SJ, Sweden’s Largest Rail Operator, Turns to IBM to Improve Mobile, Online Customer Experience, Increase Sales
IBM recently announced that SJ®, Sweden’s largest rail operator, is turning to customer experience management software from IBM to improve its mobile and online booking process and overall online customer experience to increase ticket sales.
IBM's customer experience management (CEM) solutions are helping SJ to understand, identify, and eliminate consumer pain points on online and mobile channels. Visualization and analytics tools designed to help businesses understand and keep pace with the rapidly shifting preferences of today’s increasingly digital consumers are part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative to help maximize the value of every single customer visit (web and mobile) and ensuring that more transactions are completed successfully.
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, SJ transports more than 100,000 passengers every day, with more than 50 percent of passenger bookings completed online. However, during an initial investigation, SJ discovered that more than 230,000 customers annually were experiencing difficulties when booking online travel with a credit card, which ultimately impacted ticket sales.
South Carolina Selects IBM Smarter Cities Solution to Help Modernize and Improve Delivery of Vital Social Programs to Citizens
IBM recently announced that the State of South Carolina has selected IBM software, part of IBM’s Smarter Cities portfolio, to help modernize its statewide Medicaid eligibility system, transforming the delivery of vital health and social programs to its citizens. The solution is expected to improve program efficiencies while meeting big data challenges and opportunities as the State migrates from a largely paper-based approach to a more open, automated platform to manage eligibility requirements.
IBM to Acquire Kenexa To
Bolster Social Business Initiatives
IBM and Kenexa Corporation recently
announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire
Kenexa, a publicly held company headquartered in Wayne, Pa.,
in a cash transaction at a price of $46 per share, or at a net price of
approximately $1.3 billion.
The acquisition bolsters IBM's leadership in
helping clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable
insights from the enormous streams of information generated from social
networks every day.
Kenexa, a leading provider of recruiting and
talent management solutions, brings a unique combination of Cloud-based
technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes,
providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their
most critical business functions.
IBM Expands DevOps Portfolio with New Cloud and Mobile Offerings
IBM recently announced new software, training and resources to help organizations create, test and deliver mobile and cloud applications. These new initiatives expand the development capabilities of IBM’s SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst offerings.
Mobile and cloud computing are powerful technology trends that have the potential to help businesses drive new revenue and transform the enterprise. Typical software development approaches can take weeks turn around time for code changes. Yet, user choice and ease of movement mean that speed and quality are of the essence for businesses. To succeed in this fast moving market, organizations need to deliver mobile and cloud software faster and more frequently than ever before.
Key to this transition is DevOps. DevOps is an integrated approach to software delivery that integrates an organization’s culture, processes, and tools. It spans the entire lifecycle, from business planning and creation to delivery and feedback. The goal of DevOps is to enable continuous software delivery allowing businesses to quickly seize market opportunities and better meet client demands.
Given the close connection between mobile and cloud applications, the need for a single, automated DevOps strategy for both technologies is essential. IBM’s DevOps portfolio helps businesses address the full lifecycle of software delivery with a common approach regardless of the type of application being developed.
IBM Launches Digital Marketing Network in the Cloud to Help Companies Improve Marketing Performance in Real-Time
IBM recently joined by more than 100 business partners, launched the IBM Digital Marketing Network in the cloud to help chief marketing officers (CMOs) and their teams more quickly and easily integrate new marketing services to measure and improve their effectiveness in real-time.
IBM Digital Marketing Network provides customized dashboards for e-commerce, mobile, and digital marketers allowing them to view how their marketing campaigns are performing across paid, earned and owned channels.
Part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Digital Marketing Network can syndicate real-time analytics to any marketing service such as Google Display Network, Doubleclick Search and Badgeville, to help marketers create a more consistent and compelling customer experience based on individual buyer behaviors. Creating a relevant experience is critical; the IBM 2013 State of Marketing Survey cites $83 billion in sales is lost each year due to poor, inconsistent customer experiences.
IBM Study Points to CMO, Marketer of the Future, as Customer Experiences Remain Top Priority
IBM’s new survey of marketing professionals finds that chief marketing officers (CMOs) are differentiating their brands by crunching big data in real-time and automating personalized marketing campaigns. The price tag for failing to meet the needs of today's so-called "omni-channel shoppers" -- who frequent both online and in-store channels -- is $83 billion in lost sales in the U.S. each year due to poor and inconsistent customer experiences.
Other top findings from the survey point to leading marketers taking greater responsibility over customer service interactions as they become the official brand stewards company-wide. At the same time, leading marketers are capitalizing on big data to better personalize their marketing communications. They are looking beyond segments and demographics to provide the right offers, services and information at exactly the right moment in the customer relationship. Further, marketers are looking to use location-based services to target more digitally-savvy, on-the-move customers and deliver seamless, intuitive customer interactions.
The survey, which identified leading marketers based on their level of adoption of cross-channel technologies and their ability to proactively influence the customer experience, found that 39 percent of leading marketers are adjusting real-time offers based on customer wants, needs and preferences. In comparison, only 15 percent of remaining marketers surveyed do so. Seventy-one percent of leading marketers are delivering personalized messages in real-time through social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and review sites, while 62 percent of leading marketers are delivering those same personalized messages through the mobile channel.
IBM Unveils New PowerLinux System for Analytics and Cloud Computing
IBM is accelerating its Linux on Power initiative with a new high-performance PowerLinux server as well as new software and middleware applications geared for the growing number of clients embracing big data, analytics and next generation Java applications in an open cloud environment.
"More clients are choosing IBM’s Power Systems designed to handle mission critical and complex cloud and big data workloads in an open Linux environment," said Doug Balog, General Manager for IBM Power Systems. "Responding to this need, we are aggressively investing in our open ecosystem -- including new products, applications and collaborations -- that support today's emerging Linux workloads.”
Big Data Helps City of Dublin Improve its Public Bus Transportation Network and Reduce Congestion
IBM recently announced it is helping the City of Dublin use Big Data to identify and solve the root causes of traffic congestion in its public transport network throughout the city, which means improved traffic flow and better mobility for commuters. Integrating data from a citywide network of sensors with geospatial data means that city officials are able to better monitor and manage traffic in real time.
The Dublin City Council (DCC) delivers housing, water and transport services to 1.2 million citizens across the Irish capital. To keep the city moving, the council’s traffic control center works together with local transport operators to manage an extensive network of roads, tramways and bus lanes.
In a collaboration with IBM researchers, its road and traffic department is now able to combine Big Data streaming in from an array of sources – bus timetables, inductive-loop traffic detectors, and closed-circuit television cameras, GPS updates that each of the city’s 1,000 buses transmits every 20 seconds – and build a digital map of the city overlaid with the real-time positions of Dublin’s buses using stream computing and geospatial data.
AT&T and IBM Transform the App
Experience with IBM MobileFirst
IBM and AT&T Inc.
recently announced an expanded relationship to provide software developers with
a set of powerful new tools to create and deploy next generation mobile apps.
Customers benefit from access to secure, high quality apps, including those
featuring advanced speech recognition and mobile payment capabilities, which
can transform how they engage in everyday activities.
AT&T has been expanding
its network capabilities and increasing access to research from AT&T Labs
across a range of mobile development platforms, including IBM Worklight. Part
of the IBM MobileFirst Application and Data Platform, IBM Worklight is an open,
comprehensive and advanced mobile app platform for mobile devices.
Now, the AT&T API
Platform, featuring IBM Worklight Adapters, will enable the more than 31,000
members of the AT&T Developer Program to quickly create and securely deploy
enterprise apps that improve subscriber engagement and customer loyalty. With
these adapters that support AT&T’s ecosystem of APIs including those for
speech, SMS, device capabilities, notary management and payment, developers can
quickly and securely create rich, business-ready apps across a variety of
platforms including iOS, Android and Windows.
"AT&T is committed to the success of our rapidly growing developer community. By expanding our platform's reach and making our API toolkit available on an expanding number of platforms, including IBM Worklight, our developers have the information, tools, and resources to continue to build great things and contribute to the mobile ecosystem in meaningful new ways", said Carlton Hill, vice president, developer services, AT&T.
IBM recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire The Now Factory, a privately held provider of analytics software that helps communications service providers (CSPs) deliver better customer experiences and drive new revenue opportunities. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This acquisition also complements the IBM MobileFirst Analytics portfolio, which is designed to enhance the way organizations analyze mobile device usage to provide exceptional customer experiences.
Using The Now Factory’s software, CSPs can gain real-time insights into their customers by analyzing massive quantities of network and business data. With this type of insight, CSPs can provide an enhanced quality of service to their customers by better managing negative experiences and network outages.
The demand for this type of software is being driven by the explosion of growth in the volume of real-time data that is being produced by mobile devices and the strain it is putting on mobile networks to collect and process events instantly, monitor their performance, and understand the impact of customer interaction.
IBM Acquires UrbanCode to Help Businesses Rapidly Deliver Mobile, Cloud, Big Data and Social Software
IBM recently announced it has acquired UrbanCode Inc. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, UrbanCode automates the delivery of software, helping businesses quickly release and update mobile, social, big data, cloud applications.
Mobile, social, big data and cloud technologies are driving demand for new, faster and more frequent approaches to software delivery. Waiting days or even months to get an update to clients is no longer acceptable. With UrbanCode’s technology, businesses can reduce the cycle time it takes to get updates or new applications into market, from months to minutes. This approach is designed to help reduce cost and risk, while helping address changing client needs by enabling a company to rapidly incorporate feedback into and improve the overall quality of their applications and services.
UrbanCode’s software is a natural extension of IBM’s DevOps strategy, designed to simplify and speed the entire software development and delivery process for businesses. The new capabilities also enhance IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst initiatives by making it easier and faster for clients to deliver software through those channels. For example, by combining UrbanCode software with the IBM MobileFirst Worklight technology, businesses can now author and deploy an application for any mobile device in hours, versus a previous multi-day timeline. The UrbanCode solution also works with traditional applications including middleware, databases and business intelligence.
IBM Placed in Leaders Quadrant by Leading Analyst Firm for IBM MobileFirst
IBM recently announced that Gartner has positioned IBM as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms.[i]
The new report places IBM in the Leaders Quadrant, as measured by completeness of vision and execution ability of IBM Worklight, IBM’s mobile application development platform. Acquired by IBM in February 2012, IBM Worklight is a member of the IBM MobileFirst family of solutions. In just one year, IBM has advanced from the Niche Quadrant to the Leaders Quadrant.
This announcement follows a string of strong showings for IBM MobileFirst services and software capabilities, including IBM Worklight, in Gartner Magic Quadrants this summer. In July, IBM was named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing.[ii] IBM is also named a visionary in Magic Quadrants for Managed Mobility Services[iii] and Mobile Device Management[iv].
According to the report, as this market reaches early mainstream status, Gartner expects Leaders to be profitable, and to present lower risk and consistently high project results as the market begins to consolidate and competition grows. Leaders must not only be good at cross-platform development and deployment, but also have a good vision of the multichannel enterprise, support for standards, a solid understanding of IT requirements, and scalable channels and partnerships to market. Leaders must provide platforms that are easy to purchase, program, deploy and upgrade. Leaders can focus primarily on either business-to-consumer or business-to-enterprise, but vision and execution scores are higher for vendors that can cover both use cases today.
Mobile Experience is Critical to Business Success but Most CMOs and eCommerce Executives Struggle to Understand the Omnichannel Customer, Says IBM
A new IBM sponsored survey of business professionals finds that while chief marketing officers (CMOs) and ecommerce leaders recognize mobile as critical to their business objectives, two-thirds of those same professionals, indicate they don't have a strong understanding of the mobile user experience. With 89 percent of customers choosing to do business with a competitor, following a poor customer experience, businesses are turning to big data and digital analytics to better understand the omnichannel customer.
Mobile traffic continues to grow, with respondents attributing 19 percent of their total traffic to a mobile device. But businesses continue to struggle with providing a quality mobile experience, with 40 percent of companies agreeing that “delivering positive customer experiences is harder on mobile than the web”.
For many companies, their answer to creating a mobile presence is simply adapting an existing website as opposed to building a mobile experience from the ground up, with 70 percent of respondents describing their multichannel experience for customers as “okay” or “poor”. As such, the top three most serious mobile issues include bad navigation/poor “findabilty” screen-sizing issues, and form-filling problems.
E.ON and IBM Deliver Innovative Service Offerings to Customers with New Smart Energy Solutions
IBM recently announced that it has been selected by E.ON Metering to operate its Smart Metering IT infrastructure in a private cloud. The new platform will improve the integration of renewable and decentralized energy sources, while also allowing E.ON to deliver personalized services that will put customers in better control of energy usage.
E.ON Metering, a company of E.ON, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies, will use IBM's Intelligent Energy Service Enablement Platform (IESEP) to improve the deployment and management of smart meters, simplify the integration of renewables, and other innovative services, while at the same time maintaining a high level of customer service.
Under this agreement E.ON will migrate and host the infrastructure in a private cloud using IBM SmartCloud, at one of IBM's Data Centers in Germany. At the same time, the new platform will be upgraded with new analytics and management tools based on IBM Software that will allow E.ON to provide higher-value-added data services for customers. For example, customers will have the ability to view their usage profiles for information about time-of-use-rates and changes in use patterns that can be compared with historical data.
IBM recently announced it has acquired Daeja Image Systems Ltd., a leading provider of software that makes it easier for business and IT professionals to view large documents and images. Daeja is a privately held software company with headquarters in Milton Keynes, UK. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As unstructured business data continues to grow exponentially, business users need not only access to information, but a compelling user experience as well. By putting content in the context of how people work every day, professionals can solve problems and make decisions that deliver better outcomes, faster.
Daeja delivers software that helps line of business employees across all industries, especially data intensive ones such as banking, insurance and healthcare, get faster access to critical business information. Users can open and view hundreds of document and image file formats, even if the native application is not present on their devices, which saves time and enables social collaboration and document sharing across the organization.
IBM recently announced that Nextra Teleservices Pvt
Ltd (Nextra), an emerging Internet Service Provider (ISP), has selected IBM's
PureSystems technology to provide the IT backbone for its high-speed broadband
infrastructure. The system will also support Nextra's business growth, allowing
it to introduce innovative value added services securely, quickly and in-line
with increases in available bandwidth.
The new IBM PureFlex System will help Nextra to
remove system bottlenecks, streamline internal processes and ensure
uninterrupted high-speed broadband service for individual clients as well as
for small and medium companies in Delhi Northern Capital Region (NCR).The IBM
PureFlex System, with its integrated storage capability, is ideal for the
management and virtualization of internal and third-party storage that
typically slows down ISP infrastructures. In fact, since deploying the system,
Nextra has seen its storage utilization increased by up to 30 percent.
“We were looking at starting a new line of business
and IBM PureFlex was the best solution matching our needs because of its fully
fledged cloud capabilities,” said Puneesh Singla, General Manager – Information
Systems, Nextra Teleservices. “We believe PureFlex will help us to be faster
and more efficient in designing and marketing new collaboration services to
cater to millions subscribers."
With high demand for its hosted and next generation
services, Nextra required a reliable, flexible and robust IT infrastructure to
handle current offerings, as well as provide data backup and archiving. Nextra
deployed an IBM PureFlex System with IBM Storwize V7000 storage to help
maintain the high quality of its base services such as FTTH Broadband, and
introduce new ones - such as IPTV/ OTT Video based Services requiring
ultra-high system availability .
Open Source Robotics Foundation Chooses SoftLayer, an IBM Company, to Host First Cloud-Based Robotics Challenge
The Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), the non-profit organization charged with supporting the development, distribution and adoption of open-source software for use in robotics research, education and product development, recently relied on SoftLayer Technologies to host the DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC). SoftLayer, now an IBM company, provided the multi-faceted infrastructure of bare metal, cloud and high-performance GPU servers to help push the boundaries of robotics technology. OSRF was funded by DARPA to support the simulator-based event, part of the broader DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC).
Competitors in the VRC sought to develop software to enable a simulated robot to execute tasks similar to the activities that might be required of emergency personnel in a disaster response situation. The VRC drew more than 100 teams from around the world, and SoftLayer’s uniquely customizable cloud platform allowed them to compete from remote locations. The winners of the virtual competition will move on to the next stage of the DRC, in which the software they tested during the VRC will be applied to physical robots during a live event.
IBM MobileFirst Helps Organizations
Strengthen App Security
IBM recently announced
security software that helps organizations proactively reduce the security risk
to iOS enterprise apps. Clients will be able to build security testing into the
initial design of mobile apps so that vulnerabilities can be detected early in
the development process, before being deployed to customers or employees.
Today's announcement further expands the IBM MobileFirst portfolio, which
marries deep expertise with a comprehensive set of mobile software and
According to Gartner,
more than 45.6 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2012. As the rate of app
use on mobile devices increases, securing smartphones and other endpoint
devices is a top priority for organizations and Chief Information Security
Officers. With the proliferation of consumer and enterprise mobile apps,
organizations cannot always control or restrict the apps installed on user
devices, so they must test how apps send and save data. IBM’s new security
software can automatically identify where data enters and leaves a mobile app,
helping to prevent mobile data leakage.
IBM recently announced it
has completed the acquisition of the software portfolio of Star Analytics,
Inc., a privately held business analytics company headquartered in Redwood City, California. Financial
terms were not disclosed.
The combination of IBM and
Star Analytics’ software will further advance IBM's business analytics
initiatives allowing clients to easily access financial information stored in
their applications, allowing them to make more informed decisions faster.
Star Analytics software
addresses a rising challenge for organizations -- helping to automatically
integrate essential information, reporting applications and business analytics
tools across their enterprises, on premise or from cloud computing
environments. The software removes typical custom coding for specialized
sources that are hard to maintain, and eliminates manual processes that are
cumbersome and time consuming.
"Applying analytics to
a wide range of data requires organizations to democratize and speed sharing of
critical information across an enterprise," said Les Rechan, IBM General
Manager, Business Analytics. "Star Analytics’ software advances IBM’s
efforts to deliver analytics that span all data sources directly into the hands
of front line employees, and delivers a comprehensive approach to helping
clients uncover new, untapped growth opportunities.”
Star Analytics’ software,
combined with IBM's R&D and prior acquisitions in business analytics
including Varicent, Algorithmics, Clarity Systems, OpenPages and Cognos, and
recent investments in predictive analytics such as SPSS, will provide clients
with a broad range of business analytics solutions. These acquisitions are
part of IBM's larger focus on analytics, which spans hardware, software,
services and research.
The news supports IBM's
long-term growth strategy to expand the company’s business analytics and
optimization software and services capabilities, an area of IBM's business that
is expected to reach $20 billion in revenue by 2015.
IBM has established one of
the world’s deepest portfolios of analytics and big data technologies and
industry expertise, including almost 9,000 dedicated business analytics and
optimization consultants, and 400 researchers. Nearly 500 of the patents
from IBM’s record breaking 20th year of innovation will serve as the building
blocks for future analytics innovations that can help businesses and
governments unlock the power of big data.
With the closing of this
acquisition, it is expected that all Star Analytics employees will join IBM's