system.
  • Geisinger Health System, which uses IBM InfoSphere Information Server to help doctors deliver better case through evidence-based medicine.
  • The New York City Police Department, which built a crime-information system using Cognos 8 Business Intelligence software and which has criminals in NYC running for the exits
  • HRAFN, a food producer in Norway using IBM Sensor and Actuator technology to track food through its lifecycle and ensure its safety and compliance with regulatory bodies

If you’ve not read the overview of what constitutes a new intelligence for a smarter planet, you can do so here, and just below you can click to watch the TV spot we recently produced to highlight the importance of fostering this new intelligence.

Putting data into action!

Written by turbotodd

October 27, 2009 at 5:48 pm

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