While most organizations are eager to get Big Data projects off the ground, early adopters are running into hurdles. According to the QuinStreet Enterprise 2014 Big Data Outlook, more than half of early Big Data adopters cited challenges with existing database upgrades (56 percent), complexities of software/data integration (54 percent ) making analytics easier for end users (53 percent) and data capture curation/storage (53 percent).
To help organizations cope with these challenges and get their data analytics initiatives up and running quickly, IBM is introducing bundles of services that combine cloud technology and IBM consulting services. Called IBM Cloud Business Solutions, the managed service offerings are geared toward specific industry verticals and business functions such as mobile, counter fraud and analytics.
Multiple components, including consulting services, pre-built assets from IBM Research, software, advanced analytics, ongoing support and cloud infrastructure delivered via Softlayer, an IBM company, are packaged into a single client agreement and delivered "as a service."
According to IBM, clients will pay a set-up fee up front, and then ongoing subscription or usage-based fees. The subscription-based pricing model includes start-up and ongoing fees that are often based on usage or outcomes based on client requirements.
Ongoing support and enhancements are provided via a managed service in either a private or hybrid cloud environment. IBM clients will be able to leverage previously purchased software and transition the solution "in house" if they choose.
IBM is initially offering a dozen solutions, with plans to bring at least 20 industry-focused solutions to market this year. The first Cloud Business Solutions include:
- Care Coordination. With a goal of improving patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs,this solution enables different stakeholders in a healthcare ecosystem to collaborate across the continuum of care. It integrates the capabilities of care coordination, management, analytics and patient engagement.
- Counter Fraud. This solution includes a portfolio of assets developed by IBM Research that use analytics to discover fraud, waste, abuse, and errors in data-intensive industries and functions. These assets analyze an organization’s internal data to measure behavior, and then compare the results within specific peer groups to identify anomalies that indicate suspicious activity. Counter Fraud solutions are available across industries, such as medical fraud, insurance claim fraud and occupational Fraud.
- Customer Analytics. Organizations are overloaded with data, yet many struggle to garner the insights that lead to more loyal and profitable customer relationships. This solution recommends the most appropriate action at the right time across channels and devices.
- Customer Data. To help clients gain insights and apply them rapidly to business processes, this solution brings together disparate, internal and external data sources to improve marketing operations and planning performance across all channels.
- Emergency Management. Provides geospatial intelligence and analytics to help harness information and data streaming in from multiple sources to provide a central point of command for emergency management. It provides emergency managers with critical information from first responders, scenario planning to streamline and integrate response to emergencies, and advanced communications for first responders and emergency personnel.
- Marketing Management. Marketing organizations are finding it challenging to use increasing quantities of consumer data, leverage digital and mobile channels and incorporate social media in their programs. This solution is designed to use digital channels to deliver promotions and offers to customers and to assess responses and actions by customers.
- Mobile. This suite of solutions for industries such as banking, retail, healthcare, insurance and travel and transportation provides clients the assets and agility needed to re-imagine and define mobile engagement models with employees, customers and partners. It includes mobile accelerators, mobile designs and development models that support an agile, iterative development process.
TP Vision, which manufactures the Philips TV brand, is using IBM's Customer Data Cloud Business Solution to deliver a personalized consumer experience and manage its smart TV service, capturing and analyzing data in order to fuel the development of new services. TP Vision uses a cloud-based environment to manage and collect data from customer interactions. By being able to quickly analyze it, the company can constantly update the personalized user home screen for the customer, personalizing every interaction.
"IBM’s Cloud Business Solutions allow us to place the service and application intelligence into the cloud and reduces the complexity of managing software in the TVs for our consumers,” said Albert Mombarg, director Smart TV, TP Vision, in a statement. "This provides an economic, more flexible way to create new services for our viewers, driving ongoing business innovation. The user experience is constantly fine tuned and upgraded in the cloud, eliminating the need to continually update the actual TV set to accommodate new applications and services. This helps reduce costs for both the consumer and the manufacturer."
IBM is no slouch when it comes to the cloud. Since 2007, it has invested more than $7 billion in 17 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives and build a cloud portfolio. IBM SoftLayer has served 4,500 new cloud clients since its acquisition last year. IBM offers more than a hundred software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions and a network of 40 data centers worldwide. The company holds 1,560 cloud patents. It processes more than 5.5 million client transactions daily through its public cloud.