IBM Banking on Cloud, Cognitive Computing in Transformation Effort

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-05-06 Print this article Print
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"The IBM and Marchesa collaboration is just one example of how cognitive computing is unlocking creativity and discovery," Rubin said.

Indeed, IBM is working to bring cognitive computing to the mainstream.

"We're creating cognitive solutions that marry digital business with digital intelligence," Martin Schroeter, IBM chief financial officer, said during the company's earnings call last month. "We're bringing our industry expertise together with these cognitive solutions, and we're building it all on cloud platforms. And because we're running our clients' most critical business processes today, we're in a unique position to move them to the future."

In a slightly different cognitive bent, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization that produces Sesame Street, and IBM announced a collaboration to use Watson technology and Sesame's early childhood expertise to help advance preschool education.

As part of a three-year agreement, Sesame Workshop and IBM will collaborate to develop educational platforms and products for preschoolers. The Sesame-IBM team will gather leading teachers, academics, researchers, technologists, gamers, performers and media executives to brainstorm ways in which cognitive computing can best help preschoolers learn.

"Watson is uniquely suited to tackling one of society's most pressing and important challenges—the ways in which our young children learn," Harriet Green, IBM's general manager for Watson IoT, commerce and education, said in a statement.

Sesame Workshop and IBM plan to test and share prototypes with leaders in the education and technology community to refine their solutions.

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said studies have demonstrated that children develop numerous skills and capabilities before age 5.

"Yet kids in that age group are among the most underserved in terms of education processes, many of which occur informally in daycare and other facilities," he said. "By leveraging Sesame Workshop's deep trove of childhood education content and IBM's Watson cognitive platform, the pair hopes to develop teaching aids and content that can be easily tailored for the needs of individual children."

Meanwhile, IBM also recently announced that the professional division of Kimberly-Clark, which makes household brands such as Kleenex and Huggies, has adopted IBM Cloud and the IBM Watson IoT platform to create a new intelligent facilities management app to help organizations better monitor and manage restrooms remotely.

Kimberly-Clark Professional built its new Intelligent Restroom app using the IBM Bluemix development platform and hosted it on the IBM Cloud. Using the IBM Watson IoT platform, the Kimberly-Clark app enables facilities managers to collect data and alerts from sensors integrated into restroom amenities, from soap dispensers to air fresheners, as well as non-amenities like entrance doors, IBM said.

The collected data is managed and monitored through a central dashboard that can be viewed on desktops or mobile devices remotely, IBM said.

In pilot tests of the Intelligent Restroom, Kimblerly-Clark Professional has been able to reduce the amount of supplies used in the restroom by up to 20 percent.

Landing another cloud deal, IBM recently announced that oil field services company Halliburton will run its reservoir simulation software. Halliburton uses large reservoir simulation models to help oil and gas companies select the right development strategy to maximize production from oil and gas fields. These decisions can involve billions of dollars for a large field.

"Selecting the right development strategy is a multibillion-dollar decision for a large oil and gas field," Steven Knabe, a director in Halliburton Consulting, said in a statement. "Using high-performance computing of the IBM Cloud, we can run very detailed simulation models and evaluate a wide range of field development options, which translates into better field development plans for our clients and a competitive advantage for our business."



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