During IBM’s Q3 earnings call a few weeks ago, IBM CFO Mark Loughridge highlighted business analytics as a sector where Big Blue is investing significant amounts of cash. The company recently acquired data analytics company SPSS for $1.2 billion and business analytics firm RedPill. Tonight, IBM is unveiling a new internal analytics product that the company is touting as the “largest private cloud computing environment for business analytics in the world,” which launches internally with more than a petabyte of information. Along with this internal product, IBM will launch a companion product for clients to build upon this cloud-based architecture, called IBM Smart Analytics Cloud.
The internal product, dubbed Blue Insight, will provide 200,000 employees in IBM’s sales and development department with the ability to extract data and information to make decisions and gain further insight at the point of sale. Blue Insight will gather information from nearly 100 different information warehouses and data stores, providing analytics on more than a petabyte (1,000 terabytes or 1,000,000 gigabytes) of data. For example, sales execs may use customizable queries of real time data to understand revenue opportunities and how many sales in their region are closing to help improve prediction. Or a manufacturing process engineer can evaluate real-time data on the plant floor to identify trends and data to improve yield and reduce shipment delivery times.
IBM Smart Analytics Cloud offering for clients will similarly deliver powerful business intelligence via the scalable, private cloud. The product will lets the client import data and than transform this information into insights to develop strategies and decisions. The service sill offer the ability to create reports, analysis, dashboards, and scorecards to monitor business performance and measure results.
IBM has been shifting its focus towards software and services as opposed to hardware and Big Blue’s strong earnings are an indication that this strategy is paying off in a big way. It’s not surpising that company is continuing to invest in R&D in cloud computing and business analytics, which seems to be the future for both Big Blue and other enterprise-focused tech giants like Oracle.