How IBM Plans to Help Mobile Workforce

Leading tech company IBM has introduced new software that combines the business analytics and optimization capabilities for today’s evolving workforce.

For the first time, the company says, its new offerings combine social networking and collaboration capabilities for the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013.

Targeting the increasing number of mobile users, other players in the tech markets are also making big plans with their new offerings.

Close on the heels of naming Stephen Elop as its future CEO, last month, Nokia unveiled a strategy to connect the “next billion” people to the Internet.

The company wants to offer its low-cost mobile phones supported by Ovi services in the emerging markets. (Read: Nokia Plans to Connect Next Billion to Internet)

And Microsoft, with its eyes on the mass mobile markets, is emerging as a new force in the cutthroat mobiles arena.

With a host of fun features, including music and games, integrated into the new devices, Microsoft – with its partners – has introduced nine Windows Phone 7 handsets. (Read: New Windows Phone 7: Phone for Fun)

IBM is leaving no stone unturned to woo all types of potential mobile consumers. It has announced an Open Collaboration Research (OCR) project with the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay).

The research collaboration will focus on the development of new designs for mobile device interfaces that can be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology. (Read: Research to Help Uneducated Use Mobile Web)

According to a recent IBM survey, information technology professionals predict that mobile (and cloud computing) will emerge as the most in-demand platforms for software application development and IT delivery over the next five years. (Read: Tech Predictions for 2015 with IBM Survey)

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Now, IBM says it is bringing business analytics capabilities to the masses with a new look and feel that more closely mirrors people’s every day use of technology including support for new mobile devices and integrated social networking capabilities for faster, more collaborative decision-making.

The new software takes analytics out of the traditional format of reports and charts to a more interactive design and broader analysis and insight, making it easier by providing built-in images and videos to guide business users.

They can now gain instant insight with analytics in an easy to use format anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices.

These new capabilities will have a profound impact on the way all business users interact with their teams, partners, managers and customers around the globe, IBM believes.

Spurred by the growth of mobile transactions, expected to grow by 40 times by 2015, the increase in the rate and pace of data is accelerating the IT opportunity around business analytics and optimization, says IBM. 

When combined with the unprecedented growth of the mobile workforce, it says, this presents an opportunity for businesses to embrace the borderless office and extract intelligence to better interact with customers.

A recent IBM study with 1,900 CFOs globally revealed analytics-driven organizations had 33% more revenue growth with 32% more return on capital invested. 

To address these changing market dynamics, IBM is announcing a set of new business analytics and information management offerings:

Cognos 10: New software that brings together the power of social collaboration and analytics for business users to gain real-time intelligence in a single, user-friendly interface — online or through mobile devices such as iPad, iPhones and Blackberries.

DB2 10: New database software that helps businesses combine data – from past, present and future, delivering 40% performance improvements.  

IBM InfoSphere Server: New software that redefines how an organization handles data behind the scenes with faster and more accurate integration of diverse forms of data, and the ability to see the quality of data before it’s used.

A technology preview of Hadoop-based big data analytics software running on premise and the IBM Test Development cloud.

The announcement was made by IBM Monday, Oct. 25.

Over the past five years, IBM says it has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions and now over 7,000 IBM business consultants are dedicated to analytics.

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