IBM debuts global Watson IoT consulting offerings to boost connectivity for clients, developers and startups

IBM launched Monday an array of services, industry offerings and capabilities to help enterprise clients, startups and developers drive digital transformation with the Internet of Things (IoT). With the number of connected devices skyrocketing, IBM is making IoT accessible to millions around the world. IBM is dedicating more than 1,500 industry experts with its new Watson IoT Consulting Solutions, as well as giving open and free access to its Watson IoT Platform.

To help clients across industries capture the massive business opportunity of the digitization of the physical world, IBM today is launching the industry’s first global IBM Watson IoT Consulting Solutions practice. The practice will feature 1,500 experts across IBM Watson IoT headquarters in Munich, Germany and in eight other IBM IoT centers across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

By integrating IBM Watson IoT Platform APIs and technologies, including cognitive, analytics, mobile, security and cloud capabilities, together with development and implementation consulting and ongoing support, clients can fully use the IoT without the risk and complexity of dealing with multiple vendors.

The IBM Watson IoT Platform is a security-rich, scalable and open platform, allows developers to connect, build, launch and manage IoT applications and solutions. IBM is already working with over 50,000 developers around the globe to help them to get up and running on the IBM Watson IoT Platform.

About seven months ago, IBM teamed up with Coursera, the education platform that partners with top global universities and organizations to offer online courses, to create and launch “A developer’s guide to the IoT,” a course that already has more than 22,000 registrants.

To help make creating and developing IoT applications more accessible than ever before, IBM will offer free access to IBM Watson IoT Platform for businesses who are just starting out on IoT and developers testing out and exploring new IoT innovations. IBM offers open and free access to the IBM Watson IoT Platform development capabilities. As projects grow, developers can then take their prototypes and scale to full production to meet business needs.

To help the new wave of technical innovators learn how to develop IoT applications, IBM continues to offer industry-leading learning classes, via its collaboration with Coursera, and via new, easily consumable IoT learning tutorials on IBM’s open Watson IoT Academy.

These tutorials, led by IBM subject matter experts, include an introduction to programming a Raspberry Pi; how to use Natural Language Processing; and how to use Node-RED, the open source visual programming tool set that is becoming a standard for building connected IoT programs.

“The Internet of Things is making an enormous impact on our lives and helping to spur even deeper levels of innovation for those developing the connected devices and products of our future,” said Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and Education. “IBM is helping knock down the barriers to getting started with IoT, making it accessible for clients as they begin their digital transformation.”

“Clients can now easily introduce IoT innovation into their business by leveraging IBM’s industry and technical expertise to deliver lower risk, as-a-service commercial models. We are very proud our integrated IoT solutions deliver innovation in an easy to consume model for business leaders,” said Jesus Mantas, General Manager, Business Consulting, IBM. “We are helping clients accelerate the digitization of their business processes by making it easy to deploy IoT solutions globally into their business”.

According to IDC analysis and buyer perception, IBM is a vendor in the IDC MarketScape for IoT consulting and systems integration services worldwide.

The IBM Watson IoT Consulting Solutions practice will employ a global network of skilled consultants, data scientists and design and security experts with deep domain and industry expertise, all dedicated to providing clients with guidance on tackling industry specific IoT adoption challenges.

The first priority industries include automotive, electronics, industrial products, insurance, retail, telecommunications, transportation and buildings.  Clients can apply Watson cognitive computing capabilities, including machine learning and natural language to tap into massive amounts of unstructured data — such as videos and sounds –- to gain insights and augment decision making.

Ricoh, a global technology company that has been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years, is one of the initial global organizations to work with the new IBM IoT consultants to redesign their engagement model and help its clients embrace intelligent workplace solutions designed to improve office collaboration and innovation.

“Ricoh is helping customers meet the needs of constantly changing workstyles in the ‘new world of work,’ where information is at the heart of every successful business decision,” said Mona Abutaleb, SVP, Services, Ricoh Americas and President & CEO, mindSHIFT Technologies, Inc., a Ricoh company. “We are teaming with IBM and combining our knowledge and expertise to deliver Ricoh’s ‘Workstyle Innovation Technology,’ which helps our clients collaborate and share information more easily and efficiently.”

In addition to the new Watson IoT Consulting Solutions practice, IBM also is announcing new industry offerings available via its Watson IoT Platform, including IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing and Asset Health Insight, designed to help clients address industry-specific IoT adoption challenges and opportunities.

Manufacturing is one of the largest opportunities in IoT, with McKinsey estimating IoT applications in factory settings to have the potential to create value of $1.2 trillion to $3.7 trillion per year in 2025.

Using IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing, businesses will be able to better manage factory equipment and assets, improve manufacturing processes and manage production resources more effectively. For example, the new capabilities include intelligent assets and equipment to sense, communicate and self-diagnose issues to improve machinery performance and reduce downtime.

Using Asset Health Insights together with IBM Prescriptive Maintenance, organizations can maintain assets based on current asset condition using advanced analytics and data around weather, asset performance and maintenance.  Additional industry offerings on the IBM Watson IoT Platform include IBM Watson IoT for Automotive, IBM Watson IoT for Electronics and IBM Watson IoT for Insurance.

Via a new collaboration with Aras, the two companies are bringing together IBM’s leading Application Lifecycle Management solution with Aras’ Product Lifecycle Management platform to help engineers integrate the complex hardware and software development processes necessary to make the smart, connected products of the future.

Monday’s announcement follows Forrester Research naming IBM a leader in its Wave report on IoT software platforms. In ‘The Forrester WaveTM: IoT Software Platforms, Q4 2016,’ Forrester analyzed and scored 11 IoT software platform vendors, identifying IBM as a leader.

The report also notes “IBM has added significant capabilities to the platform, including augmented reality, cognitive capabilities, blockchain, edge analytics, analytics tooling, and natural language processing, to name a few. With a strong commitment to open source standards and a robust global partner ecosystem, IBM is well positioned for market leadership.”


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