Reflections from the IBM Business Partner Forum

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

IBM is a long-standing partner of Comptel, and last week, I attended the IBM Business Partner Forum in sunny Cote d’Azur (while my peers were attending Management World 2011 in not-so-sunny Dublin).

There was still plenty of evidence of the film festival from the week before, e.g. tents, other temporary buildings, billboards, etc. Unfortunately, the red carpets had been rolled up, and the film stars had already left town, so I had to instead spend my time in Cannes with IBM and its partners. That said, I had numerous fruitful discussions with IT professionals from various industries (including finance, pharmaceutical, etc.).

During the first day, there were a number of really interesting presentations about IBM’s future visions and views on ¬†industry trends. Most of the presentations touched on the subject of business analytics and how companies should anticipate customer needs by analysing data in real time instead of looking back to reports, thus ensuring a great customer experience.

Having said that, the event also looked back to IBM’s 100 years; the history was really inspiring and put many things into a new perspective. IBM has been a pioneer in many fields, and it shared some proof points on the following day.

"Think!" in La Gaude

More surprises were to come on day 2 when we visited the IBM Innovation Center in La Gaude. The first was being introduced to “Watson”, a recent star of U.S. TV-show “Jeopardy”. “Watson” is actually a computing system designed and built by IBM, and it rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. The same technology that powers Watson could soon power many useful solutions in healthcare, finance and telecoms.

After more talks about the importance of business intelligence, smart metering and smart cities, we got a hint of what really intelligent retailing might look like. In La Gaude, IBM staff demonstrated a display screen for shops that can detect which market segment you belong to and fit the marketing messaging according to it!

We look forward to having IBM as the gold sponsor of the Comptel User Group, which will be held in Espoo, Finland from 14 – 16 June.