Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing industries by enabling advanced analytics, automation, and personalized experiences. According to The business value of AI, from the IBM Institute of Business Value, AI adoption has more than doubled since 2017. Enterprises are taking an intentional design approach to hybrid cloud and AI to drive technology decisions and enable adoption of Generative AI. According to the McKinsey report,  The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier, generative AI is projected to add $2.6 to $4.4 trillion to the world economy annually increasing the impact of all AI by 15 to 40 percent.

Today, at IBM Think 2024, we are excited to announce that the IBM watsonx AI and data platform is supported by IBM to run on Microsoft Azure and available to purchase through IBM and our business partner ecosystem as a customer-managed solution on Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO). The watsonx platform is available to procure through the Azure marketplace.

Enterprises want to access a full technology stack to train, tune, and deploy AI models, foundations, or machine learning across the organization with trusted data and governance across the entire lifecycle of data and AI. Our clients want to use models from IBM, our partner ecosystem, and the open source community. They want to access data, deploy models and govern across multiple environments – on-premises, private cloud and public cloud, including Microsoft Azure. Enterprises are turning to the IBM watsonx platform for its four core principles: Open, Targeted, Trusted, and Empowering.

Image 1. IBM watsonx platform’s four core principles

IBM watsonx – next generation data and AI platform

IBM watsonx platform enables customers to scale and accelerate the adoption and impact of AI with a full technology stack, AI, trusted data and governance, and flexibility across clouds and on-premise. Watsonx platform has three core components:

watsonx.ai: An enterprise AI studio that empowers data scientists, developers, and analysts to train, validate, tune and deploy AI based on both machine learning or new generative AI capabilities that leverage the power of foundation models

watsonx.data:  A fit-for-purpose data store that is open, hybrid and governed – built on open lake house architecture that runs both on premises and across multi-cloud environments.

watsonx.governance:  An end-to-end toolkit for AI governance across the entire model lifecycle to enable responsible, transparent, and explainable AI workflows to ensure organizational accountability for risk and investment decisions. It can help businesses build the necessary guardrails around AI tools and the uses of AI.

Image 2. Components of IBM’s generative AI stack

IBM & Microsoft Strategic Partnership:

IBM watsonx is built for business – to create value with 4 key principles: open, trusted, targeted, and empowering. We are working with customers and business partners to bring data and multiple AI models with end-to-end governance across Microsoft Azure and hybrid cloud environments. IBM’s strategic partnership with Microsoft along with ecosystem partners enables enterprises to realize transformative value of AI on Azure and capture growth in the industry.

IBM Consulting has 31,000 Azure certified consultants with expertise across Azure native services, including Azure data and AI. IBM and Microsoft are bringing mix of capabilities with IBM watsonx on Azure and Azure Data & AI services to generate value for our clients. IBM and Microsoft jointly collaborated to bring watsonx platform, powered by Red Hat Openshift, as customer- managed deployment on Azure.

To further accelerate our Microsoft generative AI capabilities, IBM Consulting is expanding its capacity across our global network of Innovation Centers, covering every continent. For instance, our IBM-Microsoft Experience Zone in Bangalore, India, is a pioneering collaboration that enables clients from diverse industries and regions to co-create generative AI-powered solutions alongside IBM Consulting experts. This cutting-edge facility features various technology stations where clients can co-ideate and co-create innovative solutions, utilizing Microsoft technologies.

Use cases and applications:

Here are few examples of use cases and applications of watsonx:

watsonx.ai:

Boost employee productivity with retrieval augmented generation (RAG) by building a Q&A resource from your company’s proprietary data to share organizational insights.

Deploy chatbots for your business quickly with IBM watsonx Assistant™, a conversational AI application powered by large language models (LLMs).

Enhance developer productivity with AI-recommended code based on natural language inputs or existing source code. 

watsonx.governance:

Credit risk: Implement fair, transparent approval processes. Monitor with alerts to proactively detect risks and to help identify inaccurate, unfair or biased decisions.

Customer care: Monitor chats for toxicity, personal information or off-topic conversations and alert when responses are outside of social norms.

Supply chain management: Proactively detect and mitigate any potential bias or errors in the system to help optimize logistics, shorten cycles and reduce energy consumption.

watsonx.data:

Cost-optimize your data warehouse: Optimize workloads from your data warehouse and enhance cost efficiency by choosing the right engine for the right workload, at the right cost. Replace ETL (Extract, transform, and load) jobs and reduce costs of your data warehouse by up to 50% through workload optimization.

Modernize your data lake: Extract more value from your data by modernizing ineffective data lakes with warehouse-like performance, security and governance.

Streamlined data engineering and data virtualization: Accelerate data pipelines and simplify data transformation. Query data in one place with data virtualization with Presto, which has over 35 connectors to various external database vendors.

Get started with IBM watsonx on Azure:

Procure through Microsoft Azure Marketplace (watsonx.ai, watsonx.governance, watsonx.data), IBM or IBM Business Partner.

IBM and Microsoft make enterprise-wide transformation a reality

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