IBM joins with Vodafone, SEAT, KONE and Mitsufuji in showcasing 5G and other innovations at Mobile World Congress

BARCELONA, Spain,  — Mobile World Congress – IBM (NYSE: IBM) joined with major industry players Vodafone, VW’s SEAT, KONE and Mitsufuji to highlight ways that the convergence of 5G, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are beginning to transform businesses and lives around the world.

Cloud and high-speed connectivity help companies tap a plethora of powerful IT services such as AI, augmented reality and blockchain provide highly-contextualized and personalized experiences for customers and employees.

But with the average company using up to 15 clouds and multiple types of AI, getting everything working together in a secure and optimised way is a major obstacle.

IBM and Vodafone last month signed a landmark $550M partnership to address this challenge by bringing together connectivity, cloud and AI technologies to help companies remove complexity from their digital transformations.

“IBM’s partnerships with global telco companies like Vodafone will help speed up the deployment of 5G and provide easier access to new technologies such as AI, blockchain, edge computing and IoT,” said Michael Valocchi, IBM General Manager of the new venture with Vodafone. “This is because the promise of 5G doesn’t just depend on fiber, spectrum and gadgets, but on advanced levels of integration, automation, optimization and security across the ever more complex IT systems that companies are building in a bid to transform.”

Greg Hyttenrauch, Co-leader of the new venture for Vodafone Business, explains that “by providing the open cloud, connectivity and portable AI technologies that companies need to manage data, workloads and processes across the breadth of their IT systems, Vodafone and IBM are helping to drive innovation and transform user experiences across multiple industries – from retail to agriculture.”

SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group and one of Europe’s leading auto manufacturers, is using IBM Cloud and Watson AI technology combined with the power of high-speed 5G connectivity, to reposition itself as a mobility services provider and transform urban mobility.

“At SEAT, we are working with innovative cities and technology companies to come up with solutions to make urban mobility easier and more efficient,” said Jordi Caus, SEAT’s Head of New Urban Mobility Concepts. “IBM is helping us invent new approaches to mobility with cloud and AI that will transform our business strategy while improving the lives of people living in urban areas.”

KONE, a leading manufacturer of elevators and escalators, is tapping IBM Watson IoT solutions on the IBM Cloud to keep more than one billion people around the world on the move every day. Using IBM IoT technology, KONE is moving from reactive to proactive to predictive services.

“Our IoT technology can constantly monitor up to 200 critical parameters of a single piece of KONE equipment, bringing a totally new experience to maintenance services,” said Jean-Paul Bourgeat, KONE’s Service Director for South Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Working with IBM, KONE can now bring much more value to our customers, with services that can, for example, lead to a 25% improvement in first time fix.”

Earlier this month, IBM announced a partnership with Mitsufuji, a company in Japan that provides worker safety solutions that include connected garments, IoT technology and AI to alert workers to high-risk situations. Mitsufuji uses IBM Maximo Worker Insights and IBM’s IoT Platform to help organizations monitor worker safety, spot trends and potential problems, and react to changing environmental conditions.

“Using IBM’s advanced analytics and cloud capabilities, we can create an almost complete picture of a worker’s safety,” said Ayumu Mitera, CEO of Mitsufuji. “Wearables, smart devices and environmental sensors all produce vast amounts of data which are analysed in real-time, helping our clients to create safer working environments and us to get our innovations to market three times faster than previously.”

SEAT & IBM Revolutionize Urban Mobility with AI

–       SEAT launches ‘Mobility Advisor’ proof of concept powered by Watson AI running on the IBM Cloud

–       Part of SEAT’s ‘micromobility’ strategy to provide personalized and eco-friendly choices for drivers – from the car to the e-kick scooter

BARCELONA, Spain,  — Mobile World Congress — SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group and one of Europe’s biggest car manufacturers, along with IBM (NYSE: IBM), announced the development of a new solution designed to transform driving in cities.

Announced the day after SEAT presented its concept car Minimó promising to revolutionize urban mobility, ‘Mobility Advisor’ uses IBM Watson AI to help urban citizens make informed decisions about their daily transportation options including cars, scooters, bikes and public transport.

“Traffic congestion and environmental challenges are putting huge pressure on cities to transform,” said Jordi Caus, SEAT’s Head of New Urban Mobility Concepts. “At SEAT we are leading the way by working with innovative cities and technology companies to come up with solutions to make mobility easier and more efficient. With its advanced cloud and AI technologies, IBM is helping us to innovate new approaches to mobility that will transform our business strategy while improving the lives of people living in urban areas.”

Currently under development and designed to run as a mobile app on 4G/5G networks, ‘Mobility Advisor’ uses IBM Watson Assistant to provide users with a conversational interface to plan and optimise routes and suggest the most suitable transportation options.

With IBM Watson Machine Learning, ‘Mobility Advisor’ can learn a user’s preferences and make personalized recommendations for how best to complete a journey. Connected to the IBM Cloud, it dynamically adapts to changing conditions by taking into account weather forecasts, traffic reports and things happening in the city that day. It incorporates the user’s appointments and historical data about previous choices in order to suggest the best modes of transportation each time – even if that means leaving the car behind, walking, or using one of SEAT’s e-Kick scooters for the part of the journey.

“With the roll-out of 5G networks in cities in the coming years, the possibilities for transforming the driver experience are limitless,” said Juan Ramon Gutierrez Villar, Industry Solutions Leader, IBM Global Markets. “At IBM, we are working with telecommunications companies and innovative manufactures like SEAT to provide the open technologies which they need to deliver on this vision and create highly contextualized and personalized user experiences that work at lightning speed across multiple clouds and IT platforms.”

SEAT’s R&D Mobility team will continue working with IBM technicians on the evolution of Mobility Advisor proof of concept and its different potential applications. Together with XMOBA, SEAT’s independent company which tests new solutions that contribute to better mobility, SEAT will analyse the future integration of Mobility Advisor with Justmoove, the collaborative mobility solutions platform which the company already offers to its customers. On IBM’s side, the project is being implemented by Viewnext, an IBM subsidiary in Spain.

COFCO International selects IBM Services for global digital transformation

IBM Impact Solutions and Agile approach for a rapid SAP S/4HANA® deployment

GENEVA and ARMONK, N.Y.,  — COFCO International (CIL) has selected IBM (NYSE: IBM) to integrate and digitally transform its business processes with the implementation of a new SAP platform, including SAP S/4HANA®, SAP® Ariba®, SAP® SuccessFactors® and SAP Master Data Governance.

CIL is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China’s largest food and agriculture company. With $34B in annual revenue and over 100 million tons shipped in 2017, CIL has quickly become a leading, global agribusiness.

Standardizing processes across CIL’s financial, procurement, and production activities will allow the company to integrate its business operations with other critical activities such as its core commodity trading system. This digital transformation will provide CIL with the platform it needs to further grow its agribusiness.

Over a two-year period, CIL and IBM will partner to design and test a global template, pilot the solution, and then roll it out to over 30 countries.  IBM Services will deploy IBM’s Impact Solutions and Agile approaches, utilising the most advanced set of pre-configured solutions for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba available in the industry to jumpstart the design phase and accelerate implementation. With SAP Ariba, CIL will see a fast transition from legacy, analogue procurement, to digital processes, improved stakeholder experiences, enhanced risk management, and reduced costs.

“IBM Services will help us rapidly digitally transform our business, standardize and simplify our processes, and vertically integrate our operations,” said Mr. Andre Schneiter COFCO International CIO.

“IBM is thrilled to have the opportunity to help COFCO International achieve their vision of standardized end-to-end processes across their operations. With our IMPACT solution, we can quickly help to build an efficient, integrated supply chain and matching back end business processes which will give COFCO International’s leadership visibility and control across their entire supply chain,” said Cathy Rogerson, IBM Services Vice President for the CPG, Agribusiness and Retail industries in Europe.

Cigna and Sentara Healthcare Expand Blockchain-Based Ecosystem for Healthcare Industry – Along with Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation, PNC Bank and IBM

SAN FRANCISCO Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that Cigna and Sentara Healthcare have joined a new health utility network using blockchain. The aim of the network is to convene a broad ecosystem of healthcare organizations in a highly secure, shared environment with the goal of enabling organizations to build, share and deploy solutions using blockchain that drive digital transformation in the industry.

The network also includes Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), and PNC Bank. Together they are exploring ways that blockchain can be used to address a range of industry challenges, including promoting efficient claims and payment processing, enabling secure and frictionless healthcare information exchanges, and ways to maintain current and accurate provider directories.

“We came together to create the health utility network realizing the need to improve transparency and interoperability in the industry in order to improve healthcare for all Americans,” said Rajeev Ronanki, chief digital officer of Anthem, Inc. “Engaging additional members across partner levels and industry perspectives will increase the network’s reach and ability to deliver high value solutions.”

At its core, blockchain is about strengthening trust in data. It’s a digital record keeping system that creates a new way to share and secure data across a business network. The ability to do this in real time, while maintaining permissioned access, data ownership and governance across many disparate parties, is what makes it so transformative.

“Cigna sees enormous potential for blockchain to improve the way we harness insights across the health care ecosystem to better serve our customers and communities,” said Mark Boxer, executive vice president and chief information officer, Cigna. “By working together, and joining the health utility network as a founding member, we have a significant opportunity to create new efficiencies that will lead to improved whole person health and wellness outcomes for our customers and clients.”

“Sentara is dedicated to leveraging Information Technology to continuously improve health every day,” said Mike Reagin, Sentara Healthcare senior vice president and chief information and innovation officer. “Blockchain is poised to help solve some of healthcare’s most crucial data security, and IT interoperability issues as we look to implement new customer-centric healthcare delivery models.”

“The distinctive attributes of blockchain is enabling collaborations between parties that could not easily take place previously, and with that entirely new business models are emerging,” said Lori Steele, general manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences for IBM. “The byproduct of this is the ability to link organizations in real-time and in ways that can ultimately improve the patient experience.”

One of several areas of focus for the healthcare ecosystem will be new ways to address payments. For example, a lack of trust between payers and providers can impede efforts to move toward alternative payment models. IBM and PNC have begun collaborating on a way to use blockchain to create shared efficiencies, drive adoption of bundled payments as a reimbursement mechanism, and help improve the value of care. The two organizations are scheduled to demonstrate the solution during the HIMSS Conference.

The business model of the healthcare blockchain network is predicated on a commitment to open and inclusive participation. More members expect to be added including other health organizations, providers, startups and ISVs, and together members will expand use cases that can benefit the healthcare industry.

The announcement was made during THINK 2019, IBM’s annual conference focused on technology and business.

IBM Helps Organizations Monitor Their Workers’ Safety with Watson IoT

IBM Works with Garmin, Guardhat, Mitsufuji and SmartCone to Identify Potential Hazards in the Workplace

SAN FRANCISCO,  — IBM Think — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced major collaborations with Garmin Health, Guardhat, Mitsufuji and SmartCone to monitor worker safety in hazardous environments, including those working in construction, mining and factories, using IoT technologies, integrated into wearables. IBM’s Maximo Worker Insights will monitor biometric and environmental data to help identify whether employees are experiencing dangers or risk. Data will be gathered in near real-time from wearables, smart devices and environmental sensors to help organizations quickly respond to problems or react to changing environmental conditions.

Employees working in rapidly changing environments face shifting conditions, whether on the factory floor, on the forklift, atop a cell tower or drilling into the earth. Utilizing IoT to understand what workers are doing in the context of the dynamic environment around them – including heat, height, weather and gas levels – allows organizations to implement near real-time and prescriptive safety practices to help protect the wellbeing of workers and which should help them maintain lower insurance costs.

For employees, this new offering monitors potential environmental threats to their safety and security as they work on the front lines.  For employers, the solution is designed to help them identify and respond to potential hazards in an effort to keep their workforce safe. Nonfatal workplace injuries account for close to $60 billion in workers’ compensation costs in the U.S. Although safety controls and personal protective equipment are mandatory in most hazardous jobs, this solution is designed to help companies to identify and respond to problems or react to changing environmental conditions. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million nonfatal occupational injuries were recorded in 2017.

“Worker safety is a critical priority for all enterprises and this collaboration is a major milestone in dramatically improving the way enterprises identify and eliminate hazards in the workplace,” said Kareem Yusuf Ph.D., general manager, IBM Watson IoT. “We are thrilled to work with Garmin, Guardhat, Mitsufuji and SmartCone, and leverage their respective leadership and commitment to help improve safety in the workplace,” continued Dr. Yusuf.

Garmin Health is excited to work with IBM Watson to modernize worker safety,” said Travis Johnson, Global Product Lead, Garmin Health. “Combining the powerful analytic capabilities of the IBM Watson IoT solution with the high-quality sensor data and long battery life of Garmin devices creates a great solution for remotely monitoring workers with minimal user burden.”

“The implementation of smart protective equipment allows us to better analyze workplace data and provide important safety insights in near real-time,” said Saikat Dey, Guardhat Co-Founder and CEO. “By working with IBM, we are able to leverage Maximo Worker Insights to bring smart safety to scale in the construction, manufacturing and refining industries.”

“IBM Maximo Worker Insights delivers the near real-time insight that our clients need to address the safety of their workers,” said Ayumu Mitera, CEO, Mitsufuji. “We are excited to work with both IBM and our clients to develop the hamon solution further. We see IBM as a valuable member of our team, not only providing powerful Internet of Things technologies, but also helping us identify new market opportunities around the world.”

“We are thrilled to work with a global leader such as IBM and integrate IBM Maximo Worker Insight technology into our platform,” said Tenille Houston, VP Communications and Marketing, SmartCone. “With the ever-evolving workplace, SmartCones’ comprehensive end-to-end solution combined with IBM’s IoT technology and advanced analytics provides the optimal pairing to best meet industry needs.”

Garmin Health Companion SDK
Garmin, a global leader in wearable technology, is teaming up with IBM to offer organizations who deploy the IBM Maximo Worker Insights platform to receive alerts based on near real-time sensor data from workers wearing Garmin activity trackers. By embedding the Garmin Health Companion SDK in the IBM Maximo Worker Insights platform, supervisors and safety officers can receive near real-time notifications for high heart rate and man down scenarios, as well as review historical analytics based on the biometric signals from Garmin wearables.

Guardhat and its smart hard hats
Guardhat’s KYRA IoT platform integrates and complements the IBM Worker Insights solution to provide near real-time situational awareness to workers and company operations through the use of Smart PPE wearables. Companies can gain deeper understanding of the field situation and raise awareness in the organization, to determine best practices and methods for risk mitigation thereby managing or maintaining lower insurance costs.

Mitsufuji and its hamon® wearable shirt
Mitsufuji, a wearable platformer in Japan, has launched a new wearable “shirt” called hamon® to track IoT sensor data from worker’s biometrics to help ensure safety and productivity in extreme environments. The hamon® shirt, made from silver conductive fibers, collects a wearer’s biometric data, including heart rate, body temperature and location, as well as environmental data such as humidity, temperature, noise and toxic gas levels, together with the use of IBM Maximo Worker Insights. By connecting to the IBM Maximo Worker Insights solution on the IBM Cloud, this data can be analyzed in near real-time, with alerts and alarms signaled on mobile devices to take a break, change locations, etc., before overexertion or injury occur.

SmartCone and its highly portable system
SmartCone, a provider of smart, IoT-based safety and monitoring solutions for securing vulnerable and hazardous zones, large and small, is working with IBM and integrating Maximo Worker Insights into its highly portable system to monitor worker safety in the utilities industry, community traffic, construction, mining and industrial environments with moving or dangerous no-go zones. Utilizing multi-sensors, audio/video, communication capabilities, computing and edge gateway capabilities, TheSmartCone™ system combines with IBM Maximo Worker Insights to provide supervisors and safety officers with near real-time notification and historical analytics on hazards related to falls, “man-downs,” no-go zones, excessive temperatures and more.

Harley-Davidson to Redefine Riding with IBM Cloud

Iconic brand looks to cloud, AI and IoT technologies to engage new generations of riders

SAN FRANCISCO— IBM Think — Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE: HOG) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled how cloud, IoT and AI technologies will reimagine the everyday experience of riding. The new experiences will arrive courtesy of the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer’s first electric motorcycle, LiveWire™, and will transform the motorcycle industry over the coming decade.

Earlier this year, Harley-Davidson (H-D) announced its first all-electric motorcycle, called LiveWire™, part of its More Roads to Harley-Davidson accelerated plan for growth. The plan includes initiatives to deliver new products in additional motorcycle segments, broaden engagement with the brand, and strengthen the H-D dealer network. It also boldly proclaims that Harley-Davidson will lead the electrification of motorcycling.

Today H-D joined IBM to unveil how LiveWire’s H-D™ Connect service (available in select markets), built on the IBM Cloud, will deliver new mobility and concierge services today and how the company is expanding the use of IBM artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and IoT to enhance and evolve the rider’s experience of the vehicle. In order to capture the next generation of motorcycle riders, H-D is working with IBM to transform the everyday experience of riding through the latest technologies and features.

The LiveWire motorcycle is equipped with H-D™ Connect service, a technology that provides cellular connectivity and links a LiveWire owner with their motorcycle through their smartphone using the latest version of the Harley-Davidson™ App. Built on IBM Cloud, this platform is the foundation on which Harley-Davidson will provide its riders with new services and insights via its first-ever production electric vehicle.

“LiveWire is a fully cellular-connected electric motorcycle, and we needed a partner that could deliver mobility solutions that would meet riders’ changing expectations, as well as enhance security,” said Marc McAllister, Harley-Davidson VP Product Planning and Portfolio. “With IBM we have struck the balance between using data to create both intelligent and personal experiences, while maintaining privacy and security.”

H-D Connect is a technology that provides cellular connectivity and links a LiveWire owner to their motorcycle through their smartphone using the latest version of the Harley-Davidson™ App. Built on IBM Cloud, this platform is the foundation on which Harley-Davidson will provide its riders with new services and insights via its first-ever production electric vehicle.

For now, IBM Cloud is enabling infrastructure and connected services to fundamentally change the way Harley-Davidson connects riders to their motorcycles and gain insights to power new user experiences such as:

  • Powering The Ride: LiveWire rider’s will be able to check bike vitals at any time and from any location. Information available includes features such as range, battery health, and charge level.  Motorcycle status features will also support the needs of the electric bike such as the location of charging stations. Also riders can see their motorcycle’s current map location.
  • Powering Security: An alert will be sent to the owner’s phone if the motorcycle has been bumped, tampered or moved. GPS-enabled stolen-vehicle assistance provides peace of mind that the motorcycle’s location can be tracked. (Requires law enforcement assistance. Available in select markets).
  • Powering Convenience: Reminders about upcoming motorcycle service requirements and other care notifications will be provided to the rider. In addition, riders will receive automated service reminders as well as safety or recall notifications.

“The next generation of Harley-Davidson riders will demand a more engaged and personalized customer experience,” said Venkatesh Iyer, Vice President, North America IoT and Connected Solutions, Global Business Services, IBM. “Introducing enhanced capabilities via the IBM Cloud will not only enable new services immediately, but will also provide a roadmap for the journey ahead.”

IBM Announces Additional $25 Million Investment to Put Technology to Work Saving Lives

Starting in Puerto Rico, IBM’s new Code and Response™ deployment initiative will build, fortify, test, and implement open source technology solutions at scale to speed recovery in the wake of natural disasters

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2019  — Think 2019 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced Code and Response, a new $25 million, four-year deployment initiative to put open source technologies developed as part of coding challenges such as Call for Code in the communities where they are needed most. Code and Response includes resources to build, fortify, test, and implement solutions at scale. The initiative is supported by hundreds of IBMers as part of the IBM Corporate Service Corps, as well as government and NGO partners to put those technologies to work saving lives. A new partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University will also help provide college-age developers with the skills and resources they need to turn their ideas into action. In its first year, Code and Response will pilot Project Owl, the winning solution from Call for Code 2018, in disaster-struck regions like Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Osaka, and Kerala.

Code and Response will include implementation partners such as the non-profit Information Technology Disaster Resource Center who will offer feedback on Project Owl’s hardware and software configuration. The ITDRC will provide valuable guidance in Puerto Rico based on their extensive experience restoring network access on the island since hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Generating ideas through challenges is not enough,” said Bob Lord, IBM Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems. “Every year natural disasters affect close to 160 million people worldwide. To take a huge leap forward in effective disaster response, we must tap into the global open source ecosystem to generate sustainable solutions we can scale and deploy in the field. But we cannot do it alone. It is only by working with venerable partners like the American Red Cross that we will see these technologies really come to life.”

“The Red Cross is thrilled that IBM is continuing to dedicate resources to help those affected by natural disasters,” said Gail McGovern, American Red Cross President and CEO. “Our organization is relying on inventors and innovative companies like IBM to advance the fight against natural disasters by fostering new ideas that will make a real difference in peoples’ lives.”

Following a highly successful first year when more than 100,000 developers submitted thousands of ideas for saving lives in the face of natural disasters, IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty announced Call for Code 2019, reaffirming the company’s five-year, $30 million commitment to social impact coding challenges. The goal is once again to unite the world’s 23 million developers and data scientists to unleash the power of cloud, AI, blockchain and IoT technologies to create sustainable and scalable open source technologies. The emphasis this year is on the health and well-being of individuals and communities threatened by natural disasters.

Call for Code Creator David Clark Cause and Founding Partner IBM will once again team with Charitable Partners United Nations Human Rights and American Red Cross, as well as The Linux Foundation on the Call for Code Challenge. In its second year, Call for Code welcomes new supporters Consumer Technology Association Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and Apttus, and continued support from Delta Air Lines, Johnson & Johnson, Persistent Systems and others. Call for Code is pleased to also receive continued support from the following additional open source foundations and their respective community members: the Cloud Foundry Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation and the Node JS Foundation.

“We’re overwhelmed by the success of Call for Code and applaud IBM and their Code and Response initiative,” said David Clark, CEO of David Clark Cause. “Code and Response demonstrates IBM’s commitment to impacting real change in people’s lives by turning ideas into reality. We’re proud to have IBM as the Founding Partner of Call for Code and excited to continue inspiring developers to create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

IBM Unveils New Offerings for Faster and More Secured Path to Hybrid Cloud

Tools and services designed to help businesses deploy new applications across hybrid cloud environments with security and efficiency

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2019 — IBM Think — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new hybrid cloud offerings to help businesses migrate, integrate and manage applications and workloads seamlessly and with security across any public or private cloud and on-premises IT environment.

The IBM Institute for Business Value estimates that by 2021, 98 percent of organizations surveyed plan to adopt hybrid architectures, but just 38 percent will have the procedures and tools they need to operate that environment1. The process today is challenging because it is largely manual with major security implications and a lack of consistent management and integration tools.

As part of today’s news, IBM is launching new hybrid cloud tools and services designed to help enterprises navigate the complexities of this new landscape:

  • New IBM Cloud Integration Platform designed to reduce time and complexity to launch new services and applications across cloud environments in a consistent and secure manner.
  • New IBM Services designed to advise on holistic cloud strategies.
  • New IBM Services designed to simplify the management of resources across cloud environments.
  • New services designed to provide industry-leading security for data and applications in the public cloud.

“At Aetna, a CVS Health business, we see hybrid cloud as an integral part of our transformation journey,” said Claus Torp Jensen, Chief Technology Officer, Aetna. “We want to use the best services from various cloud providers to create a seamless consumer experience and digitalize underlying business processes. For that, we are taking an API-centric approach to integration and making sure that all of our APIs are easily accessible across our hybrid cloud ecosystem.”

New Cloud Integration Platform Designed to Dramatically Reduce Coding Time, Complexity

The IBM Cloud Integration Platform is designed to securely connect applications, software and services from any vendor regardless of whether those systems are on-premises, in a public cloud or a private cloud. The platform brings together a comprehensive set of integration tools in a single development environment. It can help improve productivity because integration specialists can write, test and secure code once, store it in the platform and reuse it – an arduous task that once monopolized their time. This can help companies cut the time and cost of integration by 1/3, while staying within their unique requirements for security and compliance2.

Integration is critical as enterprises optimize business processes and create more personalized customer experiences. However, integration is becoming increasingly complex because many enterprises surveyed are already using between two to 15 different clouds and want to deploy new cloud services such as AI, analytics and blockchain to stay ahead of the competition3.

With the IBM Cloud Integration Platform, companies can quickly bring to market new capabilities while freeing up integration specialists to focus on the more complex, system-level integrations.

“Most large organizations have data and workloads spread across multiple public and private clouds, SaaS and on-premises environments – sometimes as a result of their business process infrastructure, but also for compliance, regulatory and data privacy reasons,” said Denis Kennelly, general manager, cloud integration, IBM. “The challenge in this environment is to overcome data and technology siloes to quickly deploy new business services and applications with security. Today, we are launching new capabilities designed to help unleash the full power of the hybrid cloud.”

New End-To-End IBM Hybrid Cloud Services 

IBM is launching new IBM Services for Cloud Strategy and Design, a comprehensive set of services designed to advise clients on how to architect the right holistic cloud strategy from design, migration, integration, road mapping and architectural services to navigating their journey to cloud. IBM Services is establishing dedicated teams of consultants who are certified experts in the latest services and technologies across multiple cloud platforms.  Teams will use open and secure multicloud strategies, drawing upon IBM’s experience in IT transformation and collaboration with an ecosystem of cloud partners. The new services leverage IBM’s industry-leading Cloud Innovate method, automated decision accelerators and IBM Cloud Garage approach to support clients with co-creation and scaled innovation in application development, migration, modernization and management.

Building off of a recent partnership expansion announcement with ServiceNow, IBM is also introducing new IBM Services for Multicloud Management to provide a single system to help enterprises simplify the management of their IT resources across multiple cloud providers, on-premises environments and private clouds.

The delivery of IBM Services for Multicloud Management includes three layers designed to provide a single management and operations system:

  • Business management – applications that provide digital service ordering, modern service management, and cost governance to help manage spend;
  • Orchestration – an automation layer that helps enable services of different types, from different vendors to be integrated easily and made available to consumers;
  • Operations – a layer that helps enable infrastructure and operations administrators to monitor and maintain systems, including legacy infrastructure, private cloud, public cloud and container environments.

In addition, it includes a unified, self-service experience to users to facilitate faster and easier access to cloud services via an environment integrated with the ServiceNow Portal to configure and buy cloud services and solutions from multiple cloud providers. It also provides performance management services and offers the means to monitor and manage the health of the cloud.

“As we grow our digital business, moving our applications to the cloud is critical to help modernize our processes and deliver even better experiences for our customers. Adopting the right strategy and migration approach to cloud needs to be seamless and requires an understanding of our IT landscape,” said Sarp Uzkan, vice president, IT, Tribune Publishing. “IBM cloud advisory services and tools provided a detailed assessment that determined not only which applications would be best to move to the cloud but a strong business case that would meet our needs and enabling us to explore the best approach for moving to the cloud.”

McCormick & Company and IBM Announce Collaboration Pioneering the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Flavor and Food Product Development

McCormick products developed with AI technology from IBM Research will hit the market by mid-2019

HUNT VALLEY, Md. and YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY, — McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC), a global leader in flavor, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today publicly announced their ongoing research collaboration to pioneer the application of artificial intelligence (AI) for flavor and food product development.

Using IBM Research AI for Product Composition, McCormick is ushering in a new era of flavor innovation and changing the course of the industry. Product developers across McCormick’s global workforce will be able to explore flavor territories more quickly and efficiently using AI to learn and predict new flavor combinations from hundreds of millions of data points across the areas of sensory science, consumer preference and flavor palettes. This proprietary, cutting-edge technology sets McCormick apart in its ability to develop more creative, better tasting products and new flavor experiences across both its Consumer and Flavor Solutions business units.

McCormick expects to launch its first AI-enabled product platform, “ONE,” by mid-2019, with a set of initial one-dish Recipe Mix flavors including Tuscan Chicken, Bourbon Pork Tenderloin and New Orleans Sausage. The company’s flavor developers created this product platform by combining IBM’s expertise in AI and machine learning with McCormick’s 40+ years of proprietary sensory science and taste data, which includes decades of past product formulas and millions of data points related to consumer taste preferences and palettes. AI has enabled McCormick’s product developers access to an expanded portfolio of flavor profiles that enhances their creativity. The new ONE platform was specifically developed to deliver family-favorite flavors with the ability to season both the protein and vegetable. The new seasoning blends expect to be on U.S. retail shelves by late spring.

“McCormick’s use of artificial intelligence highlights our commitment to insight-driven innovation and the application of the most forward-looking technologies to continually enhance our products and bring new flavors to market,” said McCormick Chairman, President and CEO Lawrence Kurzius. “This is one of several projects in our pipeline where we’ve embraced new and emerging technologies.”

As a world leader in artificial intelligence software, services and technology for business, IBM is focused on working with clients and enterprises across many industry sectors to help advance data-driven technologies that push markets forward.

“IBM Research’s collaboration with McCormick illustrates our commitment to helping our clients and partners drive innovation across industries,” said Kathryn Guarini, VP, Industry Research, IBM. “By combining McCormick’s deep data and expertise in science and taste, with IBM’s AI capabilities, we are working together to unlock the bounds of creativity and transform the food and flavor development process.”

Pairing McCormick’s global expertise, particularly that of its research and product development teams, with leading AI research helped McCormick accelerate the speed of flavor innovation by up to three times and deliver highly effective, consumer-preferred formulas. Through the ONE platform as well as several other projects in the pipeline, McCormick’s product developers are now using AI to unlock creativity, access new insights and share data with their peers around the world. The company plans to scale this technology globally by 2021.

PIL and IBM collaborate to trial Lunar New Year delivery using IBM Blockchain Platform

Electronic Bill of Lading pilot reduces time to transfer shipment documents from seven days to one second
28 tons of fresh mandarin oranges, symbol of prosperity, arrive early for Lunar New Year

Singapore, Pacific International Lines (“PIL”) has used an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) built on the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Blockchain Platform in a successful real-time pilot tracking shipment of mandarin oranges from China for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

With the use of IBM Blockchain powered e-BL, the trial has produced a significant reduction in the administrative process of transferring the title deed from five to seven days to just one second.

This is significant because the Bill of Lading is one of the most crucial documents used in international trade, typically issued by a shipping carrier to document the title or ownership of goods. It also functions as a receipt of goods and a contract of the shipment.

Combining e-BL with blockchain technology promises to help companies reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo. Document handling is automated, and goods delivered more quickly and efficiently.

Hupco Pte Ltd (“Hupco”), a major importer in Singapore of mandarin oranges for the upcoming Lunar New Year, took part in the e-BL trial as the consignee of 3,000 cartons of mandarin oranges (approximately 108,000 mandarin oranges).

Mr Tay Khiam Back, Chairman and CEO of Hupco said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the trial.  By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings.

Our customers can expect their orders in a more timely manner, and, importantly, with freshness assured.”

As a symbol of prosperity, mandarin oranges are a common – and welcome – sight during the Lunar New Year in Asia, with people exchanging them as greeting gifts and eating them during the festive celebrations.

Companies shipping perishable items like these mandarin oranges require faster document processing and expedited cargo clearing for delivery. This shortens the overall shipping time – reducing potential risks for retailers and providing fresher options to consumers.

For this trial, the consignee (Hupco) benefited from collecting their goods faster with the immediate receipt of the electronic Bill of Lading.

They also benefited from:

  • Lower operating costs such as electricity costs (charging for refrigerated cargo containers at the port while waiting for collection), storage costs (at port) and cost savings from enhanced equipment utilization;
  • Stronger provenance and real-time visibility of documents which is both traceable and tamper-proof;
  • Greater security by helping prevent document fraud, which comprises 40% of all maritime fraud.

The live trial follows the e-BL Proof of Concept which was announced in October 2018.* PIL and IBM collaborated to digitize the lifecycle of negotiable and non-negotiable Bills of Lading on top of distributed ledger technology. The live trial is an important milestone because it validates how the system works in real-time conditions.

Lisa Teo, Executive Director of PIL, said: “We are pleased with the steady progress of our blockchain collaboration with IBM. To-date, we have received very positive feedback from the industry and authorities, and we are enthused by the possibilities of how our blockchain developments can transform and inject a much-needed boost in efficiency and innovation into the industry.”

Harriet Green, CEO and Chairman of IBM Asia Pacific, said: “A blockchain-based trade network will be a game-changer, and we have a great opportunity here with our partner PIL to revolutionize the documentation processes in a way that benefits the entire industry. Powered by blockchain, the e-BL developed by the IBM Research Singapore will be critical in helping to establish an extensible ecosystem for trade, thus expectedly enhancing trade efficiency and building trusted trade relationships among the industry players.”

The e-BL platform gives various ecosystem players the convenience to manage a Bill of Lading digitally with accuracy and speed, including banks. A similar trial from Singapore to Brunei has taken place for negotiable e-BL with key stakeholders participating including Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (BOC). The negotiable e-BL network establishes an extensible ecosystem which facilitates trade transactions and settlements, as the process of issuing Letter of Credit and Guarantee is enhanced.

Explanatory notes:

Compared to the current way of using paper bills of lading – a process that is often slowed down by lengthy paperwork and exposed to fraud and inefficiencies, using e-BL has proved how the process can be made more efficient and at the same time, provide a more secure, transparent and seamless documentation trail.

A Non-negotiable or Straight BL – This is a form of the bill of lading which is addressed or consigned directly to the buyer. The carrier will issue a set of three original BLs, one of which must be endorsed by the consignee and presented in order to obtain the goods at destination.

A Negotiable or To Order BL – This is a form of the bill of lading which is addressed “to order” and can be transferred to a third party. The carrier will deliver the shipment to whoever presents this bill of lading, as long as it is endorsed on the back. The holder of the to order bill of lading is assumed to be the owners of the goods.

* The PIL-IBM collaboration announced in October 2018 was supported by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Shipping Association, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore Customs (National TradePlatform), and Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (BOC).