IBM Watson Ecosystem Partners in Market Building Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO - 24 Sep 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM ) today announced a new milestone as more than 100 of its Watson partners have now introduced cognitive enabled apps, products and services into the market.

IBM Watson & Partners are Building Cognitive

San Francisco - On September 24, 2015, at IBM's newly announced "Watson West" hub, the company unveiled it is making new Watson APIs available to developers, entrepreneurs and businesses. In addition, more than a 100 partners, from an increasing number of industries and professions, are in-market with their own cognitive-powered apps. Amy Gross, President & Founder of VineSleuth collaborates with researcher Vinith Misra of IBM Watson on the design of a cognitive-enabled app that provides shoppers with individualized wine recommendations. (Photo courtesy of Tony Avelar/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

These partners – start ups and innovators in established businesses – are leveraging the Watson Developer Cloud, a platform used by more than 77,000 developers globally to pilot, test and deploy new business ideas.

The app economy is in full swing, projected to grow to $143 billion in 2016* with applications catering to every conceivable interest and industry. At the same time, IDC predicts that by 2018, half of all consumers will interact with services based on cognitive computing on a regular basis**.

To help organizations tap into this market opportunity IBM today expanded its portfolio of Watson APIs and services to accelerate the development of Watson fueled businesses and help partners differentiate their businesses. Following are some of the new ways partners are using those technologies to enrich their products and services:

Card Payments and Financial Services: 50wise created its eVision tool, powered by Watson, to provide query support to card payments professionals. Indra Financial Services will now include this tool built with Watson Q&A, to provide users with real-time answers and expertise to customer enquiries, further improving operational efficiency for processing these banks’ card payments.

Social Media Marketing:Ampsy offers brands live event media aggregation "as a service" through its proprietary media geofencing engine. Its AmpElite analytics platform powered by Watson integrates multiple language APIs to bring sophisticated, actionable data to clients in entertainment and marketing industries. Entertainment marketing firms CrowdSurf and Epic Rights whose client roster includes Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus; and Aerosmith and Billy Joel respectively, are using AmpElite to monitor fans’ reactions for their clients during live events across multiple social channels and respond and engage with fans in a more targeted, personalized way.

Knowledge Management: Bloomfire is a cloud-based knowledge network platform that helps employees within a company easily find the information they need to do their jobs. By scanning posts within the platform and automatically creating tags via the Watson data insights API, employees at companies including Whole Foods, Dun & Bradstreet and Etsy spend less time searching for information and more time doing meaningful work to improve company performance.

Student Career Counseling: Carney Labs is an education technology company that provides a platform embedded with Watson language capabilities to help schools learn about a student’s personality characteristics in order to build them a career roadmap. The Commonwealth of Virginia adopted a policy for all high schools in the state to leverage this app to use with students entering their freshman year.

Strategy Advisory: Case Strategy is a strategy consulting firm delivering client profit growth using its Watson-powered app PoGO® -- Portfolio of Growth Opportunities . This tool, leveraging Watson Q&A, informs, guides, and helps activate companies’ growth strategies. The app is democratizing expert business growth strategy advice by delivering the insight and support of a seasoned strategy consultant directly to clients' fingertips. Mizkan Americas, a leading consumer packaged goods company, is using the app to craft custom strategic plans for key segments of their business.

Citizen Services:Cerebri , a Watson University Competition winner , has rolled out its citizen services app embedded with Watson language capabilities, with the United Way for Greater Austin. It serves to help streamline the delivery of targeted, useful social services information across mobile platforms, ensuring the right information is available when and where it is needed, especially for citizens without home internet service.

Advertising and Marketing: Equals3 is a marketing technology company that developed a media solution utilizing a combination of Watson language APIs to provide media planners, buyers, advertising, and marketing agencies a streamlined and targeted media campaign planning process. Havas Media, a global media company, is using the solution powered by Watson for major brand campaigns to help their customers reach their audiences in engaging ways.

Personalized Health and Wellness: iDAvatars allows patients with chronic diseases to take control of their health and wellness with its Intelligent Digital Avatar platform powered by IBM Watson. Using the cognitive power of IBM Watson language APIs, iDAvatars provides patients with an engaging and interactive user experience to help them assess, track and control their illnesses through changes in diet, exercise, compliance with medical regimen, and compassionate and encouraging social support. The Veterans Health Administration is using iDAvatars in its Virtual Medical Center for patients with diabetes, PTSD, and other conditions that require long term management and access to educational content.

Research & Development: Inno360 , an enterprise research and innovation management platform provider, is embedding a powerful combination of 7 Watson APIs for language and data insights into its SaaS platform to transform the way its clients, including Fortune 50 companies, conduct research and process big data. Inno360 is able to provide its clients advanced analysis of their R&D data to resolve product issues quickly and bring new products to market more rapidly.

Personal Health and Family Care: InterActive-BB , LLC, has developed, for America’s senior population and those who care for them, an online advisor, embedded with Watson Q&A. provides state-specific answers to questions posed in natural language and helps users more easily navigate services such as Medicaid, VA payments, Medicare, and the like, to plan for the best possible elder care. Senior care management and planning providers, Cariloop and CareFamily, are distributing this tool to educate consumers on how they can obtain acceptable levels of health care, while also protecting families from the high financial burden often associated with long-term care services.

Athletic Performance: ORRECO, a provider of biomarker analysis, is helping the world's best athletes reach their true potential with Coach Watson, an app powered by Watson. By embedding Watson Q&A, the app can recommend personalized rest, recovery and nutrition programs for athletes based on understanding cutting edge sport science research, combined with the athlete's biomarker and training data. Nike Oregon Track Club Elite is using Coach Watson to help optimize training response and reduce the risk of illness and injury.

Online Marketing/CRM: SocialBro is a Twitter marketing platform that leverages Watson language capabilities to help companies better understand their customers by personalities rather than demographics for marketing campaigns that are personalized, relevant, and impactful. Multinationals such as telecommunications provider Telefonica, and human resources consulting company Adecco are leveraging SocialBro’s platform powered by Watson to understand cognitive and social characteristics for select population segments.

Talent Sourcing and Matching: UnitesUs is a cloud based hiring & recruitment platform utilizing cognitive computing and big data analysis to match prospective employees to hiring organizations based on personality, company cultural fit, and core qualifications. By analyzing the personalities of job candidates leveraging Watson language capabilities and characterizing a company's work environment, UnitesUs uses proprietary, automated matching algorithms to help companies, including imaging and electronics company Ricoh USA and fitness gym chain 24 Hour Fitness, make better hiring decisions.

Wine Recommendations: VineSleuth's In-Store Advisor provides shoppers with individualized wine recommendations based on embedded Watson cognitive language and speech capabilities and VineSleuth’s proprietary objective wine data generated by an expert team of sensory scientists, and wine makers, educators, and evaluators to remove subjective opinions from the wine-buying process. The Advisor allows consumers to easily share wine preferences in plain language to the kiosk, and receive a custom list of suggested wines based on food pairing, price range, and similarity to another wine and/or a specific flavor profile.

Sales Training: Volume , an award-winning global digital content and technology provider, is changing the way companies - including Virgin Media Business - are able to present products and services to customers. The cognitive learning platform and sales optimization app is powered by Watson language APIs that categorize a large pool of product and sales information. Volume's platform reduces the time, cost and complexity of honing salespeople’s product expertise while providing an engaging customer experience to inform purchasing decisions quickly.

These latest partner examples join recently announced efforts by Purple Forge in citizen services; Edge Up Sports and the competitive world of fantasy football; ENGEO for engineering; and ROSS Intelligence for legal professionals.

To advance innovative businesses that are resulting from the Watson Ecosystem program, IBM is drawing upon $100 million intended to seed select start-ups and businesses. Early investments have included WayBlazer, Sellpoints, Welltok, Pathway Genomics, Modernizing Medicine, and Fluid.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

To advance Watson, IBM has two dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries, and Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to and deliver personalized healthcare

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