Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Live blogging the IOD 2009 Opening Session


I'm sitting in the Mandalay Bay event center for the IOD2009 conference opening general session.  I'll be doing my best to live blog from here, so keep hitting refresh for the latest this morning.

Opening band - "It's a good day to lead the way"

Terry Fator (winner of America's got talent) coming on stage.  Good pun on information on demand ("I demand more information")

Ambuj Goyal, General Manager Business Analytics and Process Optimization takes the stage.

Given the current economic environment, we expected a decline in attendance, but attendance is actually higher than last year.

We believe we have created a journey which we call information on demand, which we are taking to the next step of information-led transformation.  Built on fantastic solid foundation.  4 years ago were focused on data and content to run businesses.  When we created vision called IOD, we said info is locked in these environments.  How can we free it up to unlock the business value of information.  Created a term, and called it information on demand.  Need to get arms around info so we can reduce cost associated with this environment, but also create trusted information.  Govern that info before analyze.  And then, set of capabilities around InfoSphere, FileNet, Optim, Cognos, SPSS, ILOG - captured these capabilities to create an information on demand software stack.  $8B in SW investments over past 4 years, with another $4B in organic investments, fo r a total of $12B in software investments, over 15,000 new clients.

Thousands of you on this journey helped us create a proven approach on how to bring LOB and IT together.  Call it Information Agenda.  Strategy, Roadmaps, Infrastructure, Define and Govern.  Helped you move from information projects to information-based enterprise. Consistently leverage information and see value.

Now taking to next step.  20 years ago - how manage enterprise resources to create new value.  SW and SVC firms came together to create that value.  The time has come for the information space.  Information is a strategic asset, just like HR or cash or any other strategic asset.  Needs to be goverened, managed just like those other other assets.

How leverage deep skills associated with analytics and optimization and open standard-based world class infrastructure, so can optimize call center, or sales operations and planning, or category management.  Just like ERP 20 years ago, this will be bigger than that.

Please welcome colleague who runs GBS for IBM company - SVP Frank Kern.

Role is to introduce you to our clients and their point of view.  Want to talk about how clients are transforming organizations and achieving significant business outcomes.  

A lot of what we're going to talk about is what it takes to create predictive capability for business decision makers.  To be able to answer question "what if."  

In today's environment, *some* certainty is just not good enough.  We're making significant investments in services.  Just 7 months ago announced business analytics and optimization service line.  4000 consunlants, and first time announced new service line since PWC acquisition.  

What's happening in world today?  Operating in fundamentally different ways.  Flatter, smaller, interconnected, riskier world.  Pile on top of it historic explosion in information.  Not just convergence of physical and digital world.  It's about supply chains and weather patterns, rivers and railroads, so that everyone and everything is leaving real-time data tracks.  Technology and instrumentation are abundantly available, but to turn this flood of info into intelligent action requires incredible power of analysis.  All this comes together in situation where businesses fear they are operating with blind spots, at a time where margins for error reduced to zero.

This will separate the winners from the losers.

The client's dilema - Processing more info than ever before - but less of what is available - and radically less of what is generated in real time is available.  Clients sense huge opportunity if they can master all of this information.

Study conducted earlier this year - more than 1 in 3 business leaders are frequently making decisions based on information they don't trust or don't have; 1 in 2 business leaders say they don't have access to the information they need to do their job.  Top performers are 15x more likely to predict and prepare for the future.

Clients are telling us they must be faster than ever before - reaction times are being squeezed out.  They need not only be fast, but right, with decisions made on facts.  They must have clear view of endpoint - consequences and outcomes of decisions ahead of time.  Need to move beyond "sense and respond" - they tell us they must be able to predict and act - see threats/opportunities ahead of time to structure business and processes to meet that objec

With all this comes new opportunities.

One example - working with NYC Fire Dept.  Integrating data from multiple sources.  Monitor conditions in the more than 8000  buildings in New York.  WOuld take 12 years to inspect all buildings in person.  Fire Dept. asking what if.... what if mission isn't just to put out fires, but to prevent them.  With up to date data, can predict which buildings most need inspections.  One step closer to actually preventing fire from happening in first place.

Panel discussion:  
Shirley Lady - VP Business Informatics, Blue Cross BlueShield Association
Nihad Aytaman - Director of Business Applications, Elie Tahari, Ltd.
Debbie Oshman - Director of Analytics and Business Insight, Chevron

Q:  How important is information to your company
Lady - Busines leaders came together, pooled data into data warehouse with conformed data.  In midst of health care reform, and will have to adjust business whatever outcome.  Ability to take data and model possibilities will allow to respond appropriately and hopefully survive.
Have largest data warehouse in healthcare industry - 50M medical records, claim data, pharmacy data, entrollment.  Flexibility to do benchmark statistics, compare across country disease rates, etc.

Q:  How important to a SMB like Elie Taharai?
Aytaman - Very important.  Info is there from transactional systems, and ability to extract that info in meaningful and timely manner and present to managers that makes the difference.  After business intelligence went up, have own retail stores. Retail coordinators could change buying patterns based on info in transactional reports that couldn't see below.  Timeliness and accuracy of what could pull together from disparate systems - pull together from 5 systems into data warehouse, and report out of that DW across enterprise.  Eliminate info silos.  Line managers can easily get access to information from systems outside of their deparatment.

Q:  Massive staff to put together {laughing}?
Aytaman - A SMB can implement successful BI solution.  Staff is huge - "my BI person and DW person is just one person."  If we can do it, anyone can do it.  Would suggest toe veryone in SMB to look into it and implement if they don't have one already a BI Solution

Q:  How important is it to leaders in Chevron
Oshman - Do business in over 100 countries.  Very different lines of business.  Have siesmic data, financial data, reporting data.  Changing way manage information.  Learning to manage it as an asset.  Manage offshore platforms, big manufacturing facilities, think through asset lifecycle in those assets, and starting to realize need to do same for information.  Identify top value data elements in company, and make sure quality is where it needs to be so can make better decisions across company.

Q:  Value of taking information and extending it out to value chain - consumers, other organizations
Lady - Moving forward in healthcare arena it will be important to inform providers.  Have own systems, but need to look at how marry together to identify and share patterns, what's working and not.  Comparative effectiveness is very important, and believe have built warehouse able to assist and come to agreement with providers on where should be spending the dollars.  

Q:  Business outcomes are critical.  Are there breakthroughs you've achieved that are real business outcome breakthroughs?
Aytaman - Have achieved several advantages and cost savings through BI initiative.  One is retail division being able to change buys. Puts right merchandise on floor for right customer in right region.  Sell more merchandise and have lower returns.  Were also able to change delivery commitments to customers and manufacturer deliveries.  Combined together and made visible to logistics folks.  Reduced from 85% error to 45% error; makes huge difference.  Before BI went live, people print reports from diff. systems and put together manually on excel spreadsheets.  Now just click and a few seconds away.  Tremendous value

Q:  On consumer side - how keep up with leading edge of fashion industry
Aytaman - Consantly watch what's going on out on selling floor and react to it.  Retail sales info that get from customers that go into data warehouse and BI to calculate sell throughs.  React to that on weekly basis.  Very important to have access and be able to present to executives on timely basis.

Q:  What about at Chevron?
Oshman:  Optimizing fuel supply chain - no one wants to get to local gas station and have no gasoline for your car.  Working to lower costs and optimize processes.  (Will be giving talk on it tomorrow).  Do business in over 100 countries, very complex - combined global supplier spending... used to have a look back - what spent last month, what contracts looked like.  Now can look forward to when contracts coming up, where risk with that supplier, to find opportunities to make better business decisions based on that information.

Q:  Largest data warehouse in healthcare - how take advantage of that?
Lady - 54 million members, millions and millions of claim data.  Look for anomolies, claims, events.  (Also have session tomorrow.)  Put analytical data mart using Cognos tools to leverage data and make available via portal access to a plant to do own queries on the data.  Just launched in June, so still in infancy, but already seeing good results.  Gives plans flexibility to run own queries and benchmarking specific to their needs, which lets them be more responsive to their client.  Also lets look at disease states, have sample size that are large enough to do analysis on; just about anywhere else can't get sufficient sample size.

Q:  Real time?
Aytaman - Say we have near real-time.  Every transaction that happens in disparate systems flows into data warehouse within 5 minutes or less.  Eliminates nightly load windows, and info fresh throughout the day.   If could suggest to anyone building warehouse, suggest doing it in near real time.

Q:  How what doing now changing how company changing how company thinks about its information
A:  Have always had breakthroughs in exploration space.  Recently started thinking about info as an asset.  Not just how to optimize process (although still key to future) or which systems replace, but which business decisions need to be made and then focus on quality of data.  Expect it to help stay competitive in very dynamic world as head into future.

Frank Kern - Hear fascinating things being done, but also a journey, and of all great things being done, a lot more to be done into the future.   This has been journey for companies around world, and a journey for IBM as well.  IBM consulting working with IBM research with Hardware, and all is to maximize value of Business Analytics and Optimization for our clients.  Couldn't be more excited about possibilities for the future.

Terry Fader is back. I'm impressed

Video - Bharti airtel.  Dr. Jai Menon.  Just crossed 100M customers, and well on way to 200M in next few years.  Bharti Airtel is addressing 3 large challnges - diversity, reach, scale.  Diverse customer segment - Now reaching into all towns of India, crossing 400,000 villages in India.  Growth and speed.  

Real-time analytics to optimize business.  "Using information-led transformation to provide analytical information right at these touchpoints."  Analytics plays important role for revenue assurance, planning, supply chain, ERP, etc.  

Ambuj Goyal back on stage.  Bharti is company that believes in owning information.  Looking for business outcomes and optimizing end to end business processes.

Have heard in first part of session how focused on delivering better business outcomes.  Now we are going to focus on information platforms.  How core innovation must go on in information and analytics.  As I focus on business outcomes and busines analytic aspects and bringing more of IBm capabilities in industry context, this innovation must continue on, and to help do that, please welcome new General Manager Information Management, Arvind Krishna.

Need strong base on innovation and strong base of technology.  $12B invested in R&D and Acquisitions to deliver information, analytics, optimization platform to help people achieve outcomes are looking for.  Also invested in Business Partners, Research labs, the largest mathematics department in private industry to fuel these innovations.

Platform needs to be comprehensive and integrated.  Working with erector sets takes time away.  Must capture all leading edge technologies allowing you to scale business without scaling costs with business.  Will announce a # of exciting innovations in platform.

Must have solid foundation that captures data and content.  DB2 pureScale - 100% utilization 24 hours per day.  IMS11 - transactional database par none.  Over 50k transactions per second, up to twice as fast as IMS 10.  Smart Archive - for unstructured and structured information.

Step up from repositories on how integrate it.  As heard earlier , need to integrate across multiple systems.  Smart Analytics System - 3x faster BI, 50% less space.  Manage it all as one thing, taking away time and risk and improving performance.  Master Information Hub - 180M parties, 480M accounts, 61M transactions/day - structured and unstructured.  Can bring in information and get single view of products and customers.  Give it back in extensible domains so can look at it from perspective that matters for you.  InfoSphere Streams - >5M messages per second, with milli-second speed.

Analytics - how combine structured and unstructured analytics.  Cognos Content Analytics brings together capabilities from FileNet, from Cognos portfolio - expose what's happening in e-mail, documents, across multiple (11) languages, and look at same way as store sales, customer profitability.  Look at all through one interface.  Predictive, "what if" outcomes.  SPSS adds that capability to our stack.  Bring rich experience from over 250,000 customers to answer questions, not just do crystal ball gazing.  Process optimization - ILOG brings many capabilities leveraging strong base in mathematics and analytics.  How do scheduling, constrained programming.  Cognos Analytic Applications capture not just technology talking about, but best practices and templates aimed at specific. When talk about customer profitability or customer planning - doing it every month or every week, not just annually.  Allows you to save time and get up and running that much quicker.

All new innovations being announced here today.  Delivered in way that are integrated, work together, and give you business outcomes we've been talking about.

These fuel innovation of information-led transformation.  Have to do at lower costs because economy and all of our managers demand that.  Must deliver value and business outcomes that desire.

Ambuj Goyal back on stage with Arvind Krishna.  During conference will be recognizing 11 clients for customer innovation.  Two today.  Best information on demand solutions.  Wanted to provide single view across city - disability, everything across health and human services, etc.  First award goes to NYC Health and Human Services.  
Second - Large furniture retailer using information from clients and stores.  Leading edge retailer, optimize what put on floor, what kind of promotions to do.  They're bringing all of this analytics in house to deliver value to business while also lowering own costs.  Recognize with Outstanding Information Agenda award - Rooms to Go.

Recognizing multiple partners over the conference - two today.  Best IOD Showcase. Solution does both sales and revenue prediction, and optimizes management processes end to end.  Niteo Systems.

Second - CTO innovation award.  Provide on numerical data, and geographical data.  As combine analytics with GIS systems, recognize spotOn systems as way to leverage both of these analytics from one perspective.

Ambuj Goyal:  If only look at just one piece of this, will have information projects, not an information-led transformation.  If look at typical model, have core systems.  Maybe sales analytics, workforce analytics, risk analytics... put on operational systems.  But when want to use information to improve call center, will be yet another project.  End up with huge amount of storage cost, huge amount of redundant information, and not truly on ILT.  Just like ERP was a systematic journey 20 years ago.  If you're doing separate projects, stop and think.  Most succussful engagements where info was able to be reused and built on.  It not only accelerates value, it is a much higher performance system than any other place.  So think about creating an information platform, not just a data warehouse or a BI system.

Imagine if could discover insight not buy doing search and query, but by system telling you itself it's time for recall of insulin pump 8 months in advance of headlines appearing in the paper, saving lives.  If could prevent 1 in 4 crimes before they happen or flag potential fruad 14 times faster.  If could identify sepsis in premature newborns 24 hours earlier.  These aren't just imagination - are organizations doing this today.

Terry Fator's back out to play us out - "What a wonderful world."