Eleven things heard and seen at IBM

LAS VEGAS– IBM Corp. held its annual Information on Demand (IOD) conference inLas Vegas this week where the event focused on unlocking the businessvalue of information. While there, here are just some things seen andheard:


1. This year’s IBM IOD conference in Las Vegas drew more than 7,000 registered attendees from more than 70 countries.


2.At the opening keynote, IBM general manager of information managementsoftware, Ambuj Goyal joked that IOD stands for “Information ObsessionDisorder” because “we are certainly obsessed with information and thisconference is about re-dedicating and re-energizing our obsession withinformation.”


3.Comedian and actor Martin Short opened the conference keynote with aburst of merry song. He later returned to the stage several timesthroughout the opening session to tell jokes and belt out yet moresongs.


4.IBM boasted 10,000 new clients, 2,000 new business partners, and a 20per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) since the launch of its IODstrategy almost three years ago.


5.Since launching its IOD strategy, IBM has surpassed the one billiondollars in investments it said it would make incrementally. “We prettymuch ran through that first billion dollars in under six months. Wewill invest many billions of dollars more,” Steve Mills, IBM’s seniorvice-president and group executive, told the press. The companycurrently counts “many millions of dollars” in acquisitions, and hasalso focused on organic development and brought in “a few thousandmore” partners, said Mills.


6.Since the acquisition of Cognos was closed at the end of the firstquarter of 2008, IBM has put out some 40 new deliverables that areCognos-based, and is focused on real-time analytics. Mills told thepress that “it’s not just about having a lot of [data]” but abouthaving the necessary data, being able to analyze it on the fly andusing it to make business decisions.


7.This era of computing lacks a name, according to Mills: “We’re almostnear the end of this decade… there’s no name for this era ofcomputing.” The bar has been raised and the world, said Mills, is nowin “an extreme era of computing”. So business’ infrastructure choiceswill matter and they will have to understand [those] business needs andthe “high-velocity nature of what you’re going to be implementing overthe course of the next decade.”


8.Current economic conditions could have been avoided with real-timeanalytics, Mills told the audience at the keynote. “More data, moreinformation, but more importantly real-time effective focused analyticsthat would have helped them understand aspects of financial risk andinsight into what was happening to them as it was happening,” saidMills. “It could have been a powerful tool for dealing with theproblems they were facing years ago and could have avoided theincredible hole that we’ve dug for ourselves.”


9.IBM leads 7 out of 11 smart metre deployments globally with the goal ofbuilding intelligence into utilities to lower costs to the customer.


10. Conference staff gave out to attendees an IOD version of the For Dummies line of fun educational books entitled Information on Demand for Dummies.The attendees can probably do without the remedial reading that thelimited-edition 66-page booklet aims to give, but it just might come inhandy, the company said.


11.Real-time data analysis can benefit food shipment supply chains, too,and reduce the lengthy travel times that produce is often subject to,Mills told the press. “[Produce] travelling hundreds of miles before itgets to the supermarket, carrots going over 1,200 miles. No wonder theydon’t taste like carrots.” 

Also at IBM IOD:

Bank of Montreal spends time on data governance

IBM services to help build competency centres

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