IBM Launches Smarter Commerce Software and Services

At the IBM Impact 2011 conference, the company delivered new software and services offerings in support of its Smarter Commerce initiative.

LAS VEGAS-IBM has extended its Smarter Commerce strategy with new software and services to help businesses swiftly adapt to rising customer demand in today's digitally transformed B2B and B2C marketplaces.

Big Blue made the announcement at its IBM Impact 2011 conference here before more than 8,100 clients and business partners.

With its Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is defining and leading a new market that it estimates will grow to $20 billion in software alone by 2015. Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling, and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.

"Customers use social networks, mobile devices, Websites and influencers to make buying decisions today," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions, in a statement. "These businesses must connect to these customers where and how they prefer to buy to be successful. At the same time, they need to make sure they have the means of effectively managing their supplier and trading partner network to ensure they have the products at the right time and place to meet this new customer demand."

Moreover, new commerce imperatives are bringing non-traditional IT buyers, such as marketing officers and procurement executives, into pivotal roles that are supported by Smarter Commerce, IBM said.

Thus, IBM has announced Smarter Commerce offerings to help these clients deal with these new challenges. These services include a Customer Value Strategy Accelerator service, where IBM's industry and strategy specialists will work with clients to envision, evaluate and prioritize a set of new business-value possibilities. Customers receive a roadmap and prioritized recommendations for new business models that address the changing needs of the social, digital and mobile consumer. The new cross-channel Experience Assessment service is where IBM's industry and channel specialists will analyze current customer experience by channel; identify pain points and limitations; and map customer expectations and behaviors. In addition, through a customer experience workshop, IBM explores cross-industry leading practices and creates design principles for the target customer experience across channels.

In addition, building on its R&D innovations and acquisitions, IBM has also announced new Smarter Commerce software offerings that meet a range of other business demands, including:

- Advanced Analytics-WebSphere Commerce and Coremetrics Web analytics is said to enable customers to gain faster insight from statistics, charts and dashboards to determine the effectiveness of their marketing programs, call-center performance and cross-selling initiatives.

- Cloud Computing-The new Coremetrics Lifecycle offering is a cloud-delivered product that helps IBM clients track key customer-advancement milestones, allowing them to better target investments in marketing programs, content and products.

- Cross-Channel Commerce-Through the integration of Coremetrics Intelligent Offer and WebSphere Commerce, organizations are said to gain insight into online buying trends, while Sterling Configure, Price, Quote with embedded business intelligence by Cognos can help companies streamline the quote-to-cash process.

- Social Business-The integration of Coremetrics Social Analytics with WebSphere Commerce allows enterprises to measure the impact of social activity on their commerce Website, including social referrals and the usage of social features such as product reviews.

- Supply Chain Planning & Execution-Through the integration of WebSphere Commerce and Sterling Order Management, IBM's Smarter Commerce is said to enable businesses to better optimize inventory investments by providing enhanced visibility and intelligence around current inventory positions and sourcing options.