LAS VEGAS—Ever wonder what a business could do with all that data generated on Twitter every day? IBM sure has, which is why Big Blue has teamed up with Twitter to make it easy for businesses to integrate this data to accelerate product and service development by predicting long-term trends, respond to shifts in preferences and drive real-time forecasting.
At the IBM Insight 2014 conference here, Twitter and IBM today announced a landmark partnership that will help transform how businesses and institutions understand their customers, markets and trends—and inform every business decision. The alliance brings together Twitter data that distinctively represents the public pulse of the planet with IBM’s cloud-based analytics, customer engagement platforms and consulting services.
“Imagine the ability to identify the birth of a trend, industry by industry,” said Paul Pappas, global leader of IBM Interactive Experience.
Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM Business Analytics, said IBM’s collaboration with Twitter will focus on three areas: integration of Twitter data and IBM analytics services on the cloud, new data-intensive capabilities for the enterprise and specialized enterprise consulting.
IBM plans to offer Twitter data as part of select cloud-based services, including IBM Watson Analytics, IBM’s cognitive service in the palm of your hand that brings intuitive visualization and predictive capabilities to business users; and a cloud-based data refinery service that enables application developers to embed data services in applications. Entrepreneurs and software developers will also be able to integrate Twitter data into new cloud services they are building with IBM’s Watson Developer Cloud or IBM Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology.
“Developers are important to us, which is why we’re bringing this data to Bluemix,” Rennie said.
Meanwhile, IBM and Twitter will deliver a set of enterprise applications to help improve business decisions across industries and professions. The first joint solution will integrate Twitter data with IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement solutions, enabling sales, marketing and customer service professionals to map sentiment and behavior to engage and support their customers better.
Moreover, IBM Global Business Services professionals will have access to Twitter data to enrich consulting services for clients across business. Additionally, IBM and Twitter will collaborate to develop unique solutions for specific industries, such as banking, consumer products, retail, and travel and transportation. The partnership will draw upon the skills of tens of thousands of IBM Global Business Services consultants and application professionals, including consultants from the IBM’s integrated Strategy and Analytics practice, as well as IBM Interactive Experience, IBM’s digital agency.
“Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world—as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends,” Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “This partnership, drawing on IBM’s leading cloud-based analytics platform, will help clients enrich business decisions with an entirely new class of data. This is the latest example of how IBM is reimagining work.”
In a video webcast to the audience at IBM Insight 2014, Rometty said, “Data is the phenomena of our time. It’s transforming every industry and every profession. Twitter has created something extraordinary—a new and growing class of data.”
IBM, Twitter Partner to Bring Social Data to Enterprises
Also in a video webcast, Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, noted: “Businesses have only scratched the surface of what is possible” from tapping into Twitter data, which is why Twitter partnered with the company he called “the undisputed global leader in big data and analytics.”
In addition, Costolo said in a statement, “When it comes to enterprise transformation, IBM is an undisputed global leader in enabling companies to take advantage of emerging technologies and platforms. This important partnership with IBM will change the way business decisions are made—from identifying emerging market opportunities to better engaging clients, partners and employees.”
With the development of new solutions to improve business decisions across industries and professions, IBM and Twitter will be able to enrich existing enterprise data streams to improve business decisions. For example, the integration of social data with enterprise data can help accelerate product development by predicting long-term trends or drive real-time demand forecasting based on real-time situations like weather patterns.
“IBM brings a unique combination of cloud-based analytics solutions and a global services team that can help companies utilize this truly unique data,” Chris Moody, vice president of Twitter Data Strategy, said in a statement. “Companies have had successes with Twitter data—from manufacturers more effectively managing inventory to consumer electronics companies doing rapid product development. This partnership with IBM will allow faster innovation across a broader range of use cases at scale.”
IBM’s deal with Twitter comes on the heels of recent partnerships the company has made with the likes of Microsoft, SAP and Apple. Major companies are looking to IBM to help enterprise-enable their offerings. IBM is working with both SAP and Microsoft in the cloud, while helping Apple with its enterprise mobility strategy.
These moves are part of Rometty’s turnaround plan, where she is intent on getting IBM out of lower-value businesses, such as the semiconductor business that IBM recently sold to GlobalFoundries, while moving to new, higher-value deals in the social, mobile, big data, analytics and security arenas.
“This would be an ideal showcase of a market monitoring/end-user-facing analytics system,” Rob Enderle, founder of the Enderle Group, said regarding IBM’s partnership with Twitter. “Twitter captures events real time and not only would be a great source for a rapid response PR [public relations] system based on analytics but trends analysis based on changing perceptions and interests. Assuming the result works, this would provide IBM with an unprecedented reference account for their analytics solution and Twitter a powerful new product to sell to advertisers, politicians and political parties, and product makers interested in real-time and historic information on large cross sections of people both domestically and abroad.”
IBM has established a deep portfolio in big data and analytics consulting and technology expertise based on experiences drawn from more than 40,000 data and analytics client engagements. This analytics portfolio spans research and development, solutions, software and hardware, and includes more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 4,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners and 400 IBM mathematicians who are helping clients use big data to transform their organizations, IBM said.