NEW YORK – 07 Oct 2014 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) is announcing significant milestones fueling adoption of Watson and cognitive computing cloud capabilities on a global scale. Watson is a groundbreaking platform that represents a new era of computing based on its ability to interact in natural language, process vast amounts of Big Data to uncover patterns and insights, and learn from each interaction.

According to technology research firm Gartner, Inc., smart machines will be the most disruptive change ever brought about by information technology, making people more effective and empowering them to "do the impossible."

IBM is advancing Watson technology around the world, announcing:

"Watson is bringing forward a new era of computing, enabling organizations around the globe to launch new businesses, redefine markets and transform industries," said Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. "Watson is fueling a new market and ecosystem of clients, partners, developers, venture capitalists, universities and students. The next great innovations will come from people who are able to make connections that others don't see and Watson is making possible."

Clients Around the World Adopt Watson
Watson is gaining momentum as clients adopt cognitive technologies to transform how they interact with their customers. Since forming the IBM Watson Group in January of this year, Watson has been gaining momentum as new clients continue to implement Watson around the world:

Partners and Start Ups Debut Watson-Powered Apps
With this announcement, IBM Ecosystem Partners are unveiling new, powered-by-Watson apps that aim to transform the way businesses interact with each other and with consumers – from better managing health and enriching the customer experience, to enabling new research and education.

For example, entrepreneur Terry Jones, the founder of Travelocity and founding chairman of Kayak.com , is launching WayBlazer, a new travel company powered by Watson. WayBlazer uses the cognitive intellect of Watson to engage, learn, and advise users through a visual and natural language interface to create the best travel experience. The Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau is using a prototype version of the new WayBlazer app to improve convention bookings, increase hotel bookings and provide additional revenue streams from partner and affiliate marketing opportunities.

Watson is transforming healthcare, non-profits, retail and veterinary care:

Read more on these partners stories here.

IBM Watson Global Headquarters Opens for Business in Silicon Alley
IBM is also announcing that the Watson Group’s global headquarters, at 51 Astor Place in New York City's Silicon Alley, is open for business. The Watson headquarters will serve as a home base for more than 600 IBM Watson employees, just part of the more than 2,000 IBMers dedicated to Watson worldwide. In addition to a sizeable employee presence, IBM is opening its doors to area developers and entrepreneurs, hosting industry workshops, seminars and networking opportunities to build enthusiasm and awareness among the New York City start up community.

For entrepreneurs and start ups, the Watson Group's Silicon Alley headquarters will provide technology, tools and talent to create and launch new products and businesses based on Watson's cloud-delivered cognitive intelligence. IBM will lead its cognitive computing innovation from the new global headquarters, collaborating with its five new Watson client experience centers around the world.

An interactive client experience lab will serve as a place for IBM clients to experience Watson and learn how they can help transform their businesses. In addition, the headquarters will host a design lab for continuously enhancing the user experience for cognitive applications and services used by IBM clients and partners. Workshops and seminars on topics such as development skills, as well as networking opportunities, will allow the community to experience firsthand how to bring new innovations to market. These events will also build upon IBM's academic partnerships to prepare university students for careers in cognitive computing, Big Data and analytics. This includes Watson-inspired business and technical challenges, new curricula, faculty grants and internships.

The New York tech industry continues to add jobs at a rapid pace, generating four times more jobs than any other industry from 2009-2013. IBM is committed to building on that momentum by partnering with local colleges and universities to equip students with the skills they'll need to blaze their own trails in the cognitive computing marketplace. This fall, students at New York University are among the first nationally to take advantage of a cognitive computing curriculum, while City University of New York (CUNY) students are participating in a semester-long Watson Case Competition, working to develop new applications based on Watson technology.

As clients adopt Watson globally, the need to have skills focused on cognitive computing to meet local client and partner needs is critical. IBM is announcing the opening of the first five Watson Client Experience Centers, co-located with IBM Research and Design teams, to provide the support and skills needed to fully adopt the Watson cognitive platform. The initial new centers will be located in Dublin, London, Melbourne, Sao Paulo and Singapore.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
IBM Watson represents a new era of computing in which apps and systems interact with human users more naturally, augment our knowledge with Big Data (US) insights, and learn to improve how they assist us.

Fueled by innovation from a mission to transform industries and professions, Watson is uniquely positioned at the forefront of the new era of computing, evidenced by an unmatched demonstration of what cognitive systems can bring to transform decision-making. IBM is delivering a range of cloud-based products and services to clients in industries such as banking, healthcare, insurance, retail and education.

In January, 2014, IBM launched the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to developing and commercializing cloud-delivered cognitive advisors. The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to deliver a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover insights from massive amounts of Big Data.

IBM is investing $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This includes $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s ecosystem of start-ups and businesses building cognitive apps made with Watson.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: www.ibmwatson.com

To join the social discussion about Watson, include the hashtag #ibmwatson. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr .

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss