What can IBM Watson do for you?

Everyone has seen or heard about IBM Watson on Jeopardy and how it is able to process information more like a human rather than a computer. IBM Watson has the amazing ability to understand natural language, generate hypotheses based on this evidence and actually LEARN as it goes. Watson is able to “learn” by being taught by its users, learning from prior interactions and by being presented with new information.  How incredible is that??

So how can Watson be applied to the real world? How can it help your company? How can it NOT is the real question! There are so many ways that Watson can help your organization more fully understand and utilize the data that you currently have to allow you to make better business decisions to accelerate your company’s success.

Just check this out –  The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs just enlisted Watson to help diagnose and  treat Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an illness that affects more than 8.3 million veterans in the U.S and many of them go without diagnosis or proper care because of how difficult it is to detect and design a treatment plan since each patient’s causes, symptoms and results are vary.

So how is Watson going to help? Like many of Watson’s other projects, it will allow clinicians to ask natural-language questions. Watson will then be able to answer based on massive amounts of data collected and housed in its data center. For example, a doctor will ask it what has worked for other patients with similar histories, traumas and symptoms and Watson will come back with proven treatment plan suggestions.

“The kind of data that Watson will be ingesting will be hundreds of thousands of documents from VHA including medical records, research docs and medical literature that will help them assess the proper patient care,” Ann Altman, IBM General Manager for U.S. Federal and Government Agencies told Mashable.

As a cognitive system, Watson will not only use the reams of data to help provide diagnosis and treatment ideas for PTSD, it will learn and improve. “Watson will develop a corpus of knowledge specific to PTSD,” said Altman, “it will collect data [and] through that Watson will learn and grown more confident.

PTSD has been defeating our doctors and Veterans for years and now with Watson, the VA will have a chance to accelerate decision-making for primary care physicians to help diagnose and create treatment plans specific to each patient’s needs, more efficiently and faster than ever before.

This is a HUGE step for the Healthcare community, but Watson is not limited to only one industry. Check out how Watson can be used in your industry for your business needs – Here

 

And as always if you have any questions at all, please email us at kmartir@metrotsg.com

IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions

When IBM and Apple announced their partnership back in July, I was extremely excited. FINALLY 2 tech giants see that they could create better and more efficient business applications, if they worked together! Who knew?!?! Apple is obviously bringing their user experience and innovative product design to the table, while IBM is offering up their industry expertise and position in enterprise computing. Together they have created 10 apps (so far) exclusively for IPhone and IPads that can be customized for any organization. But Why?  “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

So what are these knew apps and what do they do ?

The first IBM MobileFirst for iOS applications include:

  • Plan Flight (Travel and Transportation) addresses the major expense of all airlines—fuel—permitting pilots to view flight schedules, flight plans, and crew manifests ahead of time, report issues in-flight to ground crews, and make more informed decisions about discretionary fuel.
  • Passenger+ (Travel and Transportation) empowers flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight—including special offers, re-booking, and baggage information.
  • Advise & Grow (Banking and Financial Markets) puts bankers on premise with their small business clients, with secure authorization to access client profiles and competitive analyses, gather analytics-driven insights to make personalized recommendations, and complete secure transactions.
  • Trusted Advice (Banking and Financial Markets) allows advisors to access and manage client portfolios, gain insight from powerful predictive analytics—in the client’s kitchen or at the local coffee shop, rather than the advisor’s office—with full ability to test recommendations with sophisticated modeling tools all the way to complete, secure transactions.
  • Retention (Insurance) empowers agents with access to customers’ profiles and history, including an analytics-driven retention risk score as well as smart alerts, reminders, and recommendations on next best steps and facilitation of key transactions like collection of e-signatures and premiums.
  • Case Advice (Government) addresses the issue of workload and support among caseworkers who are making critical decisions, one family or situation at a time, on the go. The solution adjusts case priorities based on real-time analytics-driven insights, and assesses risk based on predictive analysis.
  • Incident Aware (Government) converts an iPhone into a vital crime prevention asset, presenting law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations; information about victim status, escalation risk, and crime history; and improved ability to call for back-up and supporting services.
  • Sales Assist (Retail) enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store, and ship out-of-store items.
  • Pick & Pack (Retail) combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for transformed order fulfillment.
  • Expert Tech (Telecommunications) taps into native iOS capabilities including FaceTime® for easy access to expertise and location services for route optimization to deliver superior on-site service, more effective issue resolution and productivity as well as improved customer satisfaction.

The whole idea of these apps is to be able to have access to all necessary information Anytime, Anywhere. This will help employees of all kinds to work more efficiently and in turn it will create superior customer satisfaction rates as well as a more streamlined work flow.

“There’s terrific energy in our collaboration with IBM and Apple around the goal of equipping our professionals with mobile capability that will create new competitive advantage and enable us to re-imagine how we share our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our clients.” Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi

While this is the first of  IBM MobileFirst applications for iOS, both IBM and Apple have even bigger plans for the partnership heading into 2015, so stay tuned!!!

IBM is reimagining email for a new way to work

Tired of being overwhelmed by your email, to do lists, contacts and calendars? I know I am! I am always looking for something to help organize and ease my time management headaches. Some weeks I could honestly spend ALL DAY just organizing my inbox! Recently I’ve become more efficient at time management/lists and the hierarchy of emails because of a few third party apps (wunderlist and boomerang), but things would really be wonderful if all this could be done within one email application. Not to mention how obscenely annoying it is when emails just disappear when going back and forth between my mobile, tablet and desktop.  Well, IBM (what? IBM and email????)  has taken all these grievances into consideration and created IBM Verse.

Check out IBM Verse in action, here. 

Said to be released in Q1 of 2015, I for one am seriously shaking with anticipation! (I have a need for organization, this could be life changing!) IBM Verse has taken a different approach to enterprise email by integrating how employees connect with each other daily , like email, meetings, calendars, file sharing, instant messages, social updates, video updates, etc. And they put it all into a single collaboration environment. PLUS they have a “faceted search” feature that will enable users to pinpoint and retrieve specific information across various types of content within their email. So no more guessing what an attachment in an email was titled over and over again and then searching through hundreds of emails in hopes of locating the correct one!

So heres the rundown of some of the IBM unique characteristics that Verse will include:

  • Intelligent Task Prioritization:  Quickly finds and prioritizes the tasks that matter most.  With lightning-fast search and built-in intelligence, it analyzes – and eventually even predicts – user behaviors and preferences in order to personalize an employee’s unique social mail experience.
  • Intuitive Collaboration Across Devices:  An intuitive, ‘at-a-glance’ user interface optimized for mobile and Web environments helps users quickly take action on content and conversations previously scattered across multiple tools such as email, calendar, to-dos, social networks, chats, online meetings and documents.  It features one-click ability to share content as a blog post rather than an email and share files through cloud-based communities.
  • Engage People, Not Email:  Provides deep context around the people and teams involved in a given task or project to drive more valuable employee engagements at the moment of impact.  This allows users to visualize employee profiles, understand relationships between individuals and teams, and more effectively track and manage project and task delegation.

Be Among the first to experience IBM Verse , sign up to be notified when its ready to be explored, I already did and CAN’T WAIT!

C Suite and Social Business

Since its launch, “Social” Business has always been a touchy subject when working with the C Suite.

  • Is it social media?
  • Are there privacy concerns?
  • What about security?
  • What can we gain from using such a risky tool?
  • Is this just a fad?

Well it turns out, the C suite is more interested than ever in this “risky tool”. They have begun to understand its fundamental business value and have changed their view to seeing this tool as an “opportunity to change the way we work”.

Social Business is a platform which allows you to not only collaborate with your coworkers, but also with your clients, customers, partners and suppliers. You can easily discuss and work together on projects while physically being at different locations. This tool allows you to gather real feedback from clients and coworkers, and locate and progress new ideas quickly and efficiently.

Naturally the C suite members were a bit weary when the tool first launched, but with case studies proving the increase in productivity, C Suite members are now seeing Social Business as an essential tool within their business. Customer engagement, branding, and innovation are only a few things that Social Business can accelerate. A company’s entire workflow can potentially be changed to flow faster and more efficiently than ever before.

 

View Deloitte’s latest study on how the C Suite has come to accept Social Business and its benefits and contact us anytime, kmartir@metrotsg.com,  to see which Social Business Platform is right for you.

Social Business ROI

Successful businesses thrive off people and their relationships. Everyone works with an array of individuals; there are those that that you employ, those who you work with on a day to day basis, partners you do business with near and far, consumers that you sell to, the list is endless. These individuals and their work are the bloodline of your company’s success.   But how do you communicate with all these different silos of people?  How do you fully use all their different talents ?

Organizations that are outperforming others have been able to seize and cultivate a more collaborative environment. They use tools to help people build and maintain relationships no matter where they are in the organization. Those that have embraced Social Business are collaborating across their organizations and finding answers and experts quicker than ever, working on projects with colleagues in California while they sit in their offices in NYC in Real-Time, and also comparing best practice guides to make sure they aren’t repeating mistakes other colleagues have already made.

Every department within your organization can benefit from Social Business:

–           HR Department: can increase overall employee productivity and job satisfaction through improved knowledge capture, expertise location, and collaboration. Travel, training and teleconferencing expenses also can be reduced by implementing wikis and activity templates. Hiring in-house employees will also become easier by being able to search for specific qualifications in employee’s profiles, reducing time and money spent on brand new hires. Employee morale will increase with the easy ability to connect to one another to gain insight on projects and answer pending questions, in real-time.

–          Research and Development: quicken internal idea sharing and discovery, as well as transform how they generate ideas, share strategies and gather feedback from key customers and partners.

–          Customer Service: With more immediate access to content and expertise, customer service representatives can work more efficiently and provide higher-quality service. They will be able to access “Best Practices” for situations while on the call with the customer and be able to provide them with a solution that another teammate has already found.

–          Marketing and sales teams can have more time to spend with customers and to dedicate to customer-focused initiatives. They will be more knowledgeable with wikis, blogs and best practices published by fellow sales people on product forums. They will have access to information throughout the organization and on an array of products as well as communication tools in real time, and team rooms to hold team meetings. Access to product experts will also become easier than ever with employee profiles stating their skills,experience and expertise.

importance-of-social-business-today-and-tomorrow

Cut Expenses

–           The expense of travel to face-to-face meetings can be reduced through online expertise location; project-based commenting, messaging and status updates.

–          Employee training costs can be reduced ,faster ramp-up of new hires.

–          Employee turnover rate can be reduced by creating a more engaged and satisfied workforce.

–           Teleconferencing expenses can be reduced with real-time communication

–          Reduced need for email storage

–          Reduce cost of hardcopy, printing and distribution

 

Cut Time

–          Reduce time spent answering repetitive questions.

–          Discover work that has already been done before your department embarks on the same project another department has already accomplished

–          Create a feedback forum after a conference call instead of multiple individual calls and emails sent to the call’s host

–          Shorten development cycle and foster innovation by being able to collaborate with the right experts, the first time.

–          Create relationships across the organization to be able to find experts when needed through knowledge management tools like wikis, blogs, discussion forums and shared bookmarks

IBM has put together IBM Connections,  a suite of Social Business software with messaging and unified communications all on a single home page. It is open to new capabilities as they are developed, and already has hundreds of plug-ins to allow your business the ability to customize it to fit your needs and products already used. Its platform is able to bring global visibility to every employee and his or her contributions, all on an easy to use user interface that most employees are already familiar with.

The homepage is similar to that of Facebook, with a running feed of recent activity, status updates and profiles of coworkers. There is a search tab to find specific colleagues and also access to create and join communities. In these communities people can tackle challenges common across all locations and skill sets so those working at different locations will be able to reference past projects and results. Users can create and view Wikis and blogs that share the knowledge and expertise of other users, as well as provide feedback and comments for the writers. Forums are available to encourage discussion of pressing business issues, again creating an interactive area where feedback can be received on important issues. Status posts, profiles and listings of activities help employees previously stuck in silos to learn what like-minded colleagues are working on and share successes and challenges. Support for tags, community bookmarks and shar­ing of files make it easy to locate knowledge and best practices.

social-business words

Social Business is not only in the future of the Business world, it’s happening NOW. With remote workers, organizations with multiple locations and team activities, having a more collaborative environment is essential for success in Today’s business world.

Here is a quick download on the ROI of Social Business, read it through, and let me know if you can afford to NOT move forward with implementing a more social environment.

Contact us today at kmartir@metrotsg.com to schedule your Business Value Assessment to see how implementing a Social Business Solution can help your current organization collaborate more efficiently to ensure the success of your future.

Has your business gone social?

Have you broken down and made a Facebook account yet? a Twitter  account? a hashtag? Please tell me you’ve at least created a Linked In Profile!!!

Well if you haven’t you better jump on the band wagon!

Social media platforms allow customer networks to be bigger, faster and better organized. They increase the downside of getting service wrong and the upside of getting it right. So while one person is leaving you an applauding comment on facebook, another could be tweeting about how something went wrong. The difference with a social media presence is that you can see that tweet acknowledge what went wrong and fix the problem. Vuela! Customer service at its best , you are now an attentive business who cares about their customers.

Now how does social media tie in with everyday business?

IBM’s new Connections platform is simple to use and similar in design to public social sites, but instead they are created as private communites. Here you can also hold online Meetings, Instant message via Sametime , video chat, join communties, share files, create wikis,create  bookmarking,be a part of activities and work together with team spaces. All delivered onsite or via the cloud.

With all your employees in the entire organization searchable by their name or keyword, collaboration has never been easier. Everyone will be able to work together from where ever they are , all across the same platform.

According to McKinsey & Company :

“These social technologies, which create value by improving productivity across the value chain, could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value across the four sectors.

Two-thirds of this potential value lies in improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises. The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. But when companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35 percent, the time employees spend searching for company information. Additional value can be realized through faster, more efficient, more effective collaboration, both within and between enterprises.”

Here  is another great read about the benefits of a social business-