IBM InterConnect 2017: IBM Flexes Its Understanding of Digital Demands
By Jim Sinur
(Aragon Research) – “It’s not about just changing the way we deliver IT; it’s about the next era of business. It will allow all of us to do things we have never been able to do.”
This was the main message delivered from IBM at InterConnect 2017. Over 20,000 attendees heard this message through main tent presentations, breakouts, and the vendor exposition.
IBM has always been enterprise-strong, but the new demands from cognitive AI baked in the cloud, IoT, blockchain, and always-active security is going to push IBM to new capabilities—which are already emerging. IBM is trying to stay ahead of the demand that digital will put on cloud infrastructure, and is building a very capable Digital Business Platform (DBP) that is cloud-centric. (To hear more, watch Ginni Rometty’s keynote.)
Many of the general sessions at InterConnect 2017 revolved around announcements and IBM efforts rather than customer stories. This says to me that IBM is changing itself to better adapt to digital-based on projections and real needs from early projects.
This blog briefly recaps some of the important announcements made at the conference.
- Red Hat for deeper collaboration on open source
- Salesforce for AI & IoT collaboration
- AT&T for infrastructure support for media
- PlayFab for pushing real-time, high-demand ecosystems
- Galvanize for filling the training gaps
- Dalian Wanda for cloud in China
- Many states for schools to produce new collar job-focused graduates
- IBM Digital Business Assistant
- IBM Cloud Object Flex
- HIPAA understanding in the cloud
- Financial Services patterns and developer tools
- Watson Discovery to accelerate “speed to insight”
- Hyperledger Blockchain Fabric for enterprise business
Noteworthy Customer Stories from the Main Stage
Everledger talked about how it is leveraging blockchain to assure diamond provenance using IBM’s cloud.
H&R Block talked about leveraging Watson to absorb tax regulations, content, and experiences to create tax wisdom. This wisdom was used to get larger refunds for many U.S. taxpayers, giving H&R Block a set of happier customers.
Noteworthy Breakout Sessions
IBM is using Watson to assist help desk workers and customers deal with questions, error messages, and support. Watson is helping to serve 40,000 requests a week through several channels.
SparkCognition talked about applying leveraging AI and analytics for security and the new industrial world.
A private bank, Brown Brothers Harriman, talked about using chatbots in an omnichannel environment for customer service
IBM understands digital and this understanding is helping it to lead its prospects and customers to the digital world—in an incremental fashion for some and new business models for others.