Welcome!

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

@BigDataExpo: Article

Why the Titans of Business Are Investing Billions in Semantic Technology

When the transition to the Semantic Web is complete, all data everywhere will be linked in the cloud as connected points

Whether you've bought into it yet or not, the Semantic Web (aka Web 3.0) is coming - and mega-companies are leading the way. Not just the Googles, Facebooks and Apples of the world, but also massive organizations with business models as diverse as Wal-Mart, The New York Times, Dow Jones and Ford. All of them, and many more, are heavily invested in semantic web technologies.

One reason: When the transition to the Semantic Web is complete, all data everywhere will be linked in the cloud as connected points on a massive global graph. Unlike data in silos, the linked data in graphs allows computers to read it, understand it, infer meaning and produce an answer that's exactly what the searcher is looking for, whether the searcher is a shopper, reporter, marketer, financial analyst, cancer researcher or even the CIA.

Semantic search doesn't just yield a far better Web experience. It tremendously increases knowledge, understanding, click-thrus, conversions, opportunities and intelligent decision making.

If you're the biggest retailer in the world - aka Wal-Mart - and have one of the biggest data piles on the planet plus audacious e-commerce goals, you figured this out a while ago and made getting onto the Semantic Web a huge priority. Not least because, in one observer's words, "The retail giant needs to keep getting smarter if it wants to compete with Amazon, the leader in online retail."

Here's how to do it STAT:

Step one: Jumpstart the process and buy a semantic technology company
Wal-Mart acquired Kosmix, a semantic company that connects people, places, topics, events and products, in April 2011, changing its name to @Wal-MartLabs. Estimated price: $300 million or so. (Digital trivia: The team that built Kosmix also built what was probably the first shopping search engine ever, which Amazon bought for $250 million in - ancient history alert - 1998.)

Step two: Build your own semantic search engine
Barely 15 months later, @Wal-MartLabs announced that it had built and deployed Polaris, its own semantic search engine, on Walmart.com, with speedy results: "It has already boosted conversions to sales by 10-15 percent." Why? It gets what you want. For example, if you search for a Kindle, which Wal-Mart doesn't sell (take that, Amazon), Polaris instantly understands what you're after and shows you a very competitively priced array of Kindle alternatives that it does sell - including plenty of Nooks and iPads.

Step three: Don't stop there
In 2013 alone, Wal-Mart bought Inkiru, Torbit, OneOps and Tasty Labs for improved semantic search, better mobile support and optimization of its Big Data capabilities, including fraud detection.

Step four: Reap the ROI rewards
While the company has spent millions (no one will say how many, but many), the payoff is in the billions. For the current fiscal year, Wal-Mart expects to have $9 billion in online sales, a nearly 50 percent increase from its estimated 2011 online sales of $6.31 billion.

Meanwhile, The New York Times, tight-money times or not, has forged ahead with its own semantic strategy: the imperative if daunting task of getting all of its articles and information in a semantic database called rNews. The Gray Lady not only is spending a tidy bundle on doing this but also on working with Schema.org to establish global standards for making news data semantic.

In fact, whole industries have been going on semantic shopping sprees, particularly financial services (the likes of Dow Jones, Bloomberg LP, Citigroup), pharmaceuticals (Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, J&J) and car companies (Ford, Audi, Volkswagen). These and other mega-companies are buying and/or building their own internal semantic solutions as fast as they can find the right tech.

Like the Titans of Technology (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, et al), the Titans of Business know the Semantic Web is a must to harvest the limitless knowledge inside Big Data. In their world, Web 3.0 is already happening. Many are hunting hard for the urgently needed next big breakthrough in semantic technology: a high-performance, affordable graph platform that will explode the development of RDF applications, including site-specific search, and transform Web 3.0 from vision to reality.

Once the price and performance issues for semantic RDF applications are solved, the new opportunities are endless. The global impact on business, research and society will be far more disruptive than Web 1.0 ever was.

References

More Stories By Charles Silver

Charles Silver is CEO of Algebraix Data Corp., the semantic web company. Through its patented math-based technology, the company is building the next generation platform for semantic computing applications. Silver was cofounder of RealAge, Inc., which he built in the 1990s from scratch, raised over $15 million in capital, negotiated strategic relationships and positioned the company for profitability, which enabled it to survive the dot-com bust. In 2007, RealAge was successfully sold to the Hearst Corporation.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developers ...
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to o...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
When NSA's digital armory was leaked, it was only a matter of time before the code was morphed into a ransom seeking worm. This talk, designed for C-level attendees, demonstrates a Live Hack of a virtual environment to show the ease in which any average user can leverage these tools and infiltrate their network environment. This session will include an overview of the Shadbrokers NSA leak situation.
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assis...