IBM Launches $1B Watson Business Unit

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-01-08 Print this article Print

The Watson Group will also offer workshops and seminars on topics such as development skills, as well as networking opportunities. These events will build upon the 1,000 academic partnerships that IBM has developed to prepare university students for careers in cognitive computing, big data and analytics. This includes Watson-inspired business and technical challenges, new curriculum, faculty grants and internships.

The launch of the IBM Watson Group includes the introduction of two new cloud-delivered products based on Watson’s cognitive intelligence. The first offering, the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor, aims to revolutionize how industries such as pharmaceutical, publishing and education conduct research. Unlike some tools that churn out thousands of search results that users must wade through, the Watson Discovery Advisor will delve into the influx of data-driven content today’s researchers face, and uncover connections that can speed up and strengthen their work.

The second offering, IBM Watson Analytics Advisor, enables business users to send natural language questions and raw data sets into the cloud, for Watson to crunch, uncover and visualize insights, without the need for advanced analytics training. After analyzing the data, Watson will deliver results to its users through graphic representations that are easy to understand, interact with and share with colleagues, all in a matter of minutes. This cloud-delivered service is part of IBM Watson Foundations that helps organizations maximize the core big data and analytics capabilities that fuel Watson and enables clients to gain fresh insights in real-time, and act upon those insights with confidence.

The IBM Watson Group will comprise four sub-groups:

•             IBM Watson Innovation: This team will serve as the core research and development function for the Watson Group, chartered with delivering, developing and advancing the core code base for next-generation commercial cognitive capabilities and solutions.

•             IBM Watson Transformation: This team will explore and recommend industries and markets in which cognitive computing holds the potential to disrupt and transform how business is done. The team will comprise experts in the fields of health care, financial services, retail, telecom and travel, who will help advance the development of Watson-powered solutions.

•             IBM Watson Implementation: This team is responsible for implementing and ensuring IBM clients achieve the full value of cloud-delivered Watson solutions. This includes the Watson Engagement Advisor, a technology breakthrough launched in 2013 that allows clients to transform key business functions such as customer engagement.

•             IBM Watson Engagement: This team will manage the marketing and sales of Watson-powered products. It will also manage the growth and investments in IBM’s recently launched initiative to build a worldwide ecosystem of software application providers that are building a new class of cognitive apps.

Nearly three years after its triumph on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM has advanced Watson from a game-playing innovation into a commercial technology. Now delivered from the cloud, powering new consumer and enterprise apps, Watson is smarter, faster and smaller with a 240 percent improvement in performance and a 75 percent reduction in physical size.


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