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Over the weekend, IBM was the technical sponsor for a collaboration between espnW and Girls in Tech. At this event, mobile developers, designers and others teamed up and learned to prototype and develop apps to enhance visitors' experiences in San Francisco during the Super Football Week.
100+ developers packed the space at GALVANIZE in San Francisco. They received access to IBM Bluemix and our Mobile, and Watson services in Bluemix to build the greatest gridiron app! 50%+ participants used Bluemix, including the winning app!
Cloud-based app creation, utilizing Watson APIs, for your Mobile device
What do you get when you combine a high schooler, a mobile developer, and freelancers? You get Nubee and their self-titled app taking 1st place! Nubee is for newbies, providing users with a crash course on football basics and more + fun player trivia. Other app creations included:
Find meetups on game day related to your team and more
Use QR codes to help locate children gone missing on game day
Join the fight against game day human trafficking with tips for identifying and reporting
Koding’s 2nd Annual Global Virtual Hackathon sponsored by IBM
On February 20th, top teams and individuals from across the globe will have 48 hours to compete for $150,000 in cash prizes! This year’s themes include: games, productivity, and data visualizations. This year’s virtual event is expected to draw more than 100,000 participants worldwide. Will you be one of them?
Insurance leader, Swiss Re, joins forces with IBM for Bluemix Hackathon
Swiss Re is joining forces with technology leader IBM to co-host a worldwide hackathon event in Bangalore, India! Talented developers with a passion for user-based apps, data science, and cognitive technology are all invited to participate and compete for INR 600,000 in prizes.
Great opportunity for the Government ecosystem to learn more about the power of analytics.
The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) surveyed over 100 public sector leaders, from governmental organizations, non-profit, and non-government organizations worldwide to help organizations understand the opportunity to leverage the information explosion for better decisions and actions relevant to the public sector context. On May 17th from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT, we will host a virtual event to review the study results and learn how other government leaders are using analytics to achieve and/or influence outcomes in their organizations.
Buying groceries with micro payments, 29.7 million cell phones and governments investing in smarter cities… no this isn't China or Brazil… this is Nairobi Kenya…. Africa.
On May 8, IBM will open the third IBM Innovation Center in Africa, in Nairobi Kenya. A first of it's kind, the center will be a world class Research Lab, Client Center and IBM Innovation Center for partners.
The opportunities in Africa are larger and more interesting than you might expect. In fact, you should go to the opening for the Center and see for yourself. Why?… Because Africa is quietly rising as one of the last great untapped and underserved growth markets. There are challenges to solve and a growing consumer base leap frogging traditional industry maturation cycles, providing a great opportunity for all IBM partners worldwide.
Here, I want to share insights for partners around the top 3 industry and capability opportunities.
To provide key insights for ISV partners around the world, I invited Lynn Kesterson-Townes to join me to share inside perspectives on the opening event at the Center and opportunities for partners. Who is Lynn? Lynn is the project lead for the opening event, overseeing all aspects of the planning, content, executive engagement, partner participation and the like. From where she sits, Lynn has gained unique insights into the opportunities in Nairobi, in Kenya, and across East and Southern Africa.
The priority market opportunities to highlight are:
Looking at greatest demand around industry solutions, we can see the top three areas are Banking, Government and Telco.
Looking at greatest demand around leadeship capabilities, we can see the top three areas are Smarter Cities (Traffic Management), Mobile and Big Data.
For partners with solutions focused around these three industries and these capabilities, I would encourage you to consider market expansion into Africa and to consider leveraging the IBM Innovation Center and our partner teams there as an entry point into the area.
For a deeper view into the Nairobi IBM Innovation Center, see this CNN video on the Center, highlighting some of the key challenges the Center is addressing, such as the incredible traffic congestion in Nairobi.
Recommendations - Top 3 Steps:
Engage with your IBM partners representative to sit down and discuss ‘landing’ opportunities in Africa - how you can leverage the center to expand into the broader Africa market.
Integrate this into you joint IBM business planning to outline your approach and target business outcomes - focus around the key capabilities.
Consider attending the launch event - better understand the opportunities and connect with the Center, worldwide executives, and regional partners and clients who will be attending the launch event.
As we get closer to the launch event, I will share additional information and recommendations on how to get connected in the area.
Related to an earlier post on leveraging the ecosystem peer-to-peer networks, I would also encourage ISV partners to think about connecting with IBM Distributors, Resellers and System Integrators in the region as additional channels to market.
Thousands of retailers gathered in the Big Apple for Retail’s BIG Show last week to learn about cutting-edge retail technologies and new market trends. During this event, on January 10, IBM announced a refresh of the IBM Retail Industry Framework. The refresh aligns the existing framework structure with the Smarter Planet Imperatives and incorporates technology from recent IBM acquisitions including Coremetrics, Sterling Commerce, Unica and Netezza. to help retailers deliver a smarter shopping experience and create smarter merchandising and supply networks by:
Providing real-time product recommendations to shoppers by combining Sterling Multi-Channel Selling and Coremetrics analytics capabilities.
Enabling precision marketing by combining Unica Campaign with WebSphere Commerce and Sterling Commerce order management capabilities.
Improving inventory planning and distribution and transportation network processes by integrating Ilog Optimization with real-time data from Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite.
This announcement represents the continued expansion of IBM's leading portfolio of industry solutions and frameworks to help companies capitalize on these new customer buying patterns. Industry frameworks provide a configurable platform to speed deployment of business solutions. IBM industry solutions and Industry Business Partner solutions build on the value provided by these industry frameworks to deliver a comprehensive, customized solution for each client.
For more information on the IBM Frameworks or for details on how IBM is helping retail and consumer products clients and Business Partners to make smarter, faster decisions, visit: http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/html/bcs_retail.html. To explore IBM and IBM Business Partners presence at NRF, visit the Retail Virtual Briefing Center http://events.unisfair.com/index.jsp?eid=556&seid=2403
The IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit concludes with Gin Blossoms and Foreigner rocking the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee with more than 3,700 attendees from 26 countries across 25 industries.
The New Buyer
The third Summit for Smarter Commerce, the tone is now different. The game has changed. We have passed the tipping point in the new buyer experience, not just in Retail, but in Banking, in Insurance, in Telco... anywhere where there is a relationship between a brand and a customer.
Now, it’s about the demographic of “1”. Speaker Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert (@jaybaer), summed it up with the comment “B2B and B2C as you know it are dead. It's people to people networks across demand signals & supply chains.” Looking at the trending discussions, clearly the Marketing and Services pillars of Smarter Commerce are top of mind, differentiating with customers by the quality of service, the depth of engagement, the commitment of the relationship. It’s not about the stuff - in many cases everyone has basically the same stuff, it’s more about how you engage with your customers to build fierce loyalty.
Steve Cowley, IBM VP WW Sales Industry Solutions (@Steven_Cowley), remarked on "the experience”, articulating how this will define your brand. He then highlighted ISV partner fluidretail.com, who has transformed the customer experience at The North Face, Vans and David Jones.
Speaking of Vans... you should have seen Mark Easton, IBM VP Industry Solution Sales, rocking the ISV partner-day breakout session with his red vans (a nod to partner Fluid @fluid). Way to bring energy to the dialog Mark.
Tom Inman, Mark Easton and Michelle Killebrew (@shellkillebrew) joined Rita Jackson (@ripjay), Clayton Pyne (@claytonpyne) and ISV patners Fluid (www.fluidretail.com); Pubmatic (www.pubmatic.com); and NICE (www.nice.com) to dialog around “Inside Insights for Success around Joint Sales with IBM Smarter Commerce.”
Watson At Your Service
Not to be left out of the fun, Watson made a surprise appearance... with the announcement of IBM Watson At Your Service, more officially knows as IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, the first commercially available Watson solution that will transform how brands engage today's connected consumers. From the Cloud, Watson crunches big data to provide fast personalized advice for mobile consumers.
What does this mean? it means customer facing staff can help customers with data-driven, deep, personalized insights to provide better advice and more personalized solutions. Think of Watson as an uber cognitive assistant, able to draw meaning from a mountain of data... big data, and pull out the best advice for a particular client or customer. Oh, and this is all in natural language.
BTW, in case you not familiar with Watson and cognitive computing, this represents the next wave of computing in the world. This is a big deal. Why? See my post here to hear what IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has to say about this next transformation, the third wave, of computing.
It might be more accurate to say this event was not “in” Nashville, but “based” in Nashville. The conversation across social carried many of the key highlights and insights for the event. Sharing some here:
"Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it.”
“You don't want 1 leader in an organization; you want thousands!”
" A leader will take u further than u can go on your own." U want 1000's of leaders, anywhere u touch customers.
"By the time it [information] gets to the CEO's office, it's often a fairy tale."
"When I learned to follow the customer, I stopped having to look for growth"
"Fully engaged customers are more likely to spend 3x more and recommend 2x more"
For great insight... I want to share two videos with great insights and perspectives to really take in.
On the real drivers now surfing, and maturing, in the marketplace, Craig Hayman shares insights and key takeaways for the event overall.
At really heart of themes echoing throughout the event, Jay Baer discusses the five blueprints for creating marketing so useful, people will pay for it. Transcending the transactional. Youtility marketing.
And... I can’t close here without first congratulating this year's Industry Solutions IBM Smarter Commerce Award Winners: ISVs - Brightcove (@brighcove), e-Spirit (e-SpiritNA) and Revoo (@Reevo). These are great IBM partners, we are very excited to be jointly delivering value for clients with these partners and I encourage you to check them out.
To follow back the conversation in the Twittersphere, search on #smartercommerce.
One of the most valuable benefits of being an IBM Business Partner is the access IBM’s entire global ecosystem of distributors, application developers, resellers, system integrators and startups. The best way to connect with the ecosystem, is with the IBM Business Partner Locator Tool.
Here is info on why this is important, an example, a video walk-thru and link to the tool
Why should partners connect? To gain unfair advantage in the marketplace, to reach new geographies, to add new sales routes to market, to create differentiated value for your clients, and gain reach and access you just won’t be able to achieve on your own.
Let me share a scenario of how one partner recently leveraged the tool An ISV in the US specializing in applications for Telco Service Providers wanted to expand into Southern Africa, a market they viewed as high potential for their offerings. They didn’t have a sales team in Africa. They needed deeper local insights into the specific regional buyer decision criteria and purchasing processes. They needed feet on the ground they didn’t have. They turned to the IBM Business Partner Locator tool, and quickly found local distributors and resellers in Countries and Cities they wanted to target. They teamed up, gained the local insights and connections they needed, and are now jointly developing and closing sales opportunities with these IBM partners. This is about partner-to-partner teaming to capitalize on opportunity, align to maximize value for clients, and creating a win/win relationship.
Look at your growth strategy, your business plan, the opportunities and connect Be intentional and leverage the IBM Business Partner Ecosystem. In addition to partnering with IBM, think about how you can partner with other partners. Look at your strategy, your business plan, the opportunities you see in the marketplace and think about what kinds of partners and where they might help you. Together, you can go farther.
"Use the IBM Business Partner Locator Tool to do very specific searches to find partners that align with your goals."
The tool is powerful, fast and dynamic, enabling your to search and filter: by product or service by industry by solution area by partner type by country
See their map locations, see their full contact info, see a comprehensive summary of their offerings and capabilities.
Save your searches or mark partners as favorites for follow up.