IBM InterConnect Day 3: Pioneers of the new hybrid IT

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By Stephanie Cajucom

It was just two days ago that Robert LeBlanc, SVP of IBM Cloud, declared a new era in hybrid IT. But there’s been a steady evolution toward this innovative phase for some time now.

While the sessions on Day 1 highlighted the surge in the digital transformation, such as IoT and mobile, and the second day’s speakers emphasized innovative solutions like z13 and MobileFirst, Day 3 featured the real people behind the tech revolution.

It took some true tech pioneers to bring about the hybrid era. They effectively changed not only their own businesses but entire industries.

Gamers are getting their game on.

New container capabilities in Bluemix, scaling solutions with Cloudant, and the growth of SoftLayer data centers for massive storage are helping dev teams level up in the gaming industry.

Ask Phaedra Boinodiris, an accomplished gamer who serves as program manager for the Serious Games division at IBM—focused on simple solutions for complex problems. Boinodiris, ranked by Women in Games International as one of the top 100 women in gaming, told the InterConnect audience, “Gamers aren’t who we think they are.”

So who are they? PC users, age 34 on average. And how does Boinodiris know? She uses cloud-delivered data to discover unique markets, and now taps into those insights to deliver services like a gamified human resources hiring tool.

Financial services are at millennials’ fingertips. Some say skeptical millennials are an unreachable market. Undaunted, financial services provider Primerica used PointSource’s cloud-powered mobile services to capture the attention of this elusive audience. How? By delivering the specific data-driven services Primerica’s customers need to their most beloved companions—their mobile devices. The result: a 70 percent increase in sales…and a seat at the cool kids’ table.

Makeup sales gets its own makeover.

Beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the hands of the beholder as well, thanks to cloud-enabled “beauty tablets.”

Cosmetics leader Shiseido, which considers attentive customer service a core value, wanted to blend in-store consultants’ aesthetic expertise with digital data to help customers choose the right products.

Late to the mobile game, Shiseido sought expert advice. Working with IBM Cloud and MobileFirst, the brand developed the tablet to act as a virtual mirror for shoppers, who can now try on as many shades of as many products as they want in real time—without a single cotton ball of makeup remover.

Aptly themed “A New Way Forward,” Day 3 of IBM InterConnect demonstrated the benefits of getting ahead in the game, wherever you’re starting out. The tools are here. So are the ideas and the experts. It’s all about how you combine them—and with an open mind toward a blend of capabilities, it’s truly within companies’ reach to be first to market.

That’s our idea of a new way forward. Share yours in the comments.

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