Welcome!

News Feed Item

IBM Forms New Watson Group to Meet Growing Demand for Cognitive Innovations

Headquartered in NYC's "Silicon Alley," New IBM Watson Group to Include Watson Innovation Hub, Fueling New Products and Start-ups

ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it will establish the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialization of cloud-delivered cognitive innovations. The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to accelerate into the marketplace a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of Big Data.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140109/NY43536)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO)

IBM will invest more than $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This will include $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM's recently launched ecosystem of start-ups and businesses that are building a new class of cognitive apps powered by Watson, in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud.

According to technology research firm Gartner, Inc., smart machines will be the most disruptive change ever brought about by information technology, and can make people more effective, empowering them to do "the impossible." 1

The IBM Watson Group will have a new headquarters at 51 Astor Place in New York City's "Silicon Alley" technology hub, leveraging the talents of approximately 2,000 professionals, whose goal is to design, develop and accelerate the adoption of Watson cognitive technologies that transform industries and professions. The new group will tap subject matter experts from IBM's Research, Services, Software and Systems divisions, as well as industry experts who will identify markets that cognitive computing can disrupt and evolve, such as healthcare, financial services, retail, travel and telecommunications.

IBM's New Catalyst for Innovation and Market Transformation

The IBM Watson Group will be led by Michael Rhodin, who most recently served as Senior Vice President, IBM Software Solutions Group, responsible for delivering industry-specific solutions in high-growth areas such as Business Analytics, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Cities and Social Business.

"IBM has transformed Watson from a quiz-show winner, into a commercial cognitive computing breakthrough that is helping businesses engage customers, healthcare organizations personalize patient care, and entrepreneurs build businesses," said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. "Watson is one of the most significant innovations in IBM's 100 year history, and one that we want to share with the world.  With these investments we strive to make new markets, reach new buyers and transform industries and professions."

A major initiative for the IBM Watson Group will be to continue advancing its research and development to accelerate the delivery of cognitive innovations to organizations via the cloud.
As part of this initiative IBM will engineer Watson to be deployed on Softlayer, the cloud computing infrastructure business recently acquired by IBM.

In addition to launching the IBM Watson Group, IBM is announcing three new services based on Watson's cognitive intelligence.

IBM Watson Discovery Advisor aims to revolutionize how industries such as pharmaceutical and publishing conduct research. Representing a giant leap from existing research tools that churn out thousands of search results their users must wade through, the Watson Discovery Advisor will delve into the influx of data-driven content today's researchers face, and uncover connections that can speed up and strengthen their work.

IBM Watson Analytics allows users to explore Big Data insights through visual representations, without the need for advanced analytics training. The service removes common impediments in the data discovery process, enabling business users to quickly and independently uncover new insights in their data. Guided by sophisticated analytics and a natural language interface, Watson Analytics automatically prepares the data, surfaces the most important relationships and presents the results in an easy to interpret interactive visual format.

IBM Watson Explorer is designed to help users across the enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while helping organizations launch big data initiatives more quickly. Watson Explorer provides users with a unified view displaying all of their data-driven information, as well as a framework for developing information-rich applications that deliver a comprehensive, contextually-relevant view of any topic for business users, data scientists and a variety of targeted business functions.

A Hub for Cognitive Innovation and Exploration

For entrepreneurs and start-ups, the Watson Group's Silicon Alley headquarters will provide a business incubator offering the technology, tools and talent to create and launch new products and businesses based on Watson's cloud-delivered cognitive intelligence. As a result, business partners will gain the support to achieve their visions for solving industry and societal challenges, and meeting marketplace demands that are currently unmet.

The Watson Group's headquarters will also provide a client solutions center, serving as a place for IBM clients to experience cognitive technologies and learn how they can help transform their businesses. In addition, the headquarters will host a design lab for continuously enhancing the user experiences for cognitive applications and services used by IBM clients and partners.

The Watson Group will also offer workshops and seminars on topics such as development skills, as well as networking opportunities. These events will build upon the more than 1,000 academic partnerships that IBM has developed to prepare university students for careers in cognitive computing, big data and analytics. This includes Watson-inspired business and technical challenges, new curriculum, faculty grants and internships.

A Turning Point for Computing and Big Data Discovery

Nearly three years after its triumph on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM has advanced Watson from a game playing innovation into a commercial technology. Now delivered from the cloud and able to power new consumer and enterprise apps, Watson is 24 times faster, smarter with a 2,400 percent improvement in performance, and 90 percent smaller – IBM has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to three stacked pizza boxes.

Named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, IBM Watson was developed in IBM's Research labs. Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, representing a major shift in an organization's ability to quickly analyze, understand and respond to Big Data. Watson's ability to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries.

IBM has partnered with a range of healthcare organizations to help transform how medicine is practiced, paid for and taught, with the help of Watson-powered solutions. This includes collaborations with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, WellPoint, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.

In May 2013, IBM unveiled the Watson Engagement Advisor, a commercial breakthrough that helps businesses deepen and redefine engagement with customers. Top brands including DBS Bank and Nielsen are exploring how Watson can help them engage customers.

In November 2013, IBM announced it would make Watson available as a development platform in the cloud, enabling software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with cognitive computing intelligence. This includes the Watson Developers Cloud: a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers can tap into resources for developing Watson-powered apps, including Watson's API. Three business partners plan to go to market in 2014 with Watson apps, from Fluid to transform how consumers shop, from MD Buyline to help hospitals procure devices, and Welltok to enable health plans to engage their members.  Currently more than 760 applicants have shared their ideas for creating cognitive apps that redefine how businesses and consumers make decisions.

IBM collaborated with eight universities to develop Watson's capabilities. Over the past three years, IBM has introduced through its Academic Initiative a range of academic programs to prepare today's students to become tomorrow's cognitive computing leaders. This includes Watson-focused case competitions with the University of Connecticut (UConn), University of Rochester and University of Southern California (USC). IBM also works with schools such as Michigan State University and UConn to develop Watson-inspired curriculum, while offering faculty grants to fuel additional coursework. Other academic ventures include the Watson internship program and IBM's donation of Watson technology to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

About IBM
For more information on IBM Watson, please visit www.ibmwatson.com
To join the social discussion about Watson include the hashtag #ibmwatson
Follow Watson on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ibmwatson
For more insights on this story please read these posts on IBM's A Smarter Planet blog: http://ibm.co/1a97sMd, http://ibm.co/JHvmaY, http://ibm.co/KDGHJU
For additional perspectives on this story, please watch this video.
To view a Flickr image gallery that illustrates today's news please click here.
To view b-roll footage related to this news, please click here.
To visit the official IBM Watson microsite, please click here.

1 The Disruptive Era of Smart Machines Is Upon Us, #G00257743, September 30, 2013, Tom Austin, Gartner, Inc.


Press Contacts




Lia P. Davis

Faye Abloeser

IBM External Relations

IBM External Relations

[email protected]

[email protected]

202.285.5333

908.770.0762

SOURCE IBM

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...