Keynote: David Kenny on cloud technologies

By | 4 minute read | March 20, 2017

leadspace image for IBM InterConnect 2017

David Kenny, senior vice president IBM Watson and Cloud Platform is spearheading the Watson technology platform development, as well as optimizing IBM’s public cloud for data and cognitive workloads. David joins speakers from IBM, Fitly, Indiegogo and American Airlines as he explores how businesses are increasingly coming to depend on cloud – to explore artificial intelligence, security and the IoT.

IBM Cloud storage flex

David Kenny takes to the stage at InterConnect 2017 to introduce IBM Cloud Storage Flex – a new product built to allow businesses from every industry to improve and personalise their experiences with AI.

David explained that many tools from the Watson Platform are being built to allow clients to rapidly design, deploy and maintain their applications – not only those that they build themselves, but those that we build together.

The cloud is vital to this way of working. ‘The cloud is intertwined with data’, says David. ‘We need a cloud that is designed for data.’ As an example, he recalls The Weather Company’s experience with Hurricane Matthew. Millions of people were reliant on the data that The Weather Company could provide, to help them protect themselves and their homes by anticipating the storm’s next direction.

‘We had 141 billion API calls to give people information who were relying on us,’ he elaborates. The Weather Company needed a cloud that was designed for data to meet this demand.

The difference in IBM Cloud

If the cloud is so important, how does the IBM Cloud vary from others? It all comes down to data. The other clouds do not start with data as their first premise. IBM’s cloud, however, is all about your data – helping to maintain ownership of it, and helping to protect it.

David explained that the IBM cloud has merged very closely with the Watson data platform – the thing that brings it all together.

‘A data professional accesses data sets, blogs etc – but they’re also going to be working with private company data’, he says. ‘The Watson platform is the first solution that enables a high level of collaboration across all the data professionals in your organisation. Whatever data set you’re creating, you can share it – but only with the people you want to share it with. This is going to speed your time to insight.’

‘IBM is the only vendor that uses AI and cognitive abilities together. A real-time feedback loop learning over time to ensure models don’t become stale.’

Case study: PlayFab

For an example, he introduces PlayFab – a big player in the Gaming industry which grosses $100 billion a year. Games combine the bleeding edge of technology with immense artistic and commercial potential, and they’re shifting away from simply creating games, and towards operating them as a service.



IBM is giving creative teams the tools and services they need to complete effectively in the new, always-on era. In this new era, data matters. It’s the life blood of a live game. So the games industry needs a whole new set of tools in order to cope. It’s because of this necessity that PlayFab is bringing together its platform with the Watson IoT platform – bringing AI and machine learning to developers, to help them extract meaningful, actionable insights, and turbocharge this industry.

Case study: Delos

Next up is Peter Scialla of Delos – a company operating at the intersection of real estate and health, dedicated to creating spaces that enhance our health and wellbeing. Delos studies the effect structures are having on the people inside – an important area of study, since we spend around 90% of our time indoors.

Delos is re-engineering these spaces to be healthy. What if, for instance, we learned that adding more windows to a school could increase students’ performance? Well, the research is in, and wellness can officially and empirically be measured and integrated into the spaces we occupy every day.

Peter Scialla of Delos

Peter Scialla of Delos

IBM has been working with Delos as a founding alliance member on an initiative that recognises the value of wellness in building standards, which over 28 countries around the world are employing. IBM makes sense of data about lighting, temperature, and objects in the space – and their impact on people – in order to advance the mission of wellness in space.

Data control

David goes on to speak about the importance of data control. Watson allows you to uniquely bring AI to your company’s data and to its vertical domains through the Watson Discovery Platform. The platform allows companies to have everything they could want from search – and more – on their own data.

‘IBM cloud is focused on a broad ecosystem – it solves all your personal data controls’, says David. ‘Trust in your architecture and in the IBM cloud is vital.’ To help keep security standards around data protection at the highest possible level, IBM is proud to be partnering with Intel to advance their cloud innovation in a unique collaboration that reflects the companies’ shared legacy in technology and innovation.

IBM: committed to success

David leaves us with three pointers to ponder:

  1. IBM is committed to our clients’ and partners’ success. We will ensure you have the right cloud for you – one that takes advantage of your existing infrastructures.
  2. There is a real focus on a single architecture – that needs to understand how the cloud works, and to ensure clients have a secure wrap around it that’s right for them.
  3. We are doubling down our investment in innovation – and it’s all focused on advancing this product for you.

Learn more

If you’re curious about how the cloud can help deploy asset and facilities management software, you can find more information in the SaaS Buyer’s Guide: Unlocking the value of the cloud. To keep up with InterConnect 2017, keep an eye on our blog.