Toronto – September 18, 2013 – IBM (NYSE: IBM), together with Waterfront Toronto and IBM business partner Element Blue, announced today a new, first-of-its-kind collaboration that showcases Toronto’s waterfront as a leading example of how to build a smarter city.
Waterfront Toronto is one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America, and one of the largest waterfront revitalizations ever undertaken. It will use IBM’s cloud computing and social business software, services and technologies, IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities, a platform that has the ability to integrate multiple data sources and create real-time visualizations of information to deliver operational insights and opportunities for social collaboration for the waterfront. This first stage of the project demonstrates the malleability of the platform and offers a glimpse of the potential for ongoing innovation and real-time tracking of community systems which impact residents’ lives.
Through this collaboration with IBM and Element Blue, Waterfront Toronto is launching the newblueedge.ca, a powerful community portal and platform, which includes IBM social collaboration tools that residents can use to easily connect with neighbours, businesses and service providers in the surrounding area. The portal provides easy ways to view city-wide data on mobile or desktop devices, allowing residents to keep a finger on the pulse of events, news and activity across the growing community.
The features being made available at launch - including traffic congestion reports, public transit information, weather and news – are intended to demonstrate the wide-ranging capabilities of the system. Waterfront Toronto will be working with IBM, Element Blue and others to launch new capabilities on a regular basis. Ultimately, the newblueedge.ca will serve as the platform for a suite of tools that will help residents make smarter decisions about everything from their daily commute to health and wellness, energy and water use, and more.
“Waterfront Toronto is creating an Intelligent Community that uses technology to enhance quality of life and economic opportunity,” said John Campbell. “Together with partners like IBM and Element Blue, we are delivering future-ready infrastructure that will allow people and businesses to thrive and deliver a competitive advantage for the City of Toronto on the global stage.”
As it progresses, the new platform will enable community-wide operations, and allow citizens and businesses involved to provide feedback through social collaboration, and manage a broad range of government and commercial operations.
In time, big data analytics capabilities within the platform are expected to provide deeper insight around wellness, transportation, energy management, water conservation and sustainability efforts, as well as public safety and security across the community.
“Waterfront Toronto is developing a connected platform that will help generate insight into how to deliver community services more effectively and efficiently for both business and residents,” said Ralph Chapman, vice-president, public sector, for IBM in Canada. “This initial collaboration establishes a foundation for continuous innovation and economic growth as the community and associated services continue to expand.”
IBM’s flagship Intelligent Operations Centre delivered as a service on the IBM SmartCloud, helps cities save on IT infrastructure costs and provides a computer dashboard to view community vital signs and instantly identify what’s working and what isn’t. By integrating data, analysis, and coordination across the community, the Intelligent Operations Centre keeps leaders informed, prevents issues and helps manage a spectrum of events across a city. These events can include everything from a broken water line that affects one area of a city to a major winter storm forecasting a foot of snow.
"The new platform transforms the user’s experience and achieves effective mobile – social interaction and navigation through responsive themes, which are integral to its design," said Joey Bernal, Element Blue CTO and managing partner. "The architecture for Waterfront Toronto’s “New Blue Edge Portal” supports workflows, content management and mobile web delivery with simplified administration. In addition, open standards, security and scalability together create an exceptional user experience for the Waterfront community. The delivery of personalized, integrated content and applications will be essential for effective engagement within the Waterfront community."
With this collaboration, Waterfront Toronto also becomes the first Canadian community to be featured on IBM’s new global People for Smarter Cities site; a place where residents can conduct meaningful online conversations and contribute original ideas about how to make their cities work smarter. (#P4SC).
About Waterfront Toronto
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization. The Waterfront Toronto initiative was instrumental in Toronto’s selection to the Top 7 most intelligent communities of 2013 by New York-based think tank, Intelligent Community Forum.
About Element Blue
Element Blue is a leading IBM Premier Partner and first in the industry to deliver solutions for the Smarter Planet platform. A provider of IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC), WebSphere Portal and SmartCloud technologies, Element Blue’s solutions are optimized to run on IBM's SmartCloud and SoftLayer – yielding a significant infrastructure savings and the benefits of a more agile software service. The practice serves the Energy, Healthcare, Retail and local Government markets across North America, Latin America and Africa, and was recently named to the 2013 Next-Gen 250 List. For more information about Element Blue, please visit ElementBlue.com.
IBM is helping cities around the world use the vast amount of information already available to deliver more efficient citizen services. IBM’s experience with cities continuously fuels more effective solutions and best practices to help city leaders transform their communities. For more information about IBM and smarter cities, please follow #smartercities on Twitter or visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/ca/en/smarter_cities/overview/index.html.