March 17, 2015
IBM’s (IBM) deal last October with Twitter (TWTR) to meld social data with the vendor’s analytics software and customer engagement platforms has yielded its first products–new tools and cloud-based data analysis services aimed at businesses and developers.
The vendor’s idea is to corral the vast volume of Twitter-generated data–6,000 tweets a second, equivalent to about 500 million blips of data a day–add in millions of other publicly-available data points, feed it into its Watson artificial intelligence technology, massage it with open-source big data processing software–and come out with useful, actionable insights no one else can produce.
With IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty pledging to lift IBM out of its three-year run of declining sales by securing $40 billion in sales by 2018 from its so-called strategic imperatives–namely, big data analytics, cloud, mobile and security–the Twitter initiative holds particular importance for the vendor.
“The unprecedented partnership between IBM and Twitter helps businesses tap into billions of real-time conversations to make smarter decisions,” said Glenn Finch, IBM Global Business Services Global Leader of Big Data & Analytics. “Through unique expertise, curation and insights Twitter data is now able to inform decision-making far inside organizations.”
When the initial deal went down, IBM said it planned to train “tens of thousands” of Global Business Services consultants on the business applications for Twitter data. So far, the vendor said, it has prepared more than 4,000 engineers and consultants on deploying Twitter data in business projects, and, has some 100 customers engagements in progress.
“So much of business decision making relies on internal data such as sales, promotion and inventory,” said Chris Moody, Twitter Data Strategy vice president.
“Now with Twitter data, customer feedback can easily be incorporated into decision making,” he said. “IBM’s unique capabilities can help businesses leverage this valuable data, and we expect to see rapid demand in retail, telecommunications, finance and more.”
IBM said that its new analytics services will enable businesses and developers to create social data-enabled apps, merge predictive analytics with Twitter data and more easily analyze Twitter-generated material.
The original IBM Twitter deal had three parts to it, two of which are the newly-offered IBM cloud-based analytics services and the trained cadre of Global Business Services professionals with access to Twitter data.
The third component, a series of solutions starting with integrating Twitter data with IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement solutions, has yet to appear. That solution is intended to arm sales, marketing, and customer service professionals with the ability to map sentiment and behavior to better engage and support their customers.
The two companies also said they will develop industry-specific solutions for banking, consumer products, retail, travel and transportation.
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