IBM’s Mike Rhodin Covers the Convergence of Social Business, Analytics and Commerce: Part One | The AppGap
Over the last decade IBM has driven a significant transformation of its business model as they shifted to higher value areas, improved efficiencies, and invested in a number of firms to fill out their portfolio of software offerings. They have acquired over 80 software firms since 2000. More recently, they are focusing a significant portion of their efforts on social business as I wrote about in my coverage of Lotusphere 2011. IBM’s most recent earning reports indicate a strong growth in demand for their Social Business offerings.
Recently, I spoke with Mike Rhodin, SVP, Software Solutions about their moves in the software space. We also discussed the convergence of social business and analytics. We had a wide ranging discussion that I will cover in two posts, with the next one appearing tomorrow.
Mike began by diagramming the interactions of their efforts in analytics, social software, and smarter commerce. At the core is a three-way overlap where web analytics serves all three areas. At the intersection of analytics and social is sentiment analysis and content analytics such as that performed by Watson. At the intersection of social and smarter commerce is the creation of brand-aligned communities. Mike gave Moose Jaw outdoor products as an example where people are passionate about the brand and this passion is the foundation for an online community. Analytics will intersect here to offer a useful view of what is happening within the community.
We next focused on analytics in more detail. IBM projects $16 billion in business analytics revenue by 2015. Business analytics software and services is a key contributor to IBM’s growth with revenue up 20 percent in the first half of the year. In the last 5 years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics-related acquisitions. They have also dedicated nearly 8,000 business consultants worldwide to this space.
The Cognos and SPSS acquisitions helped extend their base for predictive analytics. In the predictive analytics space they are initially looking into two areas: financial performance management and risk. They augmented the capabilities within Cognos last year with the acquisition of Clarity to support automated regulatory filing. In the risk space they added OpenPages and integrated it with IBM’s Tivoli brand. They now have eDiscovery capabilities through FileNet and support for legal hold requirements through PSS Systems. Another acquisition, Algorithgmics, also provides deep analytics in the area of financial risk.