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IBM Commits $100 Million to Globally Expand Unique Consulting Model That Fuses Strategy, Data and Design

New labs make thousands of multi-discipline experts available to help companies recreate their customer experience

ARMONK, N.Y., March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced plans to commit more than $100 million to globally expand its consulting services capability to help clients with experience design and engagement.  As part of the investment, the company will open 10 new IBM Interactive Experience labs around the world and plans to add 1,000 employees to create new, personalized models of engagement through data and design.

Located in Bangalore, Beijing, Groningen, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and Tokyo, the new labs provide clients with the opportunity to work side-by-side with researchers and consultants as well as experts in experience design, mobile and digital marketing. These multi-discipline teams analyze business challenges and jointly create solutions that integrate next-generation mobile, social, analytics and cloud technologies. IBM plans to open additional labs in the future to support the global demand for data-driven experiences.

"There's no longer any real distinction between business strategy and the design of the user experience. The last best experience that anyone has anywhere, becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere, and the quality of that experience is entirely dependent on the use of individualized information," said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President of IBM Global Business Services. "As our clients recalibrate what it means to engage with their customers or employees, we're bringing them the full spectrum of world-class design and IBM Research, book-ended by strategy consulting and our strength in Big Data."

As hallmarks of the IBM Interactive Experience consulting practice, the new labs will enable companies to engage with their customers in entirely new ways. Researchers within IBM Interactive Experience are developing capabilities to harness the value of data to help clients create personalized experiences, while designers within IBM Interactive Experience are working directly with clients to develop experiences that are increasingly mobile-driven.  These experiences leverage IBM's MobileFirst portfolio to take advantage of the transformational nature of mobile solutions.  The combination of these capabilities and design elements hinge on insights IBM converts from data -- including information on individual decisions, choices, preferences and attitudes.

In addition to the 10 new labs and four existing locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Toronto clients can partner with IBM Interactive Experience teams in IBM Research Labs in 12 locations around the world to personalize their every interaction with consumers.

Big Data Capabilities for Customer Experience
Along with the new facilities, IBM also unveiled new data-driven innovations from IBM Interactive Experience that help business leaders gain deeper insights into individuals and transform the way customers experience their products, services and brands. IBM researchers within IBM Interactive Experience invented unique algorithms that conduct the analysis for these new capabilities:

  • Intelligent Customer Profiles is an analytics-driven solution that enables consumers to directly manage the personal information companies use to provide them services. It also allows companies to proactively ask consumers questions, using a learning model to determine the next best question to ask an individual for a clearer picture of their preferences, while respecting privacy constraints. This helps companies improve the quality of customer profiles so they can provide better service, enhancing the relationship between a business and their customer. For example, an airline could use this capability to refine its scheduled service to better meet the needs of specific micro-segments of customers or a bank could make sure it's providing an individual customer with service on their preferred channel of communication.
  • Influence Analysis is an analytical approach that goes beyond basic social media influencer scoring to identify individuals who influence other consumers related to a specific topic. By knowing which consumers influence others' opinions of products and services, clients can optimize interactions in consumer communities down to the specific target topic. Combined with existing enterprise data, this capability allows clients to develop their own robust, customized influencer analysis that can be tuned based on specific business factors such as local location or language. This analysis can be used to help a company identify the best ambassador for their brand or hone in on the right targets for a viral marketing campaign, for example.
  • Customer Identity Resolution is a rules-based matching toolkit that helps enterprises build a broader understanding of who their customers are by connecting information across different data sources such as customer relationship management (CRM) records, social media accounts and other profile information. This is particularly useful for better understanding prospective customers that companies have little information on. After a company builds out comprehensive profiles of their customers, they can use analytics for business insights or conduct direct social marketing to existing customers on an opt-in basis.

These join an existing portfolio of data-driven capabilities including Life Event Detection, Behavioral Pricing and Psycholinguistic Analytics. Clients can choose these capabilities, or team with experts to co-create entirely new, customer-centric, innovative experiences that are unique to their business and the needs of the customers.

About IBM Big Data & Analytics
Each day we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data from a variety of sources -- climate information, to posts on social media sites, and purchase transaction records to healthcare medical images. At IBM we believe that data is emerging as the world's newest resource for competitive advantage, and analytics is the key to make sense of it. IBM is helping clients harness Big Data & Analytics to provide insights needed to make better decisions, create value, and deliver that value to customers and society. IBM has the world's deepest and broadest portfolio of Big Data & Analytics technologies and solutions, spanning services, software, research and hardware. For more information about IBM Big Data & Analytics, visit http://ibm.co/bigdataanalytics. Follow IBM Big Data & Analytics on Twitter @IBMbigdata and @IBMAnalytics.

For more information on IBM Interactive Experience, please visit www.ibm.com/gbs/interactive.

To join the social discussion about IBM Interactive Experience please follow @ibminteractive on Twitter.

Contact:
Ari Vanrenen
IBM Media Relations
[email protected]
1-415-545-6815

SOURCE IBM

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