IBM Offers Free Tools Based on Trusted Data to Track COVID-19 Cases on Your Phone and Online

Hyper-local Data, News and Information on The Weather Channel app and Help Keep You Informed About the Coronavirus

ATLANTA, March 25, 2020 — In this challenging time when more than one in four Americans are under “shelter-in-place” orders1, IBM (NYSE: IBM) is offering free tools to track reported COVID-19 cases near you and help you stay informed.

Offered through The Weather Channel app,, and an online dashboard, this information is designed to help provide the latest details currently available from various official sources to people and businesses so they can access it easily on their computers or smartphones.

“As the coronavirus causes uncertainty in our daily lives, we are all looking for data to help us make more informed decisions and check on our family and friends in different areas. With that in mind, we feel it’s critical to provide the most trusted information currently available to help people stay informed on the reach of COVID-19,” said Cameron Clayton, general manager of IBM’s The Weather Company. “The Weather Channel is now providing COVID-19 data – so you can see why social distancing matters in your community and why it’s important to heed instructions from your local, state and national resources.”

Citizens, researchers and even government officials can use the data-rich tools to get currently available information from various official sources about the reach of the coronavirus, down to a county level in the United States.

The tools, which run on the IBM public cloud, use IBM Watson to access and analyze data from the World Health Organization and multiple national, state and local governments. This data will be more localized than some other resources currently available – drilling down to the county level in the United States, where available.

Visit or The Weather Channel app on iOS or Android to see the following:

  • An AI-enhanced interactive “Incidents Map” of COVID-19 data and stats, including confirmed cases and more by U.S. state and by county, where available.
  • A trend graph by state in the U.S. to view recent statistics, as well as data over time.
  • Starting with U.S. locations and with additional global data anticipated to follow shortly, the tool will provide trend visualization, interactive mapping, news and information to help track the pandemic.
  • The latest news and videos related to coronavirus from The Weather Channel editorial team.
  • Additional details such as available public health information, patient education materials, locations of key healthcare clinics and testing centers and more, are anticipated to be added as available.

In addition, an interactive dashboard driven by IBM Watson and built on IBM Cognos Analytics is designed to help users such as data scientists, researchers, media organizations and more conduct a deeper analysis and filtering of regional data. Available global data includes confirmed cases, recoveries where available and more, and users can drill down to the country, region, state and county level as needed to get further insights. This aggregated data could potentially help others collect insights and show how cases are trending over time.

Umbria Food Cluster Project: Promoting Authenticity and Quality of Local Products Using IBM Blockchain

Following Gruppo Grigi, products from Molitoria Umbra, Agribosco and I Potti de Fratini will be added to IBM Food Trust with the aim of enhancing the excellence of a specific territorial area in Italy for flour, cereals and olive oil

Milan, 13 May 2020: After the recent announcement that Gruppo Grigi would join IBM Food Trust for its pasta line Aliveris, three additional companies in the Umbria region plan to join the network to track their products using blockchain technology: Molitoria Umbra, Agribosco and I Potti de Fratini. All these companies use local, raw materials and operate not only in the Italian market but internationally.

Following the pasta traceability project developed with Gruppo Grigi, the Umbria Food Cluster consortium was born in order to create a network of companies in the region using blockchain technology. The goal is to help provide provenance insights, optimized supply chain processes, increased freshness, and improved food safety and to help ensure products are produced using the typical characteristics of a specific Italian territorial area.

Gruppo Grigi, a leader in the livestock feed and consumer food sectors, is part of this new consortium together with Molitoria Umbra, a producer that mills durum wheat to make semolina for dry, fresh, artisanal pasta and for bread making, Agribosco a company focused on the production of cereals, legumes and flours, and the oil farm I Potti de Fratini producing organic olive oil.

IBM Food Trust, a blockchain-enabled global network of food chain participants, connects supply chain data across the ecosystem with transparency. Food Trust connects the diverse food ecosystem, promoting increased efficiency, automated supply chain visibility, and strengthened consumer relationships from farm to store.

The collaboration with IBM and these companies will initially focus on providing traceability for Ta Lia olive oil from I Potti de Fratini, Flavum brand organic durum wheat semolina flour from Molitoria Umbra, and pearled spelt grain from Agribosco. Gruppo Grigi is already underway with traceability for its Aliveris brand organic pasta.

The consortium is a critical opportunity to grow business with expanded products supported by IBM Blockchain and the IBM Cloud. The goal will then be to further expand the participation of Umbria Food Cluster to other local companies. This work will be carried out in collaboration with an IBM Business Partner from Perugia, Sas Informatica and the Iktome Communication Agency, which will make the product data from the three additional companies and their production processes available on the platform.

IBM Food Trust will illuminate the entire supply and distribution chain of Umbria Food Cluster Products, from the origin of the raw materials, to the characteristics of the local regions, to the transport activities up to the final consumer. In this regard, a UFC-branded digital marketplace is going to be defined in order to help provide the consumer and distribution stakeholders with blockchain-traced products made in Umbria.

IBM Food Trust offers maximum transparency to end consumers who can have greater confidence on the quality of the food they purchase. In addition, the blockchain application in the food sector is able to help in a number of ways including promoting the freshness of food, controlling storage times, addressing fraud and errors, and reducing waste.

Confirming the importance of these aspects, a recent IBM Study* on consumer trends at a global level reveals that consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability, transparency, and consistency with their value scale: 71% of those responding indicated that traceability is very important are willing to pay a premium for brands that provide it.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

Airtel Selects IBM and Red Hat to build Open Hybrid Cloud Network

Platform to ready Airtel’s network for emerging technologies such as 5G and Edge Computing, enable its partners to deploy advanced B2B & B2C applications

Designed to enhance network efficiency and performance, improve customer experience

ARMONK, N.Y. and NEW DELHI, India, May 11, 2020 — Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), one of India’s largest integrated telcos, has selected IBM and Red Hat to build its new telco network cloud, designed to make it more efficient, flexible and future-ready to support core operations and enable new digital services. Under the agreement, Airtel will build its next generation core network, analytical tools and new consumer and enterprise services on top of this cloud platform based on open standards.

With the new network cloud, Airtel intends to deliver a better customer experience through enhanced network performance, improved availability, operations automation and scaling the network to the edge. This is designed to reduce latency and improve bandwidth availability and automation, thereby strengthening the overall quality of the network.

India’s data consumption is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 70% by 20221. Adopting a modern hybrid cloud architecture enables communication service providers (CSPs) to deliver more responsive networks that tap into automation and AI to address growing customer needs and deploy new services at the right location and network tier.

Using IBM and Red Hat’s portfolio of hybrid cloud and cognitive enterprise capabilities, Airtel plans to adopt an open cloud architecture that uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform for all network workloads and Red Hat OpenShift for newer containerized workloads. It will also tap into Red Hat’s ecosystem of network OEMs. In the future, Airtel’s open hybrid cloud platform is expected to help enable new revenue streams with the on-boarding of third-party services including gaming, remote media production and enterprise services. By embracing IBM and Red Hat’s hybrid cloud technology all the way to the network edge, Airtel aims to achieve improvement in time-to-market of services, reduction in operating expenses and reduced capital expenses.

The network cloud will also position ecosystem partners, including B2B and B2C application developers, to create value-added services, including new edge offerings. The multicloud platform and end-to-end intent-based lifecycle management will help onboard these services faster on the network cloud and seamlessly integrate these services with current fulfilment, assurance and billing processes. Additionally, the network cloud is embedded with AI, designed to facilitate automation in onboarding and improvs monitoring and predictive capabilities for different services from network equipment providers.

“As part of our endeavor to build a 5G ready network for India’s requirements, we are pleased to collaborate with IBM and Red Hat in our cloud journey,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel. Our goal with this powerful, seamless horizontal approach is to make our network future ready and enable Airtel to efficiently serve the massive surge in data consumption. The hybrid cloud architecture will resonate with our customer-obsession by providing improved flexibility, network stability and performance and bringing agility and automation in our network operations.”
“Through its collaboration with IBM and Red Hat, Airtel will be building a modern, innovative and more responsive network infused with automation and AI, that will provide the consistency and agility needed for today’s rapidly changing marketplace,” said Steve Canepa, Global Managing Director, Communications Sector and Worldwide Head of Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment Industry, IBM. “IBM is a valued collaborator to many of the world’s largest and most innovative communications service providers like Airtel as they transform their networks into open and secure hybrid multicloud platforms and prepare for the 5G and edge computing era.”

“Red Hat is providing innovative open source solutions to help Airtel improve flexibility and reduce development time, so they can stay competitive in the rapidly evolving telecommunications market,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, global vice president, vertical industries and accounts, Red Hat. “By adopting a more agile approach to network operations based on Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies, Airtel is building a future-ready platform to meet the evolving needs of its customers.”

IBM Launches Open P-TECH Globally; Free platform focused on workplace learning and skills will be offered in English, Portuguese and Spanish

Open P-TECH provides students and educators access to digital learning in areas including AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity

ARMONK, N.Y., May 5, 2020 — At its Think Digital conference today, IBM announced the launch of Open P-TECH, a free digital education platform focused on workplace learning and digital skills. The platform, building on the industry leading P-TECH program, equips 14-20-year old learners and educators with foundational technology competencies. Training in technologies such as AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity, along with professional skills, like Design Thinking, that are highly valued in the market set Open P-TECH apart. It offers content in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Executive Chairman, will discuss the platform as part of a broader discussion on the future of education, skills development and the digital workforce in the post-COVID-19 era as part of the Think Digital conference on May 5 at 1pm ET and 9pm ET. She will be joined by musician, businessman, and philanthropist, Founder and CEO of I.AM+.

“As the pandemic accelerates digital transformation, new ways of learning must keep pace if we are to equip all young people with skills relevant to the digital era and marketplace,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Executive Chairman. “On the one hand, this is a massive challenge; on the other, this presents a great opportunity to better prepare people for new collar careers.  Open P-TECH is a free platform designed to provide relevant workplace skills to anyone in the world so they can be successful in this digital era.”

First launched by IBM in 2011, the P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School) model has been adopted in 220 schools across 24 countries with over 150,000 students and 600 corporate partners. Open P-TECH scales the most essential workplace preparation elements of the P-TECH program making them available to more students than ever before. Open P-TECH provides modules for students and teachers that include courses on emerging technologies and courses on professional competencies, both leading to free digital badges that students can share on their online resumes. Using the platform, students preparing for internships and new collar jobs earn the same badges as professionals in the field. In tandem with this, IBM is offering online webinars on a variety of workplace topics, along with activities that students can engage in over the summer. Initially launched across Australia, Brazil, India and the United States, Open P-TECH will bring components of the P-TECH model to 250,000 additional students in these countries, many of whom would otherwise not have access to innovative digital learning.

In Brazil, for example, Bradesco will be deploying Open P-TECH to more than 9,000 high school students, making the program available for those most in need.

“Since 1956, Fundação Bradesco has offered free, quality education to thousands of students in Brazil. We understand that valuing education is the only way to face challenges and promote positive social and economic impacts,” said Jefferson Romon, Deputy Director of Fundação Bradesco. “With Open P-TECH and IBM, we are taking another step in the evolution of our digital education methodology so that the next generation of professionals has the promising future they deserve,” he added.

IBM believes that companies bringing advanced technologies to market have a responsibility to prepare students and workers for the way those technologies will shape jobs and the nature of our work. Innovation should unlock opportunities to make our workforce more inclusive, not less.  In addition to Open P-TECH, the company’s efforts to expand the pipeline for technology jobs include:

  • The IBM Tech Re-Entry Program is a paid returnship for technical professionals who have been out of the workforce for at least 24 months and are looking to re-enter the workforce. The program provides participants training, access to tools and technology, mentorship, and work assignments on technical projects that are matched to their expertise.
  • The IBM Apprenticeship Program, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, includes a 12-24 month program that pairs apprentices with an IBM mentor to work on actual IBM projects in technology’s fastest-growing fields, such as cybersecurity, mainframe administration and software development.

IBM Study: COVID-19 Is Significantly Altering U.S. Consumer Behavior and Plans Post-Crisis

Personal Mobility, Retail Shopping, and Event Attendance Are Among the Areas Most Impacted

ARMONK, N.Y., May 1, 2020 — Findings from an IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of U.S. consumers reveals shifting personal behavior and preferences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study polled more than 25,000 U.S. adults in the month of April to understand how COVID-19 has affected their perspectives on a number of issues, including retail spending, transportation, future attendance at events in large venues, and returning to work. The results revealed that not only do U.S. consumers surveyed plan to make significant changes in the way they go about their lives and work in the wake of the virus, but also that there tend to be stark regional contrasts about those plans depending on where those consumers reside.

Many consumers indicated that they plan to reduce their use of – or forgo entirely – ridesharing and public transportation. They also indicated they are less likely to attend large events once the crisis abates but are more likely to attend sporting events. Many respondents also expressed changes in the way they will shop and spend their money, including an increased willingness to use contactless payment technologies when shopping, alongside a reluctance and hesitation to make new car purchases due to personal financial concerns resulting from the pandemic.

“The study provides further evidence that COVID-19 is permanently altering U.S. consumer behavior. There are long term implications of the new consumer behaviors for industries like retail, transportation, and travel among others. These organizations need to quickly adapt their business models to serve the new consumer behaviors in order to survive and thrive,” said Jesus Mantas, Senior Managing Partner, IBM Services.

Among the more noteworthy findings:

Personal mobility could be different after the pandemic
The survey results show consumer attitudes toward public transportation have shifted notably. More than 20 percent of respondents who regularly used buses, subways or trains now said they no longer would, and another 28 percent said they will likely use public transportation less often.

More than half of people surveyed who used ridesharing apps and services said they would either use these less or stop using these services completely. Findings were not quite as dire for taxis and other traditional car services, as a smaller 24 percent of people surveyed indicated they will no longer use these modes of transportation.

More use of personal vehicles, but purchases are delayed
More than 17 percent of people surveyed said that they intend to use their personal vehicle more as a result of COVID-19, with approximately 1 in 4 saying they will use it as their exclusive mode of transportation going forward.

One-third of respondents said that constraints on their personal finances will “greatly” influence their decision to buy a vehicle once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. More than 25 percent said that a lack of confidence in the global and U.S. economic outlook will impact their decisions to buy a vehicle – with nearly the same number of people saying they would be holding off on buying for more than 6 months. Consumers added that manufacturer incentive programs are not likely to persuade or change their thinking.

Event attendance will be down for some time
When asked about attendance at various types of large events once stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, more than half of respondents said they are unwilling to be exposed to large crowds for the remainder of 2020. Conferences and trade shows had a strong response, with 75 percent indicating that they are unlikely to attend an in-person conference or trade show in 2020. Bars and restaurants are more likely to fare much better.

More than one-third of consumers indicated they will visit these establishments, with only about ten percent saying they will not. Outdoor parks also represent a favored destination; one-third of respondents said they are very likely to visit an outdoor park after restrictions are lifted. Approximately 25 percent of consumers also indicated they will be ready to visit the beach and 1 in 5 will be ready to go shopping at malls and shopping centers.

The Retail Experience Continues to Evolve
Due to their concerns about COVID-19, nearly 40 percent of consumers surveyed said they are likely to use contactless payment options via their mobile device or credit card when shopping. More than 75 percent of respondents indicate they are choosing to visit stores to buy essential goods (i.e., food & beverages and household & cleaning products); however, responding consumers in the Northwest were more likely to buy essential goods online and ship to home or another destination than any other U.S. region.

The study also reveals that the pandemic has created a priority on shopping local for those surveyed – with 25 percent of respondents indicating they are now shopping more often at locally owned stores and buying more local made, grown or sourced products.

The Rise of the Remote Workforce
The forced shift to operating as a largely remote workforce has led to nearly 40 percent of respondents indicating they feel strongly that their employer should provide employee opt-in remote work options when returning to normal operations.  And remote work appears to be growing on people, as more than 75 percent indicate they would like to continue to work remotely at least occasionally, while more than half – 54 percent – would like this to be their primary way of working.

The shift toward a more remote workforce could require more than a simple change of location – it may require the use of soft skills to continue to be productive and successful. A 2019 study from the IBV revealed that adaptability, time management and ability to work well on teams as some of the most crucial to the workforce today – however, only 41 percent of CEOs surveyed felt they had the capability in terms of people skills and resources required to execute their business strategies. It will be imperative for organizations to prioritize reskilling employees around these core capabilities.