IBM Launches New Business Group In New York’s Silicon Alley
On January 9th, 2014, on top of 4 World Trade Place, IBM CEO Ginni Rommety and long time veteran, but newly minted, IBM Watson Group Senior Vice President Michael Rhodin, announced IBM’s commitment to putting an entire business unit around Watson (see Figure 1). The arrival of Watson represents a culmination of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, dynamic learning, and hypothesis generation to take vast quantities of data to make better decisions. The IBM Watson business unit is the tech giant’s multi-year $1 billion initiative to deliver cloud based cognitive computing products for industries such as healthcare, retail, financial services, advertising, travel, and hospitality.
Figure 1. IBM Watson Group’s, Senior VP Mike Rhodin With A Warm Welcome
Three key insights emerge from the launch:
- IBM is committed to creating a brand new category and ecosystem. Focused on cognitive computing, over 2000 professionals form the newest business unit at IBM headquartered in New York City’s Silicon Alley. The Watson ecosystem launched on November 14th, 2013 has over 750 applicants and $100M in equity investment (see Figure 2). The ecosystem includes the Watson Developer Cloud, Watson Content Store, and the Watson Talent Hub. In addition, the new business group is headed by IBM veteran Mike Rhodin. Mike is a senior and well rounded executive who led the software solutions group which included the Business Analytics, Smarter Cities, Smarter Commerce, and Social Business product lines.
Point of View (POV): The ability to self learn enables continuously reprogramming. Cognitive computing is more than a new category. These advancements represents a new class of technology to enable human and machine guided decisions. IBM’s commitment can be seen by the level of executive and the management team chosen to grow a brand new class of software, services, and apps. Constellation believes that the IBM Watson team has put forth a wide range of innovative ecosystem partnerships across a diverse set of industries. In fact, the client solutions center and design lab are key to clients experiencing how Watson can create disruptive business models and transform an industry. Moreover, the establishment of a business incubator is key to attracting crucial talent, technology, and ecosystem to spark new ventures.
Figure 1. IBM Showcases The Entire Watson Family and Ecosystem
- IBM is putting considerable resources towards the commercialization of products and services. At the unveiling, IBM announced three new cloud-delivered Watson offerings to add to the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor launched on May 21, 2013. IBM Watson Discovery Advisor uses cognitive intelligence to apply context on vast quantities of unstructured and structured data. The goal - identify patterns for research teams to advance their efforts in industries such as pharma, publishing, and education. IBM Watson Analytics provides capabilities that allow users to verbally ask questions and receive high quality data visualizations and insights. IBM Watson Explorer provides the toosl to find, extract, and deliver content regardless of format or data source.