IBM Delivers New Tools to Empower Smarter Cities

IBM broadens its Smarter Cities offerings with new software and cloud-based services to help cities wrangle big data to provide better services.

IBM Smarter Cities big data

IBM announced that the cities of Minneapolis, Minn., and Montpellier, France, are working with Big Blue to make data-driven decisions to transform the way they provide water, transportation and emergency management.

The systems, software and services giant also announced the availability of three new cloud-based Smarter Cities management centers for transportation, water and emergency management.

The new centers enable cities to begin to use their own data, as well as open data, to attain new insight into citizen services and improve decision-making for city leaders.

“For the first time, we have the tools that can be applied broadly across city departments to give us greater flexibility to see reality and turn data into decisions,” said Otto Doll, chief information officer for the city of Minneapolis, in a statement. “In any city, an issue may reside in one department, but the answer lies in another. Analytics can enable a city to tell meaningful stories about what is going on in real-time through data.”

Minneapolis, Montpelier and other cities around the world are increasingly using data to make better decisions and allocate resources to respond to challenges in city infrastructure. From improving traffic management, responding rapidly to incidents, using effective communication channels with citizens and ensuring sustainable natural resources, data and analytics are providing new insight to create more effective cities. IBM has isolated the most pressing challenges and is bringing together a new way to help municipalities use big data and analytics via the cloud.

In Minneapolis, the city is using IBM’s cloud-based Smarter Cities technology to make more effective decisions, allocate city resources more efficiently and drive change by ensuring multiple departments are aligned and working together on a single initiative. IBM Intelligent Operations software is also helping the city to do pattern discovery and providing city leaders with metrics to track performance improvement and ensure they are meeting their goals.

In Montpellier, IBM Intelligent Operations delivered via the cloud serves as the foundation for the city’s effort to improve water management, mobility and emergency management. This capability aggregates Montpellier’s data sources and provides city leaders the ability to analyze this data in detail. It also allows new insight to be shared across multiple parts of the city, universities and with partner organizations delivering services to the region.

Montpellier also is creating a living laboratory for open innovation in cooperation with the University of Montpellier 1 and University of Montpellier 2, encouraging the development of new technology, urban innovations, new startup organizations and the exploration of new economic models. These efforts have already resulted in a 10-percent improvement in water yield, and future goals are to reduce flooding by 20 percent and reduce automobile traffic by 10 percent through a partnership with French public transportation provider Transdev. Montpellier plans to achieve these goals while keeping up with growing demands on city services.