IBM Delivers Research as a Service With New Lab
IBM's new IBM Customer Experience Lab takes IBM's vaunted researchers further out of the lab and into the front office of the enterprise.In a move to spur greater innovation in the front office of the enterprise, IBM is letting its researchers loose to collaborate with its consultants to deliver unique, leading-edge solutions to customers. IBM recently announced the creation of its new IBM Customer Experience Lab, dedicated to helping business leaders transform the way customers experience their products, services and brands through the use of mobile, social, cloud and advanced analytics technologies. That IBM researchers are actually working on client engagements is not new. IBM's researchers have long been working with Big Blue's customers on projects to share their expertise as well as to gain some practical experience out in the field away from the lab. As far back as 2004, Paul Horn, then director of IBM Research and predecessor to John E. Kelly III, the current director, was talking about service science and how IBM researchers were getting out of the lab to work with clients. When asked in a 2004 interview with eWEEK whether IBM researchers were working with customers, Horn said:
Absolutely. And if I want to think about my tenure here and the areas that I'm proud of, that's therein one of the biggest things. I'm proud of the change in the culture in Research and that we think about innovation in the marketplace with our customers. That's a powerful way to innovate. Because you're basically working with your customers; you're using their deep insights into their business problems. It wasn't a trivial transformation. Even this latest one in consulting. Some even wondered, 'Are we that poor that we have to supplement our salary by going out and getting consulting dollars?' And there was a little resistance because this was something that was new. But once they got into it, they really were excited about it.