Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Press releases from IOD2009 Conference - Part I

The first of the press releases from the IOD 2009 conference have started coming across the wire.  Just some quick links for now - more later.

IBM Helps Organizations Accelerate Innovation With Business Analytics

At its annual Information on Demand Global Conference, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a broad expansion of its business analytics portfolio with new capabilities that enable clients to drive business analytics and optimization using trusted information for faster, more accurate and smarter business decisions.
To help clients use business analytics, IBM is aggressively expanding its multi-billion dollar investment in this area. The offerings include:
  • New analytics software for sales, talent management and procurement. These pre-configured applications help organizations improve business performance by providing ready-made reporting and analysis capabilities so they can gain faster insight from information more cost effectively than if they were to build it themselves.
  • New Content Analytics software that will help employees more easily access and analyze structured and unstructured data, such as email and blogs, to drive smarter decisions based on external and internal insights.
  • Enhanced stream computing technology that enables organizations to make sense of structured and unstructured information stored in data warehouses and process it in real time.
  • New Master Information Hub software that makes it easy for clients to go beyond the pre-configured data categories offered by traditional master data management products.

Today, IBM also announced new offerings that support IBM's Smart Archive strategy that enables clients to effectively manage structured and unstructured information. Businesses can apply analytics to stored information, extracting key content as business needs arise, regardless of the storage location.

The full press release has a lot more detail on these announcements, and highlights of the impact the INformation Agenda approach is making for businesses.  One example is Lufthansa Cargo, which "is one of the largest freight carriers in international aviation, handling over 1.76 million tons of cargo and mail each year across a network spanning more than 500 destinations worldwide. Part of Lufthansa's objective is to maintain a competitive edge in a highly contested market. With business analytics technology using IBM Cognos BI, Lufthansa is now able to carefully manage their global delivery chain, accurately monitoring transportation times, measuring quality of service, identifying and correcting trouble spots, and tracking overall performance trends. "

IBM Brings Business Analytics and Cloud Services to Smarter Archiving
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new offerings to provide organizations with analytics capabilities to make better use of their archived information and improve business processes. The new offerings support IBM's unified archiving strategy, called IBM Smart Archive, and are designed to help clients use content analytics and data discovery to determine which information is necessary to retain and archive, eliminating a major obstacle many clients have experienced in past archiving projects.

As a result of data growth, legal discovery requirements, regulatory compliance, and increasingly complex infrastructures, the need for information archiving is rapidly increasing. With these growing requirements for retention of information, organizations are struggling to determine what information they have, what to keep and what to discard.

The new offerings unify and simplify content, email and data collection and classification in a comprehensive approach, enabling multiple archiving models, including traditional on premise software, cloud services and hybrid options. With this offering, IBM is providing clients with the flexibility to choose between -- or combine -- delivery options to archive information that continues to grow within their organization.  
France's National Railway Embraces a Smart Archiving Approach

Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF) provides high speed train travel in Europe, serving approximately 63 million citizens including thousands of riders from neighboring European countries.  

Handling approximately 700,000 ticket transactions per day, SNCF is using IBM technology to build a unified archive solution to manage and control its growing structured and unstructured content such as historical transactional ticket information, e-mail, invoices and other financial documents.  

Prior to building the new archiving environment, SNCF had difficulty finding key pieces of information related to ticket transactions. The information was stored in multiple locations, impacting SNCF's customer satisfaction and the company's need to meet and regulate compliance requirements. With the new system, SNCF will now be able to better find and report on ticket transactions, enabling the company to quickly answer customer queries and general business requests.

See the full press release for much more detail on the specific Smart Archiving solutions being announced.

IBM Helps Alameda County Deliver Social Services

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that California's Alameda County Social Services Agency (Alameda County SSA) is using IBM analytics technology to improve the delivery of social services by implementing efficiencies at every program level. Furthermore it will help assure that the correct benefit amounts get to deserving clients.

The new analytics system enables caseworkers to quickly and securely verify claims and make critical decisions on services within minutes thereby improving the eligibility process for clients needing to access county services. Alameda County caseworkers and clients will now benefit from instant automated notifications during certain status changes, such as the benefits approval process allowing caseworkers to make more informed decisions. 

The IBM analytics system, which was up and running in less than six months, gives caseworkers a consolidated picture of all the benefits a client is receiving across six different social services programs. Audit logs are used to improve accountability and ensure higher levels of privacy protection. The system can now deliver automated emails, text messages via cell phones, or calls to both caseworkers and clients notifying them when there are important changes in status, such as eligibility for Federal assistance.
Another key component of the Alameda County SSA system is that business analytics helps detect fraud and abuse and can potentially save millions. The ability to quickly identify people that are not entitled to benefits saves tax payer money. The new analytics system enables the agency to immediately detect problematic trends such as numerous claims from the same address. 

For example, within the CalWorks (welfare) program alone, the agency identified millions of dollars of potential savings. Soon after launching the new software, Alameda SSA determined that only 10 percent of CalWorks' clients were participating in mandatory work activities. Previous systems erroneously reported participation at 50 percent. With the new system administrators are alerted of cases requiring action in less than a minute rather than weeks, months, or even more prolonged periods.