A smarter world

IBM is a special brand in the IT world. It’s home to over 433,000 employees worldwide and one of the only technology companies which dates back to the 19th century – when IBM is in town, it’s a big deal.

That town just so happened to be the lights of Las Vegas last month, Caesars Palace, to be more specific. And thousands of partners and customers came along for the ride. At this year’s Leadership Conference, Mark Hennessey, General Manager, Global Business Partners, took the keynote spot and in true IBM style pledged to be the world leader in the conquest for smarter cities.

“This year’s conference is a little different,” he began.

“We’re here to talk about how new technology trends and innovations are transforming the way we work entirely. When you speak to partners every day you speak about delivering greater results and value to your clients. Let me tell you, that’s what we’re here to do.”

IBM believes that the advent of mobile, social, big data, and cloud will help completely revolutionise the way we live and work, and produced multiple references to prove it.

Bruno Di Leo, Senior Vice President, Sales and Distribution, IBM, arrived to discuss three key areas for IBM; its vision on the information technology market, its shared agenda with its partners, and its enterprise goals and targets for the market place.

“The previous years have proved to us that the market goes through a cycle of innovation and change. You’ve proved that with your leadership you control this and grow with this and gain market share. This is the reason why IBM has been continuously transforming itself to pursue higher partner spaces. I want to assert with you all today that we will continue to pursue these higher partner spaces,” he said.

“First and foremost – IBM will lead in the new era of computing. This year is all about smarter cities, integrated systems, software defined environments. We profoundly believe this is all about new clients and new areas, exploring new territories and growing with you.”

Di Leo claimed that new smarter solutions are helping to assist companies and clients in positions not previously thought of in information technology, and that these technologies will continue to grow in new areas, integrating communities and bringing them closer together to achieve bigger goals.

It was big data analytics that appeared to be the game changer in Vegas – real time data and information being analysed, absorbed and distributed as an efficient solution. IBM has realised the importance of tapping into the data growth, and has developed industry leading solutions in this field.

IBM announced its new IBM Digital Analytics solution which is a cloud based big data analytical tool. The company will offer one year’s free access to existing partners.

The company was extremely proud to introduce client success stories in this area including The Cheesecake Factory which recently set up shop here in the Middle East.

By utilising big data analytics, the restaurant chain claims to have significantly improved its customer experience by ensuring freshness and quality beyond its previous capabilities.

“As a global brand in the restaurant industry, our number one priority is absolute guest satisfaction,” said Donald Moore, Chief Culinary Officer, The Cheesecake Factory.

“It’s our absolute goal to deliver the best dining experience to our guests and it’s critical that we have the tools to ensure a fantastic dining experience in every restaurant from Beverly Hills to Kuwait.”

IBM’s big data analytics is built on IBM Power Systems and IBM Business Partner, N2N Global’s solution. This tool has the ability to quickly alert restaurant locations to remove any ingredients that do not meet its high standards for quality and consistency. It’s this use of technology, along with a strong customer focus, that allows The Cheesecake Factory to remain one of the leading brands in the restaurant industry.

Closer to home
Hennessy claimed that this PartnerWorld was one of the most popular in recent years, saying that it’s such an interesting time in the market place, that partner opportunity is higher than ever.

“We’ve listened carefully to our partners and the key point is simplicity and technical support. We’re actively seeking to help drive value, to drive revenue, and to help grow business,” he said.

In the last year, 13,000 new partners joined the IBM partner ecosystem, 60% of which happened to come from growth markets, prompting the question, what about the Middle East?

“I was just in Dubai a few months ago and it is a very big growth market for us. We have several big partners there and lots of smaller partners too. There’s a lot of opportunity to leapfrog technologies there as well as there being a lot of investment money, it’s almost a blank canvas.”

Hennessey said he believes that IBM is extremely active in this region and that it stands as a high priority within its partner strategy.
“We have a number of premier partners and superior partners there who have been working with us for years now. We’re dedicated.”

Hennessy claimed that IBM’s bullish attitude and impressive portfolio stands to reason that no company can match its position.
“We’ve got a hugely impressive product portfolio and we’re feeling very bullish at the moment. It’s a very good time to be IBM.”

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