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The Watson Summit event

  • Written by Frank van der Wal

This blog entry is not about a technology topic, as it usually is. Reason is that I ran out of time and while that's nearly always the case, the most time consumed this week was for the central IBM event in Amsterdam, called IBM Watson Summit. It used to be called Business Connect, which I liked better, but a brilliant marketing genius from the US (where Watson is a very, very known 'IBM Brand' name) thought it was good to call it Watson Summit. Well, don't let me go wild on this.

The event was held in a very symbolic place called B. Building and was the former location of where IBM used to produce the Selectric typewriter, an icon from the 60's with the unprecedented "typeball" type element.

I would like to think of it as a very good event with 400+ attendees over the day and the organisation did very well to have some plenary sessions combined with three main tracks, The Business of IT (technology), Finance and Security. The attendees could pick and choose.

After a couple of hours, I had difficulties not to smirk at the buzz words of the day: Digital Transformation and Disruption, but like all the other main themes in IT, these topics are hot now and the vendors like IBM would like to jump on the bandwagon.

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Let the sun shine in

  • Written by Frank van der Wal

It has been over a year now that IBM closed the acquisition of the Weather Company. When I first heard about the plans to acquire the them, I thought it was a joke, but it was not even close to Fools Day, so I had to assume it was real.

On second hand and after a couple of presentations it became clear that weather is big business and indeed important to businesses as well. There are not many industries that not depend on weather, as a matter of fact. Directly, but also indirectly. Think about a snow-storm heading to an airport. The sooner you are aware the less trouble it will bring. For insurance companies, the weather will impact their business results dramatically. The tourist industry, food and beverages, and of course, utilities.

Telecom is another industry. This industry wants to have a very close customer engagement. Their investments in new technology like a 4G network is huge and the time to recover from those heavy investments is short. 5G is already lurking around the corner. One of the ways to make that happen is to ensure you keep the churn as low as possible.

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