Turbo Todd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM, Repsol Launch Cognitive Technologies Collaboration for Oil Industry Applications

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Scientists at IBM and leading global energy company Repsol S.A. announced this week the world’s first research collaboration to leverage cognitive technologies that will help transform the oil and gas industry.

IBM and Repsol are jointly developing two prototype cognitive applications specifically designed to augment Repsol’s strategic decision making in the optimization of oil reservoir production and in the acquisition of new oil fields.

The oil and gas industry boasts some of the most advanced geological, geophysical and chemical science in the world. However with the explosion of big data and emerging science, the discovery, mining, integration and interpretation of this data, together with critical geopolitical, economic and other global news, require a whole new approach to computing that can speed access to business insights, enhance strategic decision-making and drive productivity.

Using the capabilities of IBM’s pioneering Cognitive Environments Laboratory (CEL), Repsol and IBM researchers will work together to jointly develop and apply new prototype cognitive tools for real-world use cases in the oil and gas industry.

Cognitive computing software agents and technologies will be designed to collaborate with human experts in more natural ways, learn through interaction, and enable individuals and teams to make better decisions by overcoming cognitive limitations posed by big data. 

Scientists in the CEL will also be able to experiment with a combination of traditional and new interfaces based upon spoken dialog, gesture, robotics and advanced visualization and navigation techniques.

Through these capabilities, they will be able to learn and leverage sophisticated models of human characteristics, preferences and biases that may be present in the decision-making process.

For example, an engineer evaluating what new oil fields to acquire will typically have to manually read through an enormous set of journal papers and baseline reports with seismic imaging data and models of reservoir, well, facilities, production and export.

Cognitive technologies can quickly help by analyzing hundreds of thousands of papers and reports, prioritize and link that data to the specific decision at hand, and introduce new real-time factors to be considered such as current news events around economic instability, political unrest and natural disasters.

Using the research tools in the CEL, the engineer along with key stakeholders can more fluidly build conceptual and geological models, highlight the impact of the potential risks and uncertainty, visualize trade-offs, and explore what-if scenarios to ensure the best decision is made.

The two prototype applications that will be jointly developed by IBM and Repsol will leverage cognitive computing capabilities to specifically help Repsol reduce the risk and uncertainty of future oil field acquisitions and maximize the yield of existing oil fields — both of which can have a significant impact on the efficiency and efficacy of the global operations of Repsol and all oil and gas companies. 

A New Environment for Decision-Making

Global energy demand is expected to grow by more than 53 percent by 2035, with more than half of that energy being supplied by oil and gas. In order to maintain an energy supply for years to come, companies are constantly making high-stakes decisions in the face of uncertainty and risks, while the volume of complex data is growing exponentially.

Decision making doesn’t happen only in one place and often it requires people to regroup with more information or new stakeholders to be involved before arriving at an outcome. As people work and move across many physical environments, it is important for people to have access to cognitive capabilities in a seamless computing experience whether it’s at the office, at home or in the field. 

Such a fluid cognitive computing experience will be possible with a cognitive environment infrastructure that provides a new class of cognitive software agents and services designed specifically to interact with people across various devices and physical spaces.

As users move from strategic cognitive rooms to their offices and even homes, a society of cognitive agents will move seamlessly with them across these environments and different modes of interaction and computation will scale appropriately to each.  

Cognitive environments can look and feel very different (from board rooms in the workplace, to cars, to homes, to mobile devices), but by being connected to one another they will enable human-computer collaboration at “the speed of thought”, leading to more informed and robust decision-making.

Written by TurboTodd

October 31st, 2014 at 3:18 pm

China Internet Giant Tencent Cloud Partners With IBM

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IBM and Tencent Cloud today signed a business cooperation memorandum to collaborate on providing public cloud with Software-as-a-Service solutions for industries.

Both parties agreed to focus on emerging small and medium enterprises in the smarter cities and smarter healthcare industries as well as other fields. This will enable these industries to utilize mobile, cloud computing and big data tools to transform internal processes and operations, thus achieving cloud transformation in the era of mobility. 

As part of this milestone collaboration, Tencent Cloud and IBM will jointly promote industry innovation and gain from each company’s resources and global capacity to benefit enterprise customers.

Tencent Holdings Limited is a leading provider of comprehensive Internet services in China. Tencent Cloud is a strategic platform of Tencent with profound acumen in cloud computing based on its powerful infrastructure as well as many years’ experience in the massive Internet services business. Tencent cloud provides enterprises and developers access to a complete cloud solution with cloud service, cloud data and cloud operations. 

Cloud is at the core of many industry transformations, with value migrating from broad cloud-based applications to industry-specific solutions. IDC predicts a tenfold increase in the number of cloud apps over the next four years. Two-thirds of these new apps will have an industry-specific or role-specific focus — with the majority of the growth driven by developers in cloud application ecosystems.

Tencent Cloud and IBM identified the priority industries of small and medium hyper-growth enterprises in smarter healthcare and smarter cities for their collaboration, and will together deliver the essential elements for businesses to get up and running on cloud, including:

  • Industry consulting, cloud migration, integration and technical support services.
  • Industry-specific and business process SaaS solutions, including solutions for customer care, digital marketing, enterprise asset management and smart office automation.
  • Management and operation for public cloud and dedicated cloud from Tencent.

You can learn more here about IBM’s cloud computing capabilities

Written by TurboTodd

October 31st, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Posted in china,cloud computing,ibm

Tagged with ,

IBM, Twitter Form Global Partnership To Transform Enterprise Decisions

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IBM and Twitter 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 industry-leading cloud-based analytics, customer engagement platforms, and consulting services.

New data-intensive capabilities for the enterprise: 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, allowing sales, marketing, and customer service professionals to map sentiment and behavior to better engage and support their customers.

Specialized enterprise consulting: 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 industry’s only integrated Strategy and Analytics practice, and IBM Interactive Experience, the world’s largest 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,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO. “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.”

“When it comes to enterprise transformation, IBM is an undisputed global leader in enabling companies to take advantage of emerging technologies and platforms,” said Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO. “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,” said Chris Moody, Vice President of Twitter Data Strategy. “Companies have had successes with Twitter data – from manufacturers more effectively managing inventory to consumer electronic companies doing rapid product development. This partnership with IBM will allow faster innovation across a broader range of use cases at scale.”

IBM has established the world’s deepest 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.

For more information regarding the new Twitter and IBM collaboration, please visit www.ibm.com/IBMandTwitter or https://blog.twitter.com/ibm, and follow the conversation at #IBMandTwitter.

Written by TurboTodd

October 29th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

IBM Insight 2014: IBM Watson Will Help A Generation Of Problem Solvers

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It’s difficult to believe it’s been over three years since we watched IBM Watson defeat the best “Jeopardy!”-playing humans on the planet, and you may have been wondering, what in the world has Watson been up to?

Well, IBM Watson has had quite the year.  First, IBM announced a whole new business unit around Watson earlier this year.  Then, they gave Watson its own headquarters on Astor Place in New York City.  And recently, they made a number of IBM Watson services available to developers everywhere via IBM’s growing Bluemix PaaS engine.

So when IBM general manager for engagement in the Watson Group, Steve Cowley, hit the stage this afternoon at the Mandalay Bay, I was anxious to hear how IBM Watson had actually been helping clients. 

Which was a good thing, as that’s precisely what Cowley came armed to speak about.  

“This generation of problem solvers will solve problems faster with Watson,” Cowley asserted, and “Watson needs you.’

Cowley explained we’re in the midst of a dramatic shift in how humans interact with systems and data, and that we need to “enhance, scale and accelerate their expertise.”  Their, meaning, the humans.

So Watson’s benefit is not to take over decisionmaking like some out-of-control AI borg, but rather to help humans along. And it’s already done so in a variety of industries, Cowley informed the Watson-hungry crowd: Finance, healthcare, law enforcement, cooking…and more.

“So today,” Cowley said, “is very much about today.” The question on everyone’s mind with respect to IBM Watson is this: “How do I get started?”

Cowley explained there are a number of ways, including the IBM Watson Ecosystem, where people can buy and sell services related to Watson. There’s already one Q&A API, and one will multiply to twenty very quickly. 

There are now seven unique Watson services available on IBM’s Bluemix platform.  And Watson is even learning some new languages, including Spanish, Portugese and Japanese.

Cowley was also quick to point out that Watson as a cognitive technology stands alone: “No other company has demonstrated cognitive computing at scale since what Watson did on ‘Jeopardy!'”

Later, when IBM Watson Sales vice president Michelle Unger took the stage, we got to see Watson in action.  Unger explained how most organizations use only 12 percent of their data, and too often most enterprise search capabilities fall short due to lack of context and relevant relationship experience (relationships between data).

Watson, on the other hand, focuses on information exploration at the point of impact in a 360 degree fashion, and uses content analytics to aggregate and analyze unstructured data.  

“We’re working on cognitive exploration to bridge that gap,” Unger explained, “not just the ‘who’ and the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’ and the ‘why.'”

If you’re a developed who’d like to get their hand on some of those Watson services, simply head on over to www.bluemix.net to register for your own 30-day free trial.

Written by TurboTodd

October 28th, 2014 at 10:07 pm

dev@Insight Day Two: Understanding Data Of The Moment

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Yesterday at the Shoreline ballroom here at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the developer and data practitioner’s track, dev@Insight, continued in full swing with a wide array of hands-on labs, tutorials, demos, and yet another round of Ignite Talks and, to top it all off, an evening keynote.

I had the opportunity to get a taste of some of the exciting demos yesterday, starting first with the new version of Oculus Rift, the virtual reality experience that can literally transcend one into whole other worlds.

As someone who has lived through several peaks and valleys of VR, from Myst way back in the day, to the rise and fall of Second Life, and everything in between, I can only say based on the demo I had yesterday with the latest version of Oculus Rift, this train is moving in the right direction.

For the demo, I had to sit down in a chair (for my own safety) and then put the Oculus  goggles on. Momentarily, I then found myself launched into a virtual tour of our solar system, one where I was doing a flyby and stop at the key planets, moons, and our sun, and then well beyond. I could literally “feel” the motion as Oculus took me from one planet to another.  I then tried a roller coaster “ride” using Oculus, and I have to say, I probably felt as woozy at the end of that ride as I would have on the Shockwave back at Six Flags in Arlington, Texas.

I also got my hands on probably the smallest computer I’ve ever touched, a Raspberry Pi, which has become a Maker’s delight and for which there are now full kits you can buy via Amazon. Nearly everything you need in a portable Linux-based computer is enclosed in a small glass box no bigger than a box of cigarettes. Plug in a wifi card, a monitor, and a keyboard, and you’ll soon be in Raspberry’s delight.

Later in the evening, starting at seven, we began our second wave of Ignite Talks. Our energetic Katie Linendoll welcomed six speakers to the stage, and they covered a wide range of topoics, including exploring geospatial boundaries using Cloudant, identifying the unique opportunities data can provide to help shrink global multinational companies, learning how System z development can be enhanced by modern dev ops approaches and tools (remembering that the pool of COBOL programmers is both greying and shrinking!), measuring mobile sensor data streams (huge IoT applications), learning more about the IBM and Apple partnership, and more.

We also learned about the Big Data for Social Good Challenge which is being powered by IBM and Hadoop, and which is intended to address major challenges associated with making cities run better.  Check it out on Twitter at #hadoop4good.

And finally, our keynote, where IBM Cloudant CTO Adam Kocoloski walked us through the Cloudant landscape, providing the developer audience both the history behind the idea of developing a “database-as-a-service.”

Answering the question why companies would want to use DBaaS, the answer is simple: they scale massively and elastically, they provide guaranteed performance and uptime, they provide for needed agility in both web and mobile development, and like so many cloud services, they let you stay focused on new development instead of mundane administration.  

Kocoloski explained that Cloudant empowers clients from all verticals to get their applications to market faster, in a cost effective, hassle-free delivery model, with guaranteed performance and support

You can learn more about Cloudant here.

Written by TurboTodd

October 28th, 2014 at 4:03 pm

IBM Unveils New Watson Explorer Cloud Service To Drive Better Business Outcomes

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If you’ve been following what has proved to be an exciting wave of IBM Watson related announcements these past few weeks, including the addition of eight powerful Watson services to IBM’s Bluemix PaaS development platform, then you’ll appreciate this latest announcement made early this morning here at IBM Insight 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

IBM just announced the availability of a cognitive-infused Watson Explorer, a powerful combination of data exploration and content analytics capabilities.

Watson Explorer equips users with the information and analytics capabilities which can help them to deliver better performance and real-time results. It has enabled hundreds of customers to connect with their data, build information-centric applications and helped them to improve the quality and speed of their decision making.

With today’s announcement, Watson Explorer advances core cognitive components by providing organizations the ability to quickly use natural language processing capabilities and data exploration to discover valuable business information in both structured and unstructured data.

Watson Explorer advances data exploration by bringing cognitive capabilities, providing users with a 360-degree view of contextually relevant information to offer deeper levels of insight, showing what is happening and why.

Unlike traditional search solutions that fail to provide context, trends and relationships, Watson Explorer can help professionals find and understand the information they need to work more efficiently, gain more insights from their unstructured content and realize their objectives of improving business outcomes.

New Watson Explorer features include advanced content analytics capabilities giving users a view into structured and unstructured data. Watson Explorer provides the bridge between cloud-based services and on-premise proprietary information, making it the logical first step in a Watson journey.

Today’s business environment demands an ability to make high quality decisions more quickly than ever before, against a rapidly expanding set of inputs. Enterprise data and applications are typically siloed and lack the information sharing capacity to facilitate better employee performance.

Take, for example, a customer service representative at a global retailer. Hundreds of billions of customer service calls are handled annually, during which an average customer service representative interfaces with over ten different systems per call, requiring them to move between different applications, run multiple searches, mentally correlate the information and respond to the customer all in real-time — a monumental undertaking.

When a customer calls with questions, representatives face a struggle to create a consistently excellent experience for their customer due to challenges finding, organizing, analyzing and correlating the right information for that specific customer at that moment.   

Cognitive exploration can enhance a user’s ability to use information to make more informed, evidence based decisions. It does this by providing information and understanding from relevant sources, much like a human would. With Watson Explorer, for example, a representative is able to ask a question in natural language and instantly retrieve relevant content, expertly culled from a variety of data sources, both structured and unstructured.

Watson Explorer’s content analytics feature leverages the power of natural language processing to enable organizations to extract meaning from content such as customer comments, messages, social media, legal documents and research reports

Cognitive Exploration

Exploration enables users to uncover new possibilities. But exploration in complex, heterogeneous environments present unique challenges with massive volumes of data spread across a variety of sources and a limited ability to understand the connections that exist in the data.

To speed the time, Watson Explorer connects information from a range of internal and external sources, analyzes that content and looks for underlying relationships or patterns that help interpret information.

  1. Explore – Watson Explorer combines content and data from many different systems throughout the enterprise and public sources and presents it to users based on their role and current activities, which can dramatically reduce the amount of time spent looking for information, and increasing their ability to work smarter. In today’s information-rich environment, few important tasks can be completed with information from a single source—whether the task is to assist a customer, plan a marketing strategy for a new product or investigate a security breach. Watson Explorer brings data and analytics from many sources, as well as relevant cognitive insights to a user’s desktop or mobile device, in a context-appropriate manner to enable them work with confidence.
  2. Analyze – For many organizations, the growing volume of unstructured data represents untapped business opportunities. Documents, e-mail messages, call center transcripts and social media are examples of the kinds of content that may yield a wealth of insights that can help improve business performance if gathered and analyzed by the right tools. Watson Explorer’s content analytics capabilities enable users to uncover trends, patterns and correlations from unstructured information using natural language processing technology, delivering insights in hours or days rather than or weeks or months. Those insights are then available to users in real-time as a 360-degree view.
  3. Interpret – Watson Explorer provides the ability to integrate a growing list of IBM Watson Developer Cloud services for an enhanced experience leveraging the combined strength of exploration, analytic and cognitive capabilities. As new capabilities are developed by IBM and exposed in the Watson Developer Cloud, they will be made available to qualified Watson Explorer users who license the Watson Developer Cloud services. The available services for integration with Watson Explorer at the time of release are: Question Answer, User Modeling, Relationship Extraction, Message Resonance, Concept Expansion, Language Identification and Machine Translation.

“We’ve put Watson Explorer in the hands of our call center agents to equip them with a 360-degree view of the information they need, including self-performance reports and other analytics,” said Farouk Ferchichi, Corporate Manger, Toyota Financial Services. “With over four million customers, we recognize the importance of top-notch service and are committed to actively maintaining customer satisfaction. Watson Explorer gives agents the ability to get detailed metrics on their performance to identify strengths and focus areas to improve.” 

Watson Explorer will enable customers like Toyota Financial Services to maximize business opportunities by providing frontline workers with a more holistic view of their information landscape.

Watson Explorer is currently available as two principal offerings:

  • Enterprise Edition provides search and 360-degree information applications across multiple sources, as well as the ability of qualified customers to license cognitive services from the Watson Developer Cloud to help enhance, scale, and accelerate human expertise.
  • Advanced Edition includes all of the capabilities of Enterprise Edition plus advanced content mining and content analytics to help organizations take the next step with advanced content mining and analytics capabilities to aggregate, analyze and visualize massive amounts of unstructured content to expose new insights.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: www.ibmwatson.com and follow #ibmwatson via Twitter.

Written by TurboTodd

October 28th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

IBM Announces Wide Range Of New Data, Analytics Cloud Services

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IBM made several key announcements here at IBM Insight yesterday, the essence of which I’ve bundled together below.

First, the company announced new high-speed analysis and criminal investigation software that is designed to uncover hidden criminal threats buried deep inside massive volumes of disparate corporate data.

IBM i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis (EIA) can find non-obvious relationships masked within hundreds of terabytes of data and trillions of objects in just seconds. By fusing together these multiple data sources, organizations can gain complete visibility into threats across the enterprise, giving companies the ability to transform how they protect themselves from increasingly sophisticated attacks.

Next, IBM announced a new generation of data services on the IBM cloud, services that will simplify and automate the ability to find, refine and prepare data; warehouse data in the cloud, making it instantly available for analytic; curate unstructured data services to increase the confidence in analytics; and ennhance mobile and web applications with embedded analytics
The new services include: 

  • IBM DataWorks – IBM DataWorks is a set of cloud-based data refinery services that shape, cleanse, match and secure data. The new services enable business users to find, use and contribute data for analysis; application developers to embed data services into new applications; and IT and data professionals to enable self-service data access and instill confidence to act on the data. 
  • IBM dashDB – IBM dashDB is a cloud-based data warehousing and analytics service with in-memory technology built-in to deliver answers faster. dashDB keeps infrastructure concerns out of the way of critical and time sensitive analytics. A new integration of dashDB with Cloudant, IBM’s NoSQL database as a service (DBaaS), allows Cloudant clients to embed analytics in their applications with a few clicks.
  • IBM Cloudant – IBM is extending its portfolio with Cloudant Local, an on-premise edition of the fully managed cloud database-as-a-service that enables a fluid hybrid cloud data layer that spans private data centers, mobile devices and third-party cloud providers. This ensures customers can easily reconfigure their cloud data platforms over time to optimize the cost, security, reach and performance.today announced a new generation of data services on the IBM Cloud that are designed to ensure more trusted information can be applied more readily across an organization.

And lastly, announced that its broad portfolio of analytics capabilities – including Cognos Business Intelligence, SPSS predictive analytics platforms and the newly announced Watson Analytics –- will soon be available via the IBM Cloud marketplace

Access to cloud-based analytics services such as IBM Watson Analytics can put powerful analytics in the hands of individuals to help them see patterns, pursue ideas and improve all types of decisions without needing to tap into a data scientist.

Businesses can quickly use the insights gained from cloud-based analytics solutions to implement innovative new services, drive corporate performance, and manage governance, risk and compliance. And developers can leverage analytic services, such as reporting, in their applications through Bluemix, IBM’s leading cloud application platform. 

In addition to making its Big Data and Analytics portfolio widely accessible for on-premise, cloud and hybrid deployments, IBM also announced five solution accelerators aimed at helping data professionals tackle some of the most significant and widespread challenges facing businesses today. 

  • Customer Insight – Providing increased insight into customers to support sales, marketing and customer service; improving customer acquisition, cross-sell and retention.
  • Operations Insight – Providing increased insight into the condition of assets and performance of equipment to optimize operations, service and support; enable predictive maintenance, improve demand/supply forecasting, and drive process efficiencies.
  • Security and Fraud Insight – Providing enhanced situational awareness to enable faster response to safety, fraud and data security threats; improving intelligence and early warning of potential anomalies by turning large amounts of data into actionable intelligence.
  • Risk and Compliance Insight – Providing the ability to make risk-aware decisions to better manage financial risk, operational risk and compliance; optimize the use of capital, minimize losses and reduce compliance costs.
  • Data Warehouse Modernization Projects – Enabling organizations to capture and maintain a broader set of information and enable increased analytic capabilities at reduced costs; providing quicker access to information generated across the enterprise.

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence on Cloud is currently in beta and is planned to be available in the first quarter of 2015. IBM SPSS Modeler is planned to be available via IBM’s Cloud marketplace within 30 days.

You can see much more press announcements for IBM Insights 2014 here.

Written by TurboTodd

October 28th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

IBM Insight 2014 Keynote Debrief: Bob Picciano On The Promise Of Big Data

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In this morning’s opening general session, IBM senior vice president, Information and Analytics, didn’t waste any time setting the stage for IBM Insight 2014 here at the Mandalay Bay arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Today,” he began, “is absolutely different.  We’re living in a distinct moment in time, one where we’re seeing the emergence of an entirely new value cycle, an economy that is going to be driven by big data and insight.”

That economy, he explained, was one in which we would see three key imperatives emerge, imperatives that are occurring simultaneously and leading to this immense new opportunity.

First, data is the new basis of competitive advantage.  It is the core of the three imperatives, because data and analytics finally deliver on the longstanding promise of the information age, to help individuals, businesses, and other organizations make better decisions and improve their outcomes.

Second, the cloud is transforming IT and business processes and paving the way for new business models to emerge.  There’s a wide variety of rationales leading businesses more towards cloud computing: more flexibility, certainly, in IT architecture, leading to increased responsiveness by business.  Lower costs.  And combined a wider variety of IT capabiilties more quickly.

And finally, new models of engagement (think social, mobile, etc.) which requires a systematic approach and is driving more intimacy and interaction.

More simply put, Picciano explained, “data is the what, cloud is the how, and engagement is the why.”

He then provided some big picture numbers — the kind of numbers it’s actually hard to picture — about how much data has not only been created, but is being created daily, and that the new generation of enterprises in response must been analytically driven and data rich.

“Data is fueling the insight economy,” he explained. “You need to move data into the very center of your business. That’s when the real magic happens and when real value can be created.”

Moving ahead, he continued, “Systems of insight will drive every decision, fuel every interaction, power every process.”  

“Two years ago, we made a bold claim that we were moving into the cognitive era of computing, and today, we’re at a whole new inflection point. One where value is being derived from both structured and unstructured data, both inside and outside your firewall.”

In short, it’s not a time to be sitting around waiting to make something happen.

“Big data and analytics are transforming industries now,” he concluded.  “We’re helping those industries integrate the right insight into every business process, so they know what is happening, why it happened…and even what might happen next.”

Written by TurboTodd

October 27th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Introducing Cloudant Local

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Here at IBM insight 2014 in Las Vegas the firehose of announcements is off and running.

One of the first announcements I saw that may be of special interest to software developers is the introduction of Cloudant Local, an on premises version of Cloudant software that companies can install in their own data centers to run their own database-as-a-service.

In a blog post earlier this morning, clouded outlined the history behind this announcement:

When Cloudant launched in 2009, the company’s vision was to bring a cloud-first database product to market. We designed our NoSQL database-as-a-service from the ground up to run in the cloud, and tackled all the ops and systems management challenges that come with running a 24/7 Web service. We used Apache CouchDB™ as our storage engine, layered on additional open source technologies, and developed our own monitoring and operations systems to ensure high availability and performance.

Earlier this year, Cloudant began offering more ways to deploy and access their technology:

In February, we open-sourced the Cloudant Sync native mobile software libraries for Android and iOS. This summer, we launched Cloudant Query at MongoDB World (our declarative querying system that borrows syntax from MongoDB’s query system) and introduced our first language-specific software library, Node.js for Cloudant. With Cloudant on the device and in the cloud, we’re completing the picture by bringing our service on-premises in the form of Cloudant Local.

But there was still a lingering desire for users to get their hands on Cloudant software and install it on their own servers.  Which is where Cloudant Local comes in:

What You Get With Cloudant Local Unlike monolithic database hardware, Cloudant DBaaS and Cloudant Local are designed to run across a cluster of commodity server nodes. Nodes can be easily added and repartitioned as your application grows. A typical Cloudant Local cluster requires four nodes to get started: 1 load balancer 3 database servers Cloudant Local also provides the tools, training, and techniques to run your own DBaaS operation. You’ll learn how to run a 24/7 Web service within your business. The three DB servers are a default because Cloudant stores three copies of all records across different physical infrastructure. All writes are immediately committed to disk. It all goes toward making Cloudant highly available and durable.

You can read the full blog post introducing Cloudant Local here.

Written by TurboTodd

October 27th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Posted in cloudant,database

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Hungarians Protest Looming Internet Tax

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I was here inside the Las Vegas pyramid (the Luxor) early this morning commencing with some coverage of the IBM Insight and dev@Insight event, and I had Bloomberg on in the background to provide a little white noise.

One story they were covering had to do with a looming Internet tax in Hungary that sent protesters into the streets over the weekend.

So I went in search of more information to find out what was behind the protest. 

A Reuters story indicated the Hungarians were protesting against a new tax on Internet data transfer, a move they said “would not only increase the tax burden but would also curb fundamental democratic rights and freedoms.”

The draft tax bill contains a provision for Internet providers to pay a tax of 150 forints (0.38 pounds) per gigabyte of data traffic, though it would also let companies offset corporate income tax against the new levy.

A rally on Sunday was organized via Facebook and had over 200K supporters.

A press release about the move had this to say:

“The move… follows a wave of alarming anti-democratic measures by Orban that is pushing Hungary even further adrift from Europe,” the organisers of “100,000 against the Internet tax”

And that:

“The measure would impede equal access to the Internet, deepening the digital divide between Hungary’s lower economic groups, and limiting Internet access for cash-poor schools and universities,”

Not unlike the recent protests in Hong Kong, people were out in force with their mobile phones, 

lighting up the square in front of the [Economics] ministry.

Apparently, the protesters have given the government 48 hours to withdraw the Internet use tax legislation or there will be a fresh round of protests tomorrow.

Written by TurboTodd

October 27th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Posted in broadband,government,internet

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